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|One Day name||Worcestershire Rapids|
|Overseas player(s)|| Azhar Ali |
Dwayne Bravo (T20)
Colin Munro (T20)
|Home ground||New Road|
|First-class debut|| Yorkshire |
|FP Trophy wins||1|
|VitalityHealth Twenty20 Cup wins||1|
|B&H Cup wins||1|
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.Since then, Worcestershire have played in every top-level domestic cricket competition in England.
Cricket may have been played in Worcestershire during the 18th century, however the earliest reference to cricket in the county is 1829and the county cricket club was not formed until 1865.
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.
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 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.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. 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.Worcestershire's next title came in 1994 when they won the Natwest Trophy, beating arch-rivals Warwickshire in the final. 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.
Worcestershire failed to gain promotion in 2000, despite overseas signing Glenn McGrath taking 76 Championship wickets at an average of 13.77.In 2003, Worcestershire were promoted to County Championship Division One for the first time after winning the Division Two title. Worcestershire also reached the final of the Cheltenham & Gloucester trophy, beating Lancashire in a memorable semi-final at New Road on 9 August 2003. 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 and the final against Gloucestershire, but the 'Gladiators' won by eight wickets at Lord's.
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.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. 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.
2008 saw Worcestershire promoted back to Division One, despite losing their final game of the season.2008 was also Graeme Hick's last season at Worcestershire, having scored 136 first-class centuries in 25 seasons at New Road. 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.
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.However, at the end of the 2012 season they were relegated back to Division Two. 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. 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. Worcestershire spent two years back in the second tier, before achieving promotion on 27 September 2017.
|Year||Kit Manufacturer||Shirt Sponsor|
|1998||Crusader Sport||Apollo 2000|
|2009||The Cotswold Group|
|2014||Royal Air Force|
|No.||Name||Nationality||Birth date||Batting style||Bowling style||Notes|
|2||Jake Libby||England||3 January 1993||Right-handed||Right-arm off break|
|7||Ed Pollock||England||10 July 1995||Left-handed||Right-arm off break|
|17||Jack Haynes||England||30 January 2001||Right-handed||Right-arm off break|
|27||Kashif Ali||England||7 February 1998||Right-handed||Right-arm leg break|
|29||Tom Fell||England||17 October 1993||Right-handed||Right-arm off break|
|52||Josh Dell||England||26 September 1997||Right-handed||Right-arm medium|
|57||Taylor Cornall||England||9 October 1998||Left-handed||Slow left-arm orthodox|
|79||Azhar Ali||Pakistan||19 February 1985||Right-handed||Right-arm leg break||Overseas player|
|82||Colin Munro||New Zealand||11 March 1987||Left-handed||Right-arm medium||Overseas player (T20 only)|
|6||Matthew Waite||England||24 December 1995||Right-handed||Right-arm fast-medium||On loan from Yorkshire|
|8||Moeen Ali||England||18 June 1987||Left-handed||Right-arm off break||England central contract|
|15||Brett D'Oliveira||England||28 February 1992||Right-handed||Right-arm leg break||Club captain|
|30||Ed Barnard||England||20 November 1995||Right-handed||Right-arm medium|
|47||Dwayne Bravo||West Indies||7 October 1983||Right-handed||Right-arm medium||Overseas player (T20 only)|
|77||Jacques Banton||England||6 July 2001||Right-handed||Slow left-arm orthodox|
|9||Gareth Roderick||South Africa||29 August 1991||Right-handed||Right-arm medium||UK Passport|
|10||Ben Cox||England||2 February 1992||Right-handed||–|
|13||Henry Cullen||England||29 April 2003||Right-handed||—|
|5||Reeve Evitts||England||22 January 2005||Right-handed||Right-arm fast-medium|
|21||Ben Gibbon||England||9 June 2000||Right-handed||Left-arm fast-medium|
|22||Dillon Pennington||England||26 February 1999||Right-handed||Right-arm fast-medium|
|23||Joe Leach||England||30 October 1990||Right-handed||Right-arm fast-medium|
|24||Josh Tongue||England||15 November 1997||Right-handed||Right-arm fast|
|31||Charlie Morris||England||6 July 1992||Right-handed||Right-arm fast-medium|
|33||Josh Baker||England||16 May 2003||Right-handed||Slow left-arm orthodox|
|36||Pat Brown||England||23 August 1998||Right-handed||Right-arm fast-medium|
|38||Mitchell Stanley||England||17 March 2001||Right-handed||Right-arm fast-medium|
|46||Oliver Davidson||Scotland||28 July 2004||Left-handed||Slow left-arm orthodox|
|61||Adam Finch||England||28 May 2000||Right-handed||Right-arm fast-medium|
|87||Mohammad Hasnain||Pakistan||5 April 2000||Right-handed||Right-arm fast||Overseas player|
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 ground||Location||First-class span||Worcs f-c matches||List A span||Worcs LA matches|
|Bournville Cricket Ground||Bournville, Birmingham||1910–1911||2||N/A||0|
|Chain Wire Club Ground||Stourport-on-Severn, Worcestershire||1980||1||N/A||0|
|Chester Road North Ground||Kidderminster, Worcestershire||1921–2019||68||1969–2008||5|
|Evesham Cricket Club Ground||Evesham, Worcestershire||1951||1||N/A||0|
|Blackfinch New Road||Worcester||1899–present||1,072||1963–present||425|
|Seth Somers Park||Halesowen, West Midlands||1964–1969||2||N/A||0|
|Tipton Road||Dudley, West Midlands||1911–1971||88||1969–1977||14|
|War Memorial Athletic Ground||Stourbridge, West Midlands||1905–1981||61||1969–1982||3|
|Himley Cricket Club||Himley, Staffordshire||N/A||0||2007||1|
| Worcester Royal Grammar School Ground |
'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.
