A brief look at cricket in Cuckfield...
The first match played by the club at Cuckfield Park was on 3rd May 1891 against St. Wilfred's Working Men's Club, of Haywards Heath. This would have been on the North Field, then known as the Lower Park, or the area to the north of the Park's entrance, the Upper Park. It certainly was not on the present main ground, which was constructed ready for the 1895 season, by C.W. Sergison, owner of Cuckfield Park.
This move, along with the return of Montague Turner later as captain, undoubtedly stabilised the club and produced what we have today.
Saturday 2nd XI and Wednesday games had been played since the early 1900s and, in 1951, a Sunday XI first took the field. The Wednesday XI was, however, discontinued in 1962 due to lack of support but the re-introduction of a colts team in 1971 after a 100 year gap produced the impetus to enlarge the club. These lads were the potential backbone of the club, but as they grew older, there was not enough cricket for them and in 1975, a Sunday 2nd XI was formed.
League Cricket came to Cuckfield in 1979, the side being runners-up in the first season, and in 1982, after the artificial wicket was laid, a midweek evening Taverners side was introduced for the locals not of sufficient standard for the regular teams. The colts were progressing fast, with the older boys forcing some of the 1st XI players into the 2nd XI teams and captaining both Cuckfield's 1st XI's. With the thriving membership a 3rd XI was formed, in 1986, playing both on Saturday and Sunday. Recently, in 1992, a full fixture list for an over-40s side was introduced.
The first pavilion, a small one-room building, was constructed in 1920 and replaced by a wooden structure in 1958. The Pavilion was destroyed by a fire, in 1968, but a temporary construction was in place within six weeks of the disaster. This 'temporary' pavilion lasted 20 years, the current one being completed in 1988. The ground, itself, was purchased by the club in 1968, after having rented it at a peppercorn figure for many years, and the 'North Field' was leased from the present owners of the Sergison Estate in 1990.
In the 1990's Cuckfield Cricket Club, playing on their two adjacent grounds, fielded three Saturday and Sunday teams, an evening weekday side, a regular over-40s team and a thriving colts section playing at many levels.
In addition, the club has hosted an annual cricket week since 1905, and, in recent years, has also undertaken a series of overseas tours in such exotic places as Hong Kong, Bangkok, Vancouver, Auckland and Brisbane, Cape Town and the Spanish Mainland! Mostly with its "Golden Oldies" side, which consists of members who have discovered when life actually begins!
All this activity sees Cuckfield cricketers playing more than 200 games every season, over half of which are friendly encounters enjoyed alongside the current trend towards league cricket.
Although the club's various youth team have won a number of competitions over the last few years, including the Sussex Under 15 and Under 16 titles, and sides have won some of the local indoor competition that are so popular nowadays, until now the senior teams met with little formal success. However both the 1st and 2nd XI's won their respective Sussex Invitation League competitions in 1997, the club gained promotion to the Sussex Cricket League in 2001, and the 2nd XI won Division 2 of the County League, and promotion, in 2002; so the current decade is bringing considerable success.
The 2002 season saw another milestone with the formation of a Women's section, which demonstrates that the Club moves with the times, being the first Cricket Club in the Mid Sussex area to recognise this important development in domestic Cricket.
Tweets by @CuckfieldCC