Canterbury Cricket Week
Canterbury Cricket Week was founded in 1842. It is the oldest cricket festival week in England and involves a series of consecutive Kent County Cricket Club home matches, usually held in the first week in August. Since 1847 it has taken place at the St Lawrence Ground, Canterbury, before that it was held at the Beverley Ground in the same city. In addition to hosting cricket matches, it also includes several other events and ceremonies. As of 2016, there have been 165 Canterbury Cricket Weeks held.
The politician and journalist Bill Deedes wrote in 2000: "while the Second World War was on, I consoled myself by thinking that Canterbury Cricket Week, founded in 1842 with its tents and famous lime tree, unchanging in a changing world, was the sort of thing I was in business to preserve."
Every Canterbury Cricket Week, Kent hosts a Ladies day with prizes being awarded for the best hat on the day. Another tradition is that a wreath is laid at the Colin Blythe memorial. The Kent supporters club also have their own tradition of laying a wreath commemorating those who played for the county and died during the First and Second World Wars.
Canterbury Cricket Week usually has Kent's highest attendance at the St. Lawrence Ground. It was once considered a major commercial and cricketing highlight of the year. There were concerns that it could be eclipsed by the growth in popularity of Twenty20 but is still considered unique in cricket and is not expected to change.
In 2012, the 161st Canterbury Cricket Week was scheduled to clash with the second week of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London leading to fears of a reduced attendance at the Cricket Week. However, Kent Chief Executive Jamie Clifford stated that he believed that it would bring in larger crowds, mainly from people who didn't have tickets to the Olympics.
- Barclay's World of Cricket - 2nd Edition, 1980, Collins Publishers, ISBN 0-00-216349-7, p387
- Canterbury hosts festival week, ECB, 2008-07-28. Retrieved 2012-02-08. Archived from the original 2016-11-14.
- Arthur Fagg (2010-12-14). "Kent's 2011 cricket fixtures released". Kent Online. Retrieved 2012-02-08.
- Barclay's World of Cricket - 2nd Edition, 1980, Collins Publishers, ISBN 0-00-216349-7, p500
- "Arafat returns to haunt Kent". ECB. 2011-08-10. Retrieved 2012-02-08.
- Simon Heffer (2015-12-02) Old Stagers knew how to take cricket to the people, Daily Telegraph page 13. Retrieved 2016-01-27.
- Fleming MV (1998) Canterbury and Headingley, CricInfo, 1998-08-08. Retrieved 2017-04-25.
- "Canterbury cricket festival". BBC News. 2008-07-30. Retrieved 2012-02-08.
- "Kent chief executive not concerned at Olympic clash". BBC Sport. 2011-11-30. Retrieved 2012-02-08.
- Canterbury Cricket Week - An Authentic Narrative of the Origin and Career of the Institution. Vol I. 1839-1851 (Canterbury: William Davy, 1865)
- Small, E.M., The Canterbury Cricket Week - Its Origin, Career and Jubilee 1842-91 (Canterbury, 1891)
- Hough, G. Canterbury Week Centenary 1842-1948 (Canterbury: Jennings, 1948)
- Warner, H.W., The Story of Canterbury Cricket Week (Canterbury: J.A. Jennings, 1960)
- Richard Ritchie, The Old Stagers: Canterbury, Cricket and Theatricals: An Official History, OS Publishing, 2015, ISBN 978-0993446108.