|Home venue||Old Field, at Bray near Maidenhead|
|Notable players||Thomas Waymark|
Berkshire county cricket teams have been traced back to the 18th century but the county's involvement in cricket goes back much further than that.
Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a field at the centre of which is a 20-metre (22-yard) pitch with a wicket at each end, each comprising two bails balanced on three stumps. The batting side scores runs by striking the ball bowled at the wicket with the bat, while the bowling and fielding side tries to prevent this and dismiss each player. Means of dismissal include being bowled, when the ball hits the stumps and dislodges the bails, and by the fielding side catching the ball after it is hit by the bat, but before it hits the ground. When ten players have been dismissed, the innings ends and the teams swap roles. The game is adjudicated by two umpires, aided by a third umpire and match referee in international matches. They communicate with two off-field scorers who record the match's statistical information.
As elsewhere in south east England, cricket became established in Berkshire during the 17th century and the earliest village matches took place before the English Civil War. It is believed that the earliest county teams were formed in the aftermath of the Restoration in 1660.[ citation needed ]
The English Civil War (1642–1651) was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations between Parliamentarians ("Roundheads") and Royalists ("Cavaliers") over, principally, the manner of England's governance. The first (1642–1646) and second (1648–1649) wars pitted the supporters of King Charles I against the supporters of the Long Parliament, while the third (1649–1651) saw fighting between supporters of King Charles II and supporters of the Rump Parliament. The war ended with the Parliamentarian victory at the Battle of Worcester on 3 September 1651.
Berkshire had a leading county team in the 18th century, particularly in the period from c.1769 to 1795. The team is recognised as having first-class status during that time. The county organisation was centred on the Old Field aka Maidenhead Cricket Club which played at Old Field, Bray. This club was usually representative of the county.Noted Berkshire players included Thomas Waymark and George T. Boult.
First-class cricket is an official classification of the highest-standard international or domestic matches in the sport of cricket. A first-class match is of three or more days' scheduled duration between two sides of eleven players each and is officially adjudged to be worthy of the status by virtue of the standard of the competing teams. Matches must allow for the teams to play two innings each although, in practice, a team might play only one innings or none at all.
Old Field at Bray, Berkshire was a noted cricket ground in the late 18th century. It was used as the venue for four first-class matches between 1792 and 1795 in addition to several minor matches.
Thomas Waymark was an English professional cricketer in the first half of the 18th century. He is one of the earliest known players on record and is widely accounted the sport's first great all-rounder.
The present Berkshire County Cricket Club was formed in 1895 but it has never had first-class status, always being a member of the Minor Counties Championship.
Berkshire County Cricket Club is one of twenty minor county clubs within the domestic cricket structure of England and Wales. It represents the historic county of Berkshire.
Francis Booker was an English first-class cricketer who was born in the village of Eynsford, which is about eight miles north of Sevenoaks, in Kent. He lived his whole life there and kept the Soho Inn. His known career was from 1773 to 1790 and he is mentioned by sources in connection with a total of 53 top-class matches.
Kent county cricket teams have been traced back to the 17th century but the county's involvement in cricket goes back much further than that. Kent, jointly with Sussex, is generally accepted as the birthplace of the sport. It is widely believed that cricket was first played by children living on the Weald in Saxon or Norman times. The world's earliest known organised match was held in Kent c.1611 and the county has always been at the forefront of cricket's development through the growth of village cricket in the 17th century to representative matches in the 18th. A Kent team took part in the earliest known inter-county match, which was played on Dartford Brent in 1709. Several famous players and patrons were involved in Kent cricket from then until the creation of the first county club in 1842. Among them were William Bedle, Robert Colchin and the 3rd Duke of Dorset. Kent were generally regarded as the strongest county team in the first half of the 18th century and were always one of the main challengers to the dominance of Hambledon in the second half. County cricket ceased through the Napoleonic War and was resurrected in 1826 when Kent played Sussex. By the 1830s, Kent had again become the strongest county and remained so until mid-century.
