Cricket, the Brilliant Game!

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English County Cricket Clubs: Derbyshire

Posted by wildkiwi25 on January 19, 2009

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Derbyshire County Cricket Club is one of the 18 major county clubs which make up the English domestic cricket structure, representing the historic county of Derbyshire. Its limited overs team is called the Derbyshire Phantoms. Kit colours are dark and light blue.

The club is based at the County Cricket Ground, previously known as the Racecourse Ground, in the city of Derby. In 2006, for the first time in eight years, County Cricket returned to Queen’s Park, Chesterfield with a County Championship game against Worcester and a One Day League game against Surrey. Other first-class cricket grounds used in the past have included Buxton, Saltergate in Chesterfield, Heanor, Ilkeston, Blackwell, Abbeydale Park in Sheffield, Wirksworth and Burton upon Trent (3 grounds), which is actually in Staffordshire. One-day contests have been played at Darley Dale, Repton School, Trent College and Knypersley (also in Staffordshire).

In 2008 the club play in Division Two of both the County Championship and the One Day League. The captain is Chris Rogers and the coach is former England international John Morris. The 2008 shirt sponsor is Printability, printing design consultants based in Chesterfield. UK Security is the sponsor on the reverse.

Honours:

  • County Championship (1) – 1936
  • FP Trophy (1) – 1981
  • National League (1) – 1990
  • Benson & Hedges Cup (1) – 1993

    Records:
    For Derbyshire County Cricket Club’s first-class records, see List of Derbyshire first-class cricket records. For Derbyshire County Cricket Club’s List A records, see List of Derbyshire List A cricket records.

    Derbyshire recorded their highest ever score, 801 for eight declared, against Somerset at Taunton in 2007. Their score beat their previous highest ever score, of 707 for 7 declared also against Somerset also at Taunton in 2005. Simon Katich scored 221, Ian Harvey 153, Ant Botha 101 and James Pipe 106. Derbyshire broke the record despite losing Phil Weston and Chris Taylor to Andy Caddick in the first over without a run on the board.

    Earliest cricket:
    Cricket may not have reached Derbyshire until the 18th century. The earliest reference to cricket in the county is a match in September 1757 between Wirksworth and Sheffield Cricket Club at Brampton Moor, near Chesterfield.

    Origin of club:

    The formation of Derbyshire CCC took place on 4 November 1870 at a meeting in the Guildhall, Derby. The Earl of Chesterfield who had played for and against all England was the first President, G. H. Strutt was Vice President and Walter Boden, who had campaigned for the club’s foundation for three years, was secretary. When Chesterfield died the following year, William Jervis became president.

    Derbyshire CCC played its initial first-class match versus Lancashire CCC at Old Trafford Cricket Ground on 26 & 27 May 1871 and joined the (then unofficial) County Championship.

    Club history:
    Although the club had some good results in its early seasons, it struggled for the most part and before the 1888 season, following a run of disastrous results, Derbyshire was demoted from first-class status. Derbyshire recovered first-class status in 1894 and rejoined the County Championship in 1895.

    Although the county then had a quite strong team due to the bowling of George Davidson, Joseph Hulme and George Porter and the batting and wicketkeeping of William Storer, William Chatterton and Bagshaw, within three years they had hit rock-bottom, going through 1897 without a win due to their best bowlers losing their powers.

    From this point up to 1925, Derbyshire were perennially among the weakest counties, losing every single match in 1920 despite the efforts of Sam Cadman and Arthur Morton, persevering professionals. From 1926, the nucleus of a good team emerged around some doughty batting from Denis Smith, Stan Worthington and George Pope. Pope’s bowling and that of his brother Alf, leg spinner Tom Mitchell and seam bowler Bill Copson took the team to their one and so far only Championship victory in 1936. They won 13 of their 28 matches outright and five on first innings. Worthington, Les Townsend, Smith and Alderman all passed 1,000 runs and Copson and Mitchell took over 100 wickets, with Alf Pope taking 94. Charles Elliott, who later became a test umpire and selector, was another member of this team which was captained by AW Richardson.

    There have been more downs than ups in post-war years. Though runs came regularly from Arnold Hamer and less consistently from the West Indian Laurie Johnson and captain Donald Carr, the batting remained the weak point right up to the beginning of covered pitches in the 1980s. However, a series of seam bowlers served England as well as Derbyshire. The list began with Copson and continued with Cliff Gladwin, Les Jackson, Harold Rhodes, Alan Ward, Mike Hendrick and, most recently Devon Malcolm and Dominic Cork. Spin was in short supply apart from the steady work of Edwin Smith and the underrated allrounder Geoff Miller, the current(2008) chief selector of the England team and noted after-dinner speaker.

    The signing of Eddie Barlow, the famous South African in 1976 and the lengthy period under the captaincy of Kim Barnett starting in 1983, meant the side were rarely uncompetitive. However the last few seasons have seen the side struggling in Division Two of the County Championship.

    Links to more information on Derbyshire in English County Cricket:

  • Official Derbyshire County Cricket Club website
  • CricInfo’s Derbyshire section
  • News from Derbyshire County Cricket Club
  • Derbyshire Cricket Board

    *Acknowledgements to Wikipedia.org and owners of pictures and videos used.

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