On Monday. the 1st Central Sussex Cricket League passed a motion removing the obligation for clubs to provide a cricket tea. And the decision got national publicity with the BBC, The Times, Piers Morgan and former England captain Michael Vaughan all picking up on the story.
But immediately following the vote Horsted Keynes Cricket Club vowed to continue this important tradition tweeting: “HKCC are disappointed that cricket teas are being dropped from the Sussex Cricket Leagues.
"We will still be providing teas for our players at home games, and are happy to also provide for any opposition who are happy to reciprocate.
"In fact, we are working on a new pavlova recipe”
Other clubs have also agreed to defy the new ruling, joining Horsted Keynes in their 'Rebel Teas' plan.
Cricket has been played in Horsted Keynes for nearly 400 years making it one of the sports earliest known locations.
The club is right in the heart of the village both physically and socially, and often draws a sizeable crowd. Cricket teas are provided via an informal and ad-hoc rota of willing players, partners, and family members, with post game refreshments taken in the Crown Inn pub – which adjoins the ground.
The vote to remove the provision of teas was carried 114 to 89, at the league’s AGM via ZOOM on Monday. However, there were some irregularities with the vote, for example those not present at the meeting were deemed to have voted FOR the motion. It’s not clear at this time if this included enough votes to change the outcome and Sussex Central Cricket League are yet to release those figures.
Horsted Keynes Cricket Club Chairmen Oli Wright said: "Having consulted with our members, we had unanimous support for keeping teas as they are. We pride ourselves on the experience that every player has when they visit us, both home and away and our teas are an important part of that.
"We may be division 7 quality on the pitch, but was are always division 1 quality in the teas department.
"Whilst we are disappointed that the requirement to provide teas has scone, rest assured we will still be having our cake and eating it and will be reaching out to other teams in our league to offer reciprocal arrangements on the tea front."
Horsted Keynes Cricket Club Secretary Robert Willard Watts added: "Not only will Horsted Keynes defy this nonsense and continue to offer cricket teas at every home game, we are going to redouble our efforts to have the best teas around. A new Pavlova recipe and sausage & cranberry rolls are in the pipeline. "Some players try and perfect their cover drive or googly in the off season, I’m working on my macaroons."
Rhiannon Willard Watts – HKCC teas coordinator said: "Cricket teas are a key part of the game, allowing families and the wider community to be part of the action. It really brings everyone together."
HKCC 400 years Old – Possibly the world’s oldest known cricket ground:
Cricket in Horsted Keynes can be traced back to 1624, as the ground has the macabre honour of the first recorded death on a Cricket field. Jasper Vinall was the first cricketer known to have died as a result of an incident during a game. He was accidentally struck on the forehead with a cricket bat during a game at Horsted Keynes on 28 August 1624 and died thirteen days later.
Horsted Keynes Cricket Club recently formed the 1624 committee to organise a festival of cricket in 2024 to commemorate the 400-year anniversary of cricket in the village alongside a history project to find out more about the incident and get Horsted Keynes recognised for its key role in the history of the game.