Essex County Cricket Club

Last updated

Essex County Cricket Club
One Day nameEssex Eagles
Captain Ryan ten Doeschate
Coach Anthony McGrath
Team information
Home ground County Ground,
First-class debut Leicestershire
in 1894
at  Leyton
Championship  wins7
Pro40  wins5
FP Trophy  wins3
Twenty20 Cup  wins0
B&H Cup  wins2
Official website: EssexCricket EssexCCCFirstClassKit.svg
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Essex 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 Essex. Founded in 1876, the club had minor county status until 1894 when it was promoted to first-class status pending its entry into the County Championship in 1895, since when the team has played in every top-level domestic cricket competition in England. Essex play most of their home games at the County Cricket Ground, Chelmsford and some at Lower Castle Park in Colchester. The club has formerly used other venues throughout the county including Valentines Park in Ilford, Leyton Cricket Ground, the Gidea Park Sports Ground in Romford, and Garon Park and Southchurch Park, both in Southend. Its limited overs team is called the Essex Eagles, whose team colours are all-blue.

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.

County cricket cricket matches played between teams that are representative of the historic counties of England and Wales

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.

Cricket Team sport played with bats and balls

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.



First XI honours

Division Two (2) – 2002, 2016
Division Two (1) – 2008

Second XI honours

Earliest cricket in Essex

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. The first definite mention of cricket in connection with the county is a highly controversial match in 1724 between Chingford and Mr Edwin Stead's XI, which is recorded in The Dawn of Cricket by H T Waghorn. The venue is unknown but, if it was at Chingford, it is also the earliest reference to cricket being played in Essex as well as by an Essex team. The game echoed an earlier one in 1718 as the Chingford team refused to play to a finish when Mr Stead's team had the advantage. A court case followed and, as in 1718, it was ordered to be played out presumably so that all wagers could be fulfilled. We know that Lord Chief Justice Pratt presided over the case and that he ordered them to play it out on Dartford Brent, though it is not known if this was the original venue. The game was completed in 1726.

Edwin Stead was a noted patron of English cricket, particularly of Kent teams in the 1720s. He usually captained his teams but nothing is known about his ability as a player. There is uncertainty about his name because his forename has been rendered "Edwin", "Edwyn" or "Edward"; his surname "Stead", "Stede" or "Steed". In the various sources, "Edwin Stead" is the most common version. He was born at Harrietsham in Kent and died in London.

Dartford Brent

Dartford Brent was an extensive area of common land on the outskirts of Dartford in Kent. Historically, it was the scene of a confrontation between King Henry VI and Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York in 1452 and in 1555 thousands of spectators were to witness the burning to death at the stake of Christopher Ward, a Dartford linen weaver, executed for his Protestant faith.

The earliest reference to a team called Essex is in July 1732 when a combined Essex & Herts team played against the London Cricket Club. In July 1737, there was London v Essex at the Artillery Ground, London winning by 45 runs. In a return game at Ilford on 1 August 1737, Essex won by 7 runs. References are then occasional until 1785 when the Hornchurch Cricket Club became prominent. This club had a strong team that was representative of Essex as a county. However, the sources differed among themselves re whether the team should be called Essex or Hornchurch. But there is no doubt that Essex was a First-Class county from 1785 until 1794, after which the county strangely and abruptly disappeared from the records for a long time.

The original London Cricket Club was formed by 1722 and was one of the foremost clubs in English cricket over the next four decades, holding important match status. It is closely associated with the Artillery Ground, where it played most of its home matches.

Artillery Ground park in the United Kingdom

The Artillery Ground in Finsbury is an open space originally set aside for archery and later known also as a cricket venue. Today it is used for military exercises, rugby and football matches. It belongs to the Honourable Artillery Company (HAC), whose headquarters, Armoury House, overlook the grounds.

