Cricket Club was formed in 1839, although there are many references
to cricket in Brighton from the 1700s, particularly at the end of
that century when the Prince Regent, later King George IV, took
an interest in the game.
The club, which became the first county cricket organisation,
originally went by the name of the Royal Sussex Cricket Club in
recognition of its connection to the King.
In 1872 the club moved to a new, larger ground at Eaton Road
in Hove, where the team still plays its home games today.
As the club’s reputation began to grow, new players such as
Henry Phillips, the first wicketkeeper, came to the fore,
winning the hearts of supporters from around the county.
At the turn of the century Sussex entered its Golden Age of cricket,
winning matches and trophies left, right and centre.
But, unfortunately, the club has also had its fair share of bitterness,
particularly in the mid-20th century when before the start of the
1950 season, the president and committee resigned over the controversial
replacement of Hugh Bartlett as captain.
However, the appointment of James Langridge as the club's first
professional captain proved a success and the president, the
Duke of Norfolk, soon withdrew his resignation.
Nearly 50 years later there was yet another upheaval when the team
did not perform well during the 1996 season, leading to a great
deal of frustration in the dressing room. As a result Alan Wells,
the captain, went to play for Kent, while Ian Salisbury, the highly
promising leg-spinner, signed for Surrey and four other capped players
refused the county's terms.
The Annual General Meeting in the spring of 1997 at the Grand Hotel
was very well attended and ended in the chairman, Alan Caffyn, and
his committee being voted out of office.
With a newly installed committee came the promise of glory days
and this was quickly established during the successful 1998 season
when Chris Adams, an outstanding Derbyshire batsman, and Australian
Michael Bevan, joined the club.
By 1999 things started to fall into place and Sussex narrowly missed
out on first division Championship status.
However, the dawning of a new millennium took its toll on the team,
who were relegated out of the top flight in 2000. Luckily this failed
to dampen the spirits of the players and by 2003 they were not only
back in division one, they were crowned County Champions.
With such an illustrious past, it’s fair to say that Sussex
always provides great entertainment for fans, so why not pay a visit
to Eaton Road during your visit to Brighton.
For more information on Sussex County Cricket Club and the teams
current fixtures, visit the website at www.sussexcricket.co.uk.