October 23 2014 Latest news:
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
This proud old cricket trophy may not have been held by as many famous hands as the Ashes.
But it will still be a historic moment when it is lifted this August.
Because after half a century collecting dust in the back of a dark wardrobe, this forgotten cup is finally back in the sporting spotlight.
The Mid-Norfolk Sunday Cricket League is resurrecting the Norfolk County Challenge Cup after the trophy was rediscovered.
The cup, last won by Acle in 1967, was unearthed in the home of former Norfolk Cricket Board chairman and secretary Derek Cousins.
Up until then its whereabouts had been a riddle.
League chairman Colin King said: “We knew there must be a senior cup because we have a junior cup but we didn’t know what had happened to it.
“About six or seven years ago I asked the question and then it all went quiet. About a month ago Derek mentioned that he thought he might have found it and then he produced it for me.
“It has a future now and that is the nice thing about it and people will fight for it and they will cherish it. It is much nicer than the previous one, which was a bit of a tin cup.”
The challenge cup was first won by Prince’s Trust Cricket Club in 1884.
Mr King said: “Some of them you think ‘how did they win it’.
“A lot of the teams I didn’t even know they had a cricket club.
“What is interesting to me is the social history of it. You have teams from Fakenham then Norwich winning it and then the next thing you get is a team from King’s Lynn.
“This is in a time before cars, so how were they getting to each other? It must have been by train.”
Mr King is hoping the chance to be the first name engraved on the cup for nearly 50 years will spur the teams on.
Swardeston Cricket Club have already booked their place in the final, on the August Bank Holiday Weekend, and Bradfield and Hethersett and Tays Valley are set to play for the second spot. None of the teams had won the trophy before 1967.
Mr King said: “I am quite excited to have this sudden bit of real history to the competition. I think it will add a bit of an edge and teams will want to win this wonderful trophy.”
The discovery has come at the right time as the previous challenge cup trophy had run out of space for further names to be added.
It is thought that the cup may have fallen out of use due to the popularity of the Norfolk Junior Cup competition.
The trophy will be decided at Sprowston Cricket Club’s ground, Barker Lane, on Monday, August 25.
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