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Cricket in Smarden dates back to at least 1771.


In the Public Ledger newspaper of the day on 22 August 1771 it reported that:

“On Thur., Aug.8 1771, at Smarden, Smarden v Frittenden, when William Daynes, fourth son of John Daynes senr. of Frittenden, got by strokes 53 runs in the game, and ran in the whole 130 runs.  The lad is not 13 years of age till Sept. 29th next.”

Regrettably the British Museum newspaper library does not have a copy of the newspaper as it may have been destroyed in the Second World War since publication of this reference in the book ‘Fresh Light on 18th Century Cricket 1697-1800 by G B Buckley’ in 1935.  If anyone has old newspapers (or a copy of this book)  dating back that far please let me know.

So, we have confirmation that Smarden was indeed involved in the birth, dawn and possibly evolution of cricket.   Regrettably, like we modest British and to an extent present modest Smardonians and society, little was recorded for posterity relying on what was thought to be a pleasant pastime for own pleasure. Records in local newspapers only feature Smarden when we were playing clubs who reported their scores.  Nobody appears to have been willing to take on the task of recording for history/posterity.


Fortunately, we do have another reference in 1772 when the Morning Chronicle  of June 25 1772 reported:

“On Wed.& Thur., June 17-18, on Bull Green at Bethersden, Bethersden beat Smarden by 3 wkts.









109 for 7 wickets










Bethersden had 69 to get the second day, when the two who were last in the night before went in and got 53 before they were parted.” Again a copy of this newspaper appears to have been lost in time….unless you have one.


The final snippet of interest to us in Smarden is that:

 “A match took place at Smarden on June 22 1797 between 11 of Smarden, against 22 of Romden and Hamden, which was won by Smarden with 5 wickets to go down”.  This comes from ‘The Dawn of Cricket compiled by H T Waghorn in 1906’.


I am continuing my research and have been pleased with the efforts of more recent players in finding the 1960’s badge with 3 Invicta White Horses-anyone know why? We intend to re-design the badge and have commissioned a flag and flag pole which are always associated with chocolate box cricket.  It’s been a lot of fun so far and I will keep you all informed of how these revelations will enable us to enhance cricket and sport-and even tourism and business in the village.

Richard Fletcher  01233-770525