This week Rye Cricket Club should be reporting on the first games of the season. The 1st Xl were due to host Bexhill 1st Xl, the 2nds were due to travel to play Pett 1st Xl, and the 3rd Xl were due to travel to Sidley II. Sadly, the League has been postponed until July 11 at the earliest and we will know by early June if cricket will be possible at all.
Cricket has been played in Rye since 1754, making it one of the oldest clubs in the world. It means there is a rich history of cricket in here, with some of the greatest cricketers in the world having played on the Rye Cricket Salts.
One such game was in August 1926. A Walter Merricks XI played against Rye Cricket Club. The game took place after England had just defeated Australia at the Oval to win the Ashes. Playing in the game at The Salts were the heroes from that victory, like Jack Hobbs who had scored a century in the second innings as England won the match, and was to go on to be one of the game’s greatest cricketers, scoring 199 centuries, and a walk on part in the film Slumdog Millionaire.
The England skipper Percy Chapman was playing as well, a man of Kent, who had been appointed as England skipper for the first time for the Oval Test. The game also featured Andy Sandham, who in 1930, was to become the first test triple centurion.
The line up was truly exceptional, and today would be the equivalent of Joe Root, Alastair Cook and Graham Gooch, playing at The Salts.
The link to the past go on, as the Merricks family continue to be part of Rye Cricket Club. Richard Merricks was a loyal supporter of the club through 50 years of membership of the committee as chairman and president. The upstairs area of the pavilion is the Richard Merricks Room.
Each week we will dip back into the archives to ensure the memories of summers past can continue to remind us of the best game there is.
Image Credits: Rye Cricket Club .