New era begins for cricket at the castle

Is there a better place to watch cricket than Arundel Castle?  Picture by Liz Pearce
Is there a better place to watch cricket than Arundel Castle? Picture by Liz Pearce

The 2014 season sees many new beginnings for cricket at Arundel Castle CC.

New executive secretary James Rufey has outlined plans which include making them an all-year-round club for their 850 members.

There will be greater emphasis on sponsorship and hospitality, with more corporate matches.

Officials say introducing new term-time coaching courses for boys and girls, aged four years upwards, means they can look forward to a bright future. Holiday courses are already very popular and many local clubs use the on-site cricket centre during pre-season.

The fixture list is strong and varied. This season will see Yorkshire and Somerset CCCs visit in the Sussex CCC Festival, as well as Hong Kong and Australia’s Northern Suburbs team.

Sir Tim Rice’s Heartaches CC and Ian Hislop’s Private Eye XI will also visit, as will the MCC, Oxford and Cambridge universities and the Combined Services .

Arundel is also hosting the England Deaf XI and the Chris Gayle Cricket Academy - plus, locally, the Sussex Martlets.

The club are keen to maintain their quintessential English feel and the traditional members’ marquee will be back for the Sussex Festival and the Combined Services match.

The ground and surroundings remain magnificent and director of cricket John Barclay, a former captain of Sussex and past president of MCC, continues to drive forward the Cricket Foundation.

The charity’s purpose is to enhance the development and education of young people, mainly those aged seven to 19 - with a special emphasis upon the disadvantaged and those deprived of opportunity.

Over the years, the foundation has focused strongly on inner-city areas nationwide and particularly London’s boroughs. It uses cricket and associated activities to achieve its objectives. 

Part of the ‘Arundel experience’ includes visits to Arundel Castle and gardens plus trips to the seaside at Littlehampton which include cricket on the beach.

The foundation operates a highly-successful special needs programme. Many youngsters taking part suffer from physical and emotional difficulties – some are deaf or partially-sighted, while others have severe to moderate learning difficulties. More than 600 such children visit Arundel each year.