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.
Graeme Ashley Hick is a Zimbabwean-born former England cricketer who played 65 Test matches and 120 One Day Internationals for England. He was born in Rhodesia, and as a young man played international cricket for Zimbabwe. He played English county cricket for Worcestershire for his entire English domestic career, a period of well over twenty years, and in 2008 surpassed Graham Gooch's record for the most matches in all forms of the game combined.
Lancashire County Cricket Club represents the historic county of Lancashire in English cricket. The club has held first-class status since it was founded in 1864. Lancashire's home is Old Trafford Cricket Ground, although the team also play matches at other grounds around the county. Lancashire was a founder member of the County Championship in 1890 and have won the competition nine times, most recently in 2011. The club's limited overs team is called Lancashire Lightning.
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.
Somerset 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 Somerset. Founded in 1875, Somerset was initially regarded as a minor county until official first-class status was acquired in 1895. Somerset has competed in the County Championship since 1891 and has subsequently played in every top-level domestic cricket competition in England. The club's limited overs team was formerly named the Somerset Sabres, but is now known only as Somerset.
The 2005 English cricket season was the 106th in which the County Championship had been an official competition. Before it began, a resurgent England cricket team had won four Test series in a row, going unbeaten through the 2004 calendar year. The start of the international season saw England defeat Bangladesh 2–0 in their two-match series, winning both Tests by an innings. This was followed by a tri-nations one-day tournament that also featured Australia. Australia still started the Test series as favourites but most fans expected England to put up a challenge.
Worcestershire County Cricket Club in 2005 played their County Championship games in Division Two and their Totesport League games in Division One. Under their new captain, Vikram Solanki, they were tipped to go straight back up to the top flight of the County Championship and started the season 9–2 second favourites to end up as Division Two champions.
New Road is a cricket ground in the English city of Worcester. It has been the home ground of Worcestershire County Cricket Club since 1896. Since October 2017 the ground has been known for sponsorship purposes as Blackfinch New Road following a five-year sponsorship arrangement with Blackfinch Investments.
Philip John Newport is a former English first-class cricketer, who played primarily as a seam and swing bowler. Newport was a stalwart of Worcestershire County Cricket Club for most of the 1980s and 1990s, and played a key part in the county's triumphs in the late 1980s. Newport played in three Tests for England between 1988 and 1991.
Kabir Ali is an English former cricketer. A right-arm seam bowler and useful lower-order right-handed batsman, he played one Test match for England in 2003, while also earning 14 ODI caps between 2003 and 2006.
George Frederick Wheldon was an English sportsman. He was sometimes known as Fred or Freddie Wheldon. In football, he was an inside-forward for England and several Football League clubs, in particular for Small Heath and Aston Villa. In cricket, he was a right-handed batsman and occasional wicket-keeper, who played county cricket for Worcestershire in their early seasons in the first-class game.
James Cullum Tredwell is an English former international cricketer. A left-handed batsman and a right-arm off break bowler, he played his domestic cricket for Kent County Cricket Club and was appointed as County Captain for the 2013 season. He made his debut for Kent in the 2001 season, nine days before his first appearance for England Under-19s. He often fielded at slip.
Alan Richardson is a retired English cricketer who is the bowling coach for Worcestershire. He played for Derbyshire, Warwickshire, Middlesex and Worcestershire.
The 2006 English cricket season was the 107th in which the County Championship had been an official competition. It included home international series for England against Sri Lanka and Pakistan. England came off a winter with more Test losses than wins, for the first time since 2002-03, but still attained their best series result in India since 1985. The One Day International series against Pakistan and India both ended in losses.
Wardown Park is situated on the River Lea in Luton. The park has various sporting facilities, is home to the Wardown Park Museum and contains formal gardens. The park is located between Old Bedford Road and the A6, New Bedford Road and is within walking distance of the town centre.
The 1997 cricket season was the 98th in which the County Championship has been an official competition. The season centred on the six-Test Ashes series against Australia. England won the first, at Edgbaston, by the decisive margin of nine wickets, and the rain-affected second Test at Lord's was drawn, but any English optimism was short-lived. Australia won the next three games by huge margins to secure the series and retain The Ashes, and England's three-day victory in the final game at The Oval was little more than a consolation prize. It was the 68th test series between the two sides with Australia finally winning 3-2 The three-match ODI series which preceded the Tests produced a statistical curiosity, with England winning each match by an identical margin, six wickets.
Duncan Neil Catterall is an English cricketer who played first-class cricket for Worcestershire and currently plays at minor counties level for Shropshire. He was born in Preston, Lancashire.
Michael Burns is an English first-class list cricket umpire and former first-class cricketer who played county cricket for Warwickshire and Somerset in a first-class career which spanned from 1992 until 2005. He also played Minor Counties cricket for Cumberland and Cornwall. An adaptable cricketer, he appeared for Cumberland and Warwickshire as a wicket-keeper, but when he moved to Somerset he developed into an aggressive batsman who bowled at medium-pace when needed.
Steven Joseph "Steve" O'Shaughnessy is a former English professional cricketer who played for Lancashire and Worcestershire in the 1980s, and then had a substantial career in Minor Counties cricket with Cumberland. Since retiring from playing, he has become an umpire, and was promoted in December 2010 to the first-class panel for the 2011 season.
Peter David Watts is an English cricketer who played first-class and List A cricket for Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire between 1958 and 1967. He also played Minor counties cricket for Bedfordshire and Shropshire. He was born at Henlow, Bedfordshire and educated at Bedford Modern School.