From 1963 to 2020
This season, on 19 July 2020, Sussex have a match with Durham in the Royal London Cup on the ground here at Hove. This seemingly routine fixture will, however, be the 400th official first-team limited-overs match – so-called List A − played at Hove since 1963. The first match was on 12 June 1963 when Sussex beat Yorkshire in the Gillette Cup by 22 runs, ‘before a record crowd’ of 15,000.
The 399 played so far include matches in the county’s successful campaigns for the Gillette Cup in 1963, 1964 and 1978, the NatWest Trophy of 1986 and in Sunday League competitions in 1982, 2008 and 2009. Oddly the ground staged no matches when Sussex won the C and G Trophy in 2006. That 399 also includes the World Cup match between India and South Africa in May 1999, as well as less-remembered fixtures such as Sussex v Minor Counties South on a cold day in May 1975.
The highest innings total at Hove is 377 for nine off 45 overs by Somerset in 2003; the Sussex highest total was achieved in 2019 with 347 for seven against Glamorgan, Laurie Evans and Luke Wright leading the way. The lowest at Hove is Ireland’s 39, facing Imran, Le Roux and Pigott, in 1985. The Sussex lowest total is 59 against Glamorgan in 1996.
The best individual performances in limited-overs cricket at Hove are down to visitors – Graham Gooch scored 198* for Essex off 55 overs in 1982, and Mike Holding took 8-21 (at the time a world record) for Derbyshire off ten overs in 1988. The best Sussex returns are Ed Joyce’s 146 off Gloucestershire in 2009 and Mike Buss’s 6-14 in just seven overs (coming on third change!) against Lancashire in 1973.
Nor should we forget other Sussex grounds where List A cricket has been played. The Saffrons at Eastbourne has now staged 35, Horsham 34, Arundel 20 and, at Hastings, the old Central Ground with 34 and Horntye Park five.
By David Jeater, March 2020