Cricket Scotland @CricketScotland
May 3, 2023 12 months

Last week marked 170 years since a meeting was held to form Kinross-shire CC.

On April 27, 1853, the gathering at the Salutation Hotel established a cricket club in Kinross.

Local landowner, Mr W B Constable, was the chair and is regarded as the inspiration and Founder of the club.

While the club was established then and had over 30 members, it was three years before they played the first official game against Edinburgh Franklin at Burntisland Links.

“At that time there was a direct ferry from Leith, where Edinburgh Franklin were based, to Burntisland and it is assumed that this was the most central location for the match as Kinross did not have a ground of their own to play on,” current Club Chair John Ross explained.

By the 1860s the club was motoring along and that allowed them to form a thriving junior section, something which is still going today.

At the time, the club did not have a regular home ground and played matches at various locations throughout Kinross, including the ‘town green’ directly across from the Green Hotel, Kinross House, Tallyhill Park and, really, any available flat field that could be found.

The first record of significant silverware being lifted was in 1898 when the club won the Fife and Kinross Cricket League Cup title.

In 1904 the club had moved to a permanent home in the heart of Kinross at Beeches Park which now houses the Montgomery Golf Course clubhouse.

Kinross-shire CC, c.1904

“At a time before telephone or email, players were informed of their selection for matches by means of a club postcard,” Ross said.

“During this period the club had two senior teams and a junior team and was highly regarded in the wider cricket circles. The club boasted players from as far away has Edinburgh, Cupar and Dundee.”

The First World War impacted Kinross-shire like it impacted every sports club at the time, but they steadily rebuilt and in 1930 an exciting cricketing journey began.

Local schoolboy Alistair Dowell made his first team debut at the age of 10 years old with Ross saying:  “It is not unusual for sons to play alongside fathers and Alistair continued playing for the club until the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939.

“Work and family commitments meant Alistair moved away from Kinross in the mid-1940s, but he continued to play cricket and was selected for Scotland between 1951 and 1955.

“It is recognised that Alistair was the first Kinross-shire CC teenager to go on to play for Scotland. He would not be the last and it was great to welcome him back to the club as a guest in 2008.”

Two significant events then caused the club problems.

On July 24, 1933, the club house was totally destroyed by a fire. The Kinross July Fair was taking place in the adjacent field and, although the fire brigade was on hand, the entire building and all of its contents were destroyed. The local community came together to raise the money to build a new building which was officially opened on May 35, 1934, by club president Mr D Hutchison.

The Second World War then had a significant impact on the club as a considerable number of its members were killed in action. As a result, the club was unable to continue in its regular form and the decision was taken to wind up the club’s affairs with the ground and pavilion being put up for sale in November 1945.

However, work continued behind the scenes in the 1950s and 1960s to keep friendly matches going and the 1970s saw the resurgence of the club.

By the early 1980s the club shared its home with the local rugby club at the King George V playing fields. In 1991 the cricket club was again moved to another location at the Myre Park.

As things moved into the early 2000s the 150th anniversary loomed and a real focus was put on the junior section and coaching the up-and-coming youngsters.

“During the winter of 2004/05 three of the first XI players underwent coach training programmes with Cricket Scotland,” Ross said.

“And by the start of the 2005 season the club had three fully qualified coaches and, through the kindness of the Lords Taverner’s charity, the first bag of junior coaching equipment.

“By working closely with the Cricket Development Officer employed by Perth & Kinross Council and visiting local primary schools, within 12 months our junior membership had grown to over 90 children.”

At the end of the 2005 season the club played its first junior match and Kinross-shire then embarked on an eight-year run of success at age-grade level.

Kinross-Shire Under 13s, 2006 Scottish Champions

In 2006 the under 13s lifted the MCC ‘Spirit of Cricket’ Scottish Championship and in the same season the first XI competed for the first time in the Dukes Strathmore & Perthshire Division Three league with the team eventually finishing as runners-up.

Over the winter period between 2006/07 the club successfully applied for a grant from sportscotland to build a pavilion and artificial wicket within the grounds of Kinross House, with the pavilion officially opened by Sir David Montgomery on July 7, 2007.

In the same year the under 13s team was named Perth & Kinross Sports Council Team of the Year and they and the under-15s won their respective Scottish titles, whilst John Ross was named Perth & Kinross Coach of the Year and the club was named Cricket Scotland Junior Club of the Year.

A first title came for the first XI in 2008 and, as the club’s numbers grew, in 2009 they were approached to host an ICC European junior fixture when Guernsey played Denmark.

The rise of the club – including more trophies – saw them named the 2009 Wisden Cricketer Club of the Year and, in 2010, the women’s team won the Scottish Universities tournament and then the Scottish Women’s Championship. Not to be outdone, the senior men also won their third consecutive league title winning the Division 1 title.

Kinross-shire Women’s Team

The last season at Kinross House was 2011 and then local farmer Rob Niven offered to convert his barley field behind Loch Leven’s Larder into a cricket ground.

Since 2013 they have played there and Ross concluded:  “This century has seen the club win five Scottish national titles, five league titles, produce 16 international players, build two new cricket grounds and lots more.

“The 2023 season has a full fixtures list of seniors games and the plan is to restart junior cricket as the season progresses.”

If you or your club has a story for us, please email Gary Heatly at – we look forward to hearing from you!

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