Brisley Cricket Club 1788 - Present

 

The village has long been associated with cricket. As with many other quintessential English village cricket clubs, the pitch is situated on the common opposite the pub. The club is one of the oldest in Norfolk. The earliest record is a game between Brinton and Shipdham being played in Brisley in 1788, and the first recorded game involving Brisley was against Shipdham in 1794. It must have been a challenge for teams to travel in those days and it was a challenge raising a team in small villages. As a result, single wicket competitions were common place.

 

We know that some famous cricket names have played on the Brisley pitch. These include Bill and John Edrich of the well know Norfolk cricketing dynasty and Peter Parfitt of Middlesex and England who was born at nearby Billingford. The most famous Brisley cricketer was Fuller Pilch, who was born in nearby Horningtoft but who lived in Brisley. He was reputed to be “the greatest batsman ever known until the appearance of WG Grace”. He was born in 1803 and played for Kent, Hampshire, Surrey and Sussex. It is not know whether he ever played on the pitch at Brisley but it’s a nice thought that he might have done.

 

It is not clear whether the pitch has always been in its present position but it was certainly on the common in the run up to the second world war. With the outbreak of war the pitch moved to a field off Woods Lane as the common was ploughed up due to concerns over it being a potential landing site for German paratroopers. After the war the pitch returned to its current site.

 

The club has waxed and waned over the years entering and exiting league cricket a number of times. However, the club is alive and well still playing friendly matches against a variety of opposition, with match days becoming a great social occasion. Long may it continue!