County Cricket comes to Cardiff

June 1869 saw the first county match at the Arms Park as Glamorganshire met Monmouthshire In a two-day fixture. Further matches took place over the next few years at the Cardiff ground, but the demise of the early county organisation meant that there was a gap in inter-county matches from August 1875 onwards following Glamorgan’s contest with Breconshire.

The demise of the South Wales Cricket Club in 1886 led to a move towards the creation of a proper county club to represent the area. One of the people behind the lobby to create a Glamorgan team was John Price Jones, one of the town’s leading architects and the man who helped to create several of the town’s impressive buildings as well as the popular arcades which ran between the main streets and provided affordable plots on which smaller shops and businesses could establish a foothold.

Jones, seen on the extreme left of the image below with other Cardiff cricketers from 1880, was also one of the instigators of the meeting in The Angel Hotel in July 1888 at which Glamorgan CCC came into being. Through Jones’ influence, the Marquess of Bute allowed Glamorgan to play on the Arms Park, with their inaugural match in June 1889 against Warwickshire taking place in the heart of Cardiff.

An image of Cardiff CC, dated 1880, showing JP Jones standing on the far left in his bowler hat! Photo Credit – Jane James / Glamorgan Cricket Archives.