AG-21 LORD BRAYBROOKE GROUND, ENGLAND

AG-21 – LORD BRAYBROOKE’s GROUND, ESSEX, ENGLAND

Photo : Audley End cricket ground.

Audley End House, Essex, the beautiful mansion that stands serenely in the hearts of the grounds, now belongs to English Heritage.  Over the centuries , it has reflected many of the twists and turns of English history.  Originally dating back to the Norman era, in the 16th century it was a Benedictine Abbey. 

In the 17th century it was rebuilt on a scale so palatial that Charles II bought it for 50,000 pounds as a base for attending Newmarket races.   Subsequent owners cut it down to the scale it is today.

Towards the middle of the 18th century it passed to the Braybrooke family, who owned it until 1948.  The local cricket club is enjoying the use of one of the most lovely settings in English cricket designed big, among others, the renowned landscape architect Capability Brown, thanks to them.

Cricket has a long history at Audley End.  The MCC visited regularly in the 19th Century.  In 1848 one of the Audley team was none other than John Wisden ( founder of WISDEN magazine).  He took 5 wickets in the second innings in a game which the Audley End team mainly made up from Estate workers, won by 61 runs.

In 1948 when the Lord Braybrooke of his day decided to hand over his property to English Heritage, he made it a condition that the club should continue to use the ground rent-free.

Today Audley End plays in Division 1 of the Cambridge League on a wicket described as slow, visiting teams are very keen to sample the Ultra-English atmosphere and the home team finds itself playing a good number of friendlies.  A visiting side from Australia once insisted on playing for the “Ashes” and current chair Bill  only found a suitable facsimile at the very last minute.  The house has many interesting period features and exhibits and its amicable relations with the club side extend to challenging it to a game of cricket.  The catch was that the game has to be played with curved Georgian bats and old style wickets with only 2 stumps and in Georgian clothing.

Henry Mellor Braybrooke, MBE, was an Amateur English cricketer who played first class cricket in England for Cambridge University and an unofficial England XI between 1891 & 1899.

MEDIA  APPEARANCES 

The house and grounds have been used in popular television and radio shows, including Flog it! Antiques Roadshow.  

The exteriors and gardens were also used for the 1964 feature film Woman of Straw starring Sean Connery. 

Scenes were shot at The Audley End for movies like TRUST, The Crown and in a Popular series of videos on English Heritage’s YouTube channel. 

AG-20  LAURIE LEE FIELD GROUND, GLUCESTERSHIRE, ENGLAND

Sheepscombe Cricket Pavilion. Courtesy : Sheepscombe. Org

Courtesy : FB page of the club.

Sheepscombe Cricket Club is inextricably linked with the poet Laurie Lee ( the poet best known for Cider with Rosie).  For many years Lee allowed the club free use of a field he owned in Sheepscombe, now called the Laurie Lee Field.

Sheepscombe, a sleepy village in Gloucestershire lying in a narrow hypnotic village behind the Cotswold scrap.   It nestles amidst green hills with clumps of trees and quaint elevation.  It is short walk up the hill from the village Hall car park to the quintessential Butchers Arms Pub.

The ground is idiosyncratic in the best traditions of English village cricket. There is a huge drop of 15 ft from the pavilion side to the boundary on the other side.  It plateaus enough to prove a flat pitch area more or less in the middle.  The bowler’s run up from one end is so steep that the shorter batter can’t see him till the last few strides. Yet it remains one of the most beautiful grounds of the World.  The home side knows to alert fielders and shout a warning if a catch or groundstroke is on its way.  Boundaries are a lot easier to earn on the downward slope.  A six up the hill towards the pavilion is a rarity.

Lee wrote affectionately of his Uncle Sid who learned his cricket “ on the molehills of Sheepscombe, which is not far from chacterising the ground today.  It is all very English and reminiscent of A.G. Macdonall’s famous chapter about county cricket in “ England, Their England”.

Lee’s sympathy towards cricket remained even after a disquieting experience at SCG.  He was watching a game from the  notorious Hill (Hill was since demolished now to make way for “Victor Trumper stand”) “ when he was hit by a flying beer bottle.  After 4 stitches in hospital he said of the experience “ I enjoyed it, but if I go back again I will wear a Tin hat”.

