Leicestershire County Cricket Club


Leicestershire County Cricket Club

Infobox cricket team
county = Leicestershire County Cricket Club


oneday = Leicestershire Foxes
secondteam =
coach = flagicon|England Tim Boon
captain = flagicon|England Paul Nixon
overseas = flagicon|South Africa Boeta Dippenaar
founded = 1879
ground = Grace Road
capacity =
fcdebutvs = MCC
fcdebutyr = 1895
fcdebutvenue = Lord's
title1 = Championship
title1wins = 3
title2 = Pro40
title2wins = 2
title3 = FP Trophy
title3wins = 0
title4 = Twenty20 Cup
title4wins = 2
website = [http://www.leicestershireccc.co.uk LeicestershireCCC]

Leicestershire County Cricket Club is one of the 18 major county clubs which make up the English domestic cricket structure, representing the historic county of Leicestershire. It has also been representative of the county of Rutland. Its limited overs team is called the Leicestershire Foxes. Their kit colours are green with yellow trim.The shirt sponsors are Oval Insurance Broking with Highcross Leicester (shopping centre) on the top reverse side of the shirt.

The club is based at Grace Road, Leicester and have also played home games at Aylestone Road in Leicester, at Hinckley, Loughborough, Melton Mowbray, Ashby-de-la-Zouch and in Coalville inside the traditional county boundaries; and at Uppingham and Oakham over the border in Rutland.

Leicestershire are in the second divisions of both the County Championship and the Pro40 one day league. The Twenty20 Cup has become their signature competition in recent seasons with two trophies in three years.

Honours

* County Championship (3) - 1975, 1996, 1998
* Sunday/National League (2) - 1974, 1977
* Twenty20 Cup (2) - 2004, 2006,
* Benson & Hedges Cup (3) - 1972, 1975, 1985

econd XI honours

* Second XI Championship (1) - 1983; shared (0) -
* Minor Counties Championship (1) - 1931; shared (0) -

Earliest cricket

Cricket may not have reached the county until well into the 18th century. A notice in the "Leicester Journal" dated 17 August 1776 is the earliest known mention of cricket in Leicestershire.

But it was only a few years after that before a Leicestershire and Rutland Cricket Club was taking part in important matches, mainly against Nottingham Cricket Club and Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC). This club was prominent from 1781 until the beginning of the 19th century.

"For information about Leicestershire county teams before the formation of Leicestershire CCC, see : "Leicestershire and Rutland Cricket Club

19th century

Little more is heard of Leicestershire cricket until the formation of the present club on 25 March 1879.

Essex CCC "versus" Leicestershire CCC at Leyton on 14, 15 & 16 May 1894 was the initial first-class match played by either club. In 1895, the County Championship was restructured into a 14-team competition with the introduction of Essex, Leicestershire and Warwickshire CCC.

20th century

Leicestershire's first 70 years were largely spent in lower table mediocrity, with few notable exceptions. In 1953, the motivation of secretary-captain Charles Palmer lifted the side fleetingly to third place, but most of the rest of the 1950s was spent propping up the table, or thereabouts.

A change in fortunes: The 60s and 70s

Change came in the late 1950s with the recruitment of the charismatic Willie Watson at the end of a distinguished career with England and Yorkshire. Watson's run gathering sparked the home-grown Maurice Hallam into becoming one of England's best opening batsmen. In bowling, Leicestershire had an erratically successful group of seamers in Terry Spencer, Brian Boshier, John Cotton and Jack van Geloven, plus the spin of John Savage.

However, the change that finally brought success was in the captaincy: first Tony Lock, the former England and Surrey spinner who had galvanised Western Australia, took the team to the unprecedented position of runners-up in the Championship; then his successor, Ray Illingworth, again from Yorkshire, instilled self-belief to the extent that the county took its first title in 1975.

uccess in the late 90s

Leicestershire again won the county championship in 1996, and again in 1998 - an amazing achievement considering the resources of the club compared to other county teams. This Leicestershire side, led by Jack Birkenshaw and James Whitaker, used team spirit and togetherness to get the best out of a group of players who were either signed from other counties or brought through the Leicestershire ranks.

This team didn't have many stars, but Aftab Habib, Darren Maddy, Vince Wells, Jimmy Ormond, Alan Mullally and Chris Lewis all had chances for England. West Indian all-rounder Phil Simmons was also named as one of Wisden's Cricketers of the year in 1997 while playing for the club.

Recent decline of the club

Since winning two titles in three years, Leicestershire have slipped away dramatically from the top end of county cricket. In 2003 the side were relegated from both the county championship and the limited over competition and four years later still remain there having not realistically challenged for promotion from either, in any season.

There are a number of reasons to why there has been such a decline in the performance of the club. The departure of so many talented cricketers at the same time has been the main reason. There were a variety of reasons why players left: some went for money; some went to further their international careers; and others retired from the sport. The replacements, especially in the seam bowler department, have struggled to match their predecessors.

The management of the club has also been heavily questioned. The recruitment policy in particular, the club used four Kolpak players in the 2007 season who have for the most part failed to put in anything other than ordinary performances. While the overseas signings have been uninspiring with Mansoor Amjad, Mark Cleary and Adam Griffith all coming in and disappointing in recent years.

At the same time several of the county's more promising players like Luke Wright, Christopher Liddle and Darren Stevens have all moved away from the club having not been given a proper chance.

There has been significant success through the Twenty20 Cup in recent years; however, some see that as little consolation when the team is doing poorly in the main competition. The foxes failed to reach the Twenty20 knock out stages for the first time in 2007.

