Cricket has been played at Goodwood since the
early seventeenth century; a receipt for brandy, given to the ‘Arundel men’ in
1702, is the earliest mention of cricket in the Goodwood archive.
In 1727, a game was played between the 2nd Duke
of Richmond and Mr Brodrick of Peper Harow Park, near Godalming (cricket is
still played there today). As was common in those days there was a wager on the
match and a set of rules was drawn up. These rules, kept in the Goodwood
archive, are the oldest set of written cricket rules in existence; there are
copies in the cricket pavilion and at Lord’s.
The club has a strong link with Lord’s. The 4th
Duke of Richmond was one of the original backers of Thomas Lord when he bought
‘the rough piece of land’ in St John’s Wood and the 5th Duke was President of
the MCC. The late Duke was President/Patron of Sussex CCC for twenty-five
years. Another link with Lord’s could be the club colours. These colours are
the racing colours of the Dukes of Richmond and long after their use by the
Dukes and the cricket club, they also became the colours of the MCC around 1888.
For much of the club’s history, the enormous
Cedar of Lebanon tree (known as ‘the Sheep Shearing Tree’) has stood over
players such as James Lillywhite (Captain of England and a Goodwood employee)
and in more recent times Ray Lindwall, Sir Colin Cowdrey, Ted Dexter, Jim
Parks, John Snow, Graham Gooch, Nasser Hussain, Devon Malcom, Gladstone Small,
Simon Jones, Adam Hollioake, Nick Compton and Sam Robson. The tree was one of a
thousand planted by the 3rd Duke of Richmond in 1761.
There has been one 1st class match at Goodwood;
this was played on 22-23 July 1814 between Lord Frederick Beauclerk’s XI and George
Osbaldeston’s XI. The match was scheduled for three days but was over in two. A
total of 265 runs were scored in 4 innings, 44 wickets taken and Osbaldeston’s
XI won by 17 runs.
The Club played in The National Village Cricket
Championships from 1998-2003. Over recent years, there has been much investment
in the pavilion and ground, including a new roller in 2016. The square, ground and pavilion are all maintained
voluntarily by the club members.
The Club is very grateful to The Duke of Richmond
and Gordon for being able to play on such a beautiful and historic ground.