Worcestershire County Cricket Club

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Worcestershire County Cricket Club
Worcestershire County Cricket Club logo.svg
One Day nameWorcestershire Rapids
Personnel
Captain Joe Leach
Coach Alex Gidman
Overseas player(s) Alzarri Joseph
Ben Dwarshuis (T20)
Sandeep Lamichhane (T20)
Team information
Founded1865
Home ground New Road
Capacity5,500
History
First-class debut Yorkshire
in 1899
Championship  wins5
Pro40  wins4
FP Trophy  wins1
VitalityHealth Twenty20 Cup  wins1
B&H Cup  wins1
Official website WCCC
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First-class

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One-day

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T20

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Worcestershire 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 Worcestershire. Its Vitality Blast T20 team has been rebranded the Worcestershire Rapids, but the county is known by most fans as ’the Pears’. The club is based at New Road, Worcester. Founded in 1865, Worcestershire held minor status at first and was a prominent member of the early Minor Counties Championship in the 1890s, winning the competition three times. In 1899, the club joined the County Championship and the team was elevated to first-class status. [1] Since then, Worcestershire have played in every top-level domestic cricket competition in England.

Contents

Honours

First XI honours

Division Two (1) – 2003, 2017

Second XI honours

History

Earliest cricket

Cricket may have been played in Worcestershire during the 18th century, however the earliest reference to cricket in the county is 1829 [2] and the county cricket club was not formed until 1865. [3]

A match on 28 August 1844 at Hartlebury Common between Worcestershire and Shropshire is the earliest known instance of a county team in Worcestershire. Two years later, XXII of Worcestershire played William Clarke's All-England Eleven at Powick Hams. [4]

Origin of the club

Worcestershire CCC was formed on 4 March 1865 at the Star Hotel in Worcester.

The club owes much to Paul Foley who was from a family of iron masters in Stourbridge. He also owned an agricultural estate at Stoke Edith in Herefordshire. He became involved with the club in the 1880s and helped to establish the Minor Counties Championship which began in 1895. Worcestershire shared the inaugural title with Durham and Norfolk before winning outright in 1896, 1897 and 1898.

With this success behind it, the club applied for first-class status and entered the County Championship in 1899. Worcestershire CCC played its initial first-class match versus Yorkshire CCC on 4, 5 & 6 May 1899.

The first-class county

The inclusion of Worcestershire increased the County Championship to 15 teams. At first they performed moderately despite the superb batting of Tip Foster, who could rarely play after 1901. Weak bowling on perfect New Road pitches was responsible for this, but in 1907 when Tip Foster played regularly for three months their batting, considering the difficulty of the pitches, was among the finest of any county team. Their best performance that year was an innings of 567 on a somewhat difficult pitch against Fielder and Blythe of Kent CCC. After that year, however, the batting was never strong enough to make up for woefully weak bowling.

Worcestershire were so weak the club could not compete in the Championship in 1919, and their form in 1920 – when they lost three successive games by an innings and over 200 runs – was probably the worst of any county side. Their form, with one remarkable exception, was woeful up to the early thirties. Fred Root, one of the first exponents of leg theory bowling, took over 1,500 wickets for the county and was a Test standard player in an otherwise fourth-rate team. In Cyril Walters and the Nawab of Pataudi the team acquired its first class batsmen since the Fosters, but both had to give up the game after playing brilliantly in 1933 – when the bowling was briefly very weak.

The emergence of Dick Howorth and Reg Perks in the 1930s, however, was built up so well that by 1947 Worcestershire were sufficiently strong in bowling to be competitive at county level even if their batting was not adequate for high honours. Roly Jenkins, with 183 wickets in 1949, gave them briefly the best attack in county cricket, but they soon declined again and their form in the 1950s was indifferent at best.

Their first period of great success came in the 1960s under the Presidency of Sir George Dowty and the captaincy of Don Kenyon, when the county won two County Championships thanks to the achievements of such players as Norman Gifford, Tom Graveney, Jack Flavell, Len Coldwell and Basil D'Oliveira. They were also losing finalist in the first ever Gillette Cup Final in 1963 - the inaugural limited overs knockout competition in England. [5] In 1971 Worcestershire won their first ever Sunday League title thanks largely to the bowling of Vanburn Holder and the New Zealander Glenn Turner was instrumental in Worcestershire's third championship win in 1974. In the 1980s, the prodigious batting feats of Graeme Hick and the arrival of Ian Botham paved the way for two more county titles in 1988 and 1989 - the same year in which they beat the touring Australians inside two days. [6] Worcestershire also won the Sunday League in 1987 and 1988.

