Sussex County Cricket Club is one of eighteen professional major clubs in English domestic cricket. All the home games are played by this team at the County Cricket Ground in Hove which has a maximum capacity of 6,000. Initially the team used to participate only in the Minor Counties Championships.
The Sussex county was introduced to cricket way back in the 16th century. The Sussex Cricket Club was officially formed on 17th June 1836. The debut first class match was played by this team in 1839 against the Marylebone cricket club.
Sussex competes in the English domestic cricket Championship. They play the majority of their home matches at the County Cricket Ground at Hove but also play some matches at Arundel, Eastbourne and Horsham. The team is currently coached by Mark Robinson and captained by Chris Adams. The club’s crest is constructed of a martlet, which is a mythological bird with no feet. Players who have been capped wear six martlets on their jumper, and players with no caps have the club crest on their chest. Furthermore, capped players have a crest trimmed with gold, whereas non-capped players have white edging. Sussex are widely regarded as the most successful county cricket team of this decade.
A Brief History
Legend has it that cricket began in Sussex, with children inventing the game during Saxon or Norman times. Cricket became properly established in the county during the 1600s and there are records of village matches being played prior to the English Civil War. On the 17th of June, 1836, a meeting in Brighton resulted in the formation of a Sussex Cricket Fund.
This Fund was created to support county matches and eventually led to the official formation of the Sussex County Cricket Club on the 1st of March, 1839. This official date of formation makes the SCCC England’s oldest county cricket club. The new club’s first match was held against Marylebone Cricket Club in June of that year, and was held at the famous Lord’s cricket ground. From this point onwards, Sussex have been widely viewed as one of the top cricketing counties in the country.
Sussex’s Successful Decade
Sussex failed to make a real impression upon the County Championship during the 1900s, although they did win the FP Trophy several times in the mid-1900s. However, in 2003, SCCC won their first ever County Championship title and repeated this feat in both 2006 and 2007. 2006 was an impressive year for the club, as they won the double of the County Championship and the NatWest trophy following victory over Lancashire CCC.
The 2007 season saw the team face tougher competition from the other teams in the Championship and the title was not decided until the last day of the season. Sussex faced Worcestershire CCC and rivals, Lancashire, faced Surrey. Sussex managed to beat their opponents and Lancashire’s inability to beat Surrey, handed SCCC their third title in five years.
Maurice Tate - Maurice Tate made a name for himself in the Sussex side in 1919, by scoring over 1000 runs. He repeated this feat during the next 11 seasons. The 1920s saw the young player develop an impressive bowling talent to match his batting ability. In 1927, Tate hit five centuries for his county. He remains the holder of several impressive records, both at county level and at international level.
John Langridge - Langridge is widely considered to be one of Sussex’s greatest ever players. His older brother, James, already played for the county, and John followed in his footsteps, joining the club in 1928. He stayed at the club until 1955 and totalled more than 34,000 runs during this time, making 76 centuries. He also managed to take 784 catches, including an impressive 69 during his final season at the club. Following his retirement, Langridge was awarded an MBE for services to the sport.
Kenneth Suttle - Suttle made 612 appearances in first-class matches for Sussex. During this time, he played 423 consecutive County Championship games, a record which still remains today. He totalled at least 1000 runs in 17 consecutive seasons between 1953 and 1969.
Chris Adams - Born on May 6th, 1970, in Derbyshire, Chris Adams moved from his hometown club to Sussex in 1998. He was made captain of the club and is currently the longest serving captain in the club’s history. He led them to the 2003 County Championship title and was a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 2004. He has since overseen his side’s success at County Championship level and cup level, with a NatWest trophy win in 2006.
Adams was momentarily tempted away from Sussex in 2006, by Yorkshire. He agreed a deal with Yorkshire to take him to the club for four years but soon changed his mind and decided to stay at Sussex.
- County Champions – 1845, 1848, 1852 (shared), 1855
- County Championship – 2003, 2006, 2007, Division Two – 2001
- FP Trophy – 1963, 1964, 1978, 1986, 2006
- National League – 1982, Division Two – 1999, 2005
- Second XI Honours
- Second XI Championship – 1978, 1990, 2007
- Second XI Trophy – 2005
- Most first-class runs for Sussex – 34,150 (John Langridge)
- Most first-class wickets for Sussex – 2,211 (Maurice Tate)
- Highest total for – 705-8 against Surrey in 1902
- Highest total against – 726 against Nottinghamshire in 1895
- Highest batting score in one match – 335 by M. Goodwin against Leicestershire in 2003
- Most runs in one season – 2850 by John Langridge in 1949
- Most wickets in one season – 198 by Maurice Tate in 1925