Burley Cricket Club

Burley Cricket Club History

There are few early records of Burley Cricket Club but it is known that the club was founded in 1875 when cricket was played on Burley Lawn.  Much like today it was the ponies that kept the grass cropped and it is said that the remains of the square can still be seen on the lawn.  However, like much of the local cricket played at the end of the 19th century it has been documented as being of a rough and ready sort.

With the ground and play often rough, games were played over a defined period of time where two innings were permitted for both teams.  However, innings often read like some of today's individual scores.  The Burley Church Monthly Magazine began reporting matches in 1892 and an early game in the 1897 season saw Burleytake on Emery Down.  Emery Down made 86 in first innings but Burley's reply was a meagre 37.  In second innings Emery Down found themselves 6 wickets down for 17 runs.  Burley began their second innings in better vain but time was up before matters could be finished and Burley lost by 49.

The earliest picture in the clubs possession shows the Burley Cricket XI of 1897.

It was not until 1900, when the Rev. A B Cummins became vicar of Burley that a proper club was formed.  Cummins was a fine athlete and inspired others to want to play for the club.  This enthusiasm saw the erection of a pavilion, good equipment purchased and each year thereafter saw a proper fixture list made.

1912 saw the club move to its present location on Burley School Green.  The ground required some preparation as it was covered in gorse, a pond and several deep gulleys.  The monies required to prepare the ground were raised by the village residents.  The pavilion was moved from the lawn to the school green on an adapted timber wagon pulled by a team of horses.  

The outbreak of war in 1914 brought the activities of the club to an abrupt halt.  The club was temporarily disbanded and no cricket was played for the duration of the war.  The village butcher, Mr Pratt, was allowed to graze his sheep on the square to keep the grass short.  On March 12th 1919 at The Queens Head a proposal was made to reinstate the club.  

In 1922 the club were invited to join the Bournemouth and District League but declined, and league cricket would take another 51 years to come to Burley.

The start of the 1930 season saw the introduction of the collection boxes during home games.  It was decided that a box should be taken around the ground by players during the game to collect small donations from supporters and visitors alike.  This became an important means of boosting club funds, a tradition that continues today.

During 1940 the club fielded just one team due to lack of players caused by World War II but play continued unlike during the 1914-18 war.  Prior to the war games were generally played on a Saturday but during the war Sundays became preferable and Sunday cricket on Burley Green was born.  

The 1960 season saw the introduction of Wednesday evening cricket in the Ringwood and District League.  Burley were the first and only winners of a league that was disbanded after just the one season.  This was the first time the club had won an honour of this kind although the Champion's Cup was never awarded.  

In 1962 the idea of a new pavilion was tabled, but this would take another 12 years to become a reality.  This year also saw an application from the Burley Football Club to have joint use of the pavilion with there's all but falling down.    

1973 saw Burley join the Bournemouth and District Cricket Association League Division 4 and run out comfortable champions, something they repeated a year later winning the League's Division 3 title.
With the Bournemouth League being incorporated into the Hampshire League Burley have continued to play league cricket since 1973. 

Recent success has seen Burley as Divisional champions at Regional Division 3 (2008) and Regional Division 2 (2009) as well as Stone Cup winners in 2007 and 2013 and runner up in 2009 and 2011.