Worcestershire's success continued into the 1990s, with a first ever success in the Benson and Hedges Cup in 1991, following final defeats in 1973, 1976 and 1990. Captained by Phil Neale, the Pears beat Lancashire by 65 runs in the final at Lord's, gaining revenge for defeat against Lancashire in the previous year's competition. [7] Worcestershire's next title came in 1994 when they won the Natwest Trophy, beating arch-rivals Warwickshire in the final. [8] Not only did they avenge their defeat at the hands of Warwickshire in the B&H Cup Final earlier that summer but it was also their first success in the competition after three previous final defeats. Worcestershire's best showing in the County Championship came in 1993 when they finished second to Middlesex. Worcestershire finished 15th in 1999, the final year of single division County Championship cricket, meaning they would start the new millennium in Division Two.

The modern day (2000–present)

Worcestershire failed to gain promotion in 2000, despite overseas signing Glenn McGrath taking 76 Championship wickets at an average of 13.77. [9] In 2003, Worcestershire were promoted to County Championship Division One for the first time after winning the Division Two title. [10] Worcestershire also reached the final of the Cheltenham & Gloucester trophy, beating Lancashire in a memorable semi-final at New Road on 9 August 2003. [11] There was disappointment in the Lord's final, though, as Worcestershire lost by seven wickets and the Pears were also relegated from Division One of the National League. 2004 was a yo-yo year with Worcestershire relegated in the County Championship, promoted back to Division One in the rebranded totesport League and losing finalists again in the C&G Trophy. Vikram Solanki scored centuries in both the semi-final win against Warwickshire [12] and the final against Gloucestershire, but the 'Gladiators' won by eight wickets at Lord's. [13]

In 2006, Worcestershire won promotion to the first division of the Championship on the last day of the season by beating Northamptonshire while their rivals for second promotion spot, Essex, lost to Leicestershire. However, their 2007 season began badly, including an innings-and-260-run loss to Yorkshire, Worcestershire's worst innings defeat since 1934. [14] A flood-hit season inflicted serious financial damage, and on-field results in the Championship gave little cheer as Worcestershire were relegated. However, in the Pro40 First Division things were very different, and victory over Gloucestershire in mid-September brought the title to New Road, the county's first trophy since 1994. [15] The feat was all the more remarkable for the fact that every one of Worcestershire's games was played away from their New Road home, due to the floods, with 'home' games played at Edgbaston, Taunton and Kidderminster. [16]

2008 saw Worcestershire promoted back to Division One, despite losing their final game of the season. [17] 2008 was also Graeme Hick's last season at Worcestershire, having scored 136 first-class centuries in 25 seasons at New Road. [18] 2009 proved disastrous in first-class cricket, with Worcestershire finishing bottom of the First Division without a single victory, the first time the county had failed to win a Championship match since 1928. [19]

Following a win on the last day of the season against Sussex, Worcestershire were promoted back to Division One in 2010. The following season they avoided relegation for the first time ever, giving them consecutive seasons in Division One. [20] However, at the end of the 2012 season they were relegated back to Division Two. [21] Worcestershire had a mixed campaign in 2013, finished fifth out of nine in Division Two but a bright start to the 2014 saw them second in the table after seven games, following a draw with Surrey in June. [22] Worcestershire returned to Division One for the 2015 season, however their return only lasted one season as they were relegated after picking up only two wins. [23] Worcestershire spent two years back in the second tier, before achieving promotion on 27 September 2017. [24]

Sponsorship

YearKit ManufacturerShirt Sponsor
1993 MEB
1994Powerline
1995 MEB
1996
1997
1998Crusader SportApollo 2000
1999
2000
2001
2002 Midlands Electricity
2003
2004 Haier
2005Apollo 2000
2006
2007
2008 Fearnley
2009The Cotswold Group
2010
2011
2012MKK Sport
2013allpay
2014 Royal Air Force
2015 Canterbury Arctic Spas
2016
2017Blackfinch Investments
2018 Gray-Nicolls
2019
2020
2021 Nike Morgan Motor

