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Northamptonshire County Cricket Club is one of the 18 major county clubs which make up the English domestic cricket structure, representing the historic county of Northamptonshiremarker. Its limited overs team is called the Northants Steelbacks. The traditional club colour is Maroon. During the 2009 season, the club had different shirts sponsors for each format of the game. First class games were sponsored by County ground events venue, Pro 40 by Waste Recycling Group, Twenty 20 by Old Speckled Hen and for the one off game against Australia, Remeha.

The club plays the majority of its games at the County Cricket Ground, Northamptonmarker, but has used outlier grounds at Ketteringmarker, Wellingboroughmarker, Finedonmarker and Peterboroughmarker (formerly considered part of Northamptonshire, but now in Cambridgeshire) in the past. It has also used grounds outside the county, at Lutonmarker, Tringmarker and Milton Keynesmarker, for one-day games.

Northamptonshire currently play in Division 2 of the County Championship, Division 2 of the Pro 40 league and the Mid/West/Wales Division of the Twenty20 Cup.

Honours

First XI honours

Winners (0) – highest placing: 2nd 1912, 1957, 1965, 1976
Division Two (1) – 2000
Promoted (1) - 2003
Winners (2) – 1976 & 1992
Winners (0) – highest placing: 2nd 2006
Division Two (0) – promoted: 1999, 2003
Winners (0) – semi-finalists 2009
Winners (1) – 1980
Winners (2) – 1903, 1904
Shared (2) – 1899, 1900


Second XI honours

Winners (2) – 1960, 1998


Winners (2) - 1986, 1998


Records

Most first-class runs for Northamptonshire

Qualification - 20000 runs [59290]
Player Runs
Dennis Brookes 28980
Geoff Cook 20976
John Timms 20433
Wayne Larkins 20317
Rob Bailey 20181
Allan Lamb 20128


Most first-class wickets for Northamptonshire

Qualification - 800 wickets [59291]
Player Wickets
Nobby Clark 1102
Vallance Jupp 1078
George Thompson 1078
George Tribe 1021
Albert Thomas 817
Brian Crump 807


Team totals
Record Score Opposition Venue Year Link
Highest Total For 781-7 declared Nottinghamshire Northamptonmarker 1995 [59292]
Highest Total Against 673-8 declared Yorkshire Headingleymarker 2003 [59293]
Lowest Total For 12 Gloucestershire Bristolmarker 1907 [59294]
Lowest Total Against 33 Lancashire Northamptonmarker 1977 [59295]


Batting
Player Information
Highest score 1. Mike Hussey

2. Mike Hussey

3. Mal Loye
331* v Somerset at County Groundmarker, Tauntonmarker in 2003

329* v Essex at County Groundmarker, Northamptonmarker in 2001

322* v Glamorgan at County Groundmarker, Northamptonmarker in 1998
Most runs in season 1. Dennis Brookes

2. Norman Oldfield

3. Mike Hussey
2,198 in 1952

2,192 in 1949

2,055 in 2001


Record partnership for each wicket
Wicket Score Batting partners Opposition Venue Year Link
1st 375 RA White & MJ Powell Gloucestershire Northamptonmarker 2002 [59296]
2nd 344 G Cook & RJ Boyd-Moss Lancashire Northamptonmarker 1986 [59297]
3rd 393 A Fordham & AJ Lamb Yorkshire Leedsmarker 1990 [59298]
4th 370 RT Virgin & P Willey Somerset Northamptonmarker 1976 [59299]
5th 401 MB Loye & D Ripley Glamorgan Northamptonmarker 1998 [59300]
6th 376 R Subba Row & A Lightfoot Surrey The Ovalmarker 1958 [59301]
7th 293 DJG Sales & D Ripley Essex Northamptonmarker 1999 [59302]
8th 164 D Ripley & NGB Cook Lancashire Manchestermarker 1987 [59303]
9th 156 R Subba Row & S Starkie Lancashire Northamptonmarker 1955 [59304]
10th 148 BW Bellamy & JV Murdin Glamorgan Northamptonmarker 1925 [59305]


