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).