Cricket

Holkham Cricket Club

Cricket has been played in the park since the early 1840s, when the 2nd Earl arranged for part of the grounds to be levelled to make a square. In the 1920s one of his successors, who was a real cricket enthusiast, arranged for the square to be properly laid by the staff at Lord’s. In its heyday, the square grew to 125feet across and up to 60 matches were played on it each year. With such a sublime setting everyone wanted to play at Holkham.

This tradition continues to this day, which is quite understandable, although fewer matches are played now. Holkham currently boasts three sides that are quite independent of one another. The lion’s share of the matches are played by Holkham Cricket Club. This is not to be confused with the Holkham Estate team, made up entirely of staff from the estate, which plays a handful of matches, some against other estates. Finally there are the Nubian Ostriches, an invitation side skippered by Lord Leicester himself, playing just the occasional match.

Holkham Cricket Club is a small friendly club that only plays friendly matches, but to a good standard. Nearly all of the matches are played at Holkham, mostly on Sundays, with the occasional Saturday or mid-week match thrown in for good measure. The emphasis is on ensuring that everyone is involved, and an enjoyable game is had by one and all. The closer the finish the better, win or lose!

Historically the village and surrounding area provided the players for the club, and the estate too was well represented, but the club had to go further afield to find players when local interest dwindled. By so doing it found itself in a catch 22 situation, distancing itself from the very people it hoped to represent, jeopardising its long term future. Fortunately local interest has been rekindled and the club is in a much healthier position now, but new members will always be most welcome.

If you are interested in joining, all that is required from you is that you are capable of playing cricket to a reasonable standard and that you will commit yourself to playing at least six games during the season. If you are feeling a bit rusty, or wondering what sort of standard is played, your best bet is to come along to one of the weekly net sessions that will be held every Wednesday evening at Holkham, starting in May, continuing throughout the season and you can judge for yourself. You will be more than welcome to join the club in what is truly a fantastic setting. The club also welcomes supporters and if you would like to be involved in umpiring or scoring please contact the chairman. You will gain free entry into the park and be provided with a fantastic tea.

If you would like to contact Holkham Cricket Club telephone Richard Williams on 01328 878002 or email richardgwilliams@mac.com. For fixtures telephone Jon Smith on 07884 490368 / 01328 712033 or email j.smith@holkham.co.uk.

The cricket ground is also available to hire for private games – please contact Richard Williams as above.