Richmond Green cricket ground
The Cricketers pub on Richmond Green
|Home club||Richmond Cricket Club c.1666–1743); village teams associated with The Prince's Head pub and The Cricketers pub (currently)|
|Establishment||by 1666 season|
Richmond Green cricket ground, on The Green at Richmond, London, has been a popular venue for cricket matches since the 17th century. The earliest reference to cricket on Richmond Green is from a 1666 letter by Sir Robert Paston, a resident of Richmond.
Perhaps the most infamous game to be played on the Green took place the following year on 23 August when a Mr Chambers organised a first-class match against the Duke of Richmond's team from Sussex. It is the earliest match where team scores are known: Duke of Richmond 79, Mr Chambers 119; Duke of Richmond 72, Mr Chambers 23–5 (approx.). The game ended promptly at a pre-agreed time although Mr Chambers with "four or five more to have come in" and needing "about 8 to 10 notches" clearly had the upper hand. The end result caused a fracas among the crowd at Richmond Green who were incensed by the prompt finish because the Duke of Richmond had arrived late and delayed the start of the game. The riot resulted in some of the Sussex players "having the shirts torn off their backs; and it was said a law suit would commence about the play".
Another notable game was the earliest known tied match on 22 July 1741 when Surrey played London. The scores were not reported but the tie occasioned the bets to be drawn on both sides. The teams decided to play again at the Artillery Ground the following Monday but the result is not recorded.
The first reference to a "Richmond" team playing at Richmond Green is also the last reference to its use as a major venue. This was on 4 July 1743 when Richmond & Kingston were beaten by London. The noted batsman Robert "Long Robin" Colchin, of Bromley, played for London as a given man.
The Green is presently home to two village cricket teams each affiliated to two of Richmond's pubs, The Prince's Head and The Cricketers. Midweek matches are contested in the modern limited overs format of Twenty20 usually on a Tuesday or Thursdays, where surrounding village teams compete for the Len Smith Charity Shield.
- ACS (1982). A Guide to First-Class Cricket Matches Played in the British Isles. Nottingham: Association of Cricket Statisticians.
- Ashley-Cooper, F S (1900). At the Sign of the Wicket: Cricket 1742–1751. Cricket magazine.
- Buckley, G B (1935). Fresh Light on 18th Century Cricket. Cotterell.
- Waghorn, H T (1899). Cricket Scores, Notes, etc. (1730–1773). Blackwood.