Lee died in 1997, but is still remembered with warmth at Sheepscombe.  After his death, the club bought the ground from his Estate with help from the England & Wales cricket Trust and from a very supportive local community.  In celebrating the purchase, the club unveiled a fine bench overlooking the pitch in his memory.

The Pavilion that stands today was erected in 1994 and has all the modern facilities of showers, toilets and a proper kitchen counter.  The sense of history that pervades through is fascinating.  The pavilion walls are covered with pictures and reports of the development of the ground.  A table is stacked with books about English cricket including this ground.  There are also several volumes of books penned by the Gloucestershire cricket writer, Nico Craven, a frequent visitor to the ground.

The SCC (sheepscombe cricket club) was founded in 1896, playing in Gloucestershire County cricket League on Saturdays and enjoy occasional Sunday and evening matches.

In 2013, the Club bought this ground by fund raising and a grant from ECB.

Sheepscombe village hall is the centre for many activities and events acts as the social centre for village life.   It is the place for parties, film shows, meetings, Bridge and Table tennis, concerts and the home of the Famous(Infamous)Sheepscombe Pa

AG–19 LAKE St. MORITZ GROUND

AG-19  LAKE  St. MORITZ GROUND, SWITZERLAND

Once in a year in February a group of ardent cricket lovers will put on their whites and venture out onto a frozen lake in front of the promenade at St. Moritz, the famous Swiss ski resort.  Over the course of the weekend 4 English and Swiss teams will play a round-robin tournament of 3 games per team.

Apparently, back in 1988 the snow failed to appear and rather than twiddle their thumbs, someone had the bright idea of playing a game of cricket.   That’s how Cricket on Ice was born.

Participation is by invitation only,and there are tedious tests of skill and players of varying abilities from a novice to quality cricketers.

The St. Moritz Club has a very limited fixture list and relies on guest players who have included former England Test stars like David Gower and Gladstone Small.

The St. Moritz Tourist Board takes a keen interest and helps out with the lake infrastructure and some financial backing.  A little luxury is heating inside the tents, courtesy a sponsor.

A women’s team is all set to take part very soon.

The social aspect of the weekend is important, according to organisers.

In an incident which made the newspaper headlines, David Gower left his hired car on the lake overnight while he enjoyed an evening’s conviviality to participate at the tournament’s blacktie gala dinner.  Returning in the morning, he found the vehicle had sunk to the bottom of the Lake, an incident which cost him around 20,000 Swiss Francs

An International tournament called “Cricket on Ice “ has been played on Lake St. Moritz since 1988.  British Olympic Bobsledder ( Bobsledder is an Olympic winter sport)  Keith Schellenberg is sometimes credited with inventing ice cricket in St. Moritz.

Few sporting occasions can beat the February Cricket festival on the ice of the frozen lake of St. Moritz.

In 1988, a group of intrepid British cricketers challenged the student of the international boarding school Lyceum Alpinum Zuoz to a match.  Ever since, it has become an integral part of the official cricket calendar , attracting international players and high-flying business people from all over the world. There’s no entry ticket and anyone is welcome to drop by and watch cricket while enjoying some food and drinks and relaxing and enjoying with the players and other guests.  

Recently in 2018, a team led by Virender Sehwag (India) and another team led by Shahid Afridi (Pak) played T-20 Tournament On Feb. 8 & 9, 2018 here in St. Moritz , Switzerland comprising of yesteryear cricket players.

Virender Sehwag led the team called Palace Diamonds and Shahid Afridi led another team called Royals in a T-20 two match series here at St. Moritz and both the matches were won by Royals.

https://youtu.be/mebCao6951k  ( 2018 Tournament Video)

Cricket on Ice

Cricket on Ice, the most prestigious annual event in the domestic Swiss cricketing calendar, takes place on the lake of St Moritz from Thursday to Saturday every February.

A view across the cricket field and the lake at Cricket on Ice 2019 (14-16.2.2019)A view across the cricket field and the lake at Cricket on Ice 2019 (14-16.2.2019)

Cricket on Ice, St Moritz

Cricket on Ice in St Moritz is a sensational experience, attracting cricket enthusiasts (some international players, some high-flying business people) from all over the world. The event provides teams the opportunity to participate in the most prestigious annual event in the Swiss cricketing calendar in an atmosphere of fun and sporting brilliance.

It also provides businesses with an exceptionally unique platform for communication, networking and, of course, business. Your team and your brand will shine in the extraordinary setting of the mountains, sun & sport.

