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MUSEUM: Opening of Sussex Cricket World

03-May-2012

The new Sussex Cricket World Museum at The PROBIZ County Ground, Hove will be officially opened by ambassador Matt Prior on the first day of the West Indies match on Saturday 5th May. All supporters are welcome at the event at 10.30am. The new Museum is situated under the Spen Cama Pavilion with the entrance between the Pavilion and the Herbalife Stand/Wilbury Bar.

Highlights of a special West Indies/Sussex exhibition include the 1923 scorebook from the first ever match between the sides, and some wonderful artefacts kindly loaned by David Pye, a Sussex member who was the Physiotherapist to the West Indies touring teams to England in 1963 and 1966.

There are some wonderful photographs supplied by Lloyd and Mark Smallwood of famous West Indies players who have appeared at Hove. These magnificent photographs were taken by their father Arthur during the 1960’s and 1970’s. There are also shirts from more recent times from West Indians Corey Collymore and Dwayne Smith who have played for Sussex.

Sussex have played the West Indies in twelve first-class matches since 1923, winning three, losing four and five drawn matches. The last game between the sides was at Hove in July 1995 and resulted in a resounding victory for Sussex, by an innings and 121 runs. It was their first victory against the West Indians for 29 years.

There have also been a number of one-day matches between the sides, the last being in 2004 when the tourist, with both Smith and Brian Lara amongst their ranks, won by six wickets.

The first one is worth mentioning, as it was a fascinating 55 over competition at Hove on the 12th September 1963, and was billed as the ‘Knockout Challenge Cup Match’. This came about as Sussex were the winners of the first ever one-day trophy – The Gilette Cup – and it was thought that this new form of cricket would be well suited to the dashing tourists. A crowd of 15,000 at Hove saw Ted Dexter’s side win by four wickets.

Special thanks go to Rod Suddaby, Andrew McDonnell and Doctor Neil Young from the Imperial War Museum for their expert help and kindness. Also David Pye and the Smallwood family.
Rob Boddie, Archivist.

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