The Future of the club

It appears as if the people who run the club have finally realised that the county is in a downward spiral and have recently made some moves to try and counter this. Head coach Tim Boon and new captain Paul Nixon have both recently signed new deals which will keep them at Grace Road until 2010. They will also be joined on the coaching staff by Jeremy Snape and Claude Henderson who will also continue to play some cricket for the foxes.

Chairman Neil Davidson has also compiled a report entitled 'An Evidence Based Approach to the Identification and Development of England Test Cricketers in the County Championship'. [ [http://www.leicestershireccc.com/chairman/index.html Latest News ] ] This has also been the basis for future Leicestershire selection policy where the club plan to promote more young players. Although the report also suggests heavy reliance on a group of senior players with nationality not being an issue, which suggests a big role for Kolpak players.

Grounds

Current

* Grace Road, Leicester (1877 - Present)
* Oakham School, Oakham (2000 - Present)

Previous

* Bath Grounds, Ashby-de-la-Zouch (1912 - 1964)
* Fox and Goose Ground, Coalville (1913 - 1914)
* Town Ground, Coalville (1950)
* Snibston Colliery Ground, Coalville (1957 - 1982)
* Ashby Road, Hinckley (1911 - 1937)
* Coventry Road, Hinckley (1951 - 1964)
* Leicester Road, Hinckley (1981 - 1991)
* Aylestone Road, Leicester (1901 - 1962)
* Brush Ground, Loughborough (1953 - 1965)
* College Ground, Loughborough (1928 - 1929)
* Park Road, Loughborough (1913 - 1970)
* Egerton Park, Melton Mowbray (1946 - 1948)

Players and Officials

Leicestershire Squad

Players with international caps are listed in bold.

Batting

* Highest team total: 701-4d vs Worcestershire at New Road, Worcester in 1906.
* Highest home team total: 638-8d vs Worcestershire at Grace Road in 1996.
* Lowest team total: 25 vs Kent at Leicester in 1912
* Highest Total Against: 761-6d by Essex Chelmsford 1990
* Lowest Total Against: 24 by Glamorgan Leicester 1971
* Most runs: 30143 by George Berry
* Highest individual score: 309* by HD Ackerman vs Glamorgan at Sophia Gardens in 2006.
* Highest home individual score: 262 by Brad Hodge vs Durham at Grace Road in 2004.
* Highest Partnership: 436* by Darren Maddy & Brad Hodge vs Loughborough UCCE at Grace Road in 2003.

Best Partnership for each wicket (county championship)
*1st - 390 B.Dudleston & J.F.Steele v Derbyshire Leicester 1979
*2nd - 289* J.C.Balderstone & D.I.Gower v Essex Leicester 1981
*3rd - 316* W.Watson & A.Wharton v Somerset Taunton 1961
*4th - 290* P.Willey & T.J.Boon v Warwickshire Leicester 1984
*5th - 322 B.F.Smith & P.V.Simmons v Nottinghamshire Worksop 1998
*6th - 284 P.V.Simmons & P.A.Nixon v Durham Chester-le-Street 1996
*7th - 219* J.D.R.Benson & P.Whitticase v Hampshire Bournemouth 1991
*8th - 172 P.A.Nixon & D.J.Millns v Lancashire Manchester 1996
*9th - 160 R.T.Crawford & W.W.Odell v Worcestershire Leicester 1902
*10th - 228 R.Illingworth & K.Higgs v Northamptonshire Leicester 1977

Bowling

* Most First Class Wickets: 2131 by Ewart Astill
* Most First Class Wickets in a Season: 170 by Jack Walsh in 1948
* Best bowling figures in an innings: "'10-18 by George Geary in 1929 against Glamorgan at Ynysangharad Park, Pontypridd.
* Best bowling figures in a match: 16-96 by George Geary in the same match.

Fielding

* Most Dismissals in an innings: 7 by Neil Burns vs Somerset at Grace Road in 2001.
* Most Dismissals in a Match: 10 by Percy Corrall vs Sussex at Hove in 1936.

Leicestershire Facts and Feats

* When Leicestershire dismissed Northamptonshire CCC for 211 in August 1967 all ten wickets fell to catches - by ten different fielders. The only man not to take a catch, Jack Birkenshaw, took three wickets.
* Sam Coe made 252* in four hours without giving a chance against Northamptonshire at Leicester in 1914, a Leicester record which stood for over 70 years. He was an ancestor of fast bowler Les Taylor and is notable for being the first man ever dismissed by a Bernard Bosanquet googly.

References

External sources

* [http://www.leicestershireccc.co.uk Leicestershire County Cricket Club - Official Site]
* [http://www.freewebs.com/leicestershirefoxes/index.htm Leicestershire Foxes Supporter's Site]
* [http://uk.cricinfo.com/link_to_database/NATIONAL/ENG/FC_TEAMS/LEICS/ CricInfo Page]
* [http://cricketarchive.com/Leicestershire/index.html Cricket Archive Page]
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/cricket/counties/leicestershire/default.stm BBC Sport Page]

Further reading

* H S Altham, "A History of Cricket, Volume 1 (to 1914)", George Allen & Unwin, 1962
* Derek Birley, "A Social History of English Cricket", Aurum, 1999
* Rowland Bowen, "Cricket: A History of its Growth and Development", Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1970
* Roy Webber, "The Playfair Book of Cricket Records", Playfair Books, 1951

* Playfair Cricket Annual – various editions
* Wisden Cricketers Almanack – various editions


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