Cricket in England

Cricket in England

Cricket is known to have been played in England since the 16th century. The Marylebone Cricket Club, based at Lords, came up with the modern rules of play and conduct.



Domestic competitions

Yorkshire v Surrey at the Headingley Stadium in Leeds in 2005

There are eighteen professional county clubs, seventeen of them in England and one in Wales. All eighteen counties are named after, and were originally representative of, historic counties.

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 the one day Pro40, a one day knock out competition called the Friends Provident Trophy, and the short-form Twenty20 Cup. 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 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.


The following games are considered derbies:-

  • War of the Roses - Lancashire v Yorkshire
  • Battle of London (cross-Thames derby) - Middlesex v Surrey
  • South Coast Special - Hampshire v Sussex
  • West Midlands Derby - Warwickshire v Worcestershire
  • Westcountry Derby- Somerset v Gloucestershire

Recreational club competitions

The ECB runs a national club knock-out competition, the Cockspur Cup, and has in place a regional Premier League pyramid system for recreational club cricket in England and Wales.

Cricket grounds

See main article: List of cricket grounds in England and Wales

English cricket grounds 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".

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).

On November 24, 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.

Governing body

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is the governing body of cricket in England and Wales. 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.

They are full members of the International Cricket Council.

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.


Cricket is probably the second most widely covered sport, and the fortunes of the England team are closely followed by many people who never attend a live game.

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.

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.

Cricket is also one of the most popular participation sports in Britain, with most villages running a side every Sunday through the season, and towns putting out 2, 3, 4 and occasionally 4 sides for Saturday league matches, and 1 or 2 sides on a Sunday.


See also

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