After a severely reduced season in 2020, the 1st Central Sussex Cricket League bounced back this summer with nearly 3,000 games of cricket completed across 36 divisions and the T20 cup competitions.
In total, 351 teams represented 145 clubs in the League, including 12 new teams and three new clubs.
While a disappointing 11% of the 3,080 scheduled League fixtures were lost to the weather, only 3% of matches were conceded, with many of these COVID-19-related.
The overall 1st Central Sussex Cricket League champions were Preston Nomads CC who took the Premier Division title. Bognor Regis CC won promotion to the top tier for the first time after winning Division Two.
In the T20 competitions, Finals Day once again returned to The 1st Central County Ground where Cuckfield were crowned T20 Cup winners under the floodlights at Hove. The day will perhaps be most remembered for the attendance of nearly 500 vocal supporters from finalists St. Peter’s CC.
A successful summer was concluded with an end of season dinner featuring guest speaker, Matthew Hoggard, who also handed out the various trophies and awards that recognised both team and individual success.
Reflecting on the 2021 season, Gary Stanley, Chair of the 1st Central Sussex Cricket League, said: “After the difficulties we faced in 2020, it was both a relief and a great pleasure to return to a full season of league cricket this year.
“We had a great season, with special congratulations going to league champions Preston Nomads, and also to Division 2 winners Bognor Regis for achieving a maiden promotion to the Premier division.
“As we start to plan for 2022, it is pleasing to report another increase of around 10 teams for next year. Recreational cricket in Sussex is in rude health and that is great to be a part of."
Sussex Cricket’s Community Director, Gary Wallis-Tayler, added: “I am delighted to see the continued growth of recreational cricket across the county in all forms of the game. To continue to get more teams forming and joining our league off the back of a global pandemic is quite incredible and as a county we are in a very strong position to build further upon this success.
“I would like to thank our League Committee, all of whom are volunteers, who have put an enormous amount of work to make our league the success it is. A special thank you also to our sponsors, 1st Central, who continue to provide magnificent support to Sussex Cricket which enables us to offer our recreational clubs with the best playing opportunities possible.”
Sussex Cricket affiliated club, Crawley Eagles CC, have won the Inclusion & Diversity Award at the 2021 Sussex Sports Awa
Sussex Sharks star Tymal Mills has signed for Perth Scorchers in the forthcoming Big Bash League in Australia.
Sussex Cricket’s Head Groundsperson, Ben Gibson, has been recognised for his team’s first-class pitches at The 1st Central County Ground this summer.