Mote Park (cricket ground)

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Mote Park
The Mote cricket club - geograph.org.uk - 91849.jpg
Ground information
Location Maidstone, Kent
Establishment 1857
Capacity 8,500
End names
Mote Avenue End
West Park Road End
Team information
Kent (1859 – 2005)
As of 17 December 2007
Source: CricketArchive

Mote Park is a cricket ground in Maidstone in the English county of Kent. It is inside the grounds of the Mote Park and is owned by The Mote Cricket Club[1] and is also used by the Mote Squash Club and Maidstone RFC.[2] Until 2005, it was used annually by Kent County Cricket Club as one of their out grounds. The County club played over 200 first-class matches on the ground, with the first match played in 1859 against MCC.[3]

History

The first Kent match at The Mote was in 1859, two years after the founding of The Mote Cricket Club. However, visits by Kent to The Mote were limited until the intervention of Marcus Samuel, 1st Viscount Bearsted at the beginning of the 20th century. In 1908, Viscount Bearsted oversaw the levelling of the original playing area to form the middle of three terraces (the upper and lower levels became rugby pitches) and the wicket was moved to its current position, perpendicular to the original orientation.[4]

In 1910, two permanent buildings were opened: the pavilion, which contains the players' dressing rooms and covered seating and the Tabernacle, originally the private pavilion of Viscount Bearsted and used for spectating and entertaining in luxury. More recently the structure was used as a committee room for both the Mote and Kent County Cricket Clubs. Apart from some restoration work, the ground otherwise still resembles the facility constructed in the early 20th century.[4]

The ground continued to be used by the county side for an annual cricket week until the end of the 2005 season. After 140 consecutive years of play, Mote Park was taken off the list of county grounds used by Kent when an over-watered 'green' wicket, prepared for the County Championship match against Gloucestershire, led to a low scoring game which ended after less than 2 days and a subsequent 8 point points deduction for Kent.[5] Redevelopment of the facilities at the ground had been approved during 2005 as part of a larger scheme to increase the profile of cricket in the county town.[6]

Since 2005 The Mote Cricket Club have relaid a number of wickets at a cost of £14,000 with the help of grants and technical assistance from the County Cricket Club and Maidstone Borough Council. Kent have expressed a wish to return to the ground at some point, although as of April 2016 the quality of the wicket and the pavilion were still seen as issues that needed to be addressed.[7][8][9]

Notable cricket performances

  • Kent County Cricket Club's highest partnership for any wicket in first-class cricket was made at Mote Park during the 1995 season with Aravinda de Silva and Graham Cowdrey scoring 368.[4]
  • In 1910, C. Blythe and F.E. Woolley bowled unchanged throughout both innings of a fixture with Yorkshire County Cricket Club repeating a performance from 1889, also against Yorkshire by bowlers W. Wright and F. Martin.[4]
  • In 1995 Mark Ealham made the fastest century in the history of the 40-over game. In 44 balls, Ealham scored a hundred, with 9 sixes and 9 fours.[4]

References

  1. ^ The Mote CC - About Us, The Mote Cricket Club. Retrieved 2011-04-09.
  2. ^ Maidstone Rugby Club, Maidstone Rugby Club. Retrieved 2011-04-09
  3. ^ First-class matches played on Mote Park, Maidstone, CricketArchive. Retrieved 2016-04-05.
  4. ^ a b c d e A brief history of the Mote, CricInfo. Retrieved 2011-03-23.
  5. ^ Kent end 140-year Maidstone deal, BBC Sport, 2005-09-30. Retrieved 2016-04-05.
  6. ^ Major changes for cricket ground, BBC Sport, 2005-06-02. Retrieved 2016-04-05.
  7. ^ Redevelopment may lead to Kent's Mote return, Kent Messenger, 2008-06-26. Retrieved 2011-03-23
  8. ^ Kent County Cricket Club say they want to play at grounds around the county, Kent Online, 2011-12-02. Retrieved 2016-04-05.
  9. ^ Kent Cricket chief executive Jamie Clifford says the county would love to return to Maidstone but that there are too many hurdles at the moment, Kent Online, 2016-04-05. Retrieved 2016-04-05.

Coordinates: 51°15′52.3″N 0°32′46.7″E / 51.264528°N 0.546306°E / 51.264528; 0.546306

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