Worcestershire County Cricket Club
Worcestershire CCC is one of the 18 major county clubs which make up the English domestic cricket structure, representing the historic county of Worcestershire. Its limited overs team is called the Worcestershire Royals, although unofficially the county is known by some fans as "the Pears". The Club is found at New Road, Worcester.
County Championship (5) - 1964, 1965, 1974, 1988, 1989
Division Two (1) - 2003
• Gillette/NatWest/C&G Trophy (1) - 1994
• Sunday/National League (4) - 1971, 1987, 1988,2007
• Twenty20 Cup (0) -
• Benson & Hedges Cup (1) - 1991
• Minor Counties Championship (3) - 1896, 1897, 1898; shared (1) - 1895
Second XI Honours
• Second XI Championship (3) - 1962, 1963, 1982; shared (0) -
• Second XI Trophy (1) - 2004 History
Cricket must have reached Worcestershire by the 18th century but surprisingly the earliest reference to cricket in the county is as late as 1829.
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
Worcestershire CCC was formed on 4 March 1865 at the Star Hotel 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
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.
Nawab of Pataudi
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.
Don Kenyon (on right) with David Shepherd
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. The following decade, the New Zealander Glenn Turner was instrumental in Worcestershire's third championship. And in the 1980s, the prodigious batting feats of Graeme Hick and the arrival of Ian Botham paved the way for two more county titles.
Graeme Hick Pavilion opened May 2009
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.
Floods at New Road 2007