Battle recreate first game in 1738

Tim Dudgeon, Tony Boardman and Stuart Reeves at Battle Cricket Ground in advance of their 275th anniversary match with Eastbourne

Tim Dudgeon, Tony Boardman and Stuart Reeves at Battle Cricket Ground in advance of their 275th anniversary match with Eastbourne

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Battle Cricket Club is set to re-play its first ever recorded match as part of its historic celebrations of 275 years of recorded cricket.

Tomorrow (Sunday), the Gentlemen of Battle will play the Gentlemen of Eastbourne, re-constituting the first ever recorded game of both clubs in 1738 and one of the earliest in cricket history.

Dressed in the costumes of the times and observing the laws of cricket as they were, the teams are due to parade out onto the George Meadow field at 2pm.

The original game must have been a significant event, with the Eastbourne side headed by Lord John Sackville, probably the foremost cricketer of the time.

The London Evening Post reported at the time that Battle scored just 23 batting first and Eastbourne replied with 37 for a lead of 14. Battle managed 56 at the second time of asking and Eastbourne scored the 43 they needed with ease.

These games were also political affairs as well as social ones and to re-create the sense of the occasion, there will be a barbecue running most of the day and plenty of ale available, alongside other attractions. Everyone is welcome and 18th century costume encouraged, although not compulsory.

The game will be a fitting culmination to Battle CC’s Cricket Week. The club has also published a book exploring the history of cricket in the Battle area to help mark 275 years - Bats, Baronets and Battle.