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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.
|One Day name||Worcestershire Rapids|
|Home ground||New Road|
|FP Trophy wins||1|
|VitalityHealth Twenty20 Cup wins||1|
|B&H Cup wins||1|
First XI honours edit
- County Championship (5) – 1964, 1965, 1974, 1988, 1989
- Division Two (2) – 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 edit
- Second XI Championship (3) – 1962, 1963, 1982
- Second XI Trophy (1) – 2004
Earliest cricket edit
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.
Origin of the club edit
Worcestershire CCC was formed on 4 March 1865 at the Star Hotel (now the Whitehouse) 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 first-class county edit
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.
The modern day (2000–present) edit
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|
|2023||Castore||A-plan Insurance (CC), Utility Stream ( One-day) Langley Compass Group (T20)|
Current squad edit
- No. denotes the player's squad number, as worn on the back of their shirt.
- ‡ denotes players with international caps.
|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|
|14||Olly Cox||England||21 November 2003||Right-handed||Right-arm off break|
|27||Kashif Ali||England||7 February 1998||Right-handed||Right-arm leg break|
|54||Adam Hose||England||25 October 1992||Right-handed||Right-arm medium|
|88||Rob Jones||England||3 November 1995||Right-handed||Right-arm leg break|
|6||Matthew Waite||England||24 December 1995||Right-handed||Right-arm fast-medium|
|11||Rehaan Edavalath||England||4 March 2004||Right-handed||Right-arm off break|
|15||Brett D'Oliveira||England||28 February 1992||Right-handed||Right-arm leg break||Club captain|
|—||Ethan Brookes||England||23 May 2001||Right-handed||Right-arm fast-medium|
|—||Tom Taylor||England||21 December 1994||Right-handed||Right-arm fast-medium|
|9||Gareth Roderick||South Africa||29 August 1991||Right-handed||Right-arm medium||UK Passport|
|13||Henry Cullen||England||29 April 2003||Right-handed||—|
|21||Ben Gibbon||England||9 June 2000||Right-handed||Left-arm fast-medium|
|23||Joe Leach||England||30 October 1990||Right-handed||Right-arm fast-medium|
|33||Josh Baker||England||16 May 2003||Right-handed||Slow left-arm orthodox|
|61||Adam Finch||England||28 May 2000||Right-handed||Right-arm fast-medium|
Lists of players and club captains edit
County caps awarded edit
- Note: Worcestershire no longer award traditional caps, instead awarding "colours" on a player's Championship debut.
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
Most first-class runs for Worcestershire
Most first-class wickets for Worcestershire
- Highest team total: 701/6 declared v. Surrey, Worcester, 2007
- Lowest team total: 24 v. Yorkshire, Huddersfield, 1903
- Highest individual innings: 405* by Graeme Hick v. Somerset, Taunton, 1988
- Most runs in a season: 2,654 by Harold Gibbons, 1934
- Best bowling in an innings: 9–23 by Fred Root v. Lancashire, Worcester, 1931
- Best bowling in a match: 15–87 by Arthur Conway v. Gloucestershire, Moreton-in-Marsh, 1914
- Most wickets in a season: 207 by Fred Root, 1925
Highest partnership for each wicket edit
- 1st: 309 by Frederick Bowley and Harry Foster v. Derbyshire, Derby, 1901
- 2nd: 316 by Stephen Moore and Vikram Solanki v. Gloucestershire, Cheltenham, 2008
- 3rd: 438* by Graeme Hick and Tom Moody v. Hampshire, Southampton, 1997
- 4th: 330 by Ben Smith and Graeme Hick v. Somerset, Taunton, 2006
- 5th: 393 by Ted Arnold and William Burns v. Warwickshire, Birmingham, 1909
- 6th: 265 by Graeme Hick and Steve Rhodes v. Somerset, Taunton, 1988
- 7th: 256 by David Leatherdale and Steve Rhodes v. Nottinghamshire, Nottingham, 2002
- 8th: 184 by Steve Rhodes and Stuart Lampitt v. Derbyshire, Kidderminster, 1991
- 9th: 181 by John Cuffe and Robert Burrows v. Gloucestershire, Worcester, 1907
- 10th: 136 by Alex Milton and Steve Magoffin v. Somerset, Worcester, 2018
List A edit
'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.
