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English County Cricket Clubs: Essex

Posted by wildkiwi25 on January 21, 2009

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Essex County Cricket Club is one of the 18 major county clubs which make up the English domestic cricket structure, representing the historic county of Essex. Its limited overs team is called the Essex Eagles and the current (2008) shirt sponsor is Shepherd Neame. The one day team colours this season are blue.

The club plays most of its home games at the County Cricket Ground, Chelmsford. It also plays some games at Lower Castle Park in Colchester, and at Garons Park in Southend. The club has formerly used other venues throughout the county including Ilford, Leyton Cricket Ground, Romford, and Billericay.

Essex C.C.C. is presently captained by Mark Pettini, and has a very strong limited-overs team, which has won the National League in both 2005 and 2006, won the Friends Provident Trophy final in 2008, and reached the current Twenty20 Cup finals day.

Records:

  • For Essex County Cricket Club’s first-class records, see List of Essex first-class cricket records.
  • For Essex County Cricket Club’s List A records, see List of Essex List A cricket records.

    Earliest cricket:
    It is almost certain that cricket reached Essex by the 16th century and that it developed during the 17th century with inter-parish matches being played.

    The first definite mention of cricket in connection with the county is a highly controversial match in 1724 between Chingford and Mr Edward Stead’s XI, which is recorded in The Dawn of Cricket by H T Waghorn. The venue is unknown but, if it was at Chingford, it is also the earliest reference to cricket being played in Essex as well as by an Essex team. The game echoed an earlier one in 1718 as the Chingford team refused to play to a finish when Mr Stead’s team had the advantage. A court case followed and, as in 1718, it was ordered to be played out presumably so that all wagers could be fulfilled. We know that Lord Chief Justice Pratt presided over the case and that he ordered them to play it out on Dartford Brent, though it is not known if this was the original venue. The game was completed in 1726.

    The earliest reference to a team called Essex is in July 1732 when a combined Essex & Herts team played against the famous London Cricket Club.

    In July 1737, there was London v Essex at the Artillery Ground, London winning by 45 runs. In a return game at Ilford on 1 August 1737, Essex won by 7 runs.

    References are then occasional until 1785 when the Hornchurch Cricket Club became prominent. This club had a very strong team that was representative of Essex as a county. However, the sources differed among themselves re whether the team should be called Essex or Hornchurch. But there is no doubt that Essex was a first-class county from 1785 until 1794, after which the county strangely and abruptly disappeared from the records for a long time.

    Club history:

    Little was heard of Essex cricket from 1794 until the formation of Essex CCC on 14 January 1876 at a meeting in the Shire Hall, Brentwood. The new club did not become first-class until 1894.

    Essex CCC played its inaugural first-class match on 14, 15 & 16 May 1894 versus Leicestershire CCC at Leyton. It was the initial first-class match played by either club, and Essex failed to win a match. In 1895, both of these clubs and Warwickshire CCC joined the County Championship. In the club’s first championship match, of their first championship season, James Burns scored 114 against Warwickshire at Edgbaston and this was the first-ever century for Essex in the County Championship. GF Higgins scored the second championship century for Essex in the same match putting on 205 with Burns for the 4th wicket. The club made an extraordinary score of 692 against Somerset,in which Burns made 0 but the most notable feat was by Walter Mead who took 17-119 against Hampshire CCC at Southampton.

    Essex improved rapidly from 1895, so that by 1897 they were in the running for the Championship, only losing it when Surrey beat them at Leyton. They fell off after this despite beating a fine Australian team on a dubious pitch in 1899, never finishing higher than sixth between 1899 and 1932. Their batting on Leyton’s excellent pitches was generally good with the “Essex Twins” of Perrin and McGahey and the sound and skilful Jack Russell, but the bowling depended too much on Mead, Buckenham and later Douglas and when available Louden.

    With the decline of these players, Essex fell to some of their lowest levels ever during the late 1920s. Their bowlers conceded over 40 runs a wicket in 1928 – about the highest ever with uncovered pitches. The emergence of Jack O’Connor, Stan Nichols and when available, the amateur fast bowlers Ken Farnes and Hopper Read, though, made Essex during the 1930s a dangerous if inconsistent side. They finished as high as fourth in 1933, and owing to their pace bowling maintained almost as high a standard up to the outbreak of war. The batting, however, tended to depend too much upon O’Connor and a number of amateurs who were rarely available, and Essex lost too many games to break the North’s stronghold on the Championship.

