Sudbury are ‘small in size, but big in heart’

DESPITE celebrating their 225th anniversary this year and playing in East Anglia’s elite league, Sudbury are still a small cricket club, according to chairman Roger Troughton.

“We are small in size, but big in heart,” said Troughton of Sudbury, who are believed to be the oldest club in the region. Sudbury, who will be staging their annual Cricket Week next week, have 60 senior members and 120 junior members, but can only accommodate up to 90 juniors at any one time at the club’s homely Friars Street ground near the town centre.

In addition to the club’s first team playing in the Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League, Sudbury also field sides in Division Three and Division Seven of the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship on a Saturday.

Sudbury also play in Division One and Division Four of the Hunts County Bats League on a Sunday, while their ladies’ side compete in the Beaumont Seymour Ladies’ Cricket League – a T20 Friday night league comprising mainly Essex clubs.

The club also runs five junior sides from under-11s through to under-15s. Phil Halliday is chairman of the Junior Committee in addition to being club coach. Sudbury have nine qualified coaches altogether, six of whom are under 23.

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Troughton, who is 55 and still occasionally plays himself, is also very proud of the contribution made to the club by the 70 vice-presidents.

“They are a tremendous asset to our club. They give not only financial but also any advice in kind, and I am very proud of their involvement. Our Cricket Week is an opportune time to congratulate them for supporting us – some of them have been involved with the club for 30 or 40 years.”

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The club’s 225th anniversary celebrations have been fairly low key apart from a book to mark the milestone. Tales from the Dew Drop Inn was researched and written by former EADT and Star journalist Alan Cocksedge, who is a former 2nd XI captain and now life member of the club.

Next week’s opponents include two touring teams – Kingsclere Re-united from Basingstoke, who visited Sudbury for the first time last year, and Olicanian Striders from Yorkshire – as well as the return of Bantham Exiles, whose side two years ago included Pakistan international all-rounder Shahid Afridi.

“The MCC have played in our Cricket Week for the last three years, but due to a change in circumstances are not able to fulfil the fixture this year,” said Troughton, who added that a marquee will be serving lunches for up to 100 guests each day from Tuesday through to Friday.

Sudbury Cricket Week fixtures

Monday: President’s XI v Old Grammarians, 11.30am; Sudbury Ladies v Invitation XI, 6.30pm

Tuesday: Sudbury XI v Kingsclere Re-united, 11.30am

Wednesday: Sudbury XI v Bantham Exiles, 11.30am

Thursday: Sudbury XI v Olicanian Striders, 11.30am

Friday: Sudbury XI v Gents of Suffolk, 11.30am

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