Off the Beaten Track
During the 20+years I have been following this sport, I have, of
course, followed all the major tournaments in the UK. This includes
the County Championships, Club cricket, Age Group cricket, and the
more exotic series of matches known as the Super 4s, the KSL and the
However, from time to time occasional matches occur outside the usual
run of tournaments. Here's a couple that I've witnessed and enjoyed in
the past, and one that's a tad before I started watching this sport..
The accepted date for the first women's cricket match is 8th June 1745.
While this is almost certainly not the first, it is the first for
which some sort of accurate report is available.
Here's the cover of a programme for a match in 1986, 241 years later
celebrating that match and played at the same ground.
There had been an earlier celebration match 1947 but that referred to a
1747 match played at the Artillery Ground in London. The commemoration
match was held at Singleton Cricket Club, near Chichester in
in 1997. The original 1747 match has a match report stating the
game was between "Maids of Singleton & Charlton and those of West Dean
all local villages to Singleton so that was a particularly appropriate
venue. I know little about that match except that one of the
players that day was the guest of honour 50 years later when the 250th
anniversary was celebrated. It was on her birthday in 1997.
The bat and ball cake and the anniversary cake were said to be
provided by the local pub which sits almost on the ground, one of
which was prepared at very much the last moment. Were they the
effort of Ellis Catering I wonder who were one of the sponsors of the
Though I recall a pleasant day in the sun enjoying a picnic with
friends I didn't take a note of the scores but one spectator obviously
did, even if he or she managed to get confused over which team was
which (image below left).
On the right is the cover of a 12 page programme. The picture below,
taken from that programme, presumably shows the 1947 winners.
A report on the 1947 match, which took place at Priory Park in
Chichester shows that no less a person than Sussex and England opening
bowler Maurice Tate umpired.
At the 1997 Singleton match 50 years later, England international
Barbara Daniels presented medals to the teams.
2003 was the occasion of a match at the Nursery Ground at Lord's. This
was for a charity in which one of the members of the 1993 World Cup
winning side was intimately involved. My company decided to
donate some flyers to advertise the event and if I recall no one
seemed to know what to call the two teams. They were the England side
of 1993 and the then current England squad. As time was getting
perilously close I took the responsibility on myself. As you'll see
below I wasn't terribly imaginative but it basically did what it said
on the tin.
The bowler on the flyer is the 1993 winner
Batting for the Class of 1993 were Jan
Brittin (above) and Barbara Daniels
I was pleased to be able to sell a CD of images from this match to
help with the fund raising.
This later match also included one of the most dramatic moments I
have seen on the cricket field, or to be more accurate very close by.
One player (?Charlotte Edwards) played a very fluent off-drive for 4
which struck the paling fence around that ground and dislodged one
of the palings sending it cart wheeling through the air in what
might have been a very dangerous incident had a spectator been
standing there. It looked quite spectacular!
have thoroughly enjoyed a number of these charity and
commemorative events over the years.