St Andrews need some fresh blood

St Andrews celebrate after winning promotion

St Andrews celebrate after winning promotion - Credit: Archant

Their former players include the creator of Sherlock Holmes. But Norwich's oldest cricket club are now expressing concern over the next chapters in their epic 127 year story.

Just seven months after lifting the Norfolk League Division Three title, St Andrews are appealing for new players to safeguard their future.

A series of sudden retirements and departures from the area have left them desperately needing new blood.

A few years ago the Saints Sunday XI regularly included nine players of 21 or under. Unfortunately many of those players have not returned to Norfolk post university, prompting the club's urgent appeal for players.

Ironically they find themselves in the diffilcult predicament after spending the winter creating an exhaustive history.

The club began life as St Andrews Hospital CC in 1886 and virtually all of the club's results since – more than 2,150 of them – have been painstakingly entered onto their website (www.standrewsnorfolk.playcricket-com).

Alongside the scorecards a series of articles chart the evolution of the club and reflect a colourful history of cricket in Thorpe.

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The most famous player ever to appear for the Saints is Sherlock Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who played in the 1890s.

The best individual performance at the old St Andrews Hospital ground occurred on July 13, 1895 when legendary big hitter Gilbert 'Croucher' Jessop – later to become an Ashes hero for England – scored 184 for Beccles College before taking nine wickets.

In 1935 Bill Lingwood, Norfolk's professional and opening bowler, joined the St Andrews Hospital staff as an ancillary nurse and in the next three seasons took a staggering 275 wickets for the club in 648 overs, at an average of five.

Now, eight decades later the club are looking for the next generation to make history of their own.

The club would like to encourage any potential new or former players to get in touch and can offer Saturday league cricket, Wednesday night outdoor nets at their Dussindale Park ground and Sunday friendlies – ideal for social cricketers and introducing youngsters to the game.

Skipper Daniel Bone (07889141704) would be delighted to hear from anyone wanting further details.