Cricket in England

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Cricket in England
Lord's Pavilion.jpg
Lord’s Cricket Ground in London, the spiritual home of cricket and one of the premier cricket grounds in England and Wales
Governing body England and Wales Cricket Board
National team(s) England
National competitions
International competitions

Cricket is one of the most popular sports in England, and has been played since the 16th century. Marylebone Cricket Club, based at Lord's, developed the modern rules of play and conduct.



Domestic competitions

Yorkshire v Surrey at the Headingley Cricket Ground in Leeds in 2005 Headingley.jpg
Yorkshire v Surrey at the Headingley Cricket Ground in Leeds in 2005

There are eighteen professional county clubs, [1] seventeen of them in England and one in Wales. All eighteen counties are named after, and were originally representative of, historic counties. These clubs are heavily dependent on subsidies from the England and Wales Cricket Board, which makes its money from television and endorsement contracts and attendances at international matches. The English cricket season traditionally starts at the beginning of April and runs through to the second half of September although in recent years counties have played pre season friendly matches at the very end of March.

Each summer the county clubs compete in the first class County Championship, which consists of two leagues of nine teams and in which matches are played over four days. The same teams also play one day cricket in the Royal London One-Day Cup, and Twenty20 cricket in the Vitality T20 Blast.

The Minor Counties Cricket Championship is a season-long competition in England for county clubs that do not have first-class status. There are nineteen teams representing historic English counties along with a Welsh minor counties team.

Below the county game, there are a raft of club competitions organised on a regional basis. ECB Premier Leagues being the highest level. There are also non-ECB-affiliated leagues such as the Bradford Cricket League, the Lancashire League and the Central Lancashire League.

First-class counties

The eighteen first-class counties are the top level cricket teams. They are named after historic English counties and include one Welsh county, Glamorgan. [ citation needed ]

The English first-class counties are:

The full name of the cricket team is usually formed from the name of the county followed by the words County Cricket Club, which are often abbreviated as CCC.


The following games are considered derbies:-


The opening first-class game of an English county cricket season has traditionally been played at Lord's between the MCC and the Champion County (the club that won the County Championship the previous year). When the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) plays against one of the first-class counties, the game is granted first-class status. [ citation needed ]

MCC Universities

The six MCC-sponsored University (MCCU) teams, are also afforded first-class status for some of their matches against a first-class county. They are:

Most of the first-class counties play three-day games against university cricket teams in the early part of the English cricket season. This is partly because the start of the cricket season coincides with the end of the university academic year, and partly because the games act as pre-season warm-ups for the county clubs. [2]

The Hundred

Originally scheduled to start in the 2020 season but postponed until 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic the Hundred is a new 100 ball cricket competition which will consist of eight city-based franchise teams, each of which will field both a men's and women's team which will be played in a league format. [ citation needed ]

Recreational club competitions

The ECB runs a national club knock-out competition, the ECB National Club Cricket Championship, and has in place a regional Premier League pyramid system for recreational Club cricket in England and Wales.[ citation needed ]

Cricket grounds

The cricket grounds of England and Wales are smaller than the largest in some other countries, especially India and Australia, but the best of them have been modernised to a high standard, and two new international grounds have been built in recent years. The largest English cricket ground, Lord's in London, is internationally regarded as the "home of cricket". [3]

The following other stadiums also have Test match status The Oval (South London), Old Trafford (Manchester), Trent Bridge (Nottingham), Headingley (Leeds), Edgbaston (Birmingham) and Riverside (Durham). [ citation needed ]

On 24 November 2006 the Rose Bowl, Southampton was awarded provisional test venue status by the England and Wales Cricket Board, with the prospect of the ground hosting its first Test match in 2010. [ citation needed ]

Governing body

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is the governing body of cricket in England and Wales. [4] [5] It was created on 1 January 1997 combining the roles of the Test and County Cricket Board (TCCB), the National Cricket Association (NCA) and the Cricket Council. [6] [7] [8] [9]

They are full members of the International Cricket Council. [10]

National team

England is a founding Test cricket, One Day International and Twenty20 nation. England played in the first ever Test match in 1877 (against Australia in Melbourne) and also the first ever One-day International in 1971 (also against Australia in Melbourne).

Each summer two foreign national teams visit England to play seven Test matches and numerous One Day Internationals. In the British winter the England team tours abroad. The highest profile rival of the England cricket team is the Australian team, with which it competes for The Ashes, one of the most famous trophies in British sport. [11] [12]


In 2005 the ECB concluded a commercial arrangement with BSkyB which gave Sky the exclusive television rights for live Test cricket in England for four years (the 2006 to 2009 seasons). This deal, which took live Test cricket for home England matches away from terrestrial television for the first time generated substantial future revenues for English cricket, but was criticised by many England cricket supporters and others. [13] [14] [15] [16]

The Cricket Writers' Club Young Cricketer of the Year is an annual award voted by the Cricket Writers' Club for the best young cricket player in England and Wales, and has been awarded since 1950.[ citation needed ]

Cricket is also one of the most popular participation sports in England after Football, Rugby and Tennis with most villages running a side every Sunday through the season, and towns putting out 2, 3, 4 and occasionally 5 sides for Saturday league matches, and 1 or 2 sides on a Sunday. Around 65% population of England follow Cricket. [17] [18] [19] [20] [21] The game is also popular in cities, with clubs like the King's Road Cricket & Social Club attracting members.[ promotional language ]

Related Research Articles

Marylebone Cricket Club English cricket club and former governing body

Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) is a cricket club founded in 1787 and based since 1814 at Lord's Cricket Ground, which it owns, in St John's Wood, London. The club was formerly the governing body of cricket and still holds considerable global influence.

