A Short History of Horsted Keynes Cricket Club
The start of cricket in Horsted Keynes has been lost in the mists of time, but legend has been passed from father to son by word of mouth, so not very much survives in writing. An account of a match between Horsted Keynes and West Hoathly played on the village green in 1642 has been recorded for an unusual reason. It quotes that an inquest held on the death of Jasper Vinal, aged about 34 of West Hoathly, was that he died whilst playing in the match by being hit by an accidental blow on the head with a cricket bat, by a man called Edward Tye – in those days you could hit the ball twice if you could regain your crease in time!
In another account, cricket was played on the ice on Broadhurst Lake in the 1890s, but no details of the match was recorded.
Cricket, as we know it today, probably started in the early part of 20th century. Photographs exist of a team, dated approximately 1910, taken at the rear of the Crown Inn; it is known that haymaking had to be complete before the cricket season could start.
A cricket pavilion was non-existent until 1933, other than a small shed for storing equipment and changing etc., but this changed when an old double-decker bus was sited where the pavilion is situated today. The wicket pitched in the opposite direction in those days, a good view of the cricket could be had from the top of the bus. Cricket restarted in 1947, after the Second World War, and today’s pavilion was erected by club members soon after, in 1950. The pavilion started life as an army hut and has given excellent service. It is in the process of being modernised.
During the 1950’s, matches were played versus Sussex Club and Ground. Another highlight of the Club was winning of the Pritchard Gordon Knockout Cup, the final being played at Hove. In later years, the Club started to play League cricket with some success, as we won the 1st Division League title in 1991, the Brian Christmas Insurance cup in 1992 – we were runners up in the same cup competition in 1997 - and the Wisdom Sports Cup in 2002.
The Club today is thriving and has an ongoing policy of encouraging the youngsters of the village to carry on the cricket for the future.