    After the war, however, Essex fell off, taking their first wooden spoon in 1950. During ths period it was left to Trevor Bailey to do all the pace bowling, and he was often unavailable due to Test calls. Not until 1957 did Essex come back into the top half of the table, but Bailey and Barry Knight never had support of sufficient class to permit them to reach the top of the table, even when Robin Hobbs became England’s last successful leg-spinner late in the 1960s.

    In the 1970s, with overseas players now permitted, Essex were able to gradually strengthen their team to achieve much more than they ever had before. This decade saw the advent of Graham Gooch, one of England’s finest ever opening batsmen, even though he began his Test career with a pair against Australia in 1975. He didn’t return to the England team until 1978, but after a slow start began to assert his dominance over Test bowlers as he had on the county scene. Dedicated to training, he forced his burly physique through a tough regime to prolong his career long after some of his contemporaries had retired.

    Along with Gooch, county captain and England batsman Keith Fletcher built a powerful eleven in the late 1970s that dominated domestic cricket from 1979 to 1992, when Essex won six of thirteen County Championship titles. The bowling in the first half of this period was borne by tireless left arm seamer John Lever and spinner and prankster Ray East. The South African Ken McEwan and Fletcher were the best batsmen after Gooch. As Lever declined, England all rounder Derek Pringle and fast bowler Neil Foster took over, whilst John Childs crossed from Gloucestershire to take over as the chief spinner.

    In the 1990s, Essex had more internationals, including Nasser Hussain, who captained England in several series. Bowlers Mark Ilott and Peter Such earned caps, as well as wicket keeper James Foster. Ashley Cowan toured the West Indies in 1997/98 without playing an international match. Essex were also able to sign England fast bowlers Darren Gough and Alex Tudor, after they left Yorkshire and Surrey respectively.

    Enjoying a new sponsorship deal at their Chelmsford home, and a pitch which is always full of runs, Essex, led by combative all rounder Ronnie Irani and boasting the excellent Zimbabwe-born batsman Andy Flower in their ranks, currently have a young team with the talent required to relive their glory days. Recent use of overseas international players including Danish Kaneria and Andre Adams has also increased the overall strength of their squad. They fulfilled their promise by winning the National League Division 1 title in 2005, their first major title in eight years.

    The future looks bright for Essex, especially with the breakthrough of young talent. Alastair Cook has become a regular England batsman, having previously been the England Under 19s captain, and after scoring a famous double century against the touring Australians in 2005. Ravinder Bopara is another promising youngster, who is widely tipped for success.

    Essex facts and feats:

  • Essex have provided four players for the England test team on three occasions. Graham Gooch, Derek Pringle,Neil Foster and John Childs v West Indies at The Oval in 1988 and twice against Australia in 1993 with Graham Gooch, Nasser Hussain, Mark Ilott and Peter Such.
  • Percy Perrin’s 343 is the only triple century for Essex but broke a less welcome record too. It is the highest score made by a man on the losing side in first class cricket. Essex piled up 597, thanks to Perrin before ‘Derbyshire accomplished the most phenomenal performance ever recorded in First-Class cricket’ in the words of Wisden. They replied with 548, dismissed Essex for 97 and won by nine wickets.
  • Essex were the only team to bowl out Bradman’s 1948 ‘Invincibles’ in a day, at Southend. They famously conceded the little matter of 721 in the process.
  • University games had traditionally seen County batsman improve their averages at the undergraduates expense but Cambridge batsmen John Dewes and Hubert Doggart both made double centuries in a record breaking stand of 429 against Essex in May 1949. Doggart had made history in 1948 by scoring 215* on his first class debut.

    Links to more information about Essex County Cricket Club:

  • Essex CCC website
  • Essex CCC Official Shop
  • Essex CCC on Cricinfo.com
  • Essex CCC on Facebook.com

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

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    Posted in County Cricket Ground, Essex, Essex County Cricket Club, Essex Eagles, friends provident trophy, Graham Gooch, Mark Pettini, Nasser Hussain | Leave a Comment »

    English County Cricket Clubs: Durham

    Posted by wildkiwi25 on January 19, 2009

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    Durham County Cricket Club is one of the 18 major county clubs which make up the English domestic cricket structure, representing the historic county of Durham. Its limited overs team is called the Durham Dynamos. Their kit colours are blue with yellow trim and the shirt sponsor is Northern Rock.

    The club is based at the Riverside Ground in Chester-le-Street.

    Granted first-class status in 1991, Durham is English cricket’s newest first-class county. The County Ground at the Riverside is also the newest addition to the English Test match circuit; hosting its first match, England v Zimbabwe in the second Test, from 5 June to 7 June 2003.

    Durham CCC is playing in Division One of the LV County Championship and division one of the NatWest Pro40 League in 2008. Durham won the County Championship in 2008 for the first time.

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

    Earliest cricket:
    Cricket probably did not reach Durham until the 18th century. The earliest reference is a game at Raby Castle on or soon after 5 August 1751 between the Earl of Northumberland’s XI and the Duke of Cleveland’s XI. The game was commemorated by a ballad which starts:

    “Durham City has been dull so long,
    No bustle at all to show;
    But now the rage of all the throng
    Is at cricketing to go.”

    As it happens, there was a return game soon afterwards at Stanwick, near Richmond, and that is the earliest reference to cricket in Yorkshire.

    The first recorded match of representative cricket in the county took place in 1848 at Sunderland, between an All England XII and a Bishopwearmouth 22. Despite their extra numbers the cricketers of Bishopwearmouth were comprehensively outplayed as All England’s scores of 129 and 143 dwarfed their own 56 and 59.

    The first team to carry the name of ‘Durham County’ played an MCC team in 1876 and went on to take on the touring Australians in 1878, winning by 71 runs, and again in 1880, losing by an innings and 38 with the great Fred Spofforth taking 17 wickets for 66.

    Origin of club:
    Durham CCC was founded as an official entity on 23 May 1882, and the nascent club played its first competitive match on June 12 of that year, beating Northumberland by 4 wickets at the Ashbrooke Ground, Sunderland. The club established an enviable record as a minor county: becoming the first minor county to beat a first-class county in the Gillette Cup; winning the Minor Counties Championship a record-equalling seven times between 1901 and 1984; and putting together a record of 65 matches without defeat between 1976 and 1982 that remains unbroken to the present day.

    Durham as a first-class county:
    Early in 1989, the Club began the process of applying to become a first-class cricketing county and join the County Championship. First-class status was awarded on 6 December 1991, with Durham becoming the first new first-class county for 70 years. Their first season in the County Championship was the 1992 season.

    Durham have not been distinguished by marked success as a first-class county. In the 2004 season they finished bottom of the two-division County Championship, sixth out of ten teams in the one-day National Cricket League and fifth out of six teams in the Northern Division of the Twenty20 Cup.

    However in 2005 under the captaincy of Australian Mike Hussey Durham finished second and achieved promotion in both the County Championship and the one-day National Cricket League. Hussey was prevented from returning to the Riverside in 2006 as he is contracted to the Australian international team; and with vice-captain Paul Collingwood away on English international team duty Dale Benkenstein was captain for 2006.

    Durham had mixed success in the 2006 season, finishing second in the North Division of the C&G Trophy. However, Durham were poor in the Twenty20 cup, finishing last in the North Division and only managing 2 victories, both against Lancashire. The Pro40 campaign started fairly well, with Durham taking 4 points from the first 4 games with a win, a loss, a tie and a no result. However, several defeats left them needing a win against the champions elect, Essex, in the final game of the season. They managed the victory, but other results did not go their way and they ended up being relegated in 8th place. The Championship season also began with success, but mediocre results in the middle of the season left Durham hanging above the relegation zone by just half a point going into the last game of the season. Durham needed more points than their rivals Yorkshire, but looked in trouble when Darren Lehmann hit a career-best 339 in the first innings. Achieving just one bowling bonus point meant that Durham needed to score 400 without losing more than 5 wickets and then draw the game.

    However, one other team could also be relegated. Nottinghamshire needed just 3 points to avoid the drop at the start of the matches, but only managed 1 point as they were soundly beaten by Sussex. This meant that Durham needed only to score 400 (for maximum batting points) and force a draw. At 191-6 this looked unlikely. But a record-breaking stand of 315 between Benkenstein and Ottis Gibson made it possible. Gibson was out for 155, the highest first-class score in his career. Durham then collapsed again to 518 all out, needing work to be done in the second innings. This was provided by Garry Park, who hit a maiden first-class century (100*) as Durham played out a draw, leaving themselves and Yorkshire in the first division.

