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Favourite cricket ground in England - that you've played at!

Just starting another cricket season here in Oz and although the quality of the cricket is very, very high the quality of the grounds is certainly not.

Don't misunderstand me, they have the best facilities you can buy, top-class nets, great wickets, flat outfields, boundary fences and all the rest.

The problem is that the grounds here at both amateur level and professional (apart from The Adelaide Oval) are awful, soulless places that cannot match the beautiful grounds of England - especially the traditional village greens which they just don't have here.

So, I know there are a whole load of ex-club cricketers on here, what has been you favorite ground to play on over the years? There sure are some beauties to choose from in the garden of England.

I'll get the ball rolling and plump for dear old Eynsford, always loved playing down there.

Anyone else?

Comments

  • Sissinghurst. Best batting track I have ever played on, short bounderies, cracking Shepherd Neame sponsored club house. Bethersden was nice as well. Very nice location.

    Worst? Stone Rec and Sutton at Hone.
  • bramshaw in the new forest , we've been going on tour down there for about 20 years and it really is picturesque and an idyllic setting, the boundary is the fencing/wiring that keeps the local animals off the outfield
  • Linton Park, cracking setting, good teas and lovely pavillion.
  • Almost every single ground in the Kent/Sussex Weald!

    Withyham is lovely (it's where they filmed the Dr Who episode in which Peter Davidson played cricket), so is Fordcombe and the village green at Leigh...in fact just about any club in the Kent County Village League (which includes the lovely ground at Sissinghurst, Clem).
  • Lovely little ground at Hinton Admiral i played at on our tour last summer,Wimboune wasnt bad either.
  • Tilford Green (near Farnham in Surrey).....often appears on calendars and tourist info abroad....for example I saw a huge poster in a book shop in Jakarta a few years back British Airways I think it was.
    The pub is called The Barley Mow.....as picturesque a English scene as you could wish to see.
    Would do a link but I don't know how, so Google The Barley Mow Tilford....or Tilford Cricket Club.
  • Nigel - Well said Leigh is a corker. Also Southborough just before you get into Tunbridge Wells. Bromley Common in Oakley Road especially now there are two pitches there
  • edited October 2009
    Having played Kent League cricket in my pomp I am fortunate to have played at most of Kent's former and current 1st class grounds. St Lawrence Ground Canterbury (V The Mote actually) was a wonderful experience although we were shoved right on the edge of the square. I opened the bowling there from the Pavillion End on the day of Live Aid. Also played at Folkstone, Heskith Park, Mote Park, Bat&Ball, Sittingbourne, The Neville and my home ground The Rectory Field.
    I must say however that my favourite ground ever is Ightham in Kent. A delightful ground with stunning views accross Kent. Lovely local pubs to lunch in before.
    Offham, Oxtead and Linton Park also very nice.
    Surprisingly Essex has some good ones too. Always loved playing at Wanstead and Valentines Park, Ilford.
    Curry Rivel in Somerset, Willey in Shropshire and Acomb in Yorkshire are favourites from my many tours.
  • [cite]Posted By: Chirpy Red[/cite]
    I must say however that my favourite ground ever is Ightham in Kent. A delightful ground with stunning views accross Kent. Lovely local pubs to lunch in before.

    I have played there also, another beautiful ground.
  • Maori Club, Worcester Park, Surrey is my favourite by a long way. Mitcham, Surrey and Sidmouth, South Devon, overlooking the sea come next. Then probably Lord's Nursery or Hon. Artillery Company, EC1. North Devon CC is also a real good one.

    Not played much in Kent or around Charlton.....Eltham College, Blue Circle Bromley, Shipbourne, Bowrings (Lee Green?) and St Lawrence, Canterbury.

    South Hampstead in Middlesex (Willesden) used to be the cream but sadly it's gone downhill massively now.

    Best tracks I batted on last season were at Enfield, Middx and Sutton, Surrey.

    The Oval and Trent Bridge....but I can't say either is a real favourite despite the quality of the playing surface. Perhaps because I didn't fair too well on either of them!
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  • Not sure where you are Orpington, but one of my favourite grounds has disappeared. I used to work for W D & H O Wills in Kensington and they had a pitch at Raleigh Park. They played a game there The Wills, v The Quills. The Quills were journalists and Wills had Alan Turner opening the batting. Alan opened for NSW and Australia. The Quills had Richie Benaud. Quills batted first, can't remember the score, somewhere around 200. Wills were 100+ for 0 when Benaud came on and took 7 for 6.

