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Howzat? Cricket club reaches 150 not out
A village cricket club is 150 not out.
East and West Hendred Cricket Club has played out thousands of overs and generations of villagers have hit thousands of runs since it was formed in 1862.
Ivan Mulford, club secretary and groundsman, has been involved with the club since 1978.
And he said it had become a key part of the village over the years.
He said: “Like any village that has a church and a community centre, the sports ground is all part of the village infrastructure.
“It’s a lively and vibrant place that caters for young and old alike. It’s not only those playing – lots of people come down to watch.
“We now have grandfathers who come to watch their sons and grandsons play. There are three generations of players either watching or playing.”
He said the club was run by volunteers and supported by fundraising which made it an even more impressive milestone.
The club has about 100 members, with four adult teams and three junior teams for under-11s, under-13s and under-15s.
Members also coach youngsters at the village schools St Amand’s and the Hendred Primary.
Charlie Mulford, club captain and Mr Mulford’s son, said: “The cricket club’s 150th anniversary is a huge achievement and a great compliment to the village for keeping the club running throughout the years.”
Records show matches have been played in the village as far back as 1837.
The parish notes of the St Augustine’s Church rector in the early 19th century refer to a “flourishing cricket club”.
There have been at least three cricket grounds in the village – at Eyston Park, Downs House and the current venue, Hill Field off Mill Lane.
In 1990 the club became a member of the Oxfordshire Cricket Association and began playing league cricket.
To mark its birthday, the club hosted a six-a-side tournament for eight local teams last month.
Didcot Cricket Club won the contest and more than 1,500 runs were scored.
Most were hit by Challow Cricket Club’s Vishane Perera, while Matthew Warner, of Kingston Bagpuize Cricket Club, took the most wickets with five from his three overs.
East and West Hendred will also celebrate with an end-of-season dinner at Drayton Golf Course.
Test Match Special commentator Henry Blofeld will be the guest speaker on September 28.