In the heart of one of London’s biggest parks lies Teddington Cricket Club, one of the capitols most prestigious teams.
Early documents suggest the side was founded pre 1820, and has resided in the idyllic settings of Bushy Park for nearly 200 years.
Teddington currently play in the Middlesex Premier League, and have finished runners up in the competition for the last four years.
However, for batsman James Wade the club is underperforming.
He told the clubs website, www.teddingtoncc.co.uk: “The level of effort and commitment to both the team and the club from a number of players was nowhere near the level needed to succeed at the cutting edge of domestic club cricket and we ended up with what we deserved.
“We are no longer an inexperienced team and next year it’s time to raise the bar considerably, get involved with the club and show none of the obvious mental weakness that plagued 2011.”
Despite the clubs apparent distaste at their on-field performances, Teddington CC is a side that plays a major role within its community.
Its youth side currently boasts 200 members, and would welcome even more if they had the coaches to train them and facilities to house them.
Clubhouse Manager, Nigel Owen told Cricket Club: “It is a vital part of the club. We regularly have several home-grown players in our 2nd, 3rd and 4th XIs, and our U13s and U11s are in the Middlesex Cup Finals in July.
“The difficulty nowadays is keeping them interested and committed to the club with three consecutive summers of exams from the age of 15 before three years at university. Hopefully they will keep an affinity to the club through this period and post graduation as long as they keep playing cricket.”
The clubs home of Bushy Park was the former hunting grounds of Henry VIII, and is something the club is very proud of.
“We are biased, but there are few nicer places to play cricket on a summer’s day, with the
deer roaming in the long grass, and occasionally on the pitch!
“Last month, we were used as a location for a mobile phone company to film an advert featuring Muttiah Muralitharan.”
Teddington has managed to upgrade its training grounds in recent years, adding a new net compound which Owen says holds ‘no coincidence that attendance in midweek training has significantly increased’ since their instillation.
The club is well renowned in London, holding close links with the Middlesex County side. They also played host to the Argentinean national side two years ago in a bid to raise money to further develop the clubs facilities.
“Our pavilion was developed from two Nissen huts used by American forces during the war, so is showing signs of wear in places, but is holding up well given its age. We would love to redevelop it at some stage in the future.”
The club sits on a sound financial footing, and Nigel Owen told us that the clubs only focus for the forthcoming years is to improve performances on the field.
“The immediate ambition is for the first XI to win a trophy. It has now been 10 years since we lifted one, and being the bridesmaid to Ealing four years in a row, is starting to grate, as good a club as they are. We have a healthy rivalry with them, but it would be good to be on the right end of it for once!”