    The ground is now a block of units. It was magnificent ground tended by the the groundsmen at the SCG. Oh for those days.
  • Always enjoyed playing at Tenterden. Locally Cudham was pleasant with the Blacksmith's Arms on the doorstep! They always did lovely teas at Cudham too!
  • Squerryes Court in Westerham, through a farm, up a long bumpy farm track, turn left at a diseased Elm and the views were magnificent across Kent. There was a tree just inside the boundary, basic electricity, gas lamps and no showers. When rain stopped play it was into the bar and lots of stupid suicidal games involving cricket balls being fired at you at point blank range. The idea was to improve your slip catching, or kill you, I could never tell. Cricket had been played there for 150 years far from the madding crowd. Sadly WCC joined a league and that required moving to a ground with more than just basic facilities. Other than that Mote where I scored a rare 50 on a batting track that Carl Hooper made his own. Strangest place to play...CERN in Switzerland, surrounded by several billion pounds worth of ultra-high-tech scientific equipment...
  • I've been lucky enough to play village cricket in Kent, Sussex, Buckinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Warwickshire, Suffolk, Norfolk and Somerset. By far the best place I ever played was the village of Benenden; and I was also lucky enough to captain the club for a few years in the 90s.
  • I once played at the Military Hospital Ground RAF Wedberg in the former West Germany. Play would stop at 6pm whatever was happening for the lowering of the Union Jack!
  • edited October 2009
    Cockington in Devon. A very unique and beautiful setting. It's right in front of Cockington House (Edit - Cockington Court is the actual name), and there's quite steep hills either side of the pitch - at least 20ft on the pavilion side. It's not nice dragging yourself up that hill when you've failed to trouble the scorers. Believe me.

    The Imperial ground in Bristol (some bloke called Shane Warne played there for a while) has a touch of the Canterbury's about it - there's a great big tree in the middle of the outfield, only 30 yards from the pitch. Edit - I'm not sure this is the ground with the tree in it. This is going to annoy me all day.

    I always enjoyed our Bank Holiday Friday trip to play Paignton. There's nothing partiularly special about the ground (it's a Rugby ground in the winter), but I always did alright there.
  • Played some lovely grounds in Kent, too many to mention individually, but the best grounds I remember were the ones with plastic pitches, as an opening bat. My favourite is probably one we played on each year on your, gotherington in the cotswolds. Beautiful views, lovely village with a pub with an old fashioned wooden skittle alley and the pitch has a barrel of cider at the edge of the pitch. Unfortunately we never used to do very well against them as it was always the third day of your we played them so we tended to be tired and hungover by then. Nice pitch not too far from me in boughton aluph near ashford, village green with a pub on the side, perfect, if only they had a plastic pitch.
  • Here's a link to a picture of Cockington (the picture's too big to put on here).

    It's a bit dark and doesn't really do it justice. On a busy summers day, it's a great place to play cricket.

    The pavilion is up that hill on the right.

    http://static.panoramio.com/photos/original/5848674.jpg
  • edited October 2009
    BFR remembered :

    Squeryes Court in Westerham, through a farm, up a long bumpy farm track, turn left at a diseased Elm and the views were magnificent across Kent... Cricket had been played there for 150 years far from the madding crowd. Sadly WCC joined a league and that required moving to a ground with more than just basic facilities.''

    Even worse, the ground got ploughed up. Thankfully they didn't build on it : too remote and they probably wouldn't have got planning permission , so it's now agricultural land. But still an absolute tragedy. Alan Watt, a fearsome hitter and decent fast bowler for Kent in the 1930s, learnt his cricket there...

    Last time I walked up there a year or two ago, the old roller was all that remained, abandoned in the undergrowth...
  • Not a cricketer I'm afraid but was occasionally drafted in by my brother in emergecy situations. Lived in Meopham, so played there once or twice, talking of which, when I drove through there recently I noticed 'The Cricketers' pub is now something else and the pub sign of Godfrey Evans has been taken down. Nothing's sacred these days! Also played at a ground near Dorking: Coldharbour/Leith Hill way, must be one of the highest grounds in the South.
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