Being the oldest club in Belgium, Royal Brussels Cricket Club’s origins can be traced back to 1885 in an original document, now in the MCC museum at Lord’s detailing the committee members, playing conditions, fees and ground in the “Bois de la Cambre”.
The club may have existed before 1885, certainly we know a cricket match between the Guards was played in Belgium at Enghien some 30 km from Brussels, before the Battle of Waterloo, attended by the Duke of Wellington.
We do not know the result, but when a match between the cricket section of the Brussels Sports club and the Guards was played in 1965, to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the battle of Waterloo, and attended by the Duke and Duchess of Kent, that match ended in a draw.
We have records of the club’s existence in the mid-1920′s and we know cricket was being played before the start of the second World War but the recent history of the club really starts from 1953. For many years the club relied for fixtures on clubs coming over from the UK, teams from Holland and the British Forces in Germany, and Antwerp C.C.
The club also had tours, and the occasional weekend, in Southern England as well as playing the Standard club in Paris.
The RBCC has been host to many famous people and clubs amongst which were; Sir Pelham Warner and Godfrey Evans in the early 1950′s, Hampshire C.C.C. in 1967, The Whitbread Wanderer’s in 1973 (including Roy Marshall, David Graveney, Graeme Yallop and Len Coldwell), The Romany club, Nomads, the Forty club of England, the Cricket Society and Sir Garfield Sobers.
Royal Brussels was one of the founder members of the Belgian Cricket Federation and League in 1991, and since then cricket has expanded steadily.
There is today 4 Divisions within the BCF League, of which our 1st XI plays in Division 1 and our 2nd XI plays in Division 4. The 4th Division was created to allow for clubs that can support a 2nd team such as Royal Brussels, Antwerp and the Luxembourg Optimists to enjoy competitive cricket as well as benchmark new teams joining the League.
Royal Brussels has probably the best ground and facilities in Belgium. There is a full size ground with sightscreens at each end and the Pavilion has a bar, changing rooms, toilets and showers. The ground is situated in Ohain on the site of the “Sports Village” complex opposite the Royal Waterloo Golf Club. In summer there is net practice on Thursday evening for the men and also cricket for juniors on Saturday mornings. There is also a very competitive midweek Twenty20 competiton that allows corporate companies and other clubs to submit teams and enjoy the fast paced cricket that this format of the game provides.
Apart from league matches, the club also has quite a few friendly games and there are generally matches both days every weekend during the summer. All are welcome to turn up to nets or and/or just to watch cricket and have a drink at the bar.
I look forward to greeting you at the club,
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