Club history

Essex CCC were formed on 14 January 1876 at a meeting in the Shire Hall, Chelmsford. The new club did not become First-Class until 1894, playing its inaugural first-class match on 14, 15 & 16 May 1894 against Leicestershire CCC at Leyton. It was the initial First-Class match played by either club, and Essex failed to win a match against any other county. [1] In 1895, both of these clubs and Warwickshire CCC joined the County Championship. In the club's first championship match, of their first championship season, James Burns scored 114 against Warwickshire at Edgbaston and this was the first century for Essex in the First-Class cricket. G.F. Higgins scored the second championship century for Essex in the same match putting on 205 with Burns for the fourth wicket. The club made an extraordinary score of 692 against Somerset with the rarely available veteran Bunny Lucas scoring 145, but the most notable feat was by Walter Mead who took 17–119 against Hampshire CCC at Southampton.

Chelmsford city in Essex, United Kingdom

Chelmsford is the principal settlement of the City of Chelmsford district, and the county town of Essex, in the East of England. It is located in the London commuter belt, approximately 30 miles (48 km) northeast of the notional centre of London at Charing Cross and approximately 22 miles (35 km) from Colchester. The urban area of the city has a population of approximately 112,000, whilst the district has a population of 168,310.

Leyton district of East London, United Kingdom

Leyton is a district of east London and part of the London Borough of Waltham Forest, located 6.2 miles (10 km) north-east of Charing Cross in the United Kingdom. It borders Walthamstow and Leytonstone in Waltham Forest, Stratford in the London Borough of Newham and Homerton and Lower Clapton in the London Borough of Hackney. The district includes part of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, which hosted the 2012 Olympic Games, as well as Leyton Orient Football Club, although it is predominantly residential. It consists mainly of terraced houses built between 1870 and 1910, interspersed with some modern housing estates.

County Championship Domestic first-class cricket competition in England and Wales

The County Championship, currently known as the Specsavers County Championship for sponsorship reasons, is the domestic first-class cricket competition in England and Wales and is organised by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB). It became an official title in 1890. The competition consists of eighteen clubs named after, and originally representing, historic counties, seventeen from England and one from Wales. From 2016, the Championship has been sponsored by Specsavers, who replaced Liverpool Victoria after 14 years.

Essex CCC 1897 Essex1897 RedLillywhite1898.jpg
Essex CCC 1897

Essex improved rapidly from 1895, so that by 1897 they were in the running for the Championship, only losing it when Surrey beat them at Leyton. [2] They fell off after this despite beating a fine Australian team on a dubious pitch in 1899, never finishing higher than sixth between 1899 and 1932. [3] Their batting on Leyton's excellent pitches was generally good with the "Essex Twins" of Perrin and McGahey and the sound and skilful Jack Russell, but the bowling depended too much on Mead, Buckenham and later Douglas and when available Louden.

Surrey County Cricket Club English cricket club

Surrey 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 Surrey and also South London. The club was founded in 1845 but teams representing the county have played top-class cricket since the early 18th century and the club has always held first-class status. Surrey have competed in the County Championship since the official start of the competition in 1890 and have played in every top-level domestic cricket competition in England.

Percy Perrin English cricketer

Percival Albert Perrin, known as either "Percy" or "Peter", was an English cricketer, who played for Essex as a right-handed, middle-order batsman for more than thirty years from 1896.

Claude Percival Buckenham,, was an English first-class cricketer who played for Essex and England.

With the decline of these players, Essex fell to some of their lowest levels ever during the late 1920s. Their bowlers conceded over 40 runs a wicket in 1928 – about the highest ever with uncovered pitches. The emergence of Jack O'Connor, Stan Nichols and when available, the amateur fast bowlers Ken Farnes and Hopper Read, though, made Essex during the 1930s a dangerous if inconsistent side. They finished as high as fourth in 1933, and owing to their pace bowling maintained almost as high a standard up to the outbreak of war. The batting, however, tended to depend too much upon O'Connor and a number of amateurs who were rarely available, and Essex lost too many games to break the North's stronghold on the Championship.

