Old Hill Cricket Club
|Home ground||Haden Hill Ground|
|Official website:||Old Hill CC|
Founded in 1884 as Haden Hill Victoria, the club has played on Haden Hill ground in Cradley Heath since founding, having purchased it in 1934, with the ground placed owned by a Trust and shared with Old Hill Tennis Club. The club was originally part of the Municipal Borough of Rowley Regis which is now the Metropolitan Borough of Sandwell. Historically the club has been situated in the County of Staffordshire although boundary changes at one time placed it within the ambit of Worcestershire. It is for this reason that there is a joint affiliation with the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Cricket Boards.
Old Hill joined the Birmingham League in 1920, and first won the league in its second year of membership. They also won the Division 1 title in 1940, 1960, and 1983. Their 1st XI currently plays in Division 1 and the 2nd XI play in the 2nd XI Premier Division. The 3rd XI meanwhile plays in the Worcestershire County Cricket League. They are one of the most prominent clubs in English cricket, winning the ECB National Club Cricket Championship in 1984, 1985, 1987 and 1993, and being runners-up in 1989. Over the years the club has been associated with many famous cricketers including Eric Hollies who went on to play for Warwickshire and England and also Charles Palmer who played at the age of 14 batting at number 11 for Old Hill 2nd XI. He was later to rise from this lowly beginning to play for Worcestershire, Leicestershire and England and ultimately became secretary to Leicestershire and President of the MCC eventually taking the premier post in cricket as Chairman of the Cricket Council and the Test and County Cricket Board.
The Old Hill ground with its grassy tree lined slopes set next to Haden Hill Park is rated to be one of the prettiest in the country. On joining the league in 1920 the ground was basin shaped with a pronounced slope. Measures were taken in 1923 to level off the playing area and a scoreboard and press box were erected. The ground was originally held on a lease but in 1934 the club raised £3,000 in ten weeks to buy the ground and a tablet was unveiled in 1938 in the pavilion recording the names of donors and a celebration in 1935 of the Silver Jubilee of King George V and Queen Mary. The ground was levelled off and enlarged to its present state in 1947 and a refreshment building was erected in 1950. This building was further extended in 1977 and in the late 1990s a successful application to the Foundation for Sport and the Arts enabled a grant to be obtained which extended the present Clubhouse.
The club currently runs four Saturday XIs together with one Sunday XI, the Sunday XIs participating in the Worcestershire County Border league. The Club’s first and second XIs compete in the Birmingham and District Premier Cricket League and the Club’s third XI compete in the Worcester County League. There is in addition a vibrant junior section which at the present time has approximately ninety youngsters participating in training on a Friday evening.
In addition during the recent years major steps have been taken to initiate a girls’ section within the club and this has been successful with a women’s team representing the club for the first time in 2004. In 2005, the girls under-13 team. the girls won the national Lady Taverners girls' championship; beating Bath in the final. As a result of this win, the team was named BBC Midlands Sports Personality of the Year junior team winners 2005.
Old Hill Cricket Club subscribes to the objectives of the Birmingham & District Premier Cricket League namely to promote that which is best for the development of cricket with high standards of performance, sportsmanship, playing facilities and preparing the best young players for County cricket. The club is an integral part of the local community and provides a service in a deprived area. The club offers the opportunity for all individuals in the community to participate in sport and cricket in a fully resourced child friendly and effective environment with which all club members are proud to be associated.
In addition to is participation in the Birmingham & District Premier Cricket League the Club has entered into and become part of, partnerships with the Sandwell Cricket Development Group and Black Country Active Sports. The Club is a focus club within the Staffordshire Cricket Board and fully subscribes to the Staffordshire Cricket Board plan for cricket within the County and also the National strategy under the ECB strategy plan.