Bowling
Player Information
Best bowling (innings) 1. Vallance Jupp

2. Albert Thomas

3. Vincent Broderick
10-127 v Kent at Nevill Groundmarker, Tunbridge Wellsmarker in 1932

9-30 v Yorkshire at Park Avenue, Bradfordmarker in 1920

9-35 v Sussex at Cricketfield Road, Horshammarker in 1948
Best bowling (match) 1. George Tribe

2. Vallance Jupp

3. George Tribe
15-31 v Yorkshire at County Groundmarker, Northamptonmarker in 1958

15-52 v Glamorgan at St. Helen'smarker, Swanseamarker in 1925

15-75 v Yorkshire at Park Avenue, Bradfordmarker in 1955
Most wickets in season 1. George Tribe

2. George Thompson

3. Edward Clark
175 in 1955

148 in 1913

141 in 1929


Wicket-keeping
Player Information
Most victims in innings 1. Keith Andrew

2. David Ripley
7 v Lancashire at Old Traffordmarker, Manchestermarker in 1962

6 v Sussex at County Groundmarker, Northamptonmarker in 1988
Most victims in season 1. Keith Andrew

2. David Ripley
90 in 1962

81 in 1988


History

Earliest cricket

Cricket had probably reached Northamptonshire by the end of the 17th century and the first two references to cricket in the county are within a few days of each other in 1741. On Monday 10 August, there was a match at Woburnmarker Park between a Bedfordshire XI and a combined Northants and Huntingdonshire XI. Woburn Cricket Club under the leadership of the Duke of Bedford was on the point of becoming a well known club. On Tuesday 18 August, a match played on the Cow Meadow near Northampton between two teams of amateurs from Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire is the earliest known instance of cricket being played in Northamptonshire county.

Origin of club

On 31 July 1878, the official formation of Northants CCC took place at a meeting in the George Hotel, Ketteringmarker based on an existing organisation that dated back to 1820. The 1820 date, if it could be verified, would make Northants the oldest club in the present-day County Championship. The club came to prominence in the Minor Counties Championship during the 1890s as, between 1900 and 1904, the bowling of George Thompson and William East was much too good for almost all batsmen at that level. The county applied for first-class status in 1904 and was promoted the following year when it joined the County Championship. They played its inaugural first-class match versus Hampshire CCC at Southampton on 18, 19 & 20 May 1905 when making its County Championship debut.

The origin of the one day name, the Steelbacks, comes from the Northamptonshire Regiment which was formed in 1881. The name was supposedly a tribute to the soldiers' apparent indifference to the harsh discipline imposed by there offices. Northamptonshire cricket used the nickname to signify the sort of grit and resolution all of their supporters look for in the county's cricketers, just like the soldiers did against their officers.

Stepping up to first-class

Although Thompson and East proved themselves to be bowlers of high class, a weak batting line-up meant that the team remained close to the bottom of the championship table until Sydney Smith arrived in 1909. After three years in the middle of the table, Northants surprisingly improved to finish second in 1912 and fourth in 1913. Thompson, Smith and William "Bumper" Wells formed one of the strongest attacks in county cricket at the time, whilst Smith and Haywood were the county's best batsmen.

Thompson and Smith finished playing after World War I and, during the inter-war period, Northamptonshire were regularly one of the weaker championship sides. This was exacerbated when Vallance Jupp declined due to age and, despite the arrival of Nobby Clark, a young left arm fast bowler from Huntingdonshiremarker who burst onto the scene at the age of 20 in 1922 with 20 wickets at an average of 17.10 and Fred Bakewell, an exciting batsman who regularly exceeded 1000 runs a season, Northamptonshire could only finish above second from last four times between 1923 and 1948, finishing last every year from 1934 to 1938 and enduring a run of 99 matches from 14 May 1935 to 29 May 1939 without a single championship victory, a record that has never been beaten and doesn’t look like being beaten in the future. Things got worse for Northamptonshire during this time when Bakewell’s career ended due to a broken arm in a car crash that also resulted in the fatality of fellow teammate, R.P. Northway.