Jack OConnor (English cricketer) Cricket player of England.

Jack O'Connor was an English cricketer who played in four Tests from 1929 to 1930.

Stan Nichols Cricket player of England.

Morris Stanley "Stan" Nichols was the leading all-rounder in English cricket for much of the 1930s.

Cricket, and hence English amateur cricket, probably began in England during the medieval period but the earliest known reference concerns the game being played c.1550 by children on a plot of land at the Royal Grammar School, Guildford, Surrey. It is generally believed that cricket was originally a children's game as it is not until the beginning of the 17th century that reports can be found of adult participation.

After World War II Essex fell off, taking their first wooden spoon in 1950. During this period it was left to Trevor Bailey to do all the pace bowling, and he was often unavailable due to Test calls, whilst spinner Peter Smith was frequently overbowled until he retired in 1951 – thus a strong batting line-up led by Bailey and Doug Insole could seldom win games. Not until 1957 did Essex come back into the top half of the table, but Bailey and Barry Knight never had support of sufficient class to permit them to reach the top of the table, even when Robin Hobbs became England's last successful leg-spinner late in the 1960s.

In the 1970s, with overseas players now permitted, Essex were able to gradually strengthen their team to achieve much more than they ever had before. This decade saw the advent of Graham Gooch, one of England's finest opening batsmen, even though he began his Test career with a pair against Australia in 1975. He didn't return to the England team until 1978, but after a slow start began to assert his dominance over Test bowlers as he had on the county scene. Dedicated to training, he forced his burly physique through a tough regime to prolong his career long after some of his contemporaries had retired.

Along with Gooch, county captain and England batsman Keith Fletcher built a powerful eleven in the late 1970s that dominated domestic cricket from 1979 to 1992, when Essex won six of thirteen County Championship titles. The bowling in the first half of this period was borne by tireless left arm seamer John Lever and spinner and prankster Ray East. The South African Ken McEwan and Fletcher were the best batsmen after Gooch. As Lever declined, England all rounder Derek Pringle and fast bowler Neil Foster took over, whilst John Childs crossed from Gloucestershire to take over as the chief spinner.

In the 1990s, Essex had more internationals, including Nasser Hussain, who captained England in several series. Bowlers Mark Ilott and Peter Such earned caps, as well as wicket keeper James Foster. Ashley Cowan toured the West Indies in 1997/98 without playing an international match. Essex were also able to sign England fast bowlers Darren Gough and Alex Tudor, after they left Yorkshire and Surrey respectively.

Led by all-rounder Ronnie Irani Essex won the National League Division 1 title in 2005, their first major title in eight years.

In 2006, Essex successfully defended their National League title in the newly rebranded Pro40 format by the narrowest of margins, having tied for the title on points. The club missed out on promotion in the County Championship only on the last day of the season, losing to Leicestershire while their rivals Worcestershire beat Northamptonshire. In that season's Twenty20 Cup Essex beat Yorkshire to reach the semi-finals at Trent Bridge, where they were beaten by eventual tournament winners Leicestershire. Essex also had Twenty20 success in the first floodlit Twenty20 Tournament, held between the four teams with permanent floodlights, in a series of 2 legged matches. Essex beat Derbyshire 1–0, after the first leg was washed out, and they won the second leg convincingly.

Home grounds

The club currently plays all its home games at Chelmsford – Colchester's cricket festival has been suspended since the 2017 season. [4]


