A brief History of Benenden Cricket Club
Posted by Andrew Morrison on 16/06/2014 12:57
|Richard Mills & Edward Gower Wenman|
Creag may well have been played in Benenden from medieval times, however cricket has been played on the Green since the 18th century, although the first known mention of an organised club was not until 1798.
Benenden's most famous match was at Wittersham on 4,5th September 1834 before a crowd of over 2,000 when Richard Mills (left) and Edward Gower Wenman (right) took on a select Isle of Oxney XI for a purse of £20 at 'Double Wicket' [2 Batsmen at the crease]. Two against eleven in every aspect of the game. Many large sums changed hands as the Two of Benenden won by 66 Runs.
In the early 19th century the Hodges family created a ground in Hemsted Park (now Benenden School) staging many society matches. In 1835 XI of Twisden Hodges MP (Benenden) against Lord Sondes' Lees Court XI (Sheldwich) attracted a crowd of over 6,000. In 17,18th August 1843, again at Hemsted Park and as a benefit match for EG Wenman, Kent played England (one of only 27 first class matches in the country that year).
To the present day with the club still playing on the traditional village green in front of the St. George's parish church and between the Bull Inn and King William IV public houses. A perfect setting for village cricket and one of only two Kent entries in the Rothman's Book of Village Cricket (1993).
The club fields a Saturday side (the village side) playing friendlies only, and a (stronger) Sunday side (the club side) which, in addition to the friendlies, has recently joined the Kent Village Cricket League.
To read more about this incredible match, click on the image above of Mills & Wenman.