This week Chichester Community Development Trust (CCDT) is launching the new cricket pitch developed at Keeper’s Green, on the exact site where a cricket pitch was first created for patients and staff of the then West Sussex County Asylum over 100 years before. The new pitch will be aimed at supporting community level cricket, incubating new talent, and connecting those to the game that otherwise might not have a chance to experience it, including youth and women’s teams.
Records show that cricket was the sport that gripped the residents of the Asylum from the time it opened in the 1890s, with doctors playing as often as possible during the season, including during office hours, and the cricket capability of a new doctor was a point of much discussion. The Graylingwell XI (later the Graylingwell Cricket Club) was already playing their first season during 1897 – the year the asylum opened!
The new cricket pitch that is now being launched will be available to all cricket clubs in Chichester, with a strong and exciting partnership formed with the Chichester Priory Park Cricket Club, which has already secured a number of dates to play throughout the 2021 season. Local residents are encouraged to come to the pitch on match days to enjoy the scene as spectators, and build the sense of community around the game. Matches currently secured are listed below for those that would like to attend.
Comments Clare de Bathe, CCDT’s Director, “It is so exciting to see the game of cricket brought back to this site. Having the game here will be great for the mental and physical health of all of Chichester’s residents – be they watching or playing, just as it was over 100 years ago. We will be building the youth game through the brilliant Street Cricket style play coached by the Sussex Cricket Foundation, as well as working with partners to build a women’s game and teams for Walking Cricket. We’d love to hear from anybody who is interested in taking part and may even find ourselves developing some Graylingwell Park or Keeper’s Green XIs before too long.”
Chichester Priory Park Cricket Club matches scheduled for the season to date are: