Leicestershire County Cricket Club
Leicestershire County Cricket Club is one of eighteen first-class county clubs within the domestic cricket structure of England and Wales. It represents the historic county of Leicestershire. It has also been representative of the county of Rutland. The club's limited overs team is called the Leicestershire Foxes. Founded in 1879, the club had minor county status until 1894 when it was promoted to first-class status pending its entry into the County Championship in 1895. Since then, Leicestershire have played in every top-level domestic cricket competition in England.
|One Day name||Leicestershire Foxes|
|Founded||25 February 1879|
|Home ground||Grace Road, Leicester|
|Capacity||5,500 cricket matches / 20,000 concerts|
|FP Trophy wins||0|
|Twenty20 Cup wins||3|
|Benson & Hedges Cup wins||3|
The club is based at Grace Road, Leicester and have also played home games at Aylestone Road in Leicester, at Hinckley, Loughborough, Melton Mowbray, Ashby-de-la-Zouch and in Coalville inside the traditional county boundaries; and at Uppingham and Oakham over the border in Rutland.
In limited overs cricket, the kit colours are red with black trim in the Clydesdale Bank 40 and black with red trim in the T20. The shirt sponsors are Oval Insurance Broking with Highcross Leicester (shopping centre) on the top reverse side of the shirt.
Leicestershire are in the second division of the County Championship and in Group C of the Pro40 one day league. They recently finished bottom of the County Championship for the sixth time since the introduction of two divisions. Their best showing in recent years has been in the Twenty20 Cup with the Foxes winning the trophy three times in eight years.
First XI honours
- County Championship (3) – 1975, 1996, 1998
- Runners-up (2) – 1982, 1994
- Sunday/National League (2) – 1974, 1977
- Runners-up: 1972, 2001
- Gillette Cup/NatWest/C&G Trophy/Friends Provident Trophy
- Runners-up: 1992, 2001
- Runners-up: 1974, 1998
Cricket may not have reached Leicestershire until well into the 18th century. A notice in the Leicester Journal dated 17 August 1776 is the earliest known mention of cricket in the county. Soon afterwards, a Leicestershire and Rutland Cricket Club was taking part in important matches, mainly against Nottingham Cricket Club and Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC). This club was prominent from 1781 until the beginning of the 19th century.
Little more is heard of Leicestershire cricket until the formation of the present club on 25 March 1879.
Essex CCC versus Leicestershire CCC at Leyton on 14, 15 & 16 May 1894 was the first first-class match for both clubs. In 1895, the County Championship was restructured into a 14-team competition with the introduction of Essex, Leicestershire and Warwickshire CCC.
Early and mid-20th century
Leicestershire's first 70 years were largely spent in lower table mediocrity, with few notable exceptions. In 1953, the motivation of secretary-captain Charles Palmer lifted the side fleetingly to third place, but most of the rest of the 1950s was spent propping up the table, or thereabouts.
Start of improvement: The late 1950s and the 1960s
Change came in the late 1950s with the recruitment of the charismatic Willie Watson at the end of a distinguished career with England and Yorkshire. Watson's run gathering sparked the home-grown Maurice Hallam into becoming one of England's best opening batsmen. In bowling, Leicestershire had an erratically successful group of seamers in Terry Spencer, Brian Boshier, John Cotton and Jack van Geloven, plus the spin of John Savage.
The 1970s and the first golden era
Ray Illingworth, again from Yorkshire, instilled self-belief to the extent that the county took its first ever trophy in 1972, the Benson & Hedges Cup with Chris Balderstone man of the match. This was start of the first golden era as the first of five trophies in five years and included Leicestershire's first ever County Championship title in 1975. A couple of runners up spots were also thrown in.
The game when Leicestershire won their first ever County Championship, on 15 September 1975, marked something of a personal triumph for Chris Balderstone. Batting on 51 not out against Derbyshire at Chesterfield, after close of play he changed into his football kit to play for Doncaster Rovers in an evening match 30 miles away (a 1–1 draw with Brentford). Thus he is the only player to have played League Football and first class cricket on the same day. He then returned to Chesterfield to complete a century the following morning and take three wickets to wrap up the title. To add to that season's success for Leicestershire was a second Benson & Hedges victory.
A runners up spot in the 1982 County Championship brought some respectability, but the decade's only first class silverware was in the 1985 Benson & Hedges Cup with Balderstone still on board making him the most successful trophy winner in the club's history with six.
Success in the late 1990s
Leicestershire won the county championship in 1996, and again in 1998. This was an amazing achievement considering the resources of the club compared to other county teams. This Leicestershire side, led by Jack Birkenshaw and James Whitaker, used team spirit and togetherness to get the best out of a group of players who were either discarded from other counties or brought through the Leicestershire ranks.
This team did not have many stars, but Aftab Habib, Darren Maddy, Vince Wells, Jimmy Ormond, Alan Mullally and Chris Lewis all had chances for England. West Indian all-rounder Phil Simmons was also named as one of Wisden's Cricketers of the year in 1997 while playing for the club.
2000 and beyond: Twenty20 success and four-day struggles
The advent of Twenty20 cricket saw Leicestershire find a new source of success, winning the domestic T20 competition in 2004, 2006 and 2011. However, in the era of two-division County Championship cricket they have found success more difficult to come by, having not played in the top division since 2003 and been regular "wooden spoon" contenders. In 2013 and 2014 they finished without a single Championship win, the first team to achieve this unwanted feat in back to back seasons since Northamptonshire just before World War II.
