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Worcestershire County Cricket Club is one of eighteen
first-class First class (or 1st class, Firstclass) generally implies a high level of service, importance or quality. Specific uses of the term include: Books and Comics * ''First Class'', List of Dandy comic strips, a comic strip in ''The Dandy'' (1983-1998 ...
county clubs A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary, L. Brookes (ed.), 2005, Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd, Edinburgh in certain modern nations. The term is derived from the Old French ...
within the domestic
cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch, pitch with a wicket at each end, each comprising two Bail (cricket), bai ...

cricket
structure of
England and Wales England and Wales () is a legal jurisdiction covering England and Wales, two of the four countries of the United Kingdom, parts of the United Kingdom. England and Wales forms the constitutional successor to the former Kingdom of England and follows ...
. It represents the historic county of
Worcestershire
Worcestershire
. Its
Vitality Blast The T20 Blast, currently named the Vitality Blast for sponsorship reasons is a professional Twenty20 Twenty20 cricket or Twenty-20 (often abbreviated to T20) is a shortened format of cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and ...
T20
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 New Road is a cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch, pitch with a wicket at each end, each comprising tw ...
. Founded in 1865, Worcestershire held minor status at first and was a prominent member of the early
Minor Counties Championship The NCCA 3 Day Championship (previously the Minor Counties Cricket Championship) is a season-long competition in England and Wales that is contested by the members of the National Counties Cricket Association (NCCA), the so-called Minor Counties ...
in the 1890s, winning the competition three times. In 1899, the club joined the
County Championship The County Championship (referred to as the LV= Insurance County Championship for sponsorship reasons) is the domestic first-class cricket First-class cricket is the highest-standard international or domestic matches in the sport of cri ...
and the team was elevated to first-class status. Since then, Worcestershire have played in every top-level domestic cricket competition in England.


Honours


First XI honours

* County Championship (5) – 1964, 1965, 1974, 1988, 1989 :''Division Two'' (1) – 2003, 2017 * Gillette/NatWest/C&G/Friends Provident Trophy (1) – 1994 * Vitality T20 Blast (1) – 2018 * Sunday/Pro 40 League (4) – 1971, 1987, 1988, 2007 * Benson & Hedges Cup (1) – 1991 * Minor Counties Championship (3) – 1896, 1897, 1898; shared (1) – 1895


Second XI honours

* Second XI Championship (3) – 1962, 1963, 1982 * Second XI Trophy (1) – 2004


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 and the county cricket club was not formed until 1865. A match on 28 August 1844 at
Hartlebury Common
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 In English cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch, pitch with a wicket at each end, each comprising two ...

All-England Eleven
at Powick Hams.


Origin of the club

Worcestershire CCC was formed on 4 March 1865 at the ''Star Hotel'' in
Worcester Worcester may refer to: Places United Kingdom * Worcester, England, a city in Worcestershire ** Worcester (UK Parliament constituency) * Worcester Park, London, England * Worcestershire, a county in England United States * Worcester, Massachus ...
. The club owes much to Paul Foley who was from a family of iron masters in
Stourbridge Stourbridge is a market town in the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley The Metropolitan Borough of Dudley is a metropolitan borough of West Midlands (county), West Midlands in England. It was created in 1974 following the Local Government Act ...

Stourbridge
. He also owned an agricultural estate at
Stoke Edith Stoke Edith is a village in the English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventua ...
in Herefordshire. He became involved with the club in the 1880s and helped to establish the
Minor Counties Championship The NCCA 3 Day Championship (previously the Minor Counties Cricket Championship) is a season-long competition in England and Wales that is contested by the members of the National Counties Cricket Association (NCCA), the so-called Minor Counties ...
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 The County Championship (referred to as the LV= Insurance County Championship for sponsorship reasons) is the domestic first-class cricket First-class cricket is the highest-standard international or domestic matches in the sport of cri ...
in 1899. Worcestershire CCC played its initial first-class match ''versus''
Yorkshire CCC Image:YorkshireCCCOneDayKits.svg, 260px, right Yorkshire County Cricket Club is one of eighteen first-class cricket, first-class county cricket, county clubs within the domestic cricket structure of England and Wales. It represents the Historic ...
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 260px, right Kent County Cricket Club is one of the eighteen first-class county clubs within the domestic cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a cricket field, field ...
. 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 Charles Frederick (Fred) Root (16 April 1890 – 20 January 1954) was an English cricketer who played for English cricket team, England in 1926 and for Derbyshire County Cricket Club, Derbyshire between 1910 and 1920 and for Worcestershire Count ...

Fred Root
, one of the first exponents of
leg theory Leg theory is a bowling (cricket), bowling tactic in the sport of cricket. The term ''leg theory'' is somewhat archaic and seldom used any longer, but the basic tactic remains a play in modern cricket. Simply put, leg theory involves concentrating ...
bowling, took over 1,500 wickets for the county and was a
Test Test(s), testing, or TEST may refer to: * Test (assessment), an educational assessment intended to measure the respondents' knowledge or other abilities Arts and entertainment * Test (2013 film), ''Test'' (2013 film), an American film * Test ( ...
standard player in an otherwise fourth-rate team. In
Cyril Walters Cyril Frederick Walters (28 August 1905 – 23 December 1992) was a Welsh first-class cricket First-class cricket is the highest-standard international or domestic matches in the sport of cricket. A first-class match is one of three or more ...
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 Richard Howorth (26 April 1909 – 2 April 1980) was an English all-rounder for Worcestershire County Cricket Club, Worcestershire between 1933 and 1951. Chiefly remembered as a left-arm orthodox spin, left-arm spin bowler (cricket), bowler, How ...
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 Championship The County Championship (referred to as the LV= Insurance County Championship for sponsorship reasons) is the domestic first-class cricket First-class cricket is the highest-standard international or domestic matches in the sport of cri ...
s 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.


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. 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 County Cricket Club, Northamptonshire while their rivals for second promotion spot, Essex County Cricket Club, Essex, lost to Leicestershire County Cricket Club, Leicestershire. However, their 2007 season began badly, including an result (cricket), innings-and-260-run loss to Yorkshire County Cricket Club, Yorkshire, Worcestershire's worst innings defeat since 1934. A 2007 United Kingdom floods, 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 County Cricket Club, 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.


Sponsorship


Players


Current squad

* No. denotes the player's squad number, as worn on the back of their shirt. * denotes players with international caps.


Lists of players and club captains

* List of Worcestershire CCC players * List of Worcestershire cricket captains


County caps awarded

:''Note: Worcestershire no longer award traditional county cap, caps, instead awarding "colours" on a player's County Championship, Championship debut.''


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 House, 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.


Records


First-class

Most first-class runs for Worcestershire
Qualification – 20,000 runs Most first-class wickets for Worcestershire
Qualification – 1,000 wickets


Batting

*Highest team total: 701/6 declared v. Surrey County Cricket Club, Surrey, New Road, Worcester, Worcester, 2007 English cricket season, 2007 *Lowest team total: 24 v. Yorkshire County Cricket Club, Yorkshire, Huddersfield, 1903 English cricket season, 1903 *Highest individual innings: 405* by Graeme Hick v. Somerset, Taunton, 1988 English cricket season, 1988 *Most runs in a season: 2,654 by Harold Gibbons (cricketer), Harold Gibbons, 1934 English cricket season, 1934


Bowling

*Best bowling in an innings: 9–23 by
Fred Root Charles Frederick (Fred) Root (16 April 1890 – 20 January 1954) was an English cricketer who played for English cricket team, England in 1926 and for Derbyshire County Cricket Club, Derbyshire between 1910 and 1920 and for Worcestershire Count ...

Fred Root
v. Lancashire County Cricket Club, Lancashire, Worcester, 1931 English cricket season, 1931 *Best bowling in a match: 15–87 by Arthur Conway (sportsman), Arthur Conway v. Gloucestershire County Cricket Club, Gloucestershire, Moreton-in-Marsh, 1914 English cricket season, 1914 *Most wickets in a season: 207 by Fred Root, 1925 English cricket season, 1925


Highest partnership for each wicket

*1st: 309 by Frederick Bowley (Worcestershire), Frederick Bowley and Harry Foster (cricketer), Harry Foster v. Derbyshire, Derby, 1901 English cricket season, 1901 *2nd: 316 by Stephen Moore (cricketer), Stephen Moore and Vikram Solanki v. Gloucestershire, Cheltenham, 2008 English cricket season, 2008 *3rd: 438* by Graeme Hick and Tom Moody v. Hampshire, Southampton, 1997 English cricket season, 1997 *4th: 330 by Ben Smith (English cricketer), Ben Smith and Graeme Hick v. Somerset, Taunton, 2006 English cricket season, 2006 *5th: 393 by Ted Arnold and William Burns (cricketer), William Burns v. Warwickshire, Birmingham, 1909 English cricket season, 1909 *6th: 265 by Graeme Hick and Steve Rhodes v. Somerset, Taunton, 1988 English cricket season, 1988 *7th: 256 by David Leatherdale and Steve Rhodes v. Nottinghamshire, Nottingham, 2002 English cricket season, 2002 *8th: 184 by Steve Rhodes and Stuart Lampitt v. Derbyshire, Kidderminster, 1991 English cricket season, 1991 *9th: 181 by John Cuffe and Robert Burrows (cricketer), Robert Burrows v. Gloucestershire, Worcester, 1907 English cricket season, 1907 *10th: 136 by Alex Milton and Steve Magoffin v. Somerset, Worcester, 2018 English cricket season, 2018


List A

*Highest team total: 404/3 (60 overs) v. Minor Counties, Devon, Worcester, 1987 *Lowest team total: 58 all out (20.3 overs) v. Ireland cricket team, Ireland, Worcester, 2009 *Highest individual innings: 192 by Callum Ferguson v. Leicestershire County Cricket Club, Leicestershire, New Road, Worcester, New Road, 2018 *Best bowling: 7–19 by Neal Radford v. Minor Counties, Bedfordshire, Bedford, 1991


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 First class (or 1st class, Firstclass) generally implies a high level of service, importance or quality. Specific uses of the term include: Books and Comics * ''First Class'', List of Dandy comic strips, a comic strip in ''The Dandy'' (1983-1998 ...
status and admission into the English
County Championship The County Championship (referred to as the LV= Insurance County Championship for sponsorship reasons) is the domestic first-class cricket First-class cricket is the highest-standard international or domestic matches in the sport of cri ...
(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.


References


Further reading

*Harry Altham, 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


External links


Worcestershire County Cricket Club Official WebsiteWorcestershire CCC history
from CricketArchive. Retrieved 9 December 2006.
Worcestershire CCC Fans' Forum
{{Authority control Worcestershire County Cricket Club, Cricket clubs established in 1865 English first-class cricket teams Cricket in Worcestershire Sport in Worcester, England History of Worcestershire 1865 establishments in England