The Pictorial History of Sussex County Cricket Club has recently been published, in August, to mark the 175th Anniversary of the formation of England’s oldest county cricket club, which is also arguably the oldest professional cricket club in the world. The book, featuring an introduction by our much loved President, Jim Parks, describes in beautifully reproduced pictures the rich history of the Club which has produced many of the greatest characters of the English game.
Readers will discover that perhaps the most well known cricket name of all, John Wisden, who first published his eponymous almanack in 1864, was an important Sussex cricketer of the early years. He played cricket with members of the Lillywhite family who produced not only William Lillywhite, the bowler nicknamed the “nonpareil” or unrivalled, but also James Lillywhite junior, who was the captain of England in the first test match. The book includes handbills and engravings depicting the players and matches of this period.
Moving on to later Victorian times, Sussex had another great team featuring both CB Fry and the Indian Prince KS Ranjitsinhji. In 1902 the team contained no fewer than 7 England test match players but was still not able to clinch the first elusive Championship - which was not to come for another 100 hard years of toil and effort.
In the interwar years, Sussex cricket experienced the so called Silver Years finishing second for three consecutive seasons in a team featuring perhaps the best Sussex born player Maurice Tate. under the leadership of the Gilligan brothers who are still the only brothers to have both captained England. After the second war another great Sussex team emerged, led first by Hubert Doggart and David Sheppard and later by Robin Marlar and Ted Dexter. It was the latter, whose Sussex team showed the world how to play one day cricket and won the county’s first trophies at Lord’s in the 1963 and 1964 Gillette Cup finals with a team which included a young tearaway John Snow.
Then, of course, the book will climax with the unprecedented success of the 21st century when under the coaching of Peter Moores and Mark Robinson and the inspirational captaincy of Chris Adams, we won not one, or two but three county championships!
The editors of the book are the renowned Sussex Cricket historians Roger Packham and Nicholas Sharp who have been joined by Phil Barnes and Jon Filby in putting together this remarkable collection of around 500 photographs from the Sussex Cricket Museum and from private collections. There will be many iconic and well known images alongside previously unpublished photographs from private collections.
The book has now been published and is available from the Sussex CCC Club Shop priced at an introductory price of £20 (card cover version - RRP £25). The limited edition version (hardback) sold out prior to publication.