A Brief History of Cricket in Bearsted
The first recorded reference to cricket in Bearsted was in the "General Advertiser" of Friday 11th. August 1749:
"In the Artillery Ground, Finsbury Square, London, Monday next at 1.00pm Eleven Gentlemen of Bearsted, Kent, play against the Gentlemen of London, for one guinea per man of their own money exclusive of all other by-bets which may be considerable. The Gentlemen having beaten the neighbouring parishes and thereby themselves inferior to few induces them to come so far to play."
This suggests that the Club had been in existence for some time before this date, but no written record has been found.
In May 1876 the Parish Council sanctioned the stopping of the road which crossed the Green in the centre of the village, which must have made cricket much easier. Around this time, the wickets were aligned north-south, but now they are roughly east-west. The objectives of the game have remained unchanged, but most of its elements have constantly been developed until the present time, in the light of experience, technology, safety, etc The most striking change is in the clothing; once the game was played in everyday clothes, but today there are the traditional whites; in the early days there was no protection for batsmen or wicket-keeper; now there are pads, helmets, and gloves.
The 19th century saw the great Alfred Mynn playing on the Green. He lived in Ware Street, and is buried in Thurnham churchyard. It is his figure which features on the village sign.
The Second Eleven was begun in 1887, and the Colts (junior cricketers) were established in 1896. In 1929 the South African Touring team played on the Green, against a side captained by Pelham ('Plum') Warner, who lived in Caring Lane. Warner's side included eight Test players. During the war, the club tried to keep cricket going, and a good many games were played against military teams. in 1944 Mr. Whitehead's team played against a Ladies' Eleven: the men played left-handed, and bowled under-arm.
Sunday cricket on the Green first began in 1962 with a view providing an opportunity for those who prefer friendly matches and for young players to accustom themselves to playing senior cricket. The desire amongst younger players for more competitive cricket has meant that the Sunday side now features in the Kent Village League. Additional friendly sides are, from time to time, put out on an ad hoc basis.
In 2002 the 1st XI and 2nd XI created their own little bit of history when they each won their respective leagues whilst playing in the Invicta League. The two Saturday sides both now play in the Kent County Village League.
A Twenty20 side was introduced in 2004 and in 2006, Bearsted won the Twenty20 league.
Cricket for younger members of the club is thriving with teams regularly representing the club at all age groups from Primary school age.
Cricket on The Green