Northamptonshire County Cricket Club

Last updated
Northamptonshire County Cricket Club
One Day nameNorthants Steelbacks
Captain Will Young
One Day captain LA Will Young
T20 Josh Cobb
Coach John Sadler
Overseas player(s) Matthew Kelly
Ryan Rickelton
Lizaad Williams
Will Young
Chris Lynn (T20)
James Neesham (T20)
Team information
Home ground County Ground, Northampton
Capacity6,500 [1]
First-class debut Hampshire
in 1905
at  Southampton
Twenty20 Cup  wins2
FP Trophy/NatWest Trophy  wins2
B&H Cup  wins1
Official website
Kit left arm.svg
Kit body.png
Kit body.svg
Kit right arm.svg
Kit trousers long.png


Kit left arm blueborder.png
Kit left arm.svg
Kit body bluecollar.png
Kit body.svg
Kit right arm blueborder.png
Kit right arm.svg
Kit trousers long.png


Kit left arm.svg
Kit body redgradiantstripes.png
Kit body.svg
Kit right arm.svg
Kit trousers long.png



Northamptonshire 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 Northamptonshire. Its limited overs team is called the Northants Steelbacks – a reference to the Northamptonshire Regiment which was formed in 1881. The name was supposedly a tribute to the soldiers' apparent indifference to the harsh discipline imposed by their officers. [2] Founded in 1878, Northamptonshire (Northants) held minor status at first but was a prominent member of the early Minor Counties Championship during the 1890s. In 1905, the club joined the County Championship and was elevated to first-class status, since when the team have played in every top-level domestic cricket competition in England. [3]


The club plays the majority of its games at the County Cricket Ground, Northampton, but has used outlier grounds at Kettering, Wellingborough and Peterborough (formerly part of Northamptonshire, but now in Cambridgeshire) in the past. It has also used grounds outside the county for one-day games: for example, at Luton, Tring and Milton Keynes.

During the 2019 season, Northamptonshire were promoted from Division Two of the County Championship. They also played in the North Division of the Royal London One-Day Cup and the North Division of the T20 Blast.

Honours and Achievements

First XI: Honours/Achievements

Runners-up (4): 1912, 1957, 1965, 1976
Division Two
Winners (1) – 2000
Runners-up (3): 2003, 2013, 2019
Winners (2) – 2013, 2016
Runners-up (1): 2015
Division One
Runners-up (1): 2006
Division Two
Runners-up (1): 1999
3rd place/promoted (1): 2003
Winners (2) – 1976, 1992
Runners-up (5): 1979, 1981, 1987, 1990, 1995
Winners (1) – 1980
Runners-up (2): 1987, 1996
Winners (2) – 1903, 1904
Shared (2): 1899, 1900

Second XI: Honours

Winners (2) – 1960, 1998
Winners (2) – 1986, 1998


Team totals

Highest total for781–7 declared Nottinghamshire Northampton 1995
Highest total against673–8 declared Yorkshire Headingley 2003
Lowest total for12 Gloucestershire Bristol 1907
Lowest total against33 Lancashire Northampton 1977
Highest scores [6] 1.  Mike Hussey
2.  Mike Hussey
3.  Mal Loye
331* v .Somerset, County Ground, Taunton, 2003
329* v. Essex, County Ground, Northampton, 2001
322* v. Glamorgan, County Ground, Northampton, 1998
Most runs in season [7] 1.  Dennis Brookes
2.  Norman Oldfield
3.  Mike Hussey
2,198, 1952
2,192, 1949
2,055, 2001

Record partnership for each wicket

WicketScoreBatting partnersOppositionVenueYearLink
1st375 R. A. White & M. J. Powell Gloucestershire Northampton 2002
2nd344 G. Cook & R. J. Boyd-Moss Lancashire Northampton 1986
3rd393 A. Fordham & A. J. Lamb Yorkshire Leeds 1990
4th370 R. T. Virgin & P. Willey Somerset Northampton 1976
5th401 M. B. Loye & D. Ripley Glamorgan Northampton 1998
6th376 R. Subba Row & A. Lightfoot Surrey The Oval 1958
7th293 D. J. G. Sales & D. Ripley Essex Northampton 1999
8th179 A. J. Hall & J. D. Middlebrook Surrey The Oval 2011
9th156 R. Subba Row & S. Starkie Lancashire Northampton 1955
10th148 B. W. Bellamy & J. V. Murdin Glamorgan Northampton 1925
Best bowling (innings) [8] 1.  Vallance Jupp
2.  Albert Thomas
3.  Vincent Broderick
10–127 v. Kent, Nevill Ground, Tunbridge Wells, 1932
9–30 v. Yorkshire, Park Avenue, Bradford, 1920
9–35 v. Sussex, Cricketfield Road, Horsham, 1948
Best bowling (match) [9] 1.  George Tribe
2.  Vallance Jupp
3.  George Tribe
15–31 v. Yorkshire, County Ground, Northampton, 1958
15–52 v. Glamorgan, St Helen's, Swansea, 1925
15–75 v. Yorkshire, Park Avenue, Bradford, 1955
Most wickets in season [10] 1.  George Tribe
2.  George Thompson
3.  Nobby Clark
175, 1955
148, 1913
141, 1929
Most victims in innings [11] 1.  Keith Andrew
2.  David Ripley
7 v. Lancashire, Old Trafford, Manchester, 1962
6 v. Sussex, County Ground, Northampton, 1988
Most victims in season [12] 1.  Keith Andrew
2.  David Ripley
90, 1962
81, 1988