Players

Current squad

No.NameNationalityBirth dateBatting StyleBowling StyleNotes
Batsmen
2 Jake Libby Flag of England.svg  England 3 January 1993 (age 28)Right-handedRight-arm off break
17 Jack Haynes Flag of England.svg  England 30 January 2001 (age 20)Right-handedRight-arm off break
27 Daryl Mitchell Flag of England.svg  England 25 November 1983 (age 37)Right-handedRight-arm medium
29 Tom Fell Flag of England.svg  England 17 October 1993 (age 27)Right-handedRight-arm off break
44 Ross Whiteley Flag of England.svg  England 13 September 1988 (age 32)Left-handedLeft-arm medium
52 Josh Dell Flag of England.svg  England 26 September 1997 (age 23)Right-handedRight-arm medium
99 Riki Wessels Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 12 November 1985 (age 35)Right-handedUK Passport
All-rounders
8 Moeen Ali  Double-dagger-14-plain.pngFlag of England.svg  England 18 June 1987 (age 33)Left-handedRight-arm off break England white-ball contract
15 Brett D'Oliveira Flag of England.svg  England 28 February 1992 (age 29)Right-handedRight-arm leg break
30 Ed Barnard Flag of England.svg  England 20 November 1995 (age 25)Right-handedRight-arm medium
Wicket-keepers
9 Gareth Roderick Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa 29 August 1991 (age 29)Right-handedRight-arm medium UK Passport
10 Ben Cox Flag of England.svg  England 2 February 1992 (age 29)Right-handed
12 Alex Milton Flag of England.svg  England 19 May 1996 (age 24)Right-handedRight-arm leg break
Bowlers
18 Alzarri Joseph  Double-dagger-14-plain.pngWestIndiesCricketFlagPre1999.svg  West Indies 20 November 1996 (age 24)Right-handedRight-arm fast-medium Overseas player
22 Dillon Pennington Flag of England.svg  England 26 February 1999 (age 22)Right-handedRight-arm fast-medium
23 Joe Leach Flag of England.svg  England 30 October 1990 (age 30)Right-handedRight-arm fast-medium Club captain
24 Josh Tongue Flag of England.svg  England 15 November 1997 (age 23)Right-handedRight-arm fast
31 Charlie Morris Flag of England.svg  England 6 July 1992 (age 28)Right-handedRight-arm fast-medium
36 Pat Brown  Double-dagger-14-plain.pngFlag of England.svg  England 23 August 1998 (age 22)Right-handedRight-arm fast-medium
38Mitchell StanleyFlag of England.svg  England 17 March 2001 (age 20)Right-handedRight-arm fast-medium
61 Adam Finch Flag of England.svg  England 28 May 2000 (age 20)Right-handedRight-arm fast-medium
Ben Dwarshuis  Double-dagger-14-plain.pngFlag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 23 June 1994 (age 26)Left-handedLeft-arm fast-medium Overseas player (T20 only)
Sandeep Lamichhane  Double-dagger-14-plain.pngFlag of Nepal.svg    Nepal 2 August 2000 (age 20)Right-handedRight-arm leg break Overseas player (T20 only)

Lists of players and club captains

County caps awarded

Note: Worcestershire no longer award traditional caps, instead awarding "colours" on a player's Championship debut.
1928: Harold Gibbons
1931: Peter Jackson
1931: Reg Perks
1934: Dick Howorth
1937: Edwin Cooper
1938: Phil King
1939: Roly Jenkins
1939: Charles Palmer
1946: Ronald Bird
1946: Allan White
1946: Bob Wyatt
1947: Don Kenyon
1947: Hugo Yarnold
1948: Laddie Outschoorn
1949: Michael Ainsworth
1950: George Chesterton
1950: George Dews
1951: Bob Broadbent
1952: Peter Richardson
1955: Jack Flavell
1955: Martin Horton
1956: Roy Booth
1956: Dick Richardson
1957: Bob Berry
1959: John Aldridge
1959: Len Coldwell
1959: Derek Pearson
1960: Doug Slade
1961: Norman Gifford
1961: Ron Headley
1962: Tom Graveney
1962: James Standen
1965: Robert Carter
1965: Basil D'Oliveira
1966: Brian Brain
1966: Alan Ormrod
1968: Glenn Turner
1969: Ted Hemsley
 
1970: Rodney Cass
1970: Vanburn Holder
1972: Jim Yardley
1974: John Parker
1976: Imran Khan
1976: John Inchmore
1978: James Cumbes
1978: David Humphries
1978: Phil Neale
1979: Dipak Patel
1979: Younis Ahmed
1980: Paul Pridgeon
1981: Hartley Alleyne
1984: Tim Curtis
1984: David Smith
1985: Damian D'Oliveira
1985: Neal Radford
1986: Graeme Hick
1986: Richard Illingworth
1986: Phil Newport
1986: Steve Rhodes
1986: Martin Weston
1987: Ian Botham
1987: Graham Dilley
1989: Stuart Lampitt
1989: Steven McEwan
1990: Gordon Lord
1991: Tom Moody
1993: Chris Tolley
1994: Gavin Haynes
1994: David Leatherdale
1995: Phil Weston
1997: Alamgir Sheriyar
1997: Reuben Spiring
1998: Vikram Solanki
2000: Glenn McGrath
2001: Andy Bichel
2004: Nadeem Malik
2004: Ray Price

Grounds

This section gives details of every venue at which Worcestershire have hosted at least one match at first-class or List A level. Figures show the number of Worcestershire matches only played at the grounds listed, and do not include abandoned games. Note that the locations given are current; in some cases grounds now in other counties lie within the traditional boundaries of Worcestershire.