The picturesque Swiss resort of St Moritz is famous for the beauty of its ski slopes and the Adrenalin rush of the Cresta Run. But for sheer quirkiness, few sport events can beat the February cricket festival on the ice and snow on the frozen lake.

It would be a pleasure to welcome you to St. Moritz, to offer you a chair in the sun from where you can watch a cricket match & enjoy delicious refreshments in the champagne climate of St Moritz.

Cricket on Ice 2022

(THURSDAY 17TH – SATURDAY 19TH FEBRUARY 2022)

Debutants AID UK CC won the 2022 Cricket on Ice Trophy, beating Penguins CC & Touring Cavaliers into joint joint second place on net run rate.

Association of Indian Dentists UK (AID UK Cricket Club)

St Moritz CC, Old Cholmeleians XI & Lyceum Alpinum CC shared last spot.

Cricket on Ice Trophy (17-19.2.2022)Cricket on Ice Trophy (17-19.2.2022)

TOURNAMENT REPORT

After a one year absence due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2022 Cricket on Ice Trophy was bigger & better than ever with six teams competing from Thursday 17th – Saturday 19th February 2022.

Source :  Cricket on Ice.com

  Carbon neutral solar panels powering media & officials tent at Cricket on Ice 2022

Photo courtesy :-  Cricket on Ice,  Feb. 2022

AG-18 KAPIOLANI GROUND, HAWAII, USA

AG- 18 KAPIOLANI PARK GROUND- HAWAII, USA

Photo courtesy :  Hawaii Cricket Club

Rooted in the days of monarchy, sown with the seeds of tradition and watered with the acceptance of different cultures.  That’s cricket in Hawaii, U.S.A.

In May 1893 two of the foremost cricketers of Honolulu cricket club, Mr. Aurerbach and Weedon, wrote to the Minister of Hawaii enquiring whether they might use an abandoned baseball ground in the shadow of the Diamond Head crater for their cricket matches.  The Minister said yes and granted them the use of the ground for practice and play. They could also take over the run-down baseball stand if they wished for “dressing rooms’,  Keeper’s room etc.  The board would also gladly allow them use of the sprinkler.  With this permission, the Honolulu Cricket club was established, becoming the oldest sporting organisation in the Pacific. 

Cricket itself had become established in the mid-19th century under the patronage of King Kamehameha IV, surprisingly for a game which has never really been taken by the indigenous population.  

Players today are drawn from cricket loving countries like South Africa, Trinidad, New Zealand, India and Pakistan 

According to Honolulu CC, cricket was the King’s favourite sport and he would often practice his skills on the grounds of the Palace.  A political motive for his interest can’t be ruled out as a devotion to cricket aligned his country more closely to the United Kingdom, a policy he favoured.  The State flag of Hawaii still carries the Union Jack in its corner.

The matches involving English ship putting in the Sandwich Islands were being reported in local publications as early as 1847.

Cricket slowly spread to some of the other islands such as Maui and Big Island of Hawaii.

Originally called Makiki, Kapiolani Park is named after Queen Kapiolani. Queen consort of King David Kalakaua ruler from 1874 to 1891 and an honoured guest at Queen Victoria’s 50th Jubilee celebration in 1887.   This Park is the largest and second oldest park in Hawaii located in Honolulu on the east end of Waikiki just beyond Kuhio Beach park and the Waikiki residential neighbourhood..

The dominant landmark Diamond Head, is a significant backdrop for the cricket overlooking very popular surfing beaches with majestic ironwood trees providing cover for visitors.

The Park began life as a race course and nowadays cricket is just one of the many sports including tennis, football, Rugby Lacrosse, Archery and baseball.

Right at the edge of the World famous Waikiki Shell and nestled at the base of Diamond Head Crater in picturesque Kapiolani Park, the Honolulu CC boasts one of the most idyllic cricket grounds in the world keeping with the Hawaiian spirit of Aloha.

Kapiolani Park is a peaceful refuge from Downtown Honolulu & Waikiki Shell.  Tall trees, lawns and gardens are there.  All kinds of sports are played there from Tennis to Soccer to basket ball and baseball to Lacrosse, rugby and archery and even frisbee.

