Photo Courtesy: Arunabha Sengupta
Photo Courtesy: Arunabha Sengupta

Across England there are pubs whose names resonate with cricketing connections. Arunabha Sengupta lists a few of them.

The WG Grace in Bristol does not have too many cricketing exhibits. There is a small biography of the Father of Cricket, and a couple of photographs, and the framed lines from Sir Henry Newbolt’s Vitai Lampada, of the ‘Play up, play up, and play the game’. Apart from that the establishment, a thoroughly chic eating place, is linked to the noble game only through the name of the cricketing giant.

There was also another Dr WG Grace in London SE20, which later got renamed to The Graces and has limited connection to cricket at present.

The connection with such quaint British pubs and cricket seem to be on the wane, but there remain quite a few bars, pubs and eateries which do borrow a lot from the game for their name and/or décor.

For many years, Kestor Inn in Dartmoor had the words Headquarters of MCC etched on the signboard announcing their name. Only MCC stood for the Manaton Cricket Club of the local village rather than the revered cricketing body.

The Thomas Lord Inn in West Meon, Hampshire, is very near the burial place of the man who established the Lord’s cricket ground and lent his name to the place. The interior is decorated with cricketing relics.

The Black Bull Inn at Grimston, Leicestershire, still has some exhibitions of cricketana, including framed scorecards and commemorative plates.

The Cricketers in Duncton, North Pentworth, is a memorial to James Dean, the 19th century cricketer who was nicknamed ‘The Sussex Ploughboy’.

With the same name, the eating establishment at Lower Green, Southwick, Sussex is very close to the churchyard where John Juniper (nicknamed Jumper), the Sussex left-arm fast bowler, is buried.

There is another Cricketers, at Brinscall, Lanacashire, also called Cricketers Arms, which used to depict Clive Lloyd on the pub sign and still has several framed photographs of cricket on the walls.

Some other pubs with cricket-linked names include The Double Century in Slough, Berkshire; the Maiden Over in Earley; Jolly Cricketers in Seer Green; Hobbs Pavilion on Parkers Piece; Kentish Cricketer in Canterbury; Twelfth Man in Graesby; Merry Cricketers and Royal Cricketers in London; Bat and Wickets in Northampton; Yorker in Nottingham; Larwood and Voce at Trent Bridge; Fiery Fred in Sheffield; Test Match at West Bridgford; and the Split Willow at Llanfairfechan.

And of course, there is the famous Bat and Ball Inn in Hambledon, the supposed cradle of cricket.