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Worcestershire County Cricket Club

Worcestershire County Cricket Club
One-day name: Worcestershire
Captain: Daryl Mitchell
Coach: Steve Rhodes
Founded: 1865
Home ground: New Road
First-class debut: Yorkshire
in 1899
Championship wins: 5
Pro40 wins: 4
FP Trophy wins: 1
Twenty20 Cup wins: 0
Official website: WCCC

Worcestershire County Cricket Club is one of the 18 major county clubs which make up the English and Welsh domestic cricket structure, representing the historic county of Worcestershire. Its Twenty20 team has been rebranded the Worcestershire Rapids, but the county is known by most fans as "the Pears".

The club is based at New Road, Worcester.


  • Honours 1
    • First XI honours 1.1
    • Second XI honours 1.2
  • History 2
    • Earliest cricket 2.1
    • Origin of the club 2.2
    • The first-class county 2.3
    • The modern day (2000-present) 2.4
  • Players 3
    • Current squad 3.1
  • Lists of players and club captains 4
  • County caps awarded 5
  • Grounds 6
  • Records 7
    • First-class 7.1
      • Batting 7.1.1
      • Bowling 7.1.2
      • Highest partnership for each wicket 7.1.3
    • List A 7.2
  • Fostershire 8
  • References 9
  • Further reading 10
  • External links 11


First XI 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
  • 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
  • Second XI Trophy (1) - 2004


Earliest cricket

Cricket may have been played in Worcestershire during the 18th century, however the earliest reference to cricket in the county is 1829 and the county cricket club was not formed until 1865.[1]

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 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. They were also losing finalist in the first ever Gillette Cup Final in 1963 - the inaugural limited overs knockout competition in England.[2] In 1971 Worcestershire won their first ever Sunday League title thanks largely to the bowling of Vanburn Holder and the New Zealander Glenn Turner was instrumental in Worcestershire's third championship win in 1974. 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 1988 and 1989 - the same year in which they beat the touring Australians inside two days.[3] Worcestershire also won the Sunday League in 1987 and 1988.

Worcestershire's success continued into the 1990s, with a first ever success in the Benson and Hedges Cup in 1991, following final defeats in 1973, 1976 and 1990. Captained by Phil Neale, the Pears beat Lancashire by 65 runs in the final at Lord's, gaining revenge for defeat against Lancashire in the previous year's competition.[4] Worcestershire's next title came in 1994 when they won the Natwest Trophy, beating arch-rivals Warwickshire in the final.[5] Not only did they avenge their defeat at the hands of Warwickshire in the B&H Cup Final earlier that summer but it was also their first success in the competition after three previous final defeats. Worcestershire's best showing in the County Championship came in 1993 when they finished second to Middlesex. Worcestershire finished 15th in 1999, the final year of single division County Championship cricket, meaning they would start the new millennium in Division Two.

The modern day (2000-present)

Worcestershire failed to gain promotion in 2000, despite overseas signing Glenn McGrath taking 76 Championship wickets at an average of 13.77.[6] In 2003, Worcestershire were promoted to County Championship Division One for the first time after winning the Division Two title.[7] Worcestershire also reached the final of the Cheltenham & Gloucester trophy, beating Lancashire in a memorable semi-final at New Road on 9 August 2003.[8] There was disappointment in the Lord's final, though, as Worcestershire lost by seven wickets and the Pears were also relegated from Division One of the National League. 2004 was a yo-yo year with Worcestershire relegated in the County Championship, promoted back to Division One in the rebranded totesport League and losing finalists again in the C&G Trophy. Vikram Solanki scored centuries in both the semi-final win against Warwickshire[9] and the final against Gloucestershire, but the 'Gladiators' won by eight wickets at Lord's.[10]

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.[11] 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.[12] The feat was all the more remarkable for the fact that every one of Worcestershire's games was played away from their New Road home, due to the floods, with 'home' games played at Edgbaston, Taunton and Kidderminster.[13]

2008 saw Worcestershire promoted back to Division One, despite losing their final game of the season.[14] 2008 was also Graeme Hick's last season at Worcestershire, having scored 136 first-class centuries in 25 seasons at New Road.[15] 2009 proved disastrous in first-class cricket, with Worcestershire finishing bottom of the First Division without a single victory, the first time the county had failed to win a Championship match since 1928.[16]