“We are quite the International mix “, Berwick, the HCC President said.  Part of it, has to do with Hawaii’s isolation and part of it ties in with Hawaii being a melting point.  “We are as much a social club as we are a cricket club.   It’s special for a number of factors.  And that includes being recognised as the oldest sporting club in the Pacific.  Though the Club was established in 1893, but competitions were being held in 1840s gaining the favour of Kamehameha IV.

The first cricket pitch in Honolulu is near where Makiki District park is located and was known as the Makiki cricket grounds.

HCC’s social cricket and its Hawaii Premier League matches last 5 hours.  While players do wear traditional white shirts and slacks there’s no hot tea served between innings.

HCC has hosted various foreign sides and has been hosted by many teams whose club shields are displayed in HCC’s virtual club house online.  Honolulu toured New Zealand in 2010 and India in 2011.

Sachin Shah isn’t sure he’ll make the trip to his home country (India) but has been happy to maintain a connection to his native India through cricket.  Shah continues ,“ I lived in Chicago and Detroit where there are many Indians and cricket was common  . When i came here (hawaii) in 2001, there were not many Indians , so i was really surprised to see it played“.  

HCC welcomes the interested and curious , those who don’t know the difference between a carry and cherry or a doosra and a donkey drop.

Blessed with a beautiful climate, we are able to play all year round which enables us to entertain visitors from around the world at anytime. As one of only two cricket clubs throughout the Hawaiian islands along with the Maui Cricket Club, the Honolulu Cricket Club always looks forward to hosting visiting teams.

In recent years, HCC has hosted teams from Australia, California, Canada, England, Hong Kong, New York and New Zeland.

AG- part 17

AG-17  – HONG KONG CRICKET  CLUB

In a city of Skyscrapers, where land is sold at a premium, some children play cricket on the rooftop of a high rise building. This is Hongkong and cricket has been played on this island since 1841.  Hong Kong Cricket club was established in 1851 and is the oldest club in Asia. 

Present Address :

Hongkong Cricket Club,

137, Wong nai Chung gap road ,

Tai Tam, HONG KONG

Photo courtesy : living.hongkonghomes.com

This club played inter-port matches against Shanghai in 1866 and in Srilanka ( Ceylon) in 1890. In 1892 the ship SS Bokhara carrying Hong Kong Cricket players was capsized by a tycoon and only two of the 13 Cricketers survived in that tragedy.

The club moved from its Charter Road premises to a ground in Victoria business district overlooking Happy Valley Race course in the mid-1970s.  The present ground at Wong Nai Chung Gap is in the middle of the Island.  The Club has a Long Room resembling Lord’s cricket ground, London.

MCC teams touring Australia and New Zealand frequently played a match in Hong Kong against ex-pats living on the island.

The Hong Kong Cricket Sixes organised by Hong Kong Cricket League in 1961 has become a regular feature for professional cricketers.

In the 1990s Dermot Reeve, an England Cricketer, who was born in Hong Kong captained a successful Cricket Sixes team.  The game was shown in SKY SPORTS TV series.

In 1983 a team from Hong Kong played a 3- match series in Beijing, the first of such a visit to the Communist China.

Hong Kong  Cricket team became an Associate member of ICC in 1969.  In the T20 WC tournament in 2014, Hong Kong team  stunned the Bangladesh Team when they beat them by 2 wickets.

Hong Kong CC also showed interest in social activities.  In partnership with Zubin Foundation it has distributed 5,000 second hand books and 10,000 masks to 800 families in and around  Hong Kong.

Besides Cricket, rugby, tennis, squash, Lawn Bowls, Pool, Gym, Dance Classes ( from Balley to Scottish Country) and other sports facilities are also played here.

Hong Kong CC is a prestigious club as the Entrance Fees itself costs $ 2,88,00 with a monthly fee of $ 1,660 and the waiting period is 7 years and those who win a place in main sports like Cricket, Lawn Bowls, Squash, Tennis will get accelerated sporting membership. 

At present this club has 2,300 members.

The club aso conducts Umpiring Course  by arrangement with ICC.  This year it will be conducted in March & April.

Hong  Kong CC ‘s Fair Break event, a T-20 tournament, attracts international women cricketers around the world.

