World record-breaking scores and high-quality cricket have helped make Horsham Cricket Week the most eagerly anticipated event in the town’s sporting calendar.
Preparations are well underway for next week’s county cricket, which sees Sussex take on Somerset in the County Championship (starting Wednesday May 22) before facing Kent in the YB40 on Sunday at Cricketfield Road.
With stars like Marcus Trescothick and Craig Kieswetter expected to feature alongside homegrown Horsham talents Chris Nash and Will Beer, it promises to be another fantastic spectacle and organisers have promised even further wet weather won’t dampen spirits.
Barry Peay, Horsham CC vice chairman and festival organiser said: “We are hoping for a dry and warm week obviously, it tends to encourage bigger crowds to turn out and makes life easier all round.
“But we’ll take what we’re given, there’s not a lot we can do about the weather so you have to be philosophical.”
Still fingers are being crossed that there’s no repeat of last year, when the Sunday match against Derbyshire was completely washed-out along with most of Day 2 of the four-day match with Surrey.
Around 1,000 spectators are expected to turn out each day for the LV=CC game, with between 3,000 and 5,000 anticipated on the Sunday.
The Horsham track is considered something of a batsman’s Mecca and the runs have been bountiful at recent festivals.
None more so than against Worcestershire on the Sunday of 2011, when the 718 combined runs set a new record for a 40-over game. The year before saw four Sussex batsman, including Nash all hit centuries in one innings against Derbyshire, and hopes are high for similar fireworks this time around. “I keep saying it but it’s the highest level of sport Horsham can offer so it should really be seen as the main sporting highlight,” Mr Peay said. “Both Somerset and Kent have some very good players and traditionally it’s a high scoring ground so no doubt there will be some quality cricket on display.”