The post-war recovery

After the Second World War, things could only get better for Northamptonshire and they started by recruiting widely from other counties and countries, bringing in Freddie Brown from Surrey; the Australians Jock Livingston, George Tribe and Jack Manning; the New Zealander Peter Arnold; and the Cambridge University opening bat and leg-spinner Raman Subba Row. Brown joined as captain in 1949, and led the team to six place in his first season after previous years of disappointment. Under the new leadership of Dennis Brookes (a stalwart batsman for over 20 years), finished second in 1957, their best finish for 45 years. This was mainly due to the bowling attack of Frank Tyson, Vincent Broderick, Michael Allen, George Tribe and Manning. Northamptonshire were widely considered the best team in Englandmarker in the late 50’s and early 60’s, during this time Keith Andrew, Northants best ever Wicket-keeper broke the records of most victims in an innings and a season.

Subsequently, the club has seen mixed fortunes. The club has had intermittent success in one-day competitions, but it has still not won the County Championship, although second place was achieved in each of 1957, 1965 and 1976. Nonetheless it has included several famous players qualified for England, including the South African-born batsman Allan Lamb; fast bowler David Larter; the hard hitting opener Colin Milburn, whose career was cut tragically short by an eye injury sustained in a car crash; the reliable batsmen David Steele and Rob Bailey; opening batsman Wayne Larkins; and all-rounders Peter Willey and David Capel.

Several notable overseas players such as Matthew Hayden, Curtly Ambrose, Andre Nel, Kapil Dev, Mike Hussey, Sarfraz Nawaz, Mushtaq Mohammad, Anil Kumble, Dennis Lillee and Bishen Bedi have starred for the club, which was particularly formidable as a one-day batting outfit in the late 1970s and early 1980s. More recently, Lance Klusener and Monty Panesar have been notable players.

Northants have recently been criticised for the number of Kolpak players in the team, but for the 2009 season there were only three in 2009 with Andrew Hall, Johan van der Wath and Nicky Boje.

Ground history

As with all county cricket clubs, Northamptonshire CCC represents the historic county and not any modern or current administrative unit. In Northamptonshire's case, this means the county of Northamptonshiremarker and the Town of Northamptonmarker, although the club have in the past played some home matches outside the historic borders such as in Peterboroughmarker, Lutonmarker and Milton Keynesmarker.

Northamptonshire first played at the county groundmarker in Northamptonmarker in 1905, and continue to do so till this day even though Northampton Town F.C. shared the ground up until 1994 when The Cobblers moved to Sixfields Stadiummarker. After the football club moved, the ground at the Abington Avenue was demolished and replaced by a new indoor school which includes seating looking on too the ground. In 2009, Northants cricket announced plans to improve the ground by building two new stands on the scoreboard side of the ground, there will also be a permanent commentary box with a view to have a ' mini Lordsmarker ' style media centre.

This following table gives details of every venue at which Northamptonshire have hosted a first-class, List A or Twenty20 cricket match:

Name of ground Location Year FC
matches
LA
matches
T20
matches
Total
County Groundmarker Northamptonmarker 1905-present 969 341 17 1327
Town Ground Ketteringmarker 1923-1973 65 4 - 69
School Groundmarker Wellingboroughmarker 1946-1991 43 17 - 60
Town Groundmarker Peterboroughmarker 1906-1966 46 - - 46
Wardown Park Lutonmarker 1973-2004 11 24 1 36
Town Groundmarker Rushdenmarker 1924-1963 22 - - 22
Tring Park Tringmarker 1974-1991 - 16 - 16
Manor Fields Bletchleymarker 1976-1987 3 7 - 10
Baker Perkins Peterboroughmarker 1967-1974 3 5 - 8
Campbell Park Milton Keynesmarker 1997-present - 2 3 5
Buckingham Road Brackleymarker 1971-1975 - 4 - 4
Dolben Ground Finedonmarker 1986-1989 - 3 - 3
Bedford School Bedfordmarker 1971-1982 - 2 - 2
Horton House Hortonmarker 1976-1977 - 2 - 2
Ideal Clothiers Wellingboroughmarker 1929 1 - - 1
Stowe School Stowemarker 2005 - 1 - 1
Source: CricketArchive
Updated: 6 November 2009


Current Officials of Northamptonshire

  • President: 9th Earl Spencer
  • Chairman: Martin Lawrence
  • Chief Executive: Mark Tagg
  • Scorer: Tony Kingston
  • Head Groundsman: Paul Marshall


Coaching staff

  • Head Coach: David Capel
  • Academy Director/2nd XI Coach: David Ripley
  • Performance Coach/Fielding Coach: Kevin Innes
  • Performance Coach: Phil Rowe
  • Club Physiotherapist: Barry Goudriaan


Players

Current squad

The Northamptonshire squad for the 2010 season consists of (this section could change as players are released or signed):

Players with international caps are listed in bold.

