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East Grinstead CC Article from EG Living

Our History

EGCC was established one hundred and sixty years ago and has been at the heart of the local community ever since. As a not-for-profit club we are run entirely by volunteers and rely on our membership, donations, grants and our generous sponsors to enhance our facility and to keep us moving forward.

As an ECB ‘Focus Club’ we have a responsibility to allow access to host district games in addition to around the 130 home games that we prepare pitches for each season on our two squares. The club runs five adult sides from the successful 1st XI Sussex Premier League side supported by a high standard Second Team squad to the Thirds and Fourth Elevens plus a Conference team consisting of parents and offspring with two Sunday Teams competing in the Surrey Trust league. There are two Women’s and Girl’s sides and ten Junior teams in all age groups from nine to U16s. We are also privileged to host Sackville School and Imberhorne School matches to help keep Cricket alive in our local authority run state schools.

As part of our continuing commitment to develop our talent, as witnessed by the success of our recent Sussex County players such as our captain Will Adkin, Lewis Hatchett, Leo Camish and Fynn Hudson Prentice, we are continually developing our coaching base to ensure that we give our players the opportunity to perform at the best possible standard of competitive cricket at all levels. To this end East Grinstead Cricket Club, in association with FCCC, has established an out of season Professional indoor Coaching School for the benefit of our youth squad members, while our own fully qualified coaches attend all teams through pre-season and the summer.

With so much happening the Club recently went through a restructuring of its management and committee structure supported by a redesign of its corporate image; to better reflect a modern forward looking club while keeping the best of the history and tradition. The new artwork for the historic five ostrich feather logo was commissioned and designed into a setting more suitable to our digital times. The ’feathers’ have been a heraldic device for East Grinstead since In 1572, when Thomas Cure, Member of Parliament for the former Borough, presented the town a seal: five blue ostrich feathers with gold tips, his initials and those of the Duchy of Lancaster, of which the town was part.

The future

The aim is to keep up the standards required to meet Premier League requirements, we cannot stand still and facilitating almost 100 matches per season on the main ground puts immense pressure on the grounds man and more importantly the volunteers who assist and make sure everything is in place for a match. There is a lot of wear and tare on the pitches and an immense amount of effort has to be put in, just to stand still. Like all clubs we have a loyal band of volunteers who could now be classified in the older range, but we are always seeking others following on to give the same commitment.

What will be the format of club cricket in 5 years’ time? If this takes the form of T/20 matches possible played in midweek we will have a problem as a large percentage of our seniors commute daily to London which means they will not get back in time to participate in a match. Sussex Cricket is presently consulting on a forward plan, which we sincerely hope that East Grinstead Cricket Club will be able to contribute at the forefront of the changes moving forward in the local and wider Sussex community.

 

Chairman Geoff Border recalls his association with the Club

I first played against East Grinstead Cricket Club in 1975 / 76 / 77 whilst touring with Grimsby CC in the south of England; we always played our first match against East Grinstead on the Monday afternoon we were always made welcome and had an enjoyable match.

As a result of a job related move to the south in 1989 we looked around the area and selected East Grinstead because of my previous experiences and of course I immediately joined the cricket club playing in the 2nd XI in the Sussex League. I continued playing until 2007 (65yrs old) when age and wear caught up with me. During my playing career with the club I helped top introduce the 3rd, 4th and 5th Elevens captaining them all for extended periods.

I served a 7-year spell as Chairman and am currently covering this role again following the previous chairman decision to stand down for business reasons. I have also been heavily involved in fund raising to ensure we are able to replace the ground equipment and scoring facilities and helped set up the Outreach Committee to encourage local participation from the community and increase our profile and of course membership.

This is the most challenging aspect of running a large Community Cricket facility is to ensure that the financial stability of the club is met year on year. We are part of a large sports complex that gives the visitor a false idea of our financial muscle, as apart from minimal ground support, we have to be totally self-financing and critically without the benefit of revenue from our own bar!

However, seeing the club expand over my 28yrs from 3 senior + 2 junior teams to a 17 team club, 5 senior sides on a Saturday in the Sussex Leagues, 2 sides in the Surrey Trust league on a Sunday a Woman’s and Girls sides in the Sussex Leagues plus junior teams from U9 to U16 has been very rewarding. We have already won the county T20 competition at both first and second team level in 2015, yet EGCC has never been better than Sussex Premier League runners-up finishing a frustrating four points behind the champions in 2015.

We have a strap line on our newsletter that states ‘Cricket in the Community’, it indicates that anyone with an interest in cricket can come along to a taster session to see if they enjoy the game, some fall away others go on to represent the club for many years.  There is a cricket fun day run by the town sports development officer when every junior school in the area enjoys a day of Soft-ball Cricket. The Sussex county 2nd XI, the Sussex Womens XI plus the district Academy XI have fixtures at the ground giving the local community the opportunity to see high-class cricket in the town when we recently hosted two T20 matches between Sussex and Kent Second XIs.

In this 2017 season our emphasis on youth coaching and developing our local talent pool appears to be bearing ripe fruit with a table topping Premier League first team who find themselves deservedly in the Semi Final of the National Royal London Cup Competition, one step away from the televised National Final at the pinnacle of Club Cricket in the entire country. They deserve the title of champions for the consistently high standard of cricket they have played over the last few years with a young side mainly consisting of our locally developed talent led by three players who have played for the County, Will Adkin, Lewis Hatchett, and Fynn Hudson Prentice.