The long history of club cricket in England

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From: Eric Vevers, Turnberry Avenue, Leeds.

REGARDING the first record 
of a cricket match involving a club side. Your piece (The Yorkshire Post, December 8) referring to the Knaresborough club’s aim to celebrate 
200 years of cricket in the town had me wondering when club cricket was first played in England.

Knaresborough might have first played back in 1815 but in fact club cricket was first recorded in a match as long ago as 1718.

The game took place at 
White Conduit Fields, Islington, North London, on Monday, September 1, 1718, between London and Rochester Punch Club Society.

The Rochester team complained that the rain 
that day made it impossible 
to continue the game but that was not the end of the matter 
and the team was taken 
to court at London’s 
Guildhall where the then 
Lord Chief Justice insisted that the game be completed the following season.

The winners received 
£60 (about £5,000 in today’s money) but, by the time 
all the legal costs were 
included, the sum which 
was awarded to London in 
the dispute was almost 
£200 (about £17,000 
today).