Sussex’s cricketing stars are coming to Chichester as an iconic city venue celebrates an unbeaten ton.
A Sussex team will play a Duke of Richmond’s XI on Saturday, September 29 in Priory Park, which was given to the city 100 years ago.
Current members of the Sussex men’s and women’s squads will play for both sides, with Jofra Archer, Chris Jordan, Luke Wright and Danni Wyatt all confirmed for the Duke of Richmond’s XI.
The park has played host to county matches in the past, holding its inaugural first-class match in 1852 – before the park itself was established – when Sussex played an All-England XI.
In 1882 and 1886 the touring Australians played on the ground, although Sussex were not their opponents: they played against Lord March’s XI and a United XI.
It was in the Australians’ match against the United XI that the great WG Grace played on the ground, along with James Lillywhite, the Sussex cricketer who was England’s first Test captain.
Having last played at Priory Park in 1852, Sussex returned in 1906 playing a county championship match against Hampshire.
But Sussex last played on the ground in 1950 against Glamorgan, so the park’s centenary match – part of a wider programme of events celebrating the venue’s milestone – marks a comeback after 68 years.
Richard Plowman, chairman of the Friends of Priory Park, said: “Priory Park could be considered to be the birthplace of international cricket with matches against Australia in 1882 and 1886 with legends such as WG Grace and the Lillywhite brothers.
“For many years it was the Sussex County Cricket Club ground, playing their last match in 1950.
“This match will certainly be one of the major highlights for Priory Park 100.”
Rob Andrew, chief executive of Sussex Cricket, said: “Sussex are delighted to be part of the 100-year celebrations of the gifting of Priory Park to the people of Chichester by the 7th Duke of Richmond.
“The rich history of Goodwood and cricket stretches back several hundred years when the game was first created in this part of Sussex.
“We are looking forward to bringing our squad to Priory Park and to building a stronger connection between Sussex Cricket and Goodwood over the years to come. I look forward to seeing everyone on September 29.”
The Duke of Richmond said: “Goodwood is home to the earliest existing written rules of cricket, drawn up for the 2nd Duke of Richmond here in 1727.
“Cricket remains to this day an integral part of the Estate and it is therefore truly fitting that we should host Sussex County Cricket Club in this exciting game, to celebrate 100 years since the 7th Duke of Richmond gave Priory Park to the City of Chichester.
“I am sure this will be a wonderful and competitive game, to be enjoyed by all.”
There is much cricket history associated with Priory Park and with the Dukes of Richmond.
Cricket is first mentioned in the Goodwood records in 1702.
The Dukes have been involved in cricket all levels: the 4th Duke was a backer of Thomas Lord, the 5th was President of MCC, the 6th employed James Lillywhite, England’s first captain, while the 10th was president/patron of Sussex for 25 years.
The gift of the park was made by the 7th Duke of Richmond and it will be the 11th Duke of Richmond’s XI playing this game.
The match will be played in whites and with a red ball and will start at 1.30pm.