- Bath Grounds, Ashby-de-la-Zouch (1912–1964)
- Kirkby Road, Barwell (1946–1947)
- Fox and Goose Ground, Coalville (1913–1914)
- Town Ground, Coalville (1950)
- Snibston Colliery Ground, Coalville (1957–1982)
- Ashby Road, Hinckley (1911–1937)
- Coventry Road, Hinckley (1951–1964)
- Leicester Road, Hinckley (1981–1991)
- Aylestone Road, Leicester (1901–1962)
- Brush Ground, Loughborough (1953–1965)
- College Ground, Loughborough (1928–1929)
- Park Road, Loughborough (1913–1970)
- Egerton Park, Melton Mowbray (1946–1948)
- No. denotes the player's squad number, as worn on the back of their shirt.
denotes players with international caps.
- county cap. denotes a player who has been awarded a
|No.||Name||Nationality||Birth date||Batting Style||Bowling Style||Notes|
|2||Paul Horton||20 September 1982||Right-handed||Right-arm medium||Club captain|
|5||Harry Dearden||7 May 1997||Left-handed||Right-arm off break|
|21||Sam Evans||20 December 1997||Right-handed||Right-arm off break|
|42||Hassan Azad||7 January 1994||Left-handed||Right-arm off break|
|48||Colin Ackermann* ||4 April 1991||Right-handed||Right-arm off break||List A & T20 captain|
|55||Mark Cosgrove ||14 June 1984||Left-handed||Right-arm medium||UK passport|
|7||Arron Lilley||1 April 1991||Right-handed||Right-arm off break|
|8||Ben Mike||24 August 1998||Right-handed||Right-arm fast-medium|
|—||George Rhodes||26 October 1993||Right-handed||Right-arm off break|
|23||Lewis Hill||5 October 1990||Right-handed||—|
|28||Harry Swindells||21 February 1999||Right-handed||—|
|10||Callum Parkinson||24 October 1996||Left-handed||Slow left-arm orthodox|
|16||Tom Taylor||21 December 1994||Right-handed||Right-arm fast-medium|
|31||Chris Wright||14 July 1985||Right-handed||Right-arm fast-medium|
|44||Will Davis||6 March 1996||Right-handed||Right-arm fast-medium|
|77||Dieter Klein||31 October 1988||Right-handed||Left-arm fast-medium||German Passport|
|93||Gavin Griffiths||19 November 1993||Right-handed||Right-arm fast-medium|
Most first-team winners medals for Leicestershire
- J. C. Balderstone – 6
- Highest team total: 701-4d v. Worcestershire, New Road, Worcester, 1906
- Highest home team total: 638-8d v. Worcestershire, Grace Road, 1996
- Lowest team total: 25 v. Kent, Leicester, 1912
- Highest total against: 761-6d by Essex, Chelmsford, 1990
- Lowest total against: 24 by Glamorgan, Leicester, 1971
- Highest individual score: 309* by HD Ackerman v. Glamorgan, Sophia Gardens, 2006.
- Highest home individual score: 262 by Brad Hodge v. Durham, Grace Road, 2004
- Highest partnership: 436* by Darren Maddy & Brad Hodge v. Loughborough UCCE, Grace Road, 2003
Best partnership for each wicket (county championship)
- 1st – 390 B. Dudleston and J. F. Steele v. Derbyshire, Leicester, 1979
- 2nd – 320 Hasan Azad and Neil Dexter v. Gloucestershire, Leicester, 2019
- 3rd – 316* W. Watson and A. Wharton v. Somerset, Taunton, 1961
- 4th – 290* P. Willey and T. J. Boon v. Warwickshire, Leicester, 1984
- 5th – 322 B. F. Smith and P. V. Simmons v. Nottinghamshire, Worksop, 1998
- 6th – 284 P. V. Simmons and P. A. Nixon v. Durham, Chester-le-Street, 1996
- 7th – 219* J. D. R. Benson and P. Whitticase v. Hampshire, Bournemouth, 1991
- 8th – 195 J. W. A Taylor and J. K. H. Naik v. Derbyshire, Leicester, 2009
- 9th – 160 R. T. Crawford and W. W. Odell v. Worcestershire, Leicester, 1902
- 10th – 228 R. Illingworth and K. Higgs v. Northamptonshire, Leicester, 1977
The Leicestershire Sub Academy is designed for young cricketers who have potential to play at the highest level. It is also called the EPP (Emerging Player Programme). Many players who are involved in this set up move on to the LCCC academy, where they will play matches against academies from other counties.
- ACS (1982). A Guide to First-Class Cricket Matches Played in the British Isles. Nottingham: ACS.
- "Queen of the South FC - Official website". Qosfc.com. Retrieved 4 May 2013.
- "The Home of CricketArchive". Cricketarchive.com. Retrieved 4 May 2013.
- "The Home of CricketArchive". Cricketarchive.com. Retrieved 4 May 2013.
- H S Altham, A History of Cricket, Volume 1 (to 1914), George Allen & Unwin, 1962
- Derek Birley, A Social History of English Cricket, Aurum, 1999
- Rowland Bowen, Cricket: A History of its Growth and Development, Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1970
- Roy Webber, The Playfair Book of Cricket Records, Playfair Books, 1951
- Playfair Cricket Annual – various editions
- Wisden Cricketers' Almanack – various editions