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Upminster Cricket Club History

Upminster Cricket Club is one of the oldest cricket clubs in the immediate area. The first official match took place on Monday 30th August 1858 although there is evidence of cricket having been played earlier in the century in Upminster - Gentlemen of Upminster versus Gentlemen of Chingford for example - a Club had not been formed at that time.

Originally, matches were played in the field where the Windmill is now sited. In 1870 the Club moved to what is now the playing field of Upminster Junior School and in the early 1920's to it's present location which at that time was privately owned land. Attempts to purchase the ground in 1925 failed and the entire piece of land, which now forms Upminster Park, was purchased by the Parish Council of the time and has remained under the control of the local authorities ever since.

Upminster Cricket Club and Upminster Hockey Club are the constituent parts of Upminster Pavilion Club. The pavilion club was formed in 1963/4 following the demolition of the former timber pavilion and the erection of the new brick built pavilion.

Upminster's failure to be elected to the then Essex League resulted in a gradual decline in the club's fortunes. However with a new committee and a progressive colts policy being introduced in 1991 a massive upturn has resulted.

This however did not immediately provide the platform that was required to increase the growth of the club. Upminster missed out on joining the Essex League on a number of occasions, most recently when the second division was formed under the Colour Assembly banner back in 1992. Consequently concerns were raised as to when Upminster would be recognised as a club to be taken seriously.

The newly formed Committee put in place actions to address all of these problems so that should the opportunity to apply for Essex League status arise again, Upminster would be better prepared to compete and present our case.

The success of the Colts section was shown in 1996 when the Under 16s reached the final of the prestigious Mobil Matchplay competition where they were defeated by Ilford. And as these youngsters moved into the Senior sides, more success followed in the Morrant League competitions, especially for the lower elevens.

By 1998 the Club were running 5 Saturday sides and 3 Sunday sides, as well as running a Ladies Team and several colts sides. The Sunday first eleven were also competing in the Ibex Sunday League against many Clubs from the Colour Assembly League.

In late 1998 after one Club was forced to drop out of the Colour Assembly League, Upminster beat off stiff competition to be accepted into the Essex League for 1999, under it's new banner as the Shepherd Neame League.

The Club enjoyed immediate success at this level, with it's first four Saturday sides being promoted in the first season. More success followed in the next few years, especially for the lower elevens, with the 2nd, 3rd and 4th XIs all gaining Premier League status by 2002. In 2005 the First XI achieved promotion to Division 1 of the Essex League, and then in 2007 they gained promotion to the Premier Division, the highest level of club cricket available in Essex. Also in 2007 the Under 16s again reached the final of the Matchplay competition, but were beaten by South Woodford in an exciting game.

Since joining the Shepherd Neame League, the Club have been fortunate enough to have a number of high quality overseas players represent the Club. Dion Ebrahim (later to play Test Cricket) came from Zimbabwe in 1999 and his compatriot Kingsley Went was at Upminster in 2000. Between 2001 and 2004, Western Australian Lorne Sprigg represented Upminster and was a huge success on and off the field. In 2007 former Test star Doug Hondo played at Upminster in 2008 Naeem Iqbal from Pakistan was the Club's overseas star whilst in 2011 New Zealander Jimmy Neesham represented the club.

The 2008 season was another successful one with the 1st XI finishing an excellent 4th in their first season in the Premier Division. There were promotions for the Club's 2nd, 4th and 5th XIs, while the 3rd XI were runners up in their Premier Division, and the 6th XI finished an excellent 3rd in their section. It was fitting that the season should be such a fine one, as it was also the Club's 150th Anniversary Season. Several events, on and off the pitch, took place to mark this historic occasion, and although the weather was not the best, all at Upminster enjoyed these events. 2009 and 2010 were more difficult seasons for the Club on the field, and in 2010 the 1st XI were relegated from the Premier Division and the 5th XI were also demoted. The Club did however reach the Finals Day of the Essex T20 competition and the various colts sides also performed well.

The 1st XI achieved promotion back to the Premier Division in the 2016 season under the stewardship of Alan Ison winning the title by 40 points.

The Club have also been lucky in recent seasons to host a number of Benefit Matches against Essex CCC in aid of the various Beneficiaries in this period.

Players such as Graham Gooch, Nasser Hussain, Ronnie Irani, Ravi Bopara, Alastair Cook, Ryan Ten Doeschate, James Foster, Graham Napier, Reece Topley and Tymal Mills have all played in these exciting matches.

The Club is now running 6 League and 1 Friendly side on Saturdays, and 3 Sunday sides including an "Academy" side. The Club now has over 200 colts playing and training regularly, and a number of these play for District and County representative sides. Upminster CC also carries out an extensive coaching programme in various local schools as it continues to try and play a role in the local community.

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