    In recent times, Durham has seen a number of their top players make an impact on the England side. Collingwood (who is the first Durham CCC player to hit a Test century and double century), Steve Harmison and Liam Plunkett have all established themselves in the national squad with Phil Mustard the most recent inclusion. The recent addition of Graham Onions may be a sign that this trend will continue for the foreseeable future and is an indication of Durham’s admirable youth system.

    On August 19th 2007 Durham won their first trophy in First Class County Cricket when they beat Hampshire County Cricket Club in the Final of the Friends Provident Trophy at Lords, which Durham won by 125 runs. Durham broke the record for most runs scored in the final of a 50 overs tournament by scoring 312-5. Hampshire replied with 187 and were bowled out in 41 overs ensuring that Durham won the tie.

    Links to more information on Durham County Cricket Club:

  • Official Durham County Cricket Club website
  • BBC Wear – Riverside Cricket Ground interactive 360° Panorama
  • BBC Wear – DCCC celebrate with the County Championship Trophy 2008
  • Scorecard from the 2007 Friends Provident Trophy Final
  • Durham County Cricket Club

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

  • Posted in Dale Benkenstein, Durham, Durham CCC, Durham County Cricket Club, Durham Dynamos, friends provident trophy, LV County Championship, NatWest Pro40 League, Northern Rock | Leave a Comment »

    In the International Spotlight…Scotland Cricket

    Posted by wildkiwi25 on November 11, 2008

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    The Scotland national cricket team represents Scotland in the game of cricket. When they play in the English one-day Friends Provident Trophy, they compete as the Scottish Saltires. The Scottish Saltires play their home matches at The Grange, Edinburgh (and occasionally at Titwood in Glasgow, in the past having been Hamilton Crescent).

    They were elected to associate membership of the International Cricket Council in 1994 after having severed their cricketing links with the England cricket team two years earlier. This allowed them to qualify for the Cricket World Cup in 1999 but they lost all their five matches.Furthermore, the team were unable to qualify in 2003.

    In 2004 the Scotland cricket team competed in the inaugural ICC Intercontinental Cup. They first played Ireland and the Netherlands, and then on the back of those results progressed to the semi-finals in Sharjah. They overcame Kenya in the semi-finals, and then won the Cup by beating Canada in the final. They also competed in that tournament in 2005, but failed to progress past the first round. By qualifying for the semi-finals of the 2005 ICC Trophy on 7 July 2005 they have gained One Day International status from 1 January 2006 to the next ICC World Cup Qualifier in 2009. Scotland played their first One Day International outside of World Cups against Pakistan in June 2006, with the European Championship matches against Ireland and the Netherlands during August also being classed as full One Day International games.

    The current captain of the side is Ryan Watson, of Forfarshire, who has held the role since April 2007. The coach is currently Australian Peter Steindl, succeeding Peter Drinnen, who was forced out of the job in somewhat controversial circumstances.

    Before ICC Membership:

    The first recorded cricket match in Scotland took place in Alloa in 1785. It would be another 80 years however, before Scotland played their first full match, against Surrey in 1865, where they won by 172 runs.

    The first Scottish Cricket Union was formed in 1879, and the national team beat Australia by 7 wickets three years later. The cricket union became defunct in 1883, and Grange CC took over the administration of the game until 1909. The first match against Ireland took place in Dublin in 1888, with the Irish emerging victorious. They also played South Africa, the West Indies, an all-Indian team, and New Zealand before the start of World War 2.

    1948 saw Australia visit Scotland for two games at the end of their tour of England. These games, both of which were won by the Australians, were to be the last international games for the legendary Don Bradman. The Don signed off in typical style, making a fine unbeaten 123 in the innings victory.

    Scotland first competed in English domestic cricket in 1980, when they competed in the Benson & Hedges Cup for the first time. 3 years later, they took part in the Nat West trophy. Their first B & H win would come against Lancashire in 1986.

