Dodgers Cricket Club is a friendly Cricket Club that originally consisted mainly of Civil Service employees but now has a wide range of members from all walks of life. We play most games against other Civil Service departments but also against various other friendly clubs. We schedule around 30 games a season, most of them weekday evening T20 games and a few weekday afternoon or Sunday afternoon games. We are always looking for new players, so if you are interested in playing for us (or against us) please email ralphnpalmer@hotmail.com


Dodgers Cricket Club came into being in the mid-1990s, formed from "Doyle's Dodgers", a team that emerged from the Personnel section of the old Department of Transport. Based in Lambeth Bridge House, an office now demolished but which in its time disfigured further an ugly roundabout halfway along the unfashionable side of the Thames, Dave Sealey, John Doyle and Kim Matthews sought to kill time between processing sick-leave forms by playing cricket at nearby Archbishops Park.

With two photocopying boxes as the wicket, an old bat and some composite cricket balls bought in a sale at 50p a go, few watching them would have thought that a cricketing dynasty was being founded. Pretty soon tiring of the photocopying boxes, Dave Sealey thought the time was right to arrange some competitive games. Demonstrating admirable motivational and organisational skills - unmatched ever since by Dodgers - he binned the boxes, bought some proper cricket gear and asked John Doyle to get started on arranging some matches.

Not knowing where to start, but mindful of the need to avoid skilled cricketing opposition, John Doyle arranged the first game against a team styling themselves "Superstars", made up mainly of transport statisticians. History does not record what happened to this ragtag bunch - most likely they have taken up pastimes more suited to their skills - carpet bowling perhaps, or cribbage.

Booking the wicket for the inaugural game at Regents' Park, Doyle was asked for the name of the team. Hearing that it was a new team and no name had been decided upon, the booking clerk suggested "Doyle's Dodgers". The name stuck. Doyle's Dodgers played two or three matches in 1990 - the first year of its existence. Most likely confused by having to aim at stumps rather than photocopying boxes, they lost them all. One of the matches would have been against BOC (Bunch of C***s) - now sadly disbanded - who were to become one of Dodgers favourite opponents, as they were a good laugh and played cricket almost as badly and slightly more drunkenly.

To be fair to those playing in the early days, Doyle's Dodgers had some good players but there were rarely enough players to make up a full eleven. Salvation was at hand when John Adey and Phil McBarron (both to become Dodgers stalwarts) joined the team in 1993. Doyle's Dodgers lasted another year, with an increasing fixture list, but continuing problems getting eleven players for a match. And the team continued to lose most of the matches it played.

In 1994, John Doyle, who had been running the organisational side of the team virtually single-handedly, decided to take a back seat to pursue drinking and racing interests. Jim Evans took up the reins and it was decided that the team would no longer be based in Personnel, but extend its membership to other Transport civil servants. The team was renamed "Dodgers".

Pretty soon, new players came into the side - notably Henry Hilary (a legendary fast bowler) and Neil Priest (a proper cricketer). After his first year in charge, Jim Evans decided to take up a teaching post and it looked like Dodgers may fold but, for the first time, a committee was formed to run the club. With the sharing of responsibilities and the extra interest shown from additional new players drawn from across Whitehall and beyond, Dodgers started to resemble a proper team. One with a future to (almost) match its past. After Niranjan Shimoga (NJ) joined and took over the match responsibilities, half of the team came from Legal Aid Agency and friends.

Twenty-five years on, Dodgers stands pre-eminent amongst South West London Tuesday and Thursday evening limited overs clubs. Also play once a month Weekday/Sunday afternoon games.

Thanks to John Doyle - who was there at the start.

Where do we play?

We play most of our matches at the King's House Sports Ground in Chiswick (ex-Civil Service Sports Ground). [Map / Directions]

Other grounds we play at include:

Imber Court, Met Police Sports Ground, East Molesey [map] [Thames Ditton rail]
Dulwich Sports Ground, West Dulwich [map] [West Dulwich rail]
Belair Park, West Dulwich [map] [West Dulwich rail]
Abbey Rec, Wimbledon [map] [South Wimbledon underground]
Regent's Park, cricket pitches near The Hub [map / directions]
Buckhurst Hill [Roding Lane Ground / High Road Ground]
London School of Economics Sports Ground, Berrylands [map and directions]
Barnes Common, nr Barnes railway station [map]

Who do we play?

4da Sports Day
Audit Commission
Barnesbury Eagles
Blue Marlins
Buckhurst Hill
Carib Beer XI
Clapham CC
Energy Exiles
English Heritage
Highways Agency
HM Treasury
KAI Dragons
Legal Aid Agency
LSE Staff
Ministry of Justice
Motley Crew
OSD All Stars
RSSB Stingers
Science Museum
SPARTA Sports Day
St Andrew's (Burgess Hill)
St Andrew's (Croydon)
Stage Door
St Anne's Allstars
Superstars | Official website [->]
Tilberg Regents
Warwick Castle
West XI
Westhead OBE XI