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Sussex County Cricket Club

Sussex County Cricket Club

It might only be March but the domestic cricket season gets underway next month, so what better time to celebrate our own county club, Sussex as the club’s players and spectators alike get ready? 

Founded in 1839, the Hove-based club is the oldest in England of the 18 first-class county clubs and was founded as a successor to various county cricket teams in and around Sussex including the Old Brighton Cricket Club which had served as a representative of the county of Sussex since the 1720s.

Sussex County Cricket Club was classified as an official first-class team in 1895 by the Marylebone Cricket Club – the famed long-time custodians of the game at home and abroad, but it would be a long-time until the club would win its first County Championship feat, in fact, it would be 108 years.

Sussex though alongside neighbouring Kent is believed to be the birthplace of the game of cricket – it is thought that the sport was invented on the Weald in Anglo-Saxon or Norman times with the first mention of cricket being played in Sussex being in 1611 noted in ecclesiastical court records.


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Sussex County Cricket Club Records

Most first-class runs:
1) John Langridge 34,150
2) Kenneth Suttle 29,375
3) Jim Parks 29,138

Most first-class wickets:
1) Maurice Tate 2,211
2) George Cox 1,810
3) Albert Relf 1,594


The notes were made in relation to an incident which was just not cricket – two parishioners of Sidlesham failed to attend church on Easter Sunday because they were playing cricket – they were on a sticky wicket and went on to be fined 12d each and made to do penance for missing the service.

Cricket went on to become established in Sussex during the 17th century, with village matches in the county taking place well-before the English Civil War. In 1697, one of the earliest ‘great matches’ took place in Sussex with 50 guineas apiece as two teams of 11 squared off against one another.

The first county match played at their current home of Eaton Road in Hove took place on June 6, 1872 against Gloucestershire. In total, Sussex have played at 17 grounds, four of which have been in Brighton and Hove as well as matches in Arundel, Eastbourne, Hastings and Horsham.

Securing the ultimate accolade, the County Championship was reached in 2003, a feat repeated in 2006 and 2007. In 2006, Sussex achieved the remarkable and impressive award
of winning the double – as well as lifting the County Championship title the club also won the C & G Trophy.

2003 marked the beginning of what supporters call the golden decade seeing prolonged success, by the end of the 2000s a total of 10 trophies in 10 years had been won – three County Championship wins, three National League wins, five limited overs cup wins and one Twenty20 cup win.

The 2017 season gets underway on April 14 with Sussex taking on Kent in the County Championship.

By Jacob White

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