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Cambridgeshire County Cricket Club

Club History

Cricket must have reached Cambridgeshire in the 17th century, as the earliest reference to the game being played there is at Cambridge University in 1710. Outside the university, the earliest reference is a game in 1758 between the parishes of Saffron Walden and Cambridge. Cambridge Town Club and Cambridgeshire were effectively the same team as the town club teams were representative of the county as a whole. The town club's earliest known first-class match was against Cambridge University Cricket Club in 1819 and the county name was first used for the match against Surrey in 1857.The town club was formed sometime before 1819 and eventually evolved into the original county club, which was formally established on 13 March 1844, playing under the name of "Cambridge Town and County Club". However after 1847 the name reverted to Cambridge Town. The county club did not play matches outside East Anglia until 1857 when it played Surrey CCC. From 1857 until 1871, the county club was accorded first-class status. However, the club itself was dissolved in 1869 (according to James Lillywhite's Cricketers' Companion of that year). Two first-class matches arranged in 1869 and 1871 involved playing members of the former club and the team in both these games was called Cambridgeshire by the sources (e.g., Wisden).

The club played 39 first-class matches in all, winning 13, losing 21 and drawing 5. The most successful season was 1864, when all 3 matches played were won. The regular home ground was Fenner's. Thomas Hayward made most first-class appearances, playing in 35 of the matches. He also made most runs, 1934 at 33.34, and scored two of the four centuries made for the county, both in 1861. He and Robert Carpenter put on 212 for the 3rd wicket against Surrey at The Oval in 1861, both scoring centuries. This was the highest partnership for the county. George Tarrant took most wickets: 197 at 12.25, plus a further 22 wickets for which the runs conceded are not known. He had match figures of 15-56 against Kent at Chatham in 1862, including 8-16 in an innings. He also took 8-45 in an innings against Surrey at Fenner's the same year. In the early 1860s, Carpenter and Hayward were rated as the finest batsmen in England. Richard Daft was among those ranking them as equal first, but George Parr reckoned Carpenter the better of the two. Other notable Cambridgeshire cricketers have also made an impact on the first-class game are Gerry Alexander, Mike Brearley,  Alfred Diver, Tom Hayward, Jack Hobbs, Bill Hitch, Terry Jenner, Derick Parry, George Tarrant, Johnny Wardle.

The present club was founded on 6 June 1891 and Cambridgeshire first took part in the Minor Counties Championship in the competition's fourth season, 1898, and has competed every season since with the exception of 1902 and 1920. It has won the Minor Counties Championship once, in 1963. Cambridgeshire has won the MCCA Knockout Trophy twice since its inception in 1983. It won in 1995 and 2003.