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Worcestershire Royals

Worcestershire County Cricket Club

Worcestershire County Cricket Club 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 based at New Road, Worcester.

Honours

  • County Championship (5) - 1964, 1965, 1974, 1988, 1989

Division Two (1) - 2003

  • Gillette/NatWest/C&G/Friends Provident Trophy (1) - 1994
  • Sunday/Pro 40 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

Earliest cricket

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.

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. The following decade, the New Zealander Glenn Turner was instrumental in Worcestershire's third championship. 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 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.

2008 squad

:
Captain

Batsmen

All-rounders

 

Wicket-keeper

Bowlers

Club captains

(not including those who
merely deputised briefly)

1899-1900: Harry Foster
1901: Tip Foster
1902-10: Harry Foster
1911-12: George Simpson-Hayward
1913: Harry Foster
1914-19: William Taylor
1920-21: Maurice Jewell
1922: William Taylor
1923-25: Maurice Foster
1926: Maurice Jewell
1927: Cecil Ponsonby
1928-29: Maurice Jewell
1929-30: John Coventry
1931-35: Cyril Walters
1936-39: Charles Lyttelton
 

1946: Sandy Singleton
1947-49: Allan White
1949-51: Bob Wyatt
1952-54: Ronald Bird
1955: Reg Perks
1956-58: Peter Richardson
1959-67: Don Kenyon
1968-70: Tom Graveney
1971-80: Norman Gifford
1981: Glenn Turner
1982-91: Phil Neale
1992-95: Tim Curtis
1995-99: Tom Moody
2000-02: Graeme Hick
2003-04: Ben Smith
2004: Steve Rhodes
2005-: Vikram Solanki

Notable past players

Batsmen

All-rounders

 

Wicket-keepers

Bowlers

County caps awarded

Note: Worcestershire no longer award traditional caps, instead awarding "colours" on a player's Championship debut.

1928: Harold Gibbons
1931: Peter Jackson
1931: Reg Perks
1934: Dick Howorth
1937: Edwin Cooper
1938: Phil King
1939: Roly Jenkins
1939: Charles Palmer
1946: Ronald Bird
1946: Allan White
1946: Bob Wyatt
1947: Don Kenyon
1947: Hugo Yarnold
1948: Laddy Outschoorn
1949: Michael Ainsworth
1950: George Chesterton
1950: George Dews
1951: Bob Broadbent
1952: Peter Richardson
1955: Jack Flavell
1955: Martin Horton
1956: Roy Booth
1956: Dick Richardson
1957: Bob Berry
1959: John Aldridge
1959: Len Coldwell
1959: Derek Pearson
1960: Doug Slade
1961: Norman Gifford
1961: Ron Headley
1962: Tom Graveney
1962: James Standen
1965: Robert Carter
1965: Basil D'Oliveira
1966: Brian Brain
1966: Alan Ormrod
1968: Glenn Turner
1969: Ted Hemsley
 

1970: Rodney Cass
1970: Vanburn Holder
1972: Jim Yardley
1974: John Parker
1976: Imran Khan
1976: John Inchmore
1978: James Cumbes
1978: David Humphries
1978: Phil Neale
1979: Dipak Patel
1979: Younis Ahmed
1980: Paul Pridgeon
1981: Hartley Alleyne
1984: Tim Curtis
1984: David Smith
1985: Damien D'Oliveira
1985: Neal Radford
1986: Graeme Hick
1986: Richard Illingworth
1986: Phil Newport
1986: Steve Rhodes
1986: Martin Weston
1987: Ian Botham
1987: Graham Dilley
1989: Stuart Lampitt
1989: Steven McEwan
1990: Gordon Lord
1991: Tom Moody
1993: Chris Tolley
1994: Gavin Haynes
1994: David Leatherdale
1995: Phil Weston
1997: Alamgir Sheriyar
1997: Reuben Spiring
1998: Vikram Solanki
2000: Glenn McGrath
2001: Andy Bichel
2004: Nadeem Malik
2004: Ray Price

Grounds

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. The table is correct to the end of the 2007 season.

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 major 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 1921-2007 66 1969-2007 4
Evesham Cricket Club Ground Evesham, Worcestershire 1951 1 N/A 0
New Road (County Ground) Worcester 1899-2007 1,057 1963-2007 409
Racecourse Ground Hereford 1919-1983 5 1983-1987 3
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
Worcester Royal Grammar School Ground
(Flagge Meadow)
Worcester N/A 0 2007 1

Records

First-class

Most first-class runs for Worcestershire
Qualification - 20000 runs

Player Runs
Don Kenyon 34490
Graeme Hick 30244
Glenn Turner 22298
Alan Ormrod 21753
Harold Gibbons 20918
Frederick Bowley 20750
Ron Headley 20712
Tim Curtis 20155

Most first-class wickets for Worcestershire
Qualification - 1000 wickets

Player Wickets
Reg Perks 2143
Norman Gifford 1615
Jack Flavell 1507
Fred Root 1387
Dick Howorth 1274
Roly Jenkins 1148
Peter Jackson 1139
Len Coldwell 1029

Batting

Bowling

Highest partnership for each wicket

List A

Worcestershire Facts and Feats

  • No fewer than seven Foster brethren represented Worcestershire during the period 1899–1934, with six appearing during the seasons 1908-11. The full list, with Worcestershire careers in brackets is: BS (1902-11), GN (1903-14), HK (1899–1925), MK (1908-34), NJA (1914-23), RE (1899–1912) and WL (1899–1911). Not surprisingly the county became known as 'Fostershire'.
  • 29 year old batsman Worcestershire batsman Maurice Nichol died on the night of the rest day in the match against Essex at Chelmsford in 1934. He was known to have a heart weakness after a bout of pneumonia two years before. A minute's silence was observed before start of play on the Monday and the players wore black armbands. C.F. Walters, Nichol's captain, stroked an elegant century. Suggestions of 'horse play' were quickly debunked with a bruise on Nichol's chest explained by a blow from a ball.
  • Cyril Walters made a record 9 centuries in a season for Worcestershire in 1933. Although he only averaged 30.75 in first-class cricket, he boasted an impressive 52.27 in Tests.
  • Reg Perks took 9 wickets in an innings, for the second time, against Gloucestershire at Cheltenham. His 9 for 42 could have been even better as the last batsman was dropped off his bowling. He took a record 2143 for Worcestershire.

See also

References

External sources

Further reading

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