The Club’s Mission statement goes like this : “ We will engage, educate, and inspire through programmes and initiatives that reflect our diverse, vibrant community, also providing professional structures and pathways to support the identification and development of talented cricketers to ensure Hong Kong is represented by champion teams “.10

Cricket features in the Asian Games for the first time and Hong Kong’s men’s and women’s teams participate in the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou, China in November 2010. The women’s team has a poor tournament and fails to win a match however the men score victories over Nepal and Maldives1

Hong Kong hosts the Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 3 featuring teams from Denmark, Hong Kong, Italy, Oman, Papua New Guinea and USA. Hong Kong lost its first two matches of the tournament but won its last three games to qualify for the final.014

In January 2014, the Hong Kong team travels to New Zealand to contest the ten-team ICC Cricket World Qualifier 2014. In group matches, Hong Kong beats ODI ranked teams Scotland and Canada and thrashes Nepal by 10 wkts to qualify for the Super Sixes phase of the tournament. A narrow loss by D/L to Kenya in the opening game of the Super Sixes proves costly as despite impressive victories over Namibia and PNG in their remaining Super Sixes matches, Hong Kong cannot improve on their third place and so narrowly miss out on qualifiying for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015. However by finishing third, Hong Kong gains ODI status in 2014.

AG- PART -16

AG-16 – THE GRANGE, EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND

Photo courtesy:  Wikipedia.org

Photo courtesy :  Grange cricket club.

Address :  Portgower Place, Stockbridge, Edinburgh, EH4 1 HQ, Scotland.

Capacity : 5000

End Names: City End, Park End

Other sports :  Tennis, Squash, Hockey

Formerly known as Raeburn Place; The Citylets Grange.

Founded in 1832, the Grange Cricket Club is one of Scotland’s leading cricket clubs.  The picturesque ground is located in the Stockbridge area of central Edinburgh and regularly hosts Scotland’s international matches.

Cricket had been played in Scotland since at least from 1785, brought to the country by British soldiers.  The Club’s first game was a gift of Sir Thomas Dick Lauder, father of a team member who allowed them to use a field near his home, Grange House.  The new club was the First in Scotland to have its own ground. 

In 1872 it moved to its current location at Raeburn Place in the Stockbridge district and has hosted out of its pavilion since 1894. The pavilion cost £1,400 and was officially opened on 29 June 1895 by Lord Moncrieff. And W.G. Grace brought his Gloucestershire team to Grange to grace the occasion.

The pavilion was restored in 1998 at a cost of £450,000.

After the Scottish Cricket Union disbanded in 1884 The Grange Club assumed responsibility as the governing body of cricket in Scotland for a time and still holds considerable national influence.

The decorative scheme to the interior of the Pavilion is designed to complement the exterior. The Long Room is modeled on the MCC ‘s  “Long Room” at Lord’s Cricket Ground, London. 

.

The first game took place in 1872, a grand match between Edinburgh and Glasgow and the pitch was well appreciated by the visiting team, Glasgow.

In 1882, the  Scotland team stunned the visiting Australians, (a side which included Charles Bannerman, Giffen, Mudroch) when they beat them with a considerable margin of 7 wickets.

The Grange has hosted numerous high profile international matches over the years featuring teams such as Australia,, Pakistan and England. Some of the world’s finest cricketers have played at The Grange, from W.G. Grace in 1895 and Don Bradman in 1948 to Brian Lara in 1995, Shane Warne and Andrew Flintoff. The ground has hosted Scotland’s home matches in ECB domestic cricket competitions.

The club has three-weekend league sides.  The 1st XI play in the Cricket Scotland League Eastern Premiership. The 2nd XI play in the Championship Division and the 3rd XI in Division 3 of the East of Scotland League.

Over the years the club had its own ups and downs on the playing fields, though recently it had been highly successful.

In the 1990s the ground was recognised as Scotland’s premier cricket venue and many international matches were hosted here.

In 2003, Rahul Dravid of India playing for Scotland hit his second century of the season, carving an unbeaten 129 in 128 balls against Nottinghamshire in the National Cricket league – but Scotland still lost. 

In 2005, Scotland signed a five-figure sponsorship deal with Citylets, an Edinburgh property-advertising firm, for the naming rights to The Grange ground in Edinburgh. It is an important year for Scottish cricket, as they try to qualify for the 2007 World Cup in West Indies through the ICC Trophy in Ireland during July.

The Grange hosted Scotland’s first official ODI outside of Cricket world cup on 27th June in 2006.  A capacity crowd saw Scotland lose by five wickets to Pakistan. It was selected as a venue to host matches in the 2015 ICC World cup T20 Qualifier tournament.