Earliest cricket

Cricket had probably reached Northamptonshire by the end of the 17th century and the first two references to cricket in the county are within a few days of each other in 1741. On Monday 10 August, there was a match at Woburn Park between a Bedfordshire XI and a combined Northants and Huntingdonshire XI. [13] Woburn Cricket Club under the leadership of the Duke of Bedford was on the point of becoming a well known club. On Tuesday 18 August, a match played on the Cow Meadow near Northampton between two teams of amateurs from Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire is the earliest known instance of cricket being played in Northamptonshire county.

Origin of club

On 31 July 1878, the official formation of Northants CCC took place at a meeting in the George Hotel, Kettering based on an existing organisation that dated back to 1820. The 1820 date, if it could be verified, would make Northants the oldest club in the present-day County Championship. The club came to prominence in the Minor Counties Championship during the 1890s as, between 1900 and 1904, the bowling of George Thompson and William East was much too good for almost all batsmen at that level. The county applied for first-class status in 1904 and was promoted the following year when it joined the County Championship. They played its inaugural first-class match versus Hampshire CCC at Southampton on 18, 19 & 20 May 1905 when making its County Championship debut.

Stepping up to first-class

Although Thompson and East proved themselves to be bowlers of high class, a weak batting line-up meant that the team remained close to the bottom of the championship table until Sydney Smith arrived in 1909. After three years in the middle of the table, Northants surprisingly improved to finish second in 1912 and fourth in 1913. Thompson, Smith and William "Bumper" Wells formed one of the strongest attacks in county cricket at the time, whilst Smith and Haywood were the county's best batsmen.

Thompson and Smith finished playing after World War I and, during the inter-war period, Northamptonshire were regularly one of the weaker championship sides. This was exacerbated when Vallance Jupp declined due to age and, despite the arrival of Nobby Clark, a young left arm fast bowler from Huntingdonshire who burst onto the scene at the age of 20 in 1922 with 20 wickets at an average of 17.10 and Fred Bakewell, an exciting batsman who regularly exceeded 1000 runs a season, Northamptonshire could only finish above second from last four times between 1923 and 1948, finishing last every year from 1934 to 1938 and enduring a run of 99 matches from 14 May 1935 to 29 May 1939 without a single championship victory, a record that has never been beaten and doesn't look like being beaten in the future. Things got worse for Northamptonshire during this time when Bakewell's career ended due to a broken arm in a car crash that also resulted in the fatality of teammate, Reginald Northway. [14]

The post-war recovery

After the Second World War, things could only get better for Northamptonshire and they started by recruiting widely from other counties and countries, bringing in Freddie Brown from Surrey; the Australians Jock Livingston, George Tribe and Jack Manning; the New Zealander Peter Arnold; and the Cambridge University opening bat and leg-spinner Raman Subba Row. Brown joined as captain in 1949, and led the team to six place in his first season after previous years of disappointment. [15] Under the new leadership of Dennis Brookes (a stalwart batsman for over 20 years), finished second in 1957, their best finish for 45 years. This was mainly due to the bowling attack of Frank Tyson, [16] Vincent Broderick, Michael Allen, George Tribe and Manning. Northamptonshire were widely considered the best team in England in the late 1950s and early 1960s, during this time Keith Andrew, Northants best ever Wicket-keeper broke the records of most victims in an innings and a season.

Subsequently, the club has seen mixed fortunes. The club has had intermittent success in one-day competitions, but it has still not won the County Championship, although second place was achieved in each of 1957, 1965 and 1976. Nonetheless it has included several famous players qualified for England, including the South African-born batsman Allan Lamb; fast bowler David Larter; the hard hitting opener Colin Milburn, whose career was cut tragically short by an eye injury sustained in a car crash; the reliable batsmen David Steele and Rob Bailey; opening batsman Wayne Larkins; and all-rounders Peter Willey and David Capel.