    ICC Membership:

    In 1992 Scotland severed their ties with the TCCB, and England, and gained associate membership of the ICC in their own right in 1994. They competed in the ICC Trophy for the first time in 1997, finishing third and qualifying for the 1999 World Cup, where they lost all their games. The 2001 ICC Trophy saw them finish 4th, losing a play-off game to Canada, but they won the 2005 tournament, beating long-time rivals Ireland in the final. 2004 saw Scotland first confirm themselves as one of the leading associate nations by winning the inaugural Intercontinental Cup. They didn’t progress beyond the first round in the 2005 tournament, however.

  • Cricket in Scotland
  • Scottish national cricket captains
  • Sport in Scotland
  • Scotland national women’s cricket team

    Photobucket

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

  • Posted in Benson and Hedges Cup, Forfarshire, friends provident trophy, hamilton crescent, I.C.C Intercontinental Cup, Peter Steindl, Ryan Watson, scotland, scottish saltires, TCCB, the grange, titwood | Leave a Comment »

    In the International Spotlight…Scotland Cricket

    Posted by wildkiwi25 on November 11, 2008

    Photobucket

    The Scotland national cricket team represents Scotland in the game of cricket. When they play in the English one-day Friends Provident Trophy, they compete as the Scottish Saltires. The Scottish Saltires play their home matches at The Grange, Edinburgh (and occasionally at Titwood in Glasgow, in the past having been Hamilton Crescent).

    They were elected to associate membership of the International Cricket Council in 1994 after having severed their cricketing links with the England cricket team two years earlier. This allowed them to qualify for the Cricket World Cup in 1999 but they lost all their five matches.Furthermore, the team were unable to qualify in 2003.

    In 2004 the Scotland cricket team competed in the inaugural ICC Intercontinental Cup. They first played Ireland and the Netherlands, and then on the back of those results progressed to the semi-finals in Sharjah. They overcame Kenya in the semi-finals, and then won the Cup by beating Canada in the final. They also competed in that tournament in 2005, but failed to progress past the first round. By qualifying for the semi-finals of the 2005 ICC Trophy on 7 July 2005 they have gained One Day International status from 1 January 2006 to the next ICC World Cup Qualifier in 2009. Scotland played their first One Day International outside of World Cups against Pakistan in June 2006, with the European Championship matches against Ireland and the Netherlands during August also being classed as full One Day International games.

    The current captain of the side is Ryan Watson, of Forfarshire, who has held the role since April 2007. The coach is currently Australian Peter Steindl, succeeding Peter Drinnen, who was forced out of the job in somewhat controversial circumstances.

    Before ICC Membership:

    The first recorded cricket match in Scotland took place in Alloa in 1785. It would be another 80 years however, before Scotland played their first full match, against Surrey in 1865, where they won by 172 runs.

    The first Scottish Cricket Union was formed in 1879, and the national team beat Australia by 7 wickets three years later. The cricket union became defunct in 1883, and Grange CC took over the administration of the game until 1909. The first match against Ireland took place in Dublin in 1888, with the Irish emerging victorious. They also played South Africa, the West Indies, an all-Indian team, and New Zealand before the start of World War 2.

    1948 saw Australia visit Scotland for two games at the end of their tour of England. These games, both of which were won by the Australians, were to be the last international games for the legendary Don Bradman. The Don signed off in typical style, making a fine unbeaten 123 in the innings victory.

    Scotland first competed in English domestic cricket in 1980, when they competed in the Benson & Hedges Cup for the first time. 3 years later, they took part in the Nat West trophy. Their first B & H win would come against Lancashire in 1986.

    ICC Membership:

    In 1992 Scotland severed their ties with the TCCB, and England, and gained associate membership of the ICC in their own right in 1994. They competed in the ICC Trophy for the first time in 1997, finishing third and qualifying for the 1999 World Cup, where they lost all their games. The 2001 ICC Trophy saw them finish 4th, losing a play-off game to Canada, but they won the 2005 tournament, beating long-time rivals Ireland in the final. 2004 saw Scotland first confirm themselves as one of the leading associate nations by winning the inaugural Intercontinental Cup. They didn’t progress beyond the first round in the 2005 tournament, however.

  • Cricket in Scotland
  • Scottish national cricket captains
  • Sport in Scotland
  • Scotland national women’s cricket team

    Photobucket

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

  • Posted in Benson and Hedges Cup, Forfarshire, friends provident trophy, hamilton crescent, I.C.C Intercontinental Cup, Peter Steindl, Ryan Watson, scotland, scottish saltires, TCCB, the grange, titwood | Leave a Comment »