Yorkshire County Cricket Club
Yorkshire County Cricket Club represents the historic cricketing county of Yorkshire. Their home ground is at the Headingley Carnegie Stadium in Leeds, at which international games are also regularly played. Fans of Yorkshire are renowned for being fanatic about their county and the 17,000 capacity Headingly stadium is regularly packed out with enthusiastic supporters for the big home games.
They are one of the 18 counties that make up the English domestic cricket league and their limited overs (One-day) side is called the Yorkshire Phoenix.
The Early Years
The first references to cricket in the Yorkshire press appeared as early as the mid 1700s. A game between the Duke of Cleveland’s XI and the Earl of Northumberland’s XI took place on the 5th August 1751 – the teams had previously played in Durham County and this game was reportedly the replay, attesting to the long, and altogether indeterminate, lineage of the sport in Yorkshire.
In these embryonic years of cricket in Yorkshire, Sheffield emerged as the first centre of the new sport. Sheffield’s games were recorded against Leeds in 1765 and, more significantly, against Nottingham Cricket Club in August 1771. This Sheffield team was later to become Yorkshire CCC.
It was not until 1833 that the club was first properly referred to as Yorkshire CCC, and in 1849 the first Roses game took place between Yorkshire CCC and Lancashire. The club was then officially founded in 1863, with the agreement reached at a meeting of the Sheffield Match Fund Committee in the Adelphi Hotel, Sheffield.
Yorkshire then played its first First Class cricket match against Surrey at The Oval between 4th – 6th June, the game finished as a draw