Several notable overseas players such as Matthew Hayden, Curtly Ambrose, André Nel, Kapil Dev, Mike Hussey, Sarfraz Nawaz, Mushtaq Mohammad, Anil Kumble, Dennis Lillee and Bishen Bedi have starred for the club, which was particularly formidable as a one-day batting outfit in the late 1970s and early 1980s. More recently, Lance Klusener and Monty Panesar have been notable players.

Northants have recently been criticised for the number of Kolpak players in the team, but for the 2009 season there were only three in Andrew Hall, Johan van der Wath and Nicky Boje, and only one in 2013 in Hall.

Ground history

County Ground. Northants 780.JPG
County Ground.

As with all county cricket clubs, Northamptonshire CCC represents the historic county and not any modern or current administrative unit. In Northamptonshire's case, this means the county of Northamptonshire and the Town of Northampton, although the club have in the past played some home matches outside the historic borders such as in Luton and Milton Keynes.

Northamptonshire first played at the county ground in Northampton in 1905, and continue to do so till this day even though Northampton Town F.C. shared the ground up until 1994 when the Cobblers moved to Sixfields Stadium. After the football club moved, the ground at the Abington Avenue was demolished and replaced by a new indoor school which includes seating looking on to the ground. In 2009, Northants cricket announced plans to improve the ground by building two new stands on the scoreboard side of the ground, there will also be a permanent commentary box with a view to have a 'mini Lord's' style media centre.

This following table gives details of every venue at which Northamptonshire have hosted a first-class, List A or Twenty20 cricket match:

Name of groundLocationYearFC
County Ground Northampton 1905–present969341171327
Town Ground Kettering 1923–197365469
School Ground Wellingborough 1946–1991431760
Town Ground Peterborough 1906–19664646
Wardown Park Luton 1973–20041124136
Town Ground Rushden 1924–19632222
Tring Park Tring 1974–19911616
Manor Fields Bletchley 1976–19873710
Baker Perkins Peterborough 1967–1974358
Campbell Park Milton Keynes 1997–present235
Buckingham Road Brackley 1971–197544
Dolben Ground Finedon 1986–198933
Bedford School Bedford 1971–198222
Horton House Horton 1976–197722
Ideal Clothiers Ground Wellingborough 192911
Stowe School Stowe 200511
Source: CricketArchive
Updated: 6 November 2009

Current officials

Coaching staff


Current squad

The Northamptonshire squad for the 2022 season consists of (this section could change as players are released or signed):

No.NameNationalityBirth dateBatting styleBowling styleNotes
4 Josh Cobb*Flag of England.svg  England 17 August 1990 (age 32)Right-handedRight-arm off break T20 captain
17 Ben Curran Flag of England.svg  England 7 June 1996 (age 26)Left-handedRight-arm off break
19 Emilio Gay Flag of England.svg  England 30 April 2000 (age 22)Left-handedRight-arm medium
21 Rob Keogh*Flag of England.svg  England 21 October 1991 (age 30)Right-handedRight-arm off break
22 Will Young Double-dagger-14-plain.pngFlag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand 22 November 1992 (age 29)Right-handedRight-arm off break Club captain
Overseas player
96 Charlie Thurston Flag of England.svg  England 17 August 1996 (age 26)Right-handedRight-arm medium
2 Luke Procter*Flag of England.svg  England 14 June 1988 (age 34)Left-handedRight-arm medium
5 James Sales Flag of England.svg  England 11 February 2003 (age 19)Right-handedRight-arm medium
12 Tom Taylor Flag of England.svg  England 21 December 1994 (age 27)Right-handedRight-arm fast-medium
13 Gareth Berg Double-dagger-14-plain.pngFlag of Italy.svg  Italy 18 January 1981 (age 41)Right-handedRight-arm medium
18 Saif Zaib Flag of England.svg  England 22 May 1998 (age 24)Left-handed Slow left-arm orthodox
24Gus MillerFlag of England.svg  England 8 January 2002 (age 20)Right-handedRight-arm medium
50 James Neesham Double-dagger-14-plain.pngFlag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand 17 September 1990 (age 32)Left-handedRight-arm fast-medium Overseas player (T20 only)
7 Adam Rossington*Flag of England.svg  England 5 May 1993 (age 29)Right-handedOn loan at Essex
15 Lewis McManus Flag of England.svg  England 9 October 1994 (age 27)Right-handed
27 Ricardo Vasconcelos*Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa 27 October 1997 (age 24)Left-handedPortuguese passport
62 Harry Gouldstone Flag of England.svg  England 26 March 2001 (age 21)Right-handed
6 Lizaad Williams Double-dagger-14-plain.pngFlag of South Africa.svg  South Africa 1 October 1993 (age 28)Left-handedRight-arm fast-medium
9 Jack White Flag of England.svg  England 19 February 1992 (age 30)Left-handedRight-arm fast-medium
10 Simon Kerrigan Double-dagger-14-plain.pngFlag of England.svg  England 10 May 1989 (age 33)Right-handed Slow left-arm orthodox
11 Nathan Buck Flag of England.svg  England 26 April 1991 (age 31)Right-handedRight-arm fast-medium
20 Brandon Glover Double-dagger-14-plain.pngFlag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands 3 April 1997 (age 25)Right-handedRight-arm fast
26 Ben Sanderson*Flag of England.svg  England 3 January 1989 (age 33)Right-handedRight-arm fast-medium
61Alex RussellFlag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales 17 April 2002 (age 20)Right-handedRight-arm leg break
80 Freddie Heldreich Flag of England.svg  England 12 September 2001 (age 21)Right-handed Slow left-arm unorthodox
87 Graeme White Flag of England.svg  England 18 April 1987 (age 35)Right-handed Slow left-arm orthodox White ball contract

