Cricket Scotland @CricketScotland
May 10, 2023 1 year

Neil Granger has been the man entrusted with keeping the Marchmont CC stats archive up to date over the last few years, so he got a nice surprise as this season approached when he realised that he was edging towards 500 appearances himself for the Edinburgh outfit.

The club is thought to have grown out of the former Brunswick Cricket Club in 1975 and, from there, men like Roger Sardesai, Joe Hannaford, Bashir Wadee and Mahendra Chetty put in a lot of work and built things up.

Forty-eight years later Marchmont, who play their home matches at Cavalry Park in the capital, are stronger than ever and are putting out four XIs this summer with the firsts in East of Scotland Cricket Association (ESCA) Division One, the seconds in ESCA Division Three, the thirds in ESCA Division Seven and the fourths in ESCA Division Eight.

Granger, who played his junior cricket at Carlton and George Watson’s College, joined Marchmont in the summer of 1999 as a 16-year-old and played his first match against Leith Beige.

Fast forward 24 years and appearance number 500 for Marchmont came last Saturday in the ESCA Division Seven match for the thirds versus Drummond Trinity II.

“Malcolm McNulty, the first team captain at the time back in 1999, knew my dad through work, so myself and another Watson’s pupil Cammy Munro headed down to play at Marchmont and I haven’t looked back since,” Granger, now 40, said.

“For any young player it can be daunting going into a senior environment and I was a bit nervous at first, but what struck me straight away was just how friendly and welcoming the guys at Marchmont were.

“The older players helped the younger players out while matchdays were fun. Don’t get me wrong, everyone played with a competitive edge, but there was also great camaraderie off the field.

“If you are going to be part of a club short-term or long-term you want to feel that sense of belonging and I did straight away.

“Since then, myself and others who have been at the club for long periods have tried to keep those values going and it seems to work pretty well because we now have players involved at Marchmont from a host of different backgrounds, of different standards and of different ages who all enjoy playing cricket together and socialising together.

“Indeed, there have been a number of players at the club over the years – Matt Loeffen and Aaron Sardesai immediately spring to mind – who could have gone on to play at a higher level, but stayed because they enjoyed the atmosphere at Marchmont and that is something we are proud of.

“We are also proud that we have a fourth XI in action this summer and at Marchmont, and at other clubs locally and throughout the country, there seems to be a real appetite to play cricket in Scotland post-pandemic and that is encouraging.”

In the early years of Granger’s time at the club, the teams used to meet at 42 Warrender Park Road – the home of the aforementioned Roger Sardesai – on the mornings of matches.

He has since passed away, but his impact on the club will always be remembered as the club’s logo – thought up by Granger and Colin Smith – is now an image of the colourful 42 from the front door of the property.

Your correspondent was one of the second XI players who used to meet there back in the early 2000s and indeed, thanks to the club’s great stats-keeping, know that I played alongside Granger 16 times.

And, over the years, Granger, who has held just about every post imaginable at the club in recent times and is immediate past president of ESCA, has played in teams with an amazing 369 different players at Marchmont.

“Some people have played a handful of games, some hundreds, but hopefully they all enjoyed – or still do enjoy – playing for Marchmont as much as I do,” Granger, the immediate past president of ESCA who also plays for the Flamingos social team and coaches youth cricket at Edinburgh South, said.

“As I said, we take pride in being a friendly and welcoming club for new players to join and we enjoy being part of ESCA and visiting lots of different clubs – I have played league cricket from Hawick all the way up to St Andrews over the years.

“What I also really like is that when new people join the club they soon get their friends to come along, too, and numbers grow from there which has helped us to get the fourths up and running.”

That fourth team made their league bow on Sunday just gone at Murrayfield DAFS and these are good times to be involved with Marchmont CC.

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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