Who we are
The Sussex Seniors started in 1984 when the Sussex Over 50s was formed.
The Sussex 50+ cricket team is a member of the South-East Region of the ECB National Over 50s National County Championship. Other teams in the Group are Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent, Middlesex and Surrey. The County Championship is played between forty Counties and this includes the Channel Islands, the Isle of Wight and the Cricket Association of Wales. There are five regional groups and the top County in each Group; the best overall runner-up; and the two winners of a play-off involving the remaining runners-up will qualify for the knock-out stages. The games are based on 45 overs a side with no bowlers permitted to bowl more than nine overs. All players must be over 50 years of age and be a member of a Club affiliated to the relevant County Cricket Board. The top two teams in the Home Counties 50+ 2nd XI competition (same Counties as 50+ 1st XI Competition plus Suffolk) will play each other in a Final. The 2nd XI Competition permits the inclusion of two players aged 49 years.
The National Seevent Over 60’s Competition comprises thirty-three Counties from a number of regions. Sussex is in the South Group and plays seven other Counties (Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hampshire, Kent, Middlesex, Oxfordshire, Surrey) on a home and away basis. Players have to be over 60 years of age on the date of the game but two 59 year olds are permitted. The top teams from all regions compete in a knock out stage, eventually concluding in a Final.
The 60+ 2nd XI Championship, with a total of 25 Counties, is a three regional competition (South Group, East Group and a West Group) with eight opposing counties (Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent, Middlesex, Suffolk, Surrey and Sussex) in the South group playing on a home/away basis. Two 59 years olds are permitted to play in the 60+ 2nd XI side.
The 60+ 3rd XI Championship will continue involving Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent, Oxfordshire, Suffolk. Surrey and Sussex playing each other home/away. It will play under the same Rules as the 60+ 2nd XI Competition.
The 60+ 4th XI League comprises Essex, Kent, Hertfordshire, Surrey and Sussex.
The 70+ Championship is split into three groups – East/North; South East; and South West. The South East group involves Berkshire/Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent, Suffolk, Surrey and Sussex. Anyone aged 69 by the 31st December during the year of the match is entitled to play in the 70+ Competition plus one 68 year old. With effect from 2021 there will also be a 70+ 2nd XI Championship which comprises Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent, Surrey and Sussex. Berkshire/Buckinghamshire will play friendlies in 2021 with a view of joining the Championship in 2022.
From the beginning
The National Cricket Association first organised a national knock out competition for over 50s cricketers in 1984 and, with eighteen counties competing, Sussex emerged as winners of the inaugural Championship by beating Essex in the Final. Dunlop was the major sponsor of the competition with a provision that all games should be played on the Dunlop artificial pitches.
In these early years the Sussex side benefited from several former Sussex County players including Gerry Cogger, Denis Foreman, Simon Hoadley, Peter Laker, Les Lenham, Gordon Potter, Derek Semmence, Ken Suttle, and David Stripp. Over the years many former Test and County Cricketers have played in the National Seniors’ Championship Competitions including Alvin Kallicharran, Terry Barwell, Clive Radley, David Halfyard, Reg Scarlett, Mustaq Mohammed, Alan Oakman, Deryck Murray, David Capel, Roy Marshall, Dennis Oakes, Ted Hemsley, John Lever, Stuart Turner, Brian Hardie, Robin Hobbs, Brian ‘Tonker’ Taylor, Brian Luckhurst, Derek Underwood, Wasim Raja, Graham Roope, Hallam Mosely, Hugh Jenkins, Alan Wassell and David Ward.
Since 1984, Sussex has appeared in two finals in 2001 and 2006 and were semi finalists in 2015 and 2017. A 50+ 2nd XI Championship, which included most of the South East Counties, commenced in 2001 and Sussex won the championship in 2003. As the 50 year old aged into the next decade so the need for a 60+ competition evolved and, in 2003, Barry Smith (Kent) and Hugh Milner (Sussex) saw the need to provide cricket for the 60 year old and so another Championship was formed, initially based in the South East but is now a national competition.
Sussex was the SE League Champions in 2004, 2005 and 2006, Cup winners in 2006 and 2007 and losing finalist in 2004, 2005 and 2010. A 60+ 2nd XI competition was formed in 2010 and Sussex was the losing finalist in 2011 and won the Championship in 2014 having been runners-up in 2012 and 2013. With a further evolvement a 3rd XI competition was formed in 2012, involving four counties and Sussex was the winner in the first two years - 2012 and 2013.
Meanwhile, an over 70s Championship had started in 2009 with Sussex, Surrey combining with Kent, and Hampshire combining with Berkshire. There are now 22 over 70s counties and Sussex has won six Championships, runners up on two occasions and semi finalist in 2016. In 2018, a 70+ 2nd XI was formed and in 2021 will start playing league cricket. Sussex has been a founder county in each age group and in each team and, particularly, instrumental in forming a 60+ and a 70+ Championship Competition.
Go to http://sussexover50.play-cricket.com/ and follow the links to the 50+ County Championship; the 50+ Home Counties Championship; and the 60+/70+ County Championship. Take a look also at the Seniors County Champions, the Sussex Timeline, Index of Regular Players, Career Leading Aggregates, Centuries, Five Wicket Hauls, Sussex Cricketers representing England Seniors which have been posted by Peter Hartland. Go to "News" in the Navigation Bar on the home page of the Sussex Seniors site then to "News and Documents” and then to “Documents”.
The following Sussex Seniors have played for the England 50+ team – Jason Robinson and Scott Stratton. Appearing for the England 60+ side – Andy Barnes (Captain), Neil Chitty, Udho Maharaj, Bob Phillips, Mark Shimmons and Mike Watson. Appearing for the England over 70s – Hugh Milner (Captain), Andy Barnes (Captain), John Anderson, Robbie Barker, Brian Booth, Martin Burgess, Grahame Corke, Peter Crees, Ted Elsey, Howard Johnson, Udho Maharaj, Barry Peay and Brian Scollay.
And so to the future
Cricket at seniors level constantly evolves and it is continually necessary to recruit cricketers aged 49 and over. Sussex Seniors are looking for more cricketers to join our County Championship teams. At the moment there are over 150 players registered and, with effect from 2021, there will be almost 120 fixtures.
If you are interested, please email me with your contact details including a full cricketing CV.
Hugh Milner, Director of Sussex Seniors Cricket
Email – email@example.com