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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 May 2007, 08:15 GMT 09:15 UK
Lottery grant for cricket museum
Artist's impression of the new ground at Sophia Gardens
The revamped Sophia Gardens will host the Ashes in 2009
Glamorgan Cricket has been awarded a 50,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to help set up a museum at its base in Sophia Gardens, Cardiff.

The "heritage gallery" will initially focus on the Glamorgan club's history, but a museum telling the story of Welsh cricket is set to follow.

Organisers have called for anyone with suitable memorabilia to get in touch.

Sophia Gardens is currently being renovated, with its capacity rising from 5,500 to more than 15,643.

Work is due to finish by spring 2008 and the club will host an Ashes Test between England and Australia in 2009.

The new gallery will include archive films, old photographs, and old cricketing kit, including a record-winning bat which was discovered under a stairwell.

Cardiff City Football Club began life as Riverside Cricket Club and they played at Sophia Gardens
Andrew Hignell, Glamorgan archivist

"It is a very special bat," said Andrew Hignell, the Glamorgan club's archivist.

"A couple of years ago, I was contacted by someone from Neath Borough Council as they were fumigating a house that had fallen into disrepair," he said.

"They brought [the bat] to Cardiff and it was actually a bat belonging to a guy called Cyril Smart, who in 1935 hit a world record - the most number of runs in an over - with 32 runs.

"That stood until 1968 when Gary Sobers hit six sixes in an over in Swansea."

Dr Hignell said that if anyone had any memorabilia they thought it might be suitable then he would be delighted to look at it, especially ahead of plans to open a Welsh cricket museum in 2008.

"Cricket was the very first organised professional sport in Wales and at the moment we don't have any centre to celebrate it," he said.


Dr Hignell said the first recorded Welsh game was in 1783.

"What we want to do is tell the history of cricket in Wales - there is a wonderful tradition of cricket being played," he said.

"We want to trace the evolution of the game, the evolution of Glamorgan - and more importantly we want to show how each community in Wales has actually taken part."

He added that cricket had spawned Cardiff City Football Club and several rugby clubs across the country.

"Cardiff City Football Club began life as Riverside Cricket Club and they played at Sophia Gardens," he said.

Dan Clayton-Jones, from the Heritage Lottery Fund in Wales, said Glamorgan Cricket had made "an enormous contribution" to Wales' sporting heritage.

"Many more people will now be able to learn all about the club's fascinating past," he said.

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16 Apr 07 |  South East Wales
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