Netherfield Cricket Club has asked its members to donate cash to the club "to keep the ship afloat", as the club comes to terms with the financial difficulties imposed by the coronavirus lockdown.

The Park Side Road outfit should be embarking on another successful season at this time of year, with money coming in from bar sales and advertising boards.

However, with the Covid-19 pandemic effectively cancelling all sport, the club has been losing money and literally pouring bar products down the drain.

A letter from the Netherfield Cricket Club committee, addressed to all members, reads: "We face very uncertain times as a club, especially financially, as we all know that if we don’t have a cricket season or even if we have a reduced season it’s going to have a huge impact on us as a club going forward. I would like to give you a picture of where we are as a club financially.

"We have successfully applied for a government grant of £10,000 and received another grant of £600. Now that sounds good but so far we have had to pour £150 worth of real ale booze down the drain - the fish in the Kent are high on Swan Blonde - and we've passed on £50 worth of crisps to a food bank. There will be much more to dispose of as some have best before dates coming up and the longer we go on the more we shall lose.

"We've just received our insurance bill, of £4,200, and this obviously has to be paid. Whilst the bar staff have been furloughed, Wayne, the groundsman, is continuing to work as guided by the ECB instructions and maintaining social distances. He has work to do outside the club as well as maintaining our grounds for bowls, cricket and football so he is a monthly cost factor which we have to monitor.

"All the bonus funds we get from functions has gone out the window as it seems pubs, clubs and restaurants will be the last to re-open.

"At this time of year we would normally be drawing in subscriptions from senior and junior players, social and patron members plus the donations from our club sponsors, Lakeside Taxis and Firehouse, followed by the fees from our 35 advert board sponsors in July.

"The match sponsors, ball sponsors and summer increases in bar sales would normally set us up for the leaner times during the winter months.

"Therefore we are asking you all, our players and members, to help to keep the ship afloat by donating whatever you feel capable of paying so that come 2021 we do still have a cricket club to be proud of."

The club is asking that members donate their usual memberships as donations, the cost of which ranges from £60 for senior players to £5 for social members, as well as any additional donations members might wish to pay.

The message continues: "As a club we appreciate that people are all in different financial situations and some may not be able to make any payment and it is not an expectation to pay. However, if you can it makes a huge difference to our club."