Wimbledon Corinthians is a thriving Cricket Club with a rich recent history steeped in local tradition. For more information on our current teams, please click here.
The early years
The club was born in 1997 as Morden Corinthians, having amicably broken away from the main Morden Cricket Club who were (and still are) based on Lower Morden Lane.
The core players of the initial Morden Corinthians side were effectively the then 3rd XI side of the Morden club. Their desire to play friendly cricket without their weekends being compromised by late call ups to higher XIs bred a desire to branch out on their own.
This step into the unknown was made by Graham Pinkney and Robin Hardwick, and the newly formed Corinthians side played as a wandering team initially, with Graham Pinkney continuing to organise the fixtures for both Morden sides.
The Corinthians side continued to grow and expanded in its initial years by inheriting the players from the folding Robin Hood side, which allowed the Corinthians to field both Saturday and Sunday sides during around the turn of the millennium.
Expansion and the “South African era”
Two key events shaped the club’s expansion in the 2000s, both being intertwined.
During 2004 Imran Ahmad pushed to expand the club’s Saturday fixtures to incorporate an ad hoc 2nd friendly side, in order to satisfy the growing club membership.
At around the same time, the first shoots of the club’s South African influx arrived at the club. Roy and Steve Cumings were amongst the first to arrive, Roy a hard-hitting seam-bowling all-rounder and Steve, probably the greatest batsman to have represented the club. These two events started a chain of events which quickly grew the club into an outfit with three Saturday sides, plus a Sunday side.
During the period the club entered a league for the first time, with the newly restructured 1st XI winning the 1st division of the Wey Valley Cricket league with a 100% record at the first time of asking. That XI by this stage featured names which would eventually root themselves in club folklore – Gerry Coetzer, Andy Allan, Ryan Lang, Tush Wadhwa all joining the Cumings brothers to form the spine of a side that would serve the club proudly in the coming years.
In 2008 the 1st XI moved across into the Surrey Cricket League for the first time and again finished top of their division with a 100% record, taking home the Division 2 title. Over the close season, the club renamed to Wimbledon Corinthians in recognition of their location no longer being in the Morden area and also in the hope of attracting more players and sponsorship.
The 2009 season saw the renamed side celebrate a famous double, with the 1st XI winning the 1st division and the 2nd XI winning the 3rd division. This moved the 1st XI into the Premier Division for the first time in 2010 and a combination of Steve and Roy’s Cumings’ runs and Tush Wadhwa and Coetzee Muller’s wickets saw the Corinthians 1st XI winning the league, leapfrogging last year’s top two Abahani and Old Thortonians.
Complications and regrouping
Unfortunately the joy at the club’s success was short lived. The club’s council rented facilities were deemed as unsuitable for Premier League cricket and as such the club would be demoted from the Premier League and denied a chance to defend their title.
A long period of handwringing followed over the close season and eventually a compromise was found where the club would enter into merger with Old Tenisonians, who had their own ground but were struggling for members. The Corinthian first XI would move across to play in the Fullers Cricket League, with the club merging into Old Tenisonians and renaming the new enlarged club as Tenisonian Corinthians.
Somewhat predictably the marriage of convenience did not last. The 2011 season saw the newly enlarged club struggle to manage the situation and despite moderate success on pitch, many of the problems which caused the initial founding of the Morden Corinthians side (consistent loss of players to higher XIs during the playing week) became prominent once more. The end of season break in 2011 saw the “old” 1st XI remain with Old Tenisonians and both teams reverting to their previous names.
The 2012 season saw a successful season for the Corinthians, with the re-jigged 1st XI coming 2nd in division 2 of the Surrey Cricket League and denied promotion only by a revamp of the league structures. That close season saw another off-field upheaval, with an unpopular merger with Old Emanuel being mooted and summarily dismissed. In the same meeting, the chairmanship changed hands from Steve O’Neil Ramsadeo’s hands into those of long serving 1st XI skipper Brian Clifford.
The new era
The Clifford era began with an emphasis on rebuilding the club and expanding the membership base. The club’s social focus was expanded and more events for members were implemented – excellent use was made of the packages Surrey CCC put together to help local clubs.
2013 saw another successful season on field with the club again denied promotion only due to league restructuring. Much like other clubs of a similar social background, the club struggled to maintain players throughout the season, but an informal relationship was forged with Cricket for Change during this period, whereby the club provided free cricket for Afghan refugee students.
This allowed the club to fulfil fixtures and also help expose underprivileged youngsters not only to organised cricket, but also to the benefits of being part of a sociable and welcoming environment. Many of the Afghani additions excelled on the field, with the form of Azam Armani being a particular highlight.
The latest chapter in the club’s history begins in 2015. The club secured an extremely generous sponsorship package with Somsey Consulting, at the same time as undergoing rebranding process with a new logo and kit supply deal. The club’s internal structure was reworked in the 2015 pre-season to make the playing members more closely involved with the running of the club. A clearer focus on social media as a recruitment tool was agreed, as well as a short and medium term plan for the club to allow the officers to focus clearly on the club’s goals.
The club are confident that the coming years are going to be the most successful in the club’s history and look forward to welcoming any new players who wish to be a part of this.
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