|Established: before 1747|
Home venue: Hadlow cricket ground
|Last match: 1751|
Notable players: John Larkin
Hadlow Cricket Club was one of the early English cricket clubs, formed in the early to mid eighteenth century. Hadlow is a village in the Medway valley near Tonbridge in Kent.
The historical club
In the 1747 English cricket season, the Hadlow cricket club was stated in contemporary sources, later published by F S Ashley-Cooper, to be a famous parish for cricket.
The Penny London Post of 1 July that year announced a match to be played on Dartford Breach (sic) for two guineas a man by Hadlow against the famous Dartford Cricket Club as "the deciding match". Unfortunately, there was no report of the outcome (perhaps it was rained off) and no reports have been found of the previous fixtures either.
But the importance of the Hadlow team was confirmed when a important match at the Artillery Ground on 9 July 1747 between teams led by the star players Robert Colchin and William Hodsoll included on Hodsoll's side: John Larkin and others from the parish of Hadlow in Kent.
Later in the month, "Five of Hadlow" twice opposed "Five of Slindon", the legendary Sussex club that was famous for Richard Newland and its challenges to the rest of England.
In August 1747, when Kent played against All-England at the Artillery Ground, its team included Larkin and a player called Jones, also of Hadlow. Larkin was certainly an outstanding player of the time.
The last mention of the original Hadlow club is a match against Addington Cricket Club, another of the "great little clubs" of the pre-MCC era, in 1751. Cricket went into decline in the 1750s, largely because of the Seven Years' War and Hadlow was missing from the sources when the war ended in 1763 and the "Hambledon Era" began.
The modern club
Cricket is still played at Hadlow. The present ground is located off Common Road, to the north of the village (TQ 636 511 51°14′06″N 0°20′35″E). The modern club was first mentioned in 1819. The pavilion dates from 1864, it cost £42.10s to build. As of 2011, the club has teams in Division 2 and Division 4 of the Kent County Village League.