Current squad

No.NameNatBirth dateBatting StyleBowling StyleNotes
6 Varun Chopra*Flag of England.svg  England 21 June 1987 (age 32)Right-handedRight-arm off break
10 Nick Browne*Flag of England.svg  England 24 March 1991 (age 28)Left-handedRight-arm leg break
12 Rishi Patel Flag of England.svg  England 26 July 1998 (age 20)Right-handedRight-arm leg break
21 Tom Westley* Double-dagger-14-plain.pngFlag of England.svg  England 13 March 1989 (age 30)Right-handedRight-arm off break Vice-captain
23Feroze KhushiFlag of England.svg  England 23 June 1999 (age 19)Right-handedRight-arm medium
26 Alastair Cook* Double-dagger-14-plain.pngFlag of England.svg  England 25 December 1984 (age 34)Left-handedRight-arm off break
28 Daniel Lawrence*Flag of England.svg  England 12 July 1997 (age 21)Right-handedRight-arm leg break
89 Cameron Delport Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa 12 May 1989 (age 30)Left-handedRight-arm medium UK Passport;
T20 only
1 Matt Coles Flag of England.svg  England 26 May 1990 (age 29)Left-handedRight-arm fast-medium On loan at Northamptonshire
11 Simon Harmer* Double-dagger-14-plain.pngFlag of South Africa.svg  South Africa 10 February 1989 (age 30)Right-handedRight-arm off break Kolpak player
T20 captain
25 Ravi Bopara* Double-dagger-14-plain.pngFlag of England.svg  England 4 May 1985 (age 34)Right-handedRight-arm medium
27 Ryan ten Doeschate* Double-dagger-14-plain.pngFlag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands 30 June 1980 (age 38)Right-handedRight-arm medium Club captain
9 Will Buttleman Flag of England.svg  England 20 April 2000 (age 19)Right-handed
19 Michael-Kyle Pepper Flag of England.svg  England 25 June 1998 (age 20)Right-handed
31 Adam Wheater Flag of England.svg  England 13 February 1990 (age 29)Right-handed
5 Mohammad Amir  Double-dagger-14-plain.pngFlag of Pakistan.svg  Pakistan 13 April 1992 (age 27)Left-handedLeft-arm fast Overseas player (T20 only)
14 Aaron Beard Flag of England.svg  England 15 October 1997 (age 21)Left-handedRight-arm fast-medium
16 Sam Cook Flag of England.svg  England 4 August 1997 (age 21)Right-handedRight-arm fast-medium
22 Paul Walter Flag of England.svg  England 28 May 1994 (age 25)Left-handedLeft-arm fast-medium
24 Aron Nijjar Flag of England.svg  England 24 September 1994 (age 24)Left-handed Slow left-arm orthodox
44 Jamie Porter*Flag of England.svg  England 25 May 1993 (age 26)Right-handedRight-arm fast-medium
64 Peter Siddle  Double-dagger-14-plain.pngFlag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 25 November 1984 (age 34)Right-handedRight-arm fast-medium Overseas player
77 Jack Plom Flag of England.svg  England 27 August 1999 (age 19)Right-handedRight-arm fast-medium
88 Adam Zampa  Double-dagger-14-plain.pngFlag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 31 March 1992 (age 27)Right-handedRight-arm leg break Overseas player (T20 only)
94 Matt Quinn Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand 28 February 1993 (age 26)Right-handedRight-arm fast-medium UK Passport
Ben AllisonFlag of England.svg  England 18 December 1999 (age 19)Right-handedRight-arm fast-medium

Essex players with international caps

Essex county cricketers who have during their career also represented their national team in Test cricket, One Day International cricket or Twenty20 International cricket.


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  1. Pardon, Sydney H.; John Wisden's Cricketers' Almanac; Thirty-Second Edition (1895); pp. 205–207
  2. Pardon, Sydney H.; John Wisden's Cricketers’ Almanac; Thirty-Fifth Edition (1898); pp. 45 and 56
  3. ^ Wynne-Thomas, Peter; The Rigby A-Z of Cricket Records; pp. 55–58 ISBN   072701868X
  4. Jennings, Ryan (29 November 2018). "Colchester Cricket Festival suspended again next season". Retrieved 7 February 2018.
  5. "The Home of CricketArchive". Retrieved 4 May 2013.
  6. "The Home of CricketArchive". Retrieved 4 May 2013.

Further reading