THE HISTORY OF TWCC
The Club celebrated its bicentenary in 1982 and has hosted Kent County Cricket Club for a Cricket Week since 1902 (the Festival in 1901 marked the opening of the new Ground). The Nevill has also staged international matches – most notably the 1983 World Cup fixture between India and Zimbabwe (‘Kapil Dev’s match’); this game has been enshrined forever by Bollywood for film release in early 2020.
A number of players with first class or international experience have represented the club in the Kent Cricket League: amongst them are Bob Woolmer and Alan Brown, (Peter Hearn & Mike Willard just missed League Cricket) and more recently Julian Thompson and Rajeshwar Sharma. Many more KCL and KCB representative players have been selected from the membership, and presently Mark Alexander would be recognised amongst those so chosen.
The 2009 President of Kent CCC, Carl Openshaw, is a former playing member of long standing and great distinction; his term as Chairman of Kent spanned the years 1999-2008, the second-longest tour of duty among the First-Class County Chairmen, and he had been a KCCC Committee Member since 1994. Carl was also KCL Chairman before this, and Nigel Keess, the retiring TWCC Chairman, was elected from 2008 to this office, and adds thus to the list of personnel from TWCC who have served at higher levels. The Club may therefore be justly proud of its officers, who have succeeded in promoting cricket and the fabric of its management within the County structure.
In 2007, TWCC U15 XI won The Portman Building Society Cup, out of a national total of 1704 club sides which took part; it was the first occasion that a team from Kent had been successful at this level. Rare extract footage of the Finals Day of this event, kindly supplied by the ECB recording team, can be found by clicking here.
Current notable achievements include winning the Kent T20 KO competition in both 2016 and 2017, plus, in the first year of victory, the XI progressed to the Sky televised Finals before ending their amazing run; not to be outdone, TWCC II won their Premier League for the first time in 2017, their Championship being based on 13 wins out of 16 matches played. The First XI reached third place in the 2018 campaign, equalling the best ever Premiership position attained in both 1998 and 2009. We must now wish our sides well for 2019 and beyond.
Most aptly, 2019 was a fantastic year for cricket nationally as well as locally. England added at long last a World Cup to their list of trophies after 44 years of watching others take the plaudits, while Ben Stokes added glories new with that catch, the winning white ball innings of a lifetime, and then the astonishing Headingley Ashes epic. TWCC was also fertile soil for success, with the First XI, at one time looking to become possible champions, taking third place for the second year running. Chris Williams headed the KL Premier run aggregates for the year, thus becoming the first homegrown player so to do. Indeed, the Williams brothers, Chris and Alex, created a fresh and unique record when they both hit hundreds in the same KL innings against Bickley, a feat without parallel.
The Club League XIs recorded a new record of five full weekends of total victory during the season, eclipsing forever the sparse previous achievements, and of course Marcus O’Riordan appropriately received a County contract at Kent to mark his longterm success, quality and ability, and he made his First-Class debut towards the end of 2019; echoes here of Bob Woolmer, Jon Longley and Matt Banes.
The IIIs and the IVs were crowned league champions in Sussex, as new-found confidence burst forth into glittering success, meanwhile the youth program reaped further strong rewards all through the Club, for boys and girls alike, with Jock Paterson reeling in yet more trophies as is his wont, year after year.
Clearly, 2020 holds promise to be another great Summer on the field and off, as more such wonderful efforts clamour for attention.