Guernsey Cricket Grounds

The three grounds have been used by Guernsey when hosting tournaments and Inter Insular matches.

  1. King George V Playing Fields

The large field is situated in the Castel parish not far from Sausmarez Park.

In June 1936 a committee was formed to review the need for a new playing area to compensate for the loss of the Fort Field which was needed again by the recently returned Military Garrison after a period of eight years during which it had been loaned to the civilian population. They decided, unanimously, in favour of a central site, and recommended the purchase of an area of 7.5 acres at Les Blancs Bois.

September 3rd 1939 saw the outbreak of war, and June 1940 the Occupation began. Cricket, football and hockey were played until June 1942 when, in spite of efforts being made to persuade them to build elsewhere, the Germans erected huts and constructed metalled roadways to house Organisation Todt workers. The field was re-sown in May 1948 and cricket resumed in the summer of 1949, and football and hockey later that year.

In 1986 the modern pavilion was opened and the field given an upgrade. Phase One incorporated a complete facelift to the playing areas, involving total re-grading and comprehensive drainage. This increased the playing area by the size of one full size hockey pitch, within the existing boundary.

KGV Pavilion

It comprised an extension of the car park, construction of a new Clubhouse, and purchase of an adjacent plot of land to accommodate four cricket practice nets.

The tired looking facility was ready for another modernisation. In 2016 the Guernsey Sports Commission has been approached by the Trustees of the KGV to come up with a scheme to re-generate and enhance the whole of the existing facility and add on supplementary facilities.

The plans included the construction of a mixed use all-weather playing surface, drainage works, grass pitches, grass and artificial cricket nets, pathways and works to all existing and new perimeter trees. The temporary accommodation for the Dyslexia Day Centre was operated for a number of years before they moved to a more permanent home.

In February 2016 the old Pavilion was demolish and a new extended changing rooms block built.

New changing rooms

The Clubhouse was scheduled for extensive change with extended accommodation for sports administration offices and a new base for Headway.

KGV Pavilion

As of March 2019 the new groundsmen’s workshop, yard and storage facilities is being completed. To finish the works, car parking and landscaping will be achieved in time for the European finals of the T20 World Cup in June.

Revamped pavilion when finished

The cricket square was laid in 1997 with Surrey loam. KGV has played host to all the ICC competitions held in Guernsey as well as 9 Inter-Insulars

2. Rovers AC Port Soif

A large ground is set just the other side of the main road to the popular sandy cove of the same name. The playing facilities are the most modern of the three grass pitches used by the Guernsey Cricket Board, and has the added advantage of a cooling breeze!

Port Soif ground

The ground was first leased from Jack Norman in 1969 to make a football pitch. The first match was played in 1970 after preparation and seeding. An extension of the land was made in 1989 and in 1994 Rovers acquired a 99 year lease and permission to build a clubhouse. This was begun in 1995 alongside an artificial cricket wicket, the clubhouse opening in 1996. Guernsey was granted admission to the International Cricket Council in 2005 with their first tournament in 2006 in Scotland. However the first tournament on home soil was in 2008 for the European Division 2 and in 2009 to host World Cricket League Division 7. In order to host a 6-team competition Guernsey needed three grounds and a cricket square of Boughton loam was laid at Rovers (between the two soccer pitches) in 2007.

Clubhouse across the ground

In 2015 the Inter Insular match was played at the seaside ground for the one and only time. It was the first ground in the Channel Islands to have the scoreboard powered by solar panels.

The clubhouse from the cricket square

In 2017 a decision was made, owing to the demise of the amount of cricket being played in Guernsey, that Port Soif would no longer maintain a cricket square

3. Elizabeth College Kings Road

A picturesque ground set among trees in St Peter Port. The square is large and was laid down from the soil of the original field .

A game in progress at College Field

There was a call for the school to provide their own cricket ground in 1879. Two years later there was a debate whether money should be raised for a cricket ground or a laboratory. In 1882 money was raised for a racket and fives court as well as a cricket ground and by June £500 had been contributed. In February 1884 three fields were purchased covering 6 acres at a cost of £1606 and 7 quarters of wheat (just over 2 cubic metres). It was on 5th July 1887 that it was reported that the cricket field had been opened with a match between Elizabeth College and Victoria College (Jersey).

In 1888 the Guernsey Bicycle and Tricycle Club was given permission to lay down a racing track on the field. The pavilion was opened in 1924 and remains today nearly the same as when it was erected.

College pavilion at the King’s Road ground

It is the ground of Elizabeth College and tournaments have to be arranged around its availability, usually during holdays.

The ground has been used for 23 Inter-Insulars as well as ICC competitions where Guernsey have played against 13 countries in European events and 21 countries in the World Cricket League.

All three grounds have been well maintained and many close games encountered over the years. They each have their own characteristics, from old to new, from secluded to exposed, but individually they each had their own appearance, quality and specialities. The loss of Port Soif is a great pity as it contributed a lot towards the range of experiences that players need to develop their breadth of skills.