The Edinburgh Academy school was established in 1824. Within a few years, its pupils were playing cricket matches against other Edinburgh schools and cricket clubs. The matches took place either on Bruntsfield Links or at the Grange Cricket Club’s ground followed later by games at Grove Street, Fountainbridge.
In 1854 the school leased a playing field at Raeburn Place. Edinburgh Academical Cricket Club played its first match the following year.
During the latter half of the nineteenth century, the game of cricket spread rapidly throughout Scotland. In the 1860′s cricket was undoubtedly the most popular team sport in the country and the Academical Club’s fixture list reflected this growth.
The Club’s most prominent players during the Victorian era were Leslie Balfour-Melville, Hay Brown, Robert Johnston, R. MacNair, Thomas Marshall, J. Speid, and H.J. Stevenson, all of whom won international caps for Scotland.
Harry Stevenson was the mainstay of the club during much of this period. A skilful batsmen, he was also an extraordinarily effective lob bowler. In 1886 he took five wickets in successive balls against Craigmount. Amazingly, he performed exactly the same feat against Gala in 1894.
No cricket matches were played between 1914 and 1919 but the years between the two World Wars saw the club establish itself as one of the leading sides in the east of Scotland. Great players during this period included Rab Bruce-Lockhart, Gilbert Hole, A.I.S. MacPherson, James Stevenson, Ben Tod and Donald Weir; each of whom played several times for Scotland.
No cricket at all could be played at Raeburn Place between 1940 and 1948 because the playing fields were being used for growing vegetables.
After the war, Edinburgh Academical (Accies) consolidated their position as one of the leading clubs in the east. The most celebrated player during the fifties and sixties was undoubtedly Jimmy Allan who won 60 caps for Scotland between 1953 and 1972. He also played first class cricket for Kent and Warwickshire.
The Club won the East of Scotland Cricket League for the first and only time in 1957.
There was further success for the Club in the 1970′s. The Masterton Trophy was won in 1970 and 1974 but the proudest moment in the Club’s history must have been winning the Scottish Cup in 1974.
Henry Fairweather won 3 caps for Scotland as an opening batsman in 1971 while hard-hitting all-rounder, Dave Loudon, was capped seven times for Scotland in 1981 and 1982.
More recent internationalists have been Nehemiah Perry, the Club professional in the early 90s who went on to win test and one-day international caps for the West Indies; and Nick Dyer, an off-spinner who won 30 caps for Scotland between 1997 and 1999.
The Club’s record in the East of Scotland League allowed it to become one of the founder members of the Scottish National Cricket League. Sadly, however, the Club was relegated from the National League after a disappointing season in 1999.
In 2001 the Club won the East League and was promoted once again to the National League.
The Club consolidated its National League status with talented club professional Steven Spoljaric and overseas amateur Justin Cox until their departures in 2005 and 2004 respectively. The League structure was to be reorganised at the end of the 2005 season and a top half of the table finish was required to remain in Division 1. Unfortunately due to a relatively poor season, Accies found themselves in the bottom half of the Division 1 table meaning Division 2 cricket for the 2006 season. 2006 season saw Hamilton Wickham (NSW) players Shane Hughes and Matt Webber join the club. Both had a good season leading to another mid-table finish. The 2nd team, playing in Division 5 of the East of Scotland Cricket League had an excellent year helped on by a number transient antipodeans. They narrowly missed out on promotion in a season that went down to the last game of the season.
2007 saw one of the Accies poorest seasons in recent history. Pro Darryl Brown never really found his top form with the bat despite being the best performer for the Accies that season and overseas amateur Jeremy Braithwaite decided to return to Barbados mid-season. The 1st team never fully recovered finishing bottom of Division 2 and were automatically relegated.
The club had 3 successful seasons in Division 1 of the East League. In the Club’s first year they won the league and were beaten in a high scoring playoff by Kelburne CC, narrowly missing out returning to the National League.
2009 saw the Accies miss out on the top spot, beaten on a narrow percentage difference by Fauldhouse despite beating them in a thrilling final game of the season. Professional Mitch Brown (South Brisbane DCC) had an excellent season topping both the Division 1 bowling and batting statistics.
In 2010, the Accies 1st XI managed to secure promotion back to the National League and will play in the restructured Championship division of the Scottish National League in 2011. The 2nd team secured their place in Division 5 of the East League in a gripping game on the final day of the season.
2011 saw the Accies 1st XI consolidate their position in the national league before winter re-structuring by Cricket Scotland saw the formation of new regional leagues for 2012. The 2nd XI saw their promotion chase head to the final day of the season narrowly missing out to Largo despite a convincing win over division 5 champions Morton. The 2nd XI aim to go one better this season and gain promotion. Both Accies teams are confident of a successful future.