Gloucestershire County Cricket Club is one of the 18 major county clubs which make up the English domestic cricket structure, representing the historic county of Gloucestershire. Its limited overs team is called the Gloucestershire Gladiators.
The club plays most of its home games at the County Cricket Ground, Bristol. Currently, each season a number of games are played at both the Cheltenham and Gloucester cricket festivals held at the College Ground, Cheltenham and The King’s School, Gloucester.
Best Partnership for each wicket:
Cricket probably reached Gloucestershire by the end of the 17th century. It is known that the related sport of “Stow-Ball” aka “Stob-Ball” was played in the county during the 16th century. In this game, the bat was called a “stave”. See Alice B Gomme : The Traditional Games of England, Scotland and Ireland.
A game in Gloucester on 22 September 1729 is the earliest definite reference to cricket in the county. From then until the founding of the county club, very little has been found outside parish cricket.
Origin of club:
Records from 1863 have been found of an organisation in Cheltenham that is believed to have been the forerunner of Gloucestershire CCC, which had definitely been founded by 1871. Exact details of the club’s foundation have been lost.
The club played its initial first-class match versus Surrey at Durdham Down near Bristol on 2, 3 & 4 June 1870. Gloucestershire joined the (unofficial) County Championship at this time.
The early history of Gloucestershire is dominated by the Grace family, most notably W G Grace. WG’s father, Dr H M Grace, was involved with the formation of the club. It was a successful period with Gloucestershire winning three “Champion County” titles in the 1870s.
Since then Gloucestershire’s fortunes have been mixed and they have never won the official County Championship. They struggled in the pre-war years of the County Championship because their best batsmen, apart from Gilbert Jessop and briefly Charlie Townsend, were very rarely available. The bowling, except when Townsend did sensational things on sticky wickets in late 1895 and late 1898, was very weak until George Dennett emerged – then it had the fault of depending far too much on him. Wally Hammond, who still holds many of the county’s batting records formed part of an occasionally strong inter-war team, although the highest championship finish during this period was second in 1930 and 1931, when Charlie Parker and Tom Goddard formed a devastating spin attack.
Outstanding players since the war include Tom Graveney, “Jack” Russell and overseas players Mike Procter, Zaheer Abbas and Courtney Walsh.
Gloucestershire enjoyed a run of success in one-day cricket in the late 1990s and early 2000s. They won several titles mainly under the captaincy of Mark Alleyne whilst being coached by John Bracewell.
The club’s captain for the 2006 season, Jon Lewis, became the first Gloucestershire player for nearly 10 years to play for England at Test Match level, when he was picked to represent his country in the Third Test against Sri Lanka at Trent Bridge in June 2006. His figures in the first innings were 3-68, including a wicket in his very first over in Test cricket, and he was widely praised for his debut performance.
Gloucestershire reached the final of the 2007 Twenty20 Cup, where they narrowly lost to Kent.
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