Notable players

This list is compiled of international cricketers who have played Test and/or ODI cricket. It also includes players who have been mentioned in the '100 Greats: Northamptonshire County Cricket Club' book. [17] Therefore, making them notable to the county and international cricket scene.



South Africa



West Indies

New Zealand



Sri Lanka


County captains

A complete list of officially appointed Northamptonshire captains can be found here: List of Northamptonshire cricket captains.

Notable captains:

County caps

Northamptonshire do not automatically award caps to players on their first appearance; instead, they have to be 'earned' through good performances. In recent times, cricketers who are awarded a county cap are given a new cap with yellow stripes on the maroon instead of a plain maroon cap. The following players have received caps:


  1. Previously known as the Gillette Cup between 1963 and 1980, the NatWest Trophy between 1981 and 2000 and the Cheltenham & Gloucester Trophy between 2001 and 2006.

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Warwickshire County Cricket Club</span> English cricket club

Warwickshire 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 Warwickshire. Its T20 team is called the Birmingham Bears. Founded in 1882, the club held minor status until it was elevated to first-class in 1894 pending its entry into the County Championship in 1895. Since then, Warwickshire have played in every top-level domestic cricket competition in England. Warwickshire's kit colours are black and gold and the shirt sponsor is Gullivers Sports Travel. The club's home is Edgbaston Cricket Ground in south Birmingham, which regularly hosts Test and One-Day International matches.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Leicestershire County Cricket Club</span> English cricket club

Leicestershire 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 Leicestershire. It has also been representative of the county of Rutland. The club's limited overs team is called the Leicestershire Foxes. Founded in 1879, 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 then, Leicestershire have played in every top-level domestic cricket competition in England.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sussex County Cricket Club</span> English cricket club

Sussex County Cricket Club is the oldest of eighteen first-class county clubs within the domestic cricket structure of England and Wales. It represents the historic county of Sussex. Its limited overs team is called the Sussex Sharks. The club was founded in 1839 as a successor to the various Sussex county cricket teams, including the old Brighton Cricket Club, which had been representative of the county of Sussex as a whole since the 1720s. The club has always held first-class status. Sussex 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.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">David Wigley</span> English cricketer

David Harry Wigley is an English former first-class cricketer. He latterly played for Northamptonshire County Cricket Club, his third county after previously playing for Yorkshire and then Worcestershire, until his early retirement from the game in 2010. He was a right arm fast medium bowler and right-handed batsman.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">County Cricket Ground, Northampton</span> Cricket ground

The County Ground is a cricket venue on Wantage Road in the Abington area of Northampton, England. It is home to Northamptonshire County Cricket Club, and was used by Northampton Town F.C. from 1897 to 1994.

Mushtaq Mohammad PP is a Pakistani cricket coach and former cricketer who played in 57 Tests and 10 ODIs from 1959 to 1979. A right-handed batsman and a leg-spinner, he is one of the most successful Pakistani all-rounders and went on to captain his country in nineteen Test matches. He was the first and to date only Pakistani to score a century and take five wickets in an innings in the same test match twice.

David John Capel was an English cricketer who played for Northamptonshire County Cricket Club and the English cricket team. Cricket writer Colin Bateman noted that "Capel was one of those unfortunate cricketers who became tagged as being the next all-rounder to fill Ian Botham's boots". He was well known for his long stint with Northamptonshire as a player as well as coach for nearly 32 years. He was regarded as one of the icons of the Northamptonshire club. He died on 2 September 2020, at the age of 57, after being diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2018.

