Sunday 16th June not only marks Father’s Day, but it’s also the Sunday of Sussex’s Festival Week at Arundel. Two reasons to celebrate!
Arundel have been hosting one-day Sussex games since 1972 - when the county faced Middlesex in a 45 over National League game. Since then the County have traditionally done well at the Castle Ground in Championship matches. In more recent years they have lifted the title in 2003, 2006 and 2007.
It is one of the finest cricket grounds in the world. A natural bowl gives spectators on the grassy bank at the Park End and in front of the wooden pavilion give spectators a great view of the action and Arundel is surrounded on all four sides by trees. Perch on top of the bank at the Park End and you can see Arundel Castle itself through the trees. And if that isn’t enough, there are wonderfully panoramic views of the Arun Valley and South Downs too.
The finest one-day innings played at Arundel came in 1999 when Sussex faced Middlesex in a 45 over National League game. Skipper Chris Adams was in his second season as Sussex skipper and the victory over Middlesex kept his side on course for promotion to the first division of the National League - it was the first of many trophies won under his captaincy. Adams, going in at No.3, scored a sensational 163 from just 107 balls. He hit nine sixes and 15 fours, and was going for a tenth six when he was caught on the boundary.
Reflecting on his phenomenal display of clean ball-striking, Adams admitted it was one of the best innings he played for Sussex – but not the best.
“It’s in the top five but you have to remember that Arundel is a small ground so clearing the boundary was not that difficult. It was one of those days. I think I hit my second ball for four and after that everything came out of the middle of the bat.”
Although principally regarded as a batsman, in those days Adams would also bowl at a decent medium pace – once taking a hat-trick in a televised one-day game at Hove. Despite helping Sussex to a total of 297 for 5, they only won by nine runs. Owais Shah made 134 in Middlesex’s reply before he was caught on the boundary – off Adams.
Come and join us at Arundel on Father’s Day and enjoy an historic game of cricket in the sunshine (hopefully!) with your family.