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Bats, baronets and Battle is more than just about cricket. This is a history full of colourful characters – eccentric baronets with a fondness for gambling, forthright women who wished to take their role and the game beyond an excuse to wear a pretty dress, and brothers from local villages who played the sport at the highest levels home and abroad. If Sussex was the ‘cradle’ for the earliest of cricket, the villages around Battle were there at the game’s birth. From Georgian times and the murky world of 18th century politics, Tim Dudgeon traces Battle cricket’s role from its role in 18th century Georgian gambling though the fear of 19th century rural unrest and the dawn of the professional game to the tragic impact of two world wars and into the modern era. The story he uncovers is an intriguing one that has local people and communities at its heart, but throws light on their links with events and forces that have shaped our world today.

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