Banbury Twenty Cricket Club’s pavilion has been destroyed by fire this afternoon (Friday).
A blaze broke out at the clubhouse shortly after 2pm, believed to be caused by a lightning strike.
The lightning struck as a major storm hit Banbury this afternoon.
Five fire engines remain on the scene and smoke is travelling across the M40 junction and Hennef Way.
Charmaine Alfonso was eating with her husband at the nearby Frankie and Bennys restaurant on Ermont Way during the storm, and once she saw smoke coming from near the pavilion she went outside to investigate.
She said: “We were just eating some food when the heavy rain and hail started. When we saw some smoke we didn’t think it was anything serious, but when we went outside and we saw it was an actual building we couldn’t believe it. The fire was so quick and within 15 minutes the whole building was alight, it is such a shame.”
Pat Knight also spotted the smoke from the fire as he was driving down from the M40. He said: “It is really unlucky for this building to be set alight given its location in the middle of a field. I don’t think the building was built that long ago so it is really unlucky, especially as the cricket season is nearly here. The fire was really ferocious.”