England and Wales Cricket Board England cricket governing body

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is the governing body of cricket in England and Wales. It was formed on 1 January 1997 as a single governing body to combine the roles formerly fulfilled by the Test and County Cricket Board, the National Cricket Association and the Cricket Council. In April 1998 the Women's Cricket Association was integrated into the organisation. The ECB's head offices are at Lord's Cricket Ground in north-west London.

Durham County Cricket Club English cricket club

Durham County Cricket Club is one of eighteen first-class county clubs within the domestic cricket structure of England and Wales. It represents the historic county of Durham. Founded in 1882, Durham held minor status for over a century and was a prominent member of the Minor Counties Championship, winning the competition seven times. In 1992, the club joined the County Championship and the team was elevated to senior status as an official first-class team. Durham has been classified as an occasional List A team from 1964, then as a full List A team from 1992; and as a senior Twenty20 team since the format's introduction in 2003.

The Friends Provident Trophy was a one-day cricket competition in the United Kingdom.

County cricket

Inter-county cricket matches are known to have been played since the early 18th century, involving teams that are representative of the historic counties of England and Wales. Since the late 19th century, there have been two county championship competitions played at different levels: the County Championship, a first-class competition which currently involves eighteen first-class county clubs among which seventeen are English and one is from Wales; and the Minor Counties Championship, which currently involves nineteen English county clubs and one club that represents several Welsh counties.

Graeme "Foxy" Fowler is an English former professional cricketer and cricket coach, who played for Lancashire County Cricket Club, England, and later for Durham. He appeared in 21 Test matches and 26 One Day International (ODIs) for England, averaging 35.32 in his Test batting career. After his playing career he founded the centre of excellence scheme at Durham MCCU based at Durham University in 1996, the success of which led the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to establish five more centres; Fowler stepped down as head coach in 2015, after changes in the scheme.

Loughborough MCC University

Loughborough MCC University is a cricket coaching centre based at Loughborough University in Loughborough, Leicestershire, England, and the name under which the university's cricket team plays.

Durham MCC University

Durham MCC University is a cricket coaching centre based at Durham University in Durham, County Durham, England, and the name under which the university's cricket team plays.

Thomas Westley is an English professional cricketer who has played Test cricket for the England cricket team. He is a top order right-handed batsman who occasionally bowls offbreaks and has played first-class cricket for Essex County Cricket Club since 2006. He began his cricket career at Weston Colville Cricket Club in Cambridgeshire.

Paul Merwood Best is a former English cricketer. Best is a left-handed batsman who bowls slow left-arm orthodox who played for Warwickshire County Cricket Club. He was born at Nuneaton, Warwickshire and educated at Bablake School, Coventry.

Cardiff MCC University

Cardiff South Wales MCC University, formerly Cardiff University Centre of Cricketing Excellence, commonly abbreviated to Cardiff MCCU, is one of six University Centres of Cricketing Excellence supported by the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC). It comprises Cardiff University, the University of South Wales and Cardiff Metropolitan University.

Jack Leach English cricketer

Matthew Jack Leach is an English cricketer who plays for Somerset County Cricket Club and England. A spin bowler, he bowls left-arm orthodox spin, and bats left-handed. He made his first-class debut for Cardiff MCC University against Somerset in 2012 before making his debut for Somerset in the tour match against the South Africans later in the summer.

The 2017 English cricket season was the 118th in which the County Championship had been an official competition. The season, which began on 28 March and ended on 29 September, featured two global one-day competitions played in England and Wales, the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy and the 2017 Women's Cricket World Cup. England Women's team won the World Cup, defeating India Women in the final at Lord's. Pakistan beat India in the Champions Trophy final.

The 2018 Marylebone Cricket Club University Matches were a series of cricket matches played between the eighteen County Championship teams and the six Marylebone Cricket Club University teams (MCCU) of England and Wales. The first two rounds of fixtures were classed as first-class matches. Each county side were scheduled to play one fixture against a MCCU side ahead of the start of the 2018 County Championship. All the fixtures in the competition were affected by bad weather, with matches either ending in a draw, due to play not being possible because of rain, or in some cases, abandoned with no play possible across all three days.

The 2019 Marylebone Cricket Club University Matches were a series of cricket matches that were played between the eighteen County Championship teams and the six Marylebone Cricket Club University teams (MCCU) of England and Wales. The first two rounds of fixtures were classed as first-class matches. Each county side played one fixture against an MCCU side ahead of the start of the 2019 County Championship.

The 2019 English cricket season ran between 26 March and 26 September. It was the 120th in which the County Championship has been an official competition and featured first-class, one-day and Twenty20 cricket competitions throughout England and Wales.

2020 Bob Willis Trophy 2020 cricket tournament

The 2020 Bob Willis Trophy was a first-class cricket tournament held in the 2020 English cricket season. It was separate from the County Championship, which was not held in 2020 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom. The eighteen county cricket teams were split into three regional groups of six, with the two group winners with the most points advancing to a final held at Lord's. The maximum number of overs bowled in a day was reduced from 96 to 90, and the team's first innings could be no longer than 120 overs.

The 2020 English cricket season was originally scheduled to run between 2 April and 25 September. It was planned to have first-class, one-day and Twenty20 cricket competitions throughout England and Wales and as well as the launch of a new franchised 100 ball competition, The Hundred; it would have been the 131st year in which the County Championship has been an official competition.


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See also