This week marks our annual Festival of cricket in Horsham where Sussex CCC will be playing Somerset in a 4 day LV=CC County Championship encounter from May 22nd and Kent in a YB40 game on Sunday 26th . To celebrate, we’ve written a blog which remembers one of the most memorable moments from Horsham’s cricket history!
The Festival began in 1908, and has produced some wonderful matches and outstanding individual performances. England’s Ian Bell made a career-best 262 not out for Warwickshire back in 2004, the highest individual score seen at the ground.
But it was a Sussex player who produced the best bowling performance in Horsham history – at the age of 52, would you believe! George Cox, who lived in nearby Warnham, was in his 32nd season with the county and went on to take 1,810 wickets in his career. During the 1926 season he had played only three games prior to the Festival, and taken just two wickets – he wasn’t in the best of form! But appearing in front of his local crowd tended to bring out the best of him, and despite his relatively advanced years he was one of the fittest members in the side.
During the game against Warwickshire he sent down 75.3 overs of his left-arm slows mixed with top spinners – 36 of which were maidens. He finished with match figures of 17 for 106 with eight first-innings wickets and nine in the second innings. There has only been one better match analysis in Sussex’s history!
‘The Guv’nor’s’ son, ‘Young George’, also carved out a successful career for Sussex, although praise from his somewhat curmudgeonly father was rarely forthcoming. In 1939 ‘Young George’ made 232 against Northamptonshire and 182 the following day against Lancashire. He went back to Warnham that night doubtless expecting a paternal pat on the back. Instead, his father looked up from reading about his son’s feats in the evening paper and growled: “What’s the matter with you then, gone mad or something!”
We wonder if this year’s Horsham Festival will throw up similar stories? Why not come along and find out