This ground also hosted two One-day WORLD CUP matches in 1999 involving the Home team, Scotland, when they were beaten in both matches.

So far this ground hosted 21 ODI matches and out of this Scotland won 6 matches including an upset win against England in 2018 and it also hosted 13 T20Is and Scotland won 1 match.

And this year (2022) the club is going to celebrate its 150th year of its existence here at Portgower Place.

AG- Part 15

AG- 15- FITZ PARK, KESWICK, CUMBRIA, ENGLAND

Photo courtesy : BBC sport

Photo courtesy : Keswick CC

Fitz Park is a public park in Keswick, Cumbria, England.  Landscaped in the Victorian period, the Park is covered with Shrubberies and specimen trees and provides open space for recreation.  At the foot of Latrigg & Skiddaw in the heart of the Lake District National Park, overlooked by impressive fells including Walla Crag, Cat Bells lies one of the loveliest grounds in the United Kingdom. 

 Flanked by the River Greta on the town side, Fitz Park is home to Keswick Cricket Club.  This club plays in the premier division of North Lancashire and Cumbria Cricket League.  The club’s second and third XIs play in the Eden Valley Cricket League.

Address :

THE CLUB HOUSE

Lower Fitz Park

Keswick

Cumbria

CA12 4EJ

Landscaped in the Victorian period, the park contains shrubberies and specimen trees, and provides open space for recreation. There are sports grounds for tennis and bowls, and the Keswick Museum and Art Gallery is situated there. 

Keswick Museum and Art Gallery.  Photo :  Hyperleap.com

The first recorded match on the ground was in 1955, when Cumberland played the Lancashire Second XI in the Minor Counties Championship. Cumberland used the ground from 1955 to 1966 and 2000 to 2008; during this time the ground hosted 10 Minor Counties Championship matches, with the final match held at the ground in that competition being between Cumberland and Northumberland in 2008. During that time the ground has also hosted 2 MCCA Knockout Trophy matches, the last of which came in 2001, when Cumberland played Northumberland.

The ground has also hosted a single match between Cumberland and the Nottinghamshire Cricket Board in the 1st round of the 2003 Cheltenham & Gloucester Trophy.

Founded in the mid-1880s, cricket is played at Fitz Park.  The Park came into prominence in 2001 when “Wisden” monthly voted this as “the Loveliest cricket Ground” in the country and the Pavilion bears a plaque to commemorate the event.  The fantastic play area in the lower Park includes equipment for children.

Children play area in Fitz ParkPhoto courtesy:  The Hikinghousehold.com

The first recorded match on the ground was in 1955 when Cumberland played the Lancashire Second XI in the Minor County League championship.

Fitz Park is owned by a Board of Trustees nominated by the Kenwick Town Council.

The Club is not charged any rent but is responsible for the maintenance of the ground and the Pavilion.

International cricketers like Darren Gough, Hansie Cronje and David Boon appeared in Benefit matches at the ground to raise funds for a new pavilion.

Over the years the Club has employed a number of overseas professionals and recently Geeth Kumara, a Srilankan all-rounder who apart from playing for the First XI, also coaches junior players and teams.

A devastating Storm Desmond caused havoc in 2015 when the River Greta overflowed and flooded the ground for the first time in its history.  The pavilion built in the year 1995 was severely damaged and needed renovation.  The members of the club rose to the occasion of restoring the Park to its original glory and ECB grants helped the ground to retain its prominence   

In 2016, Keswick CC won the Burton Cup in 1996, their first trophy and followed it with a win in the Cumbria Cricket League next year.  And most recently in 2013, the Club won the County Cup.

AG- 14- CROOKLETS , ENGLAND

AG-14 – CROOKLETS CRICKET GROUND, CORNWALL, ENGLAND 

This Crooklets cricket ground is situated in Bude, North Cornwall.

Address :-

THE CLUB HOUSE

Crooklets Cricket Ground

Bude North Cornwall

Summerleaze Downs, Bude

Cornwall

EX238ND

 Photo courtesy : FB page of the club

Cricket has been played in this beautiful Clifftop setting overlooking the Atlantic ocean since 1959.  Originally called Bude-Stratton CC, the club dates back to 1870, changed its name in1958 but reverted back to as Bude North Cornwall.

