Broxbourne Cricket Club was founded in 1848 when the cricket club played their inaugural match on May 23rd against East India College (as it was known then) at Haileybury, a match in which Broxbourne lost by an innings and 58 runs. At that time home matches were played on the site of Cardinal Bourne School and it was not until the early 1860s that the club moved to Mill Lane.
The AGM of 1862 reveals that the club had 54 members but only 8 fixtures in that year! By 1898 there was pavilion accommodation at the ground and a fixture was held against the MCC. Up until 1925 the ground was owned by the Bosanquet family who lived in Broxbournebury until June 7th when it was sold to the club for £1,050 which by now also included thriving hockey and tennis sections.
In the late Victorian era, Broxbourne employed a professional groundsman/cricketer. The most notable was Walter Mead who after a brief spell at Broxbourne joined Essex County just before they obtained first class status. Over the next 15 plus years he was to become their main wicket taker with his mix of leg and off spin which included taking 17 wickets against the touring Australians in one match in 1893. In a total of 429 first class matches Walter took 1,916 wickets at an average of 18.99 and regularly took over 100 wickets a season. He played 1 test match against the Australians in 1899 at Lords picking up just the one wicket.
After the war, the club continued to flourish, and all three sections were recognised to be among the strongest in the county. The cricket club of the late 1950s and early 60s contained several minor county cricketers and Doctor Tomlinson who played one game for Derbyshire in 1946. In 1974, a new pavilion was built with 2 squash courts and this was soon extended to provide a further 2 courts. Floodlit all-weather tennis courts were the next addition and in 1988 the pavilion was extended to provide a new bar, terrace, balcony and fitness rooms.
Broxbourne can now rightly claim to have one of the finest grounds and best facilities in the county. Despite the fact that in the club’s lengthy history Broxbourne has grown from a small village into part of a large urban area, the new ground has retained its unique charm alongside the New River with views of the nearby church providing the perfect setting for a day out.
Today Broxbourne Cricket Club enters four Saturday teams into the Saracens Hertfordshire League. Alongside this the club competes in the Bertie Joel Trophy and Sunday T20 Trophy, whilst our Sunday team plays friendly matches throughout the summer months.
The senior teams at Broxbourne over recent years have increasingly been supported by the thriving junior section that boasts over 100 members across 10 teams from U9s to U15s competing in the Hertfordshire Junior Leagues. The club’s youth policy and strong association with local schools is bearing fruit, with more players than ever in and around the area and county setups.
The growth of the club has allowed several cricket-orientated developments to complement facilities that are among the best in the county with the recent addition of 3 new state of the art outdoor nets courtesy of a grant from BIFFA Award. With a newly renewed ECB Clubmark Accreditation and a close association with the Herts County organisation, this has seen the club host several Hertfordshire County Junior matches over the past few years.
Recently Broxbourne has been proud to host 2 Essex County second eleven matches against Cambridgeshire and Norfolk and early group stage matches in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup. The Lashings World XI have become regular visitors to Broxbourne in recent years with players such as Tino Best, John Emburey, Monty Panesar, Devon Malcolm and Sir Gordon Greenidge and that doyen of commentators Henry Blofeld all visiting Mill Lane.