It started back in the mists of time, in AD2007.
Eleven players took on 11 other players in an 18-over scratch game on Battersea Park.
We called ourselves King’s Road Cricket & Social Club, they called themselves the Battersea Badgers.
We batted first, and scored 91 with this year’s skip Matt Cocken retiring on 32 and Paddy controversially being given out as our first lbw. The first of many.
The Badgers batted second, and as the night drew in came within a whisker of winning with 87. But they didn’t.
That was it – our first game, our first win, on a pitch we hadn’t booked. The date was May 3, 2007, according to the Badgers’ records.
Six years on and with plenty of water under the bridge, we are still going strong.
There’s been highs, like getting our lovely new “distressed” look orange caps for the first time, all our tours, playing on a First Class ground, our first 5-for, our first 100 and all that have followed.
And there’s been lows – getting beaten by the Badgers for the first time in the Super Test, being hit for 400 by the Zeebras and several nasty injuries along the way.
We’ve had plenty of individual landmarks, like Giles Fagan being the first to score 1,000 runs, James Couldrey being the first to take 50 wickets and Leon Watson the first to do both.
But now we’re approaching our biggest landmark of all – the club’s 100th game. And who better to play it against than the team we played first, the Battersea Badgers.
Of that team that first took to the pitch back in May 2007 only a handful are still playing.
There’s Tom Parnell, Leon Watson, Dan Howard, Matt Cocken, Kevin Pittaway and James Couldrey.
Plenty of players have fallen by the wayside, moved away over the years such as Jeremy Smith or Danielle Scagell, some have gone off in a huff like Chris Ashton and others have just never been seen again, of which there are plenty.
But plenty have also joined us and stayed with us. We now have a thriving membership and we’re oversubscribed for most games.
We’ve played dozens of teams down the years, sometimes been completely outclassed and sometimes even won a few games.
Many of those teams no longer exist – like Beershire, or the Crystal Palace Tavarn. But we do. We are stronger than ever.
Overall our record going into the 100th game is 38 won, 3 no results and 58 losses. We’ve gone on tours to South Wales, Devon, Yorkshire and the Isle of Wight and remain unbeaten in our aim to lose every tour game.
In that time we’ve had four full-time captains – Raju Mazumder, Matt, Giles, James and Matt again – who have all done stirling service for the club.
Today the club is run by its committee, the captain Matt, Dan Sherman, Chris MacNicol, Leon and chairman Mark Isham.
This weekend is the time to celebrate and mark our 100th match. Even if you’re not playing, please come along and support us as we take on the Battersea Badgers again.
Come on The Road!