England’s two oldest cricket clubs, the Mitcham Cricket Club and the Hambledon Cricket Club, will be having the first ever match as part of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee celebrations.
Merton Council, which has named Mitcham Cricket Club as its Golden Jubilee Charity to raise funds for a new pavilion for the Club, invited the two clubs to a two-match series.
The Clubs, both close to 400 years old, will meet at Mitcham on Friday, 12 July, the return leg at Hambledon on Sunday, 25 August. The Mayor of Merton will donate a Golden Jubilee Trophy for the event.
The Mitcham match will coincide with the arrival in Merton of the Queen’s Jubilee Baton Relay, carrying the Jubilee Baton for the Commonwealth Games. The Relay will do a circuit of the Mitcham Cricket Green when the Baton will be carried by England cricket hero, Ian Botham.
Merton Council Leader, Councillor Andrew Judge welcomed the news of the match. “Our appeal to purchase the Mitcham Cricket Club pavilion is about preserving part of Merton’s heritage. Now with two of England’s oldest Clubs playing a match, we graphically see how important that heritage is.”
Mitcham Cricket Club Chairman, Lindsay Bashford said: “For centuries cricket matches have been part and parcel of village celebrations. It is wonderful to honour the Golden Jubilee with matches between our Clubs on their historic cricket greens.”
Golden Jubilee Committee Chair, Councillor Joe Abrams OBE, himself a cricket enthusiast said he believed the game was a graphic example of the history and tradition the Queen’s Golden Jubilee represented. “I hope this match will now become an annual event, to ensure our traditions continue, and that new generations of young people can become involved in cricket and be aware of our proud history.”