Following a win on the last day of the season against Sussex, Worcestershire were promoted back to Division One in 2010. The following season they avoided relegation for the first time ever, giving them consecutive seasons in Division One.[17] However, at the end of the 2012 season they were relegated back to Division Two.[18] Worcestershire had a mixed campaign in 2013, finished fifth out of nine in Division Two but a bright start to the 2014 saw them second in the table after seven games, following a draw with Surrey in June.[19]


Current squad

  • No. denotes the player's squad number, as worn on the back of their shirt.
  • double-dagger denotes players with international caps.
No. Name Nationality Birth date Batting Style Bowling Style Notes
3 Alex Gidman  England (1981-06-22) 22 June 1981 Right-handed Right arm medium
5 Alexei Kervezee double-dagger  Netherlands (1989-09-11) 11 September 1989 Right-handed Right arm medium
27 Daryl Mitchell  England (1983-11-25) 25 November 1983 Right-handed Right arm medium Club captain
29 Tom Fell  England (1993-10-17) 17 October 1993 Right-handed Right arm off-break
32 Tom Kohler-Cadmore  England (1994-08-19) 19 August 1994 Right-handed Right-arm off break
34 George Rhodes  England (1993-10-26) 26 October 1993 Right-handed Right arm off break
8 Moeen Ali double-dagger  England (1987-06-18) 18 June 1987 Left-handed Right arm off break England central contract
15 Brett D'Oliveira  England (1992-02-28) 28 February 1992 Right-handed Right arm leg break
23 Joe Leach  England (1990-10-30) 30 October 1990 Right-handed Right arm medium
26 Alex Hepburn  Australia (1995-12-21) 21 December 1995 Right-handed Right arm medium British passport
30 Ed Barnard  England (1995-11-20) 20 November 1995 Right-handed Right arm fast-medium
44 Ross Whiteley  England (1988-09-13) 13 September 1988 Left-handed Left arm medium
Ben Twohig  England (1998-04-13) 13 April 1998 Right-handed Slow left arm orthodox
10 Ben Cox  England (1992-02-02) 2 February 1992 Right-handed
33 Joe Clarke  England (1996-05-26) 26 May 1996 Right-handed
11 Jack Shantry  England (1988-01-29) 29 January 1988 Left-handed Left arm medium
18 Chris Russell  England (1989-02-16) 16 February 1989 Right-handed Right arm medium-fast
31 Charlie Morris  England (1992-07-06) 6 July 1992 Right-handed Right arm medium-fast
36 Graeme Whiles  England (1993-12-14) 14 December 1993 Left-handed Right arm medium-fast
Josh Tongue  England November 1997 (age 17) Right-handed Right arm medium-fast

Lists of players and club captains

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: Damian 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


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.

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 1921–2008 68 1969–2008 5[20]
Evesham Cricket Club Ground Evesham, Worcestershire 1951 1 N/A 0
New Road (County Ground) Worcester 1899–present 1,072[21] 1963–present 425[22]
Racecourse Ground Hereford 1919–1983 5[23] 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





Highest partnership for each wicket

List A


"Fostershire" was a name jocularly applied to Worcestershire County Cricket Club in the early part of the 20th century, shortly after the county had achieved first-class status and admission into the English County Championship (in 1899). The name came from the fact that no fewer than seven brothers from this one family played for Worcestershire during this period, three of whom captained the club at some point. No fewer than seven Foster brethren represented Worcestershire during the period 1899–1934, with six appearing during the seasons 1908–11.


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  20. ^ Four other List A matches, all involving Worcestershire Cricket Board, have been played at Kidderminster.
  21. ^ One other first-class match, a 1972 England v Rest of England Test trial, has been played at New Road.
  22. ^ Three One Day Internationals have also been played at New Road: West Indies v Zimbabwe in the 1983 World Cup, and Australia v Scotland and Sri Lanka v Zimbabwe in the 1999 World Cup. The 2003 C&G Trophy game between Worcestershire Cricket Board and Worcestershire is included in this figure, although it was technically a Worcs CB home fixture.
  23. ^ One other first-class match, between HK Foster's XI and the Australian Imperial Forces, has been played at the Racecourse Ground.

Further reading

External links

  • Worcestershire County Cricket Club Official Website
  • Worcestershire CCC history
  • Grounds in England from CricketArchive. Retrieved 9 December 2006.
  • Worcestershire CCC Fans' Forum
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