Haden Hill Park in Old Hill, West Midlands, was due to host a Benson & Hedges Cup match in 1988. However, this was abandoned without a ball being bowled and no other senior cricket has been played at the ground, so it is not included in the table.

Name of groundLocationFirst-class spanWorcs f-c matchesList A spanWorcs LA matches
Bournville Cricket Ground Bournville, Birmingham1910–19112N/A0
Chain Wire Club Ground Stourport-on-Severn, Worcestershire19801N/A0
Chester Road North Ground Kidderminster, Worcestershire1921–2019681969–20085 [25]
Evesham Cricket Club Ground Evesham, Worcestershire19511N/A0
Blackfinch New Road Worcester 1899–present1,072 [26] 1963–present425 [27]
Racecourse Ground Hereford 1919–19835 [28] 1983–19873
Seth Somers Park Halesowen, West Midlands1964–19692N/A0
Tipton Road Dudley, West Midlands1911–1971881969–197714
War Memorial Athletic Ground Stourbridge, West Midlands1905–1981611969–19823
Himley Cricket ClubHimley, StaffordshireN/A020071
Worcester Royal Grammar School Ground
(Flagge Meadow)
Worcester N/A020071

Records

First-class

Batting

Bowling

Highest partnership for each wicket

List A

Fostershire

‘Fostershire’ was a name jocularly applied to Worcestershire County Cricket Club in the early part of the 20th century, shortly after the county had achieved first-class status and admission into the English County Championship (in 1899). The name came from the fact that seven brothers from this one family played for Worcestershire during the period 1899–1934, three of whom captained the club at some point. Six of the brothers appeared during the seasons 1908–11.

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References

  1. ACS (1982). A Guide to First-Class Cricket Matches Played in the British Isles. Nottingham: ACS.
  2. Bowen, p. 270.
  3. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 7 July 2013. Retrieved 11 July 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. Bowen, p. 273.
  5. Selvey, Mike (1 May 2013). "Fifty years ago the very first Gillette Cup changed cricket for ever". The Guardian .
  6. Smyth, Rob (11 December 2008). "Cricket: Rob Smyth: The forgotten story of … the Combined Universities' 1989 B&H Cup run". The Guardian .
  7. "The Home of CricketArchive". Cricketarchive.com.
  8. "Cricket / Natwest Trophy: Hick and Moody destroy grand slam dream:". Independent.co.uk. 4 September 1994.
  9. "The Home of CricketArchive". cricketarchive.com.
  10. Collis, John (19 September 2003). "Northamptonshire 196 & 379-9 Worcestershire 172-8dec". The Guardian .
  11. "Hall keeps his cool to edge Worcestershire into C&G final". Espncricinfo.com.
  12. Edgbaston, By Paul Bolton at. "Warwickshire tamed by stunning Solanki". Telegraph.co.uk.
  13. "Gloucs win C&G Trophy". Bbc.co.uk. 28 August 2004.
  14. "Largest Margin of Innings Defeat". CricketArchive.co.uk. Retrieved 14 May 2007.
  15. "Worcestershire clinch Pro40 title". BBC Sport. 13 September 2007. Retrieved 14 September 2007.
  16. "Results - Pro40 Division One, 2007 - ESPN Cricinfo". Espncricinfo.com.
  17. "Worcestershire promoted despite loss - LV= County Championship - Domestic - News Archive - ECB". Ecb.co.uk.
  18. "Graeme Hick". Espncricinfo.com.
  19. "Davies bows out with Durham draw". BBC Sport. 26 September 2009. Retrieved 27 September 2009.
  20. "Worcestershire stay up as Durham title hopes end". Bbc.co.uk.
  21. "Zafar Ansari ensures Surrey scrape draw against Worcestershire". Telegraph.co.uk.
  22. "County Championship: Worcs relegated after defeat by Durham". Bbc.co.uk. 17 September 2015. Retrieved 29 September 2018.
  23. "Worcestershire v Durham: Promoted leaders seek victory for Division Two title". Bbc.co.uk. 27 September 2017. Retrieved 29 September 2018.
  24. Four other List A matches, all involving Worcestershire Cricket Board, have been played at Kidderminster.
  25. One other first-class match, a 1972 England v Rest of England Test trial, has been played at New Road.
  26. Three One Day Internationals have also been played at New Road: West Indies v Zimbabwe in the 1983 World Cup, and Australia v Scotland and Sri Lanka v Zimbabwe in the 1999 World Cup. The 2003 C&G Trophy game between Worcestershire Cricket Board and Worcestershire is included in this figure, although it was technically a Worcs CB home fixture.
  27. One other first-class match, between HK Foster's XI and the Australian Imperial Forces, has been played at the Racecourse Ground.

Further reading