Grounds 2023 (Sussex)

Hove, Arundel, Eastbourne and Horsham.

Hove in 1978, a small number of mainly seniors watching a slow moving game; no future in that they said. Championship cricket in 2023: some deckchairs still, the tree alas gone, hospitality cabins and the Sharks stand in view at the other end. The PA  referred to the stadium, that way in some corners maybe although to this visitor it feels more like a ground still.

Arundel, timeless, beautiful with its easy aristocratic charm. Southern Vipers v Thunder  below in a September  heatwave, and  for spectators a hose-pipe refilling water containers, which  personally was a first. The last trip I made was for a T20 match in 2007, although its ambience if not everything else, feels more suited to the long(er) forms of the game.

Eastbourne, Sussex returned here before covid after an extended gap with three ODC games. Twinned in a rather particular way with St Helen’s Swansea, two grounds where records were made during the era of dominant WI cricketers; bats different  but not the biggest of boundaries either.  In 2023, essentially, if not entirely, club cricket.

Horsham, as second XI games go a well-supported T20 fixture v Hants, one of three played here this summer. As with Arundel, and Eastbourne for watchers very little changed over the decades, bar an electronic scoreboard. Why would it have done?

Upgraded facilities, hospitality important at the centre, outgrounds used less and no more is a common denominator with other counties. Yet with increased ECB monies from The 100 and the ‘development’ ODC played in August this direction of (non) travel could change, at least to an extent. Question is, will it?

2 thoughts on “Grounds 2023 (Sussex)”

  1. Delightful – and with appropriate questions. I love the Sussex grounds but had a somewhat eerie experience commentating from an empty Arundel in Lockdown year. I visit Chichester often and frequently walk round and wonder at the tiny ground where they certainly played county matches post-war. No danger of that being called a stadium! Thank you.

  2. Thanks as ever for taking a moment Dave. I went to Priory Park last year and remember it as being very attractive all the way round and would bracket it with Arundel on that score. In my experience that’s not all that usual, quite a number are photogenic looking one way…looking towards the Art Deco pavilion at Worthing etc.

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