- ACS (1982). A Guide to First-Class Cricket Matches Played in the British Isles. Nottingham: ACS.
- Bowen, p. 270.
- "Cricket - Worcestershire County Cricket Club". Archived from the original on 7 July 2013. Retrieved 11 July 2013.
- Bowen, p. 273.
- Selvey, Mike (1 May 2013). "Fifty years ago the very first Gillette Cup changed cricket for ever". The Guardian.
- Smyth, Rob (11 December 2008). "Cricket: Rob Smyth: The forgotten story of … the Combined Universities' 1989 B&H Cup run". The Guardian.
- "The Home of CricketArchive". Cricketarchive.com.
- "Cricket / Natwest Trophy: Hick and Moody destroy grand slam dream". The Independent. London. 4 September 1994.
- "The Home of CricketArchive". cricketarchive.com.
- Collis, John (19 September 2003). "Northamptonshire 196 & 379-9 Worcestershire 172-8dec". The Guardian.
- "Hall keeps his cool to edge Worcestershire into C&G final". Espncricinfo.com.
- Paul Bolton (18 July 2004). "Warwickshire tamed by stunning Solanki". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 12 January 2022.
- "Gloucs win C&G Trophy". BBC. 28 August 2004.
- "Largest Margin of Innings Defeat". CricketArchive.co.uk. Retrieved 14 May 2007.
- "Worcestershire clinch Pro40 title". BBC Sport. 13 September 2007. Retrieved 14 September 2007.
- "Results – Pro40 Division One, 2007 – ESPN Cricinfo". ESPNcricinfo.
- "Worcestershire promoted despite loss – LV= County Championship – Domestic – News Archive – ECB". Ecb.co.uk.
- "Graeme Hick". ESPNcricinfo.
- "Davies bows out with Durham draw". BBC Sport. 26 September 2009. Retrieved 27 September 2009.
- "Worcestershire stay up as Durham title hopes end". BBC Sport.
- "Worcestershire relegated as Bears seal title triumph | Worcester Standard". Archived from the original on 8 June 2014. Retrieved 28 November 2021.
- "Zafar Ansari ensures Surrey scrape draw against Worcestershire". The Daily Telegraph. London. 4 June 2014. Archived from the original on 12 January 2022.
- "County Championship: Worcs relegated after defeat by Durham". BBC. 17 September 2015. Retrieved 29 September 2018.
- "Worcestershire v Durham: Promoted leaders seek victory for Division Two title". BBC. 27 September 2017. Retrieved 29 September 2018.
- Four other List A matches, all involving Worcestershire Cricket Board, have been played at Kidderminster.
- One other first-class match, a 1972 England v Rest of England Test trial, has been played at New Road.
- Three One Day Internationals have also been played at New Road: West Indies v Zimbabwe in the 1983 World Cup, and Australia v Scotland and Sri Lanka v Zimbabwe in the 1999 World Cup. The 2003 C&G Trophy game between Worcestershire Cricket Board and Worcestershire is included in this figure, although it was technically a Worcs CB home fixture.
- One other first-class match, between HK Foster's XI and the Australian Imperial Forces, has been played at the Racecourse Ground.
- "The Home of CricketArchive". Cricketarchive.com. Retrieved 26 November 2021.
- "The Home of CricketArchive". Cricketarchive.com. Retrieved 26 November 2021.
Further reading edit
- 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
- Worcestershire County Cricket Club Official Website
- Worcestershire CCC history
- Grounds in England from CricketArchive. Retrieved 9 December 2006.
- Worcestershire CCC Fans' Forum