Dads and lads and wives as well...you just had to get involved Kevin Hibbert - Spondon CC
Project supported by MCC Lord's and University of Glamorgan

Marylebone Cricket Club, Lord's Cricket Ground, St John's Wood, London, NW8 8QN | Project enquiries: Neil Robinson | 020 7616 8559

Thematic Thoughts

As you all know, at Taking the Field we’re not just interested in your cricket club but also in its place in the community. Of course we want to hear about the cricket – the tense matches, the great teams, the umpires and so on – but we also want to hear what happened off the field as well. This page is just to give you a few ideas about some of the larger themes around club cricket that you might like to think about. As we gather more material, each of these themes will have their own webpage with links to pictures and stories that deal with them.

Here are a few examples:

Gender

The role of women has changed massively over the 20th Century, and cricket is not at all immune from this. Gone are the days when wives made the teas or just stayed at home, now girls’ and ladies’ cricket shares centre stage. Is this the picture at your club, or did the ladies play a different role? Either way, we’d like to hear from you.

 

Class

Cricket has always had particular class associations – the ‘gentleman’s game’ and the long-held distinction between players and amateurs for example. In many clubs, you could not play in the first team unless you were distinctly middle-class, and club officers were chosen because of their position in society rather than their commitment to the club. Did your club have a strong class identity or even class divisions? When did these start to disappear?

 

 

Community composition

British society is dramatically different now from even 60 years ago, for many different reasons. Rural communities are no longer made up of farmers and local traders but often commuters. Inner cities have changed dramatically as people move out to the suburbs, and all across the UK new communities from all over the world have settled and prospered. These new populations have often changed the nature of cricket clubs and leagues in many different ways. Has this migration effected your club? How are the newcomers welcomed?

 

Religion

Many cricket clubs started as church teams or with strong associations with the church. In many clubs, playing on a Sunday was also very controversial. In later years, other religions such as Islam have also influenced cricket teams. Did you club have or has strong links with a religious organisation? How did this effect it’s development?

 

Thanks to Blaina Heritage Centre for this photograph 

 

Working teams

In the 19th Century, many employers set up cricket teams for their workers to encourage good behaviour. Many workplaces kept these teams and competitions between rival companies in the same sector soon sprung up, such as pit competitions in South Wales. Did your club start in this way? Or did it have strong links to local industry?

                                    
                                                               Thanks to Blaina Heritage Centre for this photograph

Volunteering/Fundraising

All club cricket needs money to survive, but how this money is raised has changed considerably. Patrons, whist drives, ‘smoking dances’ have fallen away and instead fundraising parties, sponsorships and applications for grants from various government bodies have emerged. And of course, there have always been raffles and fundraising dinners. What special events has your club held to raise money? How did you use it? Were there times when this was harder than you wanted it to be?

 

Youth

Most clubs are really proud of their youth teams and have always encouraged kids to learn to play cricket. That doesn’t mean that this hasn’t changed – with less schools playing cricket and the introduction of professional coaching most youth cricket is almost unrecognisable. How has this happened in your club? Have you always encouraged youth? Do you have good relationships with the local schools?