Captain Henry Hervey Aston was an English cricketer who played for the Hambledon Club. He was at different times a member of both the Hambledon Club and Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC). A useful batsman, Aston made 13 known first-class appearances from 1786 to 1793 when his military duties took precedence.
William Fennex was a famous English cricketer. He was a noted all-rounder and right arm fast bowler. As a batsman, Fennex was reputed to be one of the first to use forward play and was said to be a good driver of the ball.
Essex county cricket teams have been traced back to the 18th century but the county's involvement in cricket goes back much further than that. It is almost certain that cricket reached Essex by the 16th century and that it developed during the 17th century with inter-parish matches being played.
1783 was the 87th English cricket season since the earliest known important match was played. The Whitehall Evening Post reported on Tuesday, 8 July that "the 3rd Duke of Dorset’s cricketing establishment, exclusive of any betting or consequential entertainment, is said to exceed £1000 a year", a colossal sum at the time. A portrait of Edward "Lumpy" Stevens was probably executed this year. The famous portrait is at Knole House, seat of the Duke of Dorset in Sevenoaks.
John Wells was a famous English cricketer who played for Surrey.
J. Martin was an English first-class cricketer with professional status who was mainly associated with Essex and is known to have been active from 1785 to 1794. He also played for Middlesex and the White Conduit Club. Principally a bowler of unknown hand and pace, Martin made ten appearances in matches rated first-class by CricketArchive, totalling 107 runs with a highest score of 29 and taking 33 wickets. He is recorded in four other matches.
John Gouldstone was an Essex and All-England cricketer of the late 18th century. Details of Gouldstone, including his first name, have not been found in extant records. He was a member of Hornchurch Cricket Club which was the leading Essex club at the time.
Henry Crozoer was an English cricketer of the late 18th century who played for Kent. His name was sometimes given as Crosoer.
Windmill Down is a rural location near the town of Hambledon in Hampshire. From 1782 to 1795, it was the home of the Hambledon Club as a noted cricket venue.
Thomas Boxall was a famous English cricketer of the late 18th century. He was a very successful right arm bowler, believed to have been fast underarm.
Andrew Freemantle was an English cricketer who played for Hampshire during the Hambledon Era and afterwards. He was a left-handed batsman, a noted fielder and an occasional wicket-keeper.
John Crawte was an English cricketer who played mainly for Kent. Crawte was a right-handed batsman. His known career of 58 major matches was from 1788 to 1803.
Thomas Ray was an English cricketer who played mainly for Berkshire and Middlesex. He was for many years employed by Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) as a professional who probably coached the members.
The Reverend George Dupuis was an English minister who was active as a cricketer in the 1780s and 1790s, making five known appearances in first-class matches. His batting and bowling styles are unknown.
Representing Kingston upon Thames in Surrey, the original Kingston Cricket Club was prominent in the 18th century, taking part in known matches from 1720 to 1767. According to surviving records, it had no specific venue and is known to have played at both Kennington Common and Moulsey Hurst. Kingston teams are recorded, either individually or jointly with other clubs, in eleven known major matches.
Cricket must have reached Hertfordshire by the end of the 17th century. The earliest reference to cricket in the county is dated 1732 and is also the earliest reference to Essex as a county team. On Thursday, 6 July 1732, a team called Essex & Hertfordshire played London Cricket Club in a first-class match at Epping Forest "for £50 a side". The result is unknown.
George Bent Buckley was an English surgeon and a celebrated cricket historian and an authority on the early days of the game.
Arthur Haygarth was a noted amateur cricketer who became one of cricket's most significant historians. He played first-class cricket for the Marylebone Cricket Club and Sussex between 1844 and 1861, as well as numerous other invitational and representative teams including an England XI and a pre-county Middlesex. A right-handed bat, Haygarth played 136 games now regarded as first-class, scoring 3,042 runs and taking 19 wickets with his part-time bowling. He was educated at Harrow, which had established a rich tradition as a proving ground for cricketers. He served on many MCC committees and was elected a life member in 1864.
Henry Thomas Waghorn, was a cricket statistician and historian. He is best known for his two classic researches into cricket's early history: The Dawn of Cricket and Cricket Scores, Notes, etc. .