No. Name Nat Age Batting Style Bowling Style Notes
Batsmen
Paul Harrison 25 RHB RM
27 Ben Howgego 21 LHB RFM
Mal Loye 37 RHB OS Former England ODI
11 Stephen Peters 30 RHB LS Former England U19
5 David Sales 31 RHB RM Former England A
26 Alex Wakely 20 RHB OS / RM Former England U19
18 Robert White 29 RHB OS
Wicket-keepers
David Murphy 20 RHB
81 Niall O'Brien 27 LHB Ireland ODI Player
6 Riki Wessels 23 RHB English Qualified
All-rounders
17 Nicky Boje (c) 36 LHB SLA Kolpak Player
1 Andrew Hall 34 RHB RFM Kolpak Player
24 Johan van der Wath 31 RHB RF Kolpak Player
15 David Willey 19 LHB LM Current England U19
Bowlers
9 Jack Brooks 25 RHB RMF
10 Lee Daggett 27 RHB RMF
22 David Lucas 30 RHB LMF
14 David Wigley 27 RHB RFM


Notable players

This list is compiled of International cricketers who have played Test and/or List A cricket. It also includes players who have been mentioned in the '100 Greats:Northamptonshire county cricket club' book. Therefore making them notable to the county and international cricket scene.

England



Australia

South Africa

India

Pakistan

West Indies

Zimbabwe

Ireland

County Captains

A complete list of officially appointed Northamptonshire captains can be found here: List of Northamptonshire cricket captains.

Notable captains:

County Caps

Northamptonshire do not automatically award caps to players on their first appearance; instead, they have to be "earned" through good performances. In recent times, cricketers who are awarded a county cap are given a new cap with yellow stripes on the maroon instead of a plain maroon cap. The following players have received caps:





Northamptonshire facts and feats

  • Northamptonshire, along with Gloucestershire and Somerset, are the only teams not to have won the County Championship.
  • They have finished bottom, receiving the wooden spoon 11 times
  • Northamptonshire endured a record run of 99 matches from 14 May 1935 to 29 May 1939 without a single championship victory.
  • Northamptonshire have made it out of the group stages of the Twenty20 Cup on 4 occasions out of the 7 years the competition has been running, most recently getting to the semi-finals in the 2009 edition of the competition before being beaten by eventual winners Sussex Sharks.


Notes



References

  1. Highest score for Northamptonshire CricketArchive. Retrieved 18 September 2009
  2. Most Runs in a Season for Northamptonshire CricketArchive. Retrieved 18 September 2009
  3. Most Wickets in an Innings for Northamptonshire CricketArchive. Retrieved 19 September 2009
  4. Most Wickets in a Match for Northamptonshire CricketArchive. Retrieved 19 September 2009
  5. Most Wickets in a Season for Northamptonshire CricketArchive. Retrieved 19 September 2009
  6. Most Victims in an Innings for Northamptonshire CricketArchive. Retrieved 19 September 2009
  7. Most Victims in a Season for Northamptonshire CricketArchive. Retrieved on 19 September 2009.
  8. Waghorn, p.27
  9. Why the Steelbacks? Northants Cricket website
  10. 1949 County Championship table CricketArchive. Retrieved 30 October 2009
  11. Frank Tyson, In the Eye of the Typhoon, Parrs Wood Press, 2004
  12. 100 Greats: Northamptonshire county cricket club. by Andrew Radd


External sources



Bibliography

  • 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
  • H T Waghorn, Cricket Scores, Notes, etc. (1730-1773), Blackwood, 1899
  • Roy Webber, The Playfair Book of Cricket Records, Playfair Books, 1951





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