David John Grimwood Sales is an English cricket player who has played for the Northamptonshire, England A and Wellington cricket teams.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Andrew Crook</span>

Andrew Richard Crook is an Australian cricketer and sports administrator. He played first-class cricket for South Australia, Lancashire and Northamptonshire as an all-rounder, bowling off spin. He is the brother of English county player Steven Crook, who played alongside him at both Lancashire and Northants.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Steven Crook</span>

Steven Paul Crook is a former Australian cricketer who played for Northamptonshire in English county cricket. He is an all-rounder, batting right-handed and bowling right-arm fast medium pace. In September 2018, he announced his retirement from all forms of cricket. Sir Alastair Cook described Steven as the worst bowler he had faced during the recent Tailenders Live show at the Palace Theatre Manchester #Tailendersoftheworlduniteandtakeover

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Alex Wakely</span> English cricketer

Alex George Wakely is an English former cricketer who played for Northamptonshire and was also a former captain of the England under-19s. He is a right-hand batsman, bowls off-breaks and sometimes medium pace bowling. In May 2021, Wakely announced his retirement from all forms of cricket.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">David Willey (cricketer)</span> English cricketer

David Jonathan Willey is an English international cricketer. He is a left-handed batsman and bowler. He is the son of former England cricketer and international umpire Peter Willey.He’s one of the most fastest bowlers in the world, can clock up to 160kph.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">David Murphy (cricketer)</span> English cricketer

David Murphy is a former English cricketer. who played for Northamptonshire and Scotland and is primarily a wicket-keeper.

The Wellingborough School Ground is a cricket ground which was used by Northamptonshire County Cricket Club in 43 First-class matches for 45 years between 1946 and 1991, and 17 List A games between 1970 and 1991. It is now used predominantly for Women's County Twenty20 Cricket. The Thatched Pavilion which adjoins the ground features, as the last step an incoming batsman takes on the way to the wicket, a paving stone from W. G. Grace's home in Bristol. Murray Witham, a geography teacher at the school, rescued the stone from Grace's home when it was being demolished in the 1930s and brought it to the school.

Patrick James Watts was a professional cricketer who spent his entire career at Northamptonshire.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Azharullah</span> Cricketer

Mohammad Azharullah is an English Pakistani cricketer, who most recently played in England for Northamptonshire. Azharullah is a right-arm fast-medium bowler who also bats right-handed.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Richard Gleeson</span> English cricketer

Richard James Gleeson is an English cricketer, who plays for Lancashire in domestic cricket. He made his international debut for the England cricket team in July 2022.

Joseph Potter, also known as Joe Potter, was an English professional cricketer who played between the 1860 and 1890. He played most of his first-class cricket for Surrey County Cricket Club but also represented a variety of other teams.


  1. "County Ground - England - Cricket Grounds - ESPNcricinfo". Cricinfo. Retrieved 29 September 2018.
  2. Club History: Why the Steelbacks? Archived 23 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 2010-06-30.
  3. ACS (1982). A Guide to First-Class Cricket Matches Played in the British Isles. Nottingham: ACS.
  4. "The Home of CricketArchive". Retrieved 4 May 2013.
  5. "The Home of CricketArchive". Retrieved 4 May 2013.
  6. Highest score for Northamptonshire CricketArchive. Retrieved 18 September 2009
  7. Most Runs in a Season for Northamptonshire CricketArchive. Retrieved 18 September 2009
  8. Most Wickets in an Innings for Northamptonshire CricketArchive. Retrieved 19 September 2009
  9. Most Wickets in a Match for Northamptonshire CricketArchive. Retrieved 19 September 2009
  10. Most Wickets in a Season for Northamptonshire CricketArchive. Retrieved 19 September 2009
  11. Most Victims in an Innings for Northamptonshire CricketArchive. Retrieved 19 September 2009
  12. Most Victims in a Season for Northamptonshire CricketArchive. Retrieved on 19 September 2009.
  13. Waghorn (1899), p27.
  14. "Deaths in 1936". Wisden Cricketers' Almanack (1937 ed.). Wisden. pp. Part I, 276.
  15. 1949 County Championship table CricketArchive. Retrieved 30 October 2009
  16. Frank Tyson, In the Eye of the Typhoon, Parrs Wood Press, 2004
    • Radd, Andrew (February 2001). 100 Greats: Northamptonshire County Cricket Club. Northampton: Tempus Publishing Limited. ISBN   0-7524-2195-6.


Further reading