Cricket is back in the village of Bosham.
Its 16-year absence came to an end on a joyous day when West Sussex Wanderers were the visitors to the new ground in Delling Lane.
In 1999, Bosham Cricket Club were ordered to stop hitting sixes or stop playing altogether.
Despite national media coverage and support from the cricket community, a ball was never bowled again at the old ground located by the farm shop. Now the field is used for grazing horses.
The club became nomadic and survived by playing games at Oaklands Park and Itchenor Park.
A small and determined group of committee members never gave up hope of bringing cricket back to Bosham. Despite many setbacks they continued to achieve milestones.
The club secured the lease on land south of their old ground, battled with the planners to win building permission on appeal for a pavilion, secured community funding from the the Co-operative and created a lovely cricket ground from a ploughed field.
The efforts of everyone involved were rewarded when the club hosted their first proper fixture at the new ground.
Bosham fielded a side ranging from stalwarts such as John Barnett to players like Dominic Gogarty, who was not born when cricket was last played in the village.
Many villagers popped in to watch the game and enjoy party atmosphere. Emma Tillyard said it was a ‘beautiful setting’ and added: “Well done to all who organised the day.” Paul Burry said there was a ‘great buzz’ about the pitch.
The result was immaterial with the winners on the day being everyone that worked so hard to bring cricket back to Bosham.
Club chairman Rory Gogarty said: “Bosham cricket ground will be a stunning venue and a marvellous resource, not only for the club but for our entire local community.”
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