The history of Merton Cricket Club can be traced back to 1890. The Surrey Independent reported on the 11th July match between two locally selected teams by Mr T.P. Harvey and Dr. W.H. Frome-Young (both club members). The inaugural match was played on the site of the Fosters Engineering Works at South Wimbledon. Since that day, the club has developed and moved in many directions to its current playing status. In 1908 the club moved to its current home ground at John Innes Recreation Ground, where the local benefactor Mr John Innes provided the upkeep of the grounds through his charity trust. Mr Innes sadly died in 1904 but his trust competently managed the ground until 1949, when administration was handed over to the Urban district of Merton and Morden (now Merton Council). Mr Innes decreed the ground should be “used for outdoor games, especially for cricket and football and the meeting and drilling of volunteer or other military bodies”. The ground has attracted famous teams and players to its surface through the years. In 1910 records show that a minor counties championship match between Surrey and Dorsetshire on the ground ended with a 10 wicket victory for Surrey. The Surrey and England legend Sir Jack Hobbs also became an instrumental member of the club, organising annual charity matches at the ground in the 1930’s to raise money for local hospitals. His son played for Merton in the 1933 season.
Friendly cricket in the 1940’s and 1950’s attracted the talents of Laurie Fishlock (ex-Surrey & England) and Pat Pocock (ex-Surrey & England). Pat Pocock scored for Merton Cricket Club at the age of six and played his first game at the age of twelve. The club has also attracted foreign sides to play the game and in 1964 the South African touring side, Bloemfontein Ramblers, beat a strong Merton side by 28 runs. The clubs desire for more competitive cricket was achieved when in 1972 it became a founder member of the “North Surrey South Middlesex League”. It has played competitive league cricket on Saturdays ever since. After many fruitful years in the North Surrey league, the club moved to the Surrey Downs league in the 1980s before joining the Morrant Wey Valley league in the 1990s. In 2001 the club enjoy’s its only success when the 1st XI win the Division Two title. In 2002 the club started competing in The Surrey Cricket League. Sponsorship of the club by Brooks Carling, a locally based accountancy firm coincided with success on the pitch with the 1st XI gaining promotion in 2006 and the 2nd XI gaining promotion in 2007 and 2011.
Our Saturday teams moved to the Fullers Brewery Surrey County League in 2014, and in 2020 our 1st XI will compete in Division 2 of the 1st XI League. The 2nd XI quickly found themselves in the Fullers 2nd XI Premier League and pushing for promotion to the Surrey Championship after two successive promotions in 2014 and 2015. In 2016, the fight for promotion went to the final day, where a win would secure promotion, however, well on course to defeating Wallington and securing 2nd spot poor weather meant play was abandoned before a result could be confirmed. Promotion was missed by a mere 2 points, undeterred by this the 2nd XI continued to produce impressive performances year after year, and in 2019 finally achieved the elusive promotion to the AJ Fordham Surrey Championship. Growing membership numbers in 2018 saw the formation of a Saturday 3rd XI, who for their first season would play friendly fixtures, only losing two games. The following year the 3rd XI would taste league cricket for the first time, in the Surrey Cricket League, and in 2020 also secure a spot in the AJ Fordham Surrey Championship.
(adapted from "The Merton Cricket Club Centenary Brochure" by Chris Argyle, former Merton CC Club Captain)