With strong south-Westerlies blowing, it’s not an easy task to organise cricket here.  From January onwards the Club Chairman Tony Greaves and John Blackburn spent a lot of time preparing the ground.  John Blackburn’s rich experience as a groundsman comes in handy to prepare wicket here. Incidentally, Blackburn is a former professional groundsman who worked at Old Trafford ground.

The wicket is full of runs but the real problem is the wind as once a bowler bowled 18 wides in an over. And on another occasion the covers put on the field had disappeared overnight and found in the Car parking area.

Since 2014, the club has a new pavilion to be proud of.  The first pavilion erected in 1883 was replaced in the 1930s. And again due to wear and tear it was replaced thanks to a grant from SPORT ENGLAND, which also helped finance for pitches, coaching equipment, covers and sight screens.  

The results were palpable as the Club performed well in the 2015 season.

The beautiful location of the ground is well known to everyone and every visiting team to England prefers friendlies here.

Late Brian Alexander Johnson, CBE, a British Commentator, author and TV presenter used to visit Bude for holidaying and to attend matches.

And the state-of-the art Pavilion entices people to visit the place,  Wired fencing covers the boundary lines.  On the other side of the fence jaywalkers enjoy a stroll along the cliff top between Crooklets Beach and Summerleaze Beach.

Bude CC played only friendlies until late 1970s, entertaining local and touring sides through the summer.  Since joining the Cornwall Cricket League , the Club has held various league honours and still continues to host touring teams from around the  world.

With the ageing pavilion demolished in 2013 and a new pavilion constructed along with a new Club House, the ground is having a stunning look and playing is a pleasure.

FACILITIES AVAILABLE

Covers

Pavilion

Changing room facilities on-site

Rollers

An Artificial match play wickets

Car Parking ( including for disabled)

Grass Pitches

This club, before entering Cornwall Cricket Leagues in the 1980s, played almost 50 friendlies a year against visiting teams.  In the 1990s it also joined the North Devon League on Sundays.  But now it no longer plays in this League and preferred hosting the touring teams.    

AMAZING GROUNDS- PART 13

AMAZING GROUND- CONISTON CRICKET GROUND, Cumbria, England

 Photos courtesy : FB page of CCC

Coniston cricket ground is set in Lake District National Park, with a stunning view of Yewdale Crag mountain. 

The locale is full of impressive features such as the Old Man of Coniston, which rises dramatically behind the houses and dominates the village and it’s Walkers and Climbers’ favourite spot and has attracted tourists since the introduction of Railways in the Victorian era.

The area is associated with famous personalities like John Ruskin, the art critic, philanthropist and social thinker who lived here and Beatrix Potter, best-known children’s books owner of an Estate in a nearby area and Donald Campbell, the water speed record holder.

Coniston Water in the English county of Cumbria in Northwest England is the largest lake in the Lake District by volume and by area.  It’s 5 miles long and half a mile wide and a depth of 184 feet.  The lake has an elevation of  143 ft. above sea level.

The Coniston Cricket club has been desperate for some time to replace its small, ageing pavilion.  It was founded in 1890 and the club plays in Divisions 1 & 4 of the Westmorland Cricket League and had its successes over the years.  Now It has three sides viz., first and second teams and junior boys.  

The club’s former base was a small wooden structure with very limited facilities, with parts dating back over 100 years, to when the club began in 1910. In contrast, the new pavilion, built by Cumbrian firm Hesket Timber Buildings and Joinery, is complete with a kitchen and bar in the centre with an indoor seating area, two changing rooms, two toilets and an outdoor decking. The interior work and final additions were done voluntarily by players from the cricket team.

Donations came in from local businesses, charities, trusts, and the public. The Rawdon Smith Trust was one of the charities who contributed significantly towards the new pavilion. Before cutting the ribbon in front of the crowds of people that had gathered at the ground to witness the opening, Vera Grant said: “The Trust has great pleasure in opening this pavilion. We’re very keen on community activity and Coniston is remarkably fortunate in having wonderful facilities and lots of community groups who are prepared to make things work.”

Coniston Cricket Club have been raising the £35,000 from 2015,  needed to repair a rotten and falling down pavilion.

Coniston Cricket Club’s brand-new pavilion was officially opened in 2019 by Rawdon Smith Trust Trustee Vera Grant.

FUNDRAISING PROGRAMMES

A fundraising campaign involving the All Stars programme for 5-8 year old kids and over 25 kids signed up and they enjoyed a fun, interactive programme; the parents and other family members came to watch and enjoy the new Pavilion.  Ladies enjoyed taking part in women’s soft ball sessions.  

The club runs All Stars and the new 8-11 years kids viz., Dynamos regularly from 2020 along with the soft ball for Mums, Aunts, Nans , sisters etc and also organizing a women’s softball festivals.

CONISTON CRICKET CLUB (CCC)

The club also conducts rudiments of the game, like Scorers training, and also First Aid training etc.

The club plays senior cricket on most Saturdays from April- October.

There’s physical access to the site and access to the sports on offer in general and can be accessed from Yewdale Road through a wooden gate that is permanently open.  Parking is on the road.

The club welcomes public interest in their sports and they allow people to visit the site and use it when no game is played.  The pitches can be hired and there are ideas to offer lessons and introductions for visitors.

Plenty of benches are now available to view the games from all angles.  The club also welcomes new members and more guests to the game.

More people are turning up to watch the games and has given a great space to run activities in the village.  People enjoyed BBQ, home made cakes, a bar and a raffle , all of which were organised by people in the community.

The All Stars programme for 5-8 years is an initiative of England & Wales Cricket Board and around 30 children both boys and girls turn up in cricket based games.  This programme is run by club volunteers and takes place every Friday evening from 5.30 p.m. 

AMAZING GROUNDS- PART 12

AG – 12 – CLIFTON COUNTY CRICKET CLUB, NEW ZEALAND

The Clifton County Cricket Club is situated in Te Awanga, North Island, New Zealand.

The ground was the brainchild of a local Farmer and his friend. They gazed out at the natural amphitheatre encircled by idyllic rolling hills and within a few yards was a spectacular view of the South Pacific.  Wonderful wines were produced there. 

 Inspired by England Village cricket,  they thought it would be a wonderful idea to create a cricket ground.  With a lot of support from local people and hard work, this was achieved. Five hundred truck and trailer loads of free topsoil for the playing surface,  irrigation system was introduced to counter the arid summer conditions and all-weather pitch was laid.  

But it was the next generation of the founding members’ family who took the game to the next high level.

Though cricket is always primary, the organisers are involved in several projects including the planting of 7000 trees and reintroduction of native birds into the ecosystem.  In fact, the present managers of this club say they follow a three-pronged project viz., conservation, recreation and agriculture.

Members of the club are involved in conservation projects like planting trees and reintroducing native birds into the ecosystem .

Photo courtesy :   Clifton Cricket Club

Clifton is now a recognised port-of-call for cricket lovers and a constant stream of visitors make a visit and admire the natural beauty of the ground. 

The ground hosted one of the side matches to the 2015 World Cup, the local club playing a celebrity side consisting of former Test players, All Blacks and TV personalities captained by former Australian pace dynamo Jeff Thomson.  The game was called the Cricket Art Deco match because Napier, a nearby town, is an Art Deco marvel.  Players and spectators joined in the fun, dressing up in ethnic clothes.

When the Clifton County Cricket Club (CCCC) was started in 1985 it was during the peak of New Zealand cricket’s first great cricketing era.  New Zealanders couldn’t get enough of the game, and among them was the Nilsson’s family.

Visitors used to throng the Hawke’s Bay village of Te Awanga, half an hour drive of South Napier for 2 things viz.,Beautiful Vineyards and cycling trails in the Bay.  And now the CCCC ground is added as the 3rd option of fame.  This unique cricket ground, the scene of sporadic and relaxed village cricket style matches is a happy hunting ground.

Nilsson’s family who owned the Te Awanga farmland thought a cricket pitch in a special spot on the family sheep farm would be a great way to bring family and friends together for some special backyard cricket on Sunday afternoons.

Soon the word spread of this beautiful ground on a private cricket ground, New Zealand cricketers showed interest.  Former Captain Geoff Howarth made his way to Te Awanga to experience it.

After the 1980s the club went into a lull.  Then in 2012, the young members of Nillson, Chris and his friend Sam Howard took personal interest and  dusted off the dream to grow Clifton into a proper cricket ground on a two Hectare site.

Today, Mark Greatbatch, the former swashbuckling opener of New Zealand who played in 1980/1990s is proud to play as one of 250 Hawke’s Bay families who are members of CCCC.