Cricket in England

Cricket is one of the most popular sports in England, and has been played since the 16th century. Marylebone Cricket Club, based at Lord's, developed the modern rules of play and conduct.

Cricket in England
Lord's Pavilion.jpg
Lord’s Cricket Ground in London, the spiritual home of cricket and one of the premier cricket grounds in England and Wales
Governing bodyEngland and Wales Cricket Board
National team(s)England
National competitions
International competitions


Domestic competitionsEdit

There are eighteen professional county clubs,[1] seventeen of them in England and one in Wales. All eighteen counties are named after, and were originally representative of, historic counties. 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 English cricket season traditionally starts at the beginning of April and runs through to the second half of September although in recent years counties have played pre season friendly matches at the very end of March.

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 one day cricket in the Royal London One-Day Cup, and Twenty20 cricket in the Vitality T20 Blast.

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.

First-class countiesEdit

The eighteen first-class counties are the top level cricket teams. They are named after historic English counties and include one Welsh county, Glamorgan.

The English first-class counties are:

The full name of the cricket team is usually formed from the name of the county followed by the words County Cricket Club, which are often abbreviated as CCC.


The following games are considered derbies:-

  • Roses Match – Yorkshire v Lancashire
  • Battle of London (cross-Thames derby) – Middlesex v Surrey
  • South Coast Special – Hampshire v Sussex
  • West Midlands Derby – Warwickshire v Worcestershire
  • West Country Derby- Somerset v Gloucestershire
  • East Midlands Derby - Notts v Derbyshire
  • North Derby - Yorkshire v Durham


The opening first-class game of an English county cricket season has traditionally been played at Lord's between the MCC and the Champion County (the club that won the County Championship the previous year). When the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) plays against one of the first-class counties, the game is granted first-class status.

MCC UniversitiesEdit

The six MCC-sponsored University (MCCU) teams, are also afforded first-class status for some of their matches against a first-class county. They are:

Most of the first-class counties play three-day games against university cricket teams in the early part of the English cricket season. This is partly because the start of the cricket season coincides with the end of the university academic year, and partly because the games act as pre-season warm-ups for the county clubs.[2]

The HundredEdit

Starting in the 2020 season the Hundred is a new 100 ball cricket competition which will consist of eight city-based franchise teams, each of which will field both a men's and women's team which will be played in a league format.

Recreational club competitionsEdit

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

Cricket groundsEdit

The cricket grounds of England and Wales 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".[3]

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 24 November 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 bodyEdit

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is the governing body of cricket in England and Wales.[4][5] 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.[6][7][8][9]

They are full members of the International Cricket Council.[10]

National teamEdit

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.[11][12]


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.[13][14][15][16]

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 England after Football, Rugby and Tennis with most villages running a side every Sunday through the season, and towns putting out 2, 3, 4 and occasionally 5 sides for Saturday league matches, and 1 or 2 sides on a Sunday. Around 65% population of England follow Cricket.[17][18][19][20][21] The game is also popular in cities, with clubs like the King's Road Cricket & Social Club attracting members.


  1. ^ "Cricket News: Domestic List". Archived from the original on 21 September 2016. Retrieved 26 April 2018.
  2. ^ "MCC Universities". Archived from the original on 13 April 2014.
  3. ^ "UK: What impact is climate change having on cricket?". Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  4. ^ "English Cricket's Crumbling Pyramid". 17 April 2015. Retrieved 5 November 2018.
  5. ^ "Resources" (PDF).
  6. ^ "ESPN and the England & Wales Cricket Board Sign Five-Year Agreement for Exclusive Rights in the Caribbean - ESPN MediaZone Caribbean". Retrieved 5 November 2018.
  7. ^ Rumford, Chris; Wagg, Stephen (11 August 2010). "Cricket and Globalization". Cambridge Scholars Publishing. Retrieved 5 November 2018 – via Google Books.
  8. ^ "Protection memo" (PDF).
  9. ^ "National club strategy" (PDF).
  10. ^ "The battle for bronze". Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  11. ^ "A short history of the Ashes". Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  12. ^ "What are the Ashes? Cricket's oldest rivalry explained - CBBC Newsround". Retrieved 6 November 2018 – via
  13. ^ "Cricket in Britain is under threat from its own success". Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  14. ^ Lavalette, Tristan. "England's Radical Plan To Shorten Cricket Games". Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  15. ^ Aarons, Ed (4 June 2017). "BBC delivery could restore England's cricket mania. But will it stump up? - Ed Aarons". the Guardian. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  16. ^ "Should Test Cricket be abrogated in light of the growing popularity of T20?". 21 May 2018. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  17. ^ "Cricket Still Popular Among Young People, Insists ICC Chief". 31 May 2018. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  18. ^ "The strange death of English cricket - The Spectator". 28 April 2018. Retrieved 5 November 2018.
  19. ^ "Cricket is losing the popularity contest". Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  20. ^ "The relationship between cricket and football, from the dark arts to the stranglehold of money". 14 September 2018. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  21. ^ ""Success breeds popularity – people want a piece of it": why women's cricket continues its rapid rise – Sports Gazette". Retrieved 2 November 2018.


  • Malcolm, Dominic (2013). Globalizing Cricket Codification, Colonization and Contemporary Identities. Bloomsbury USA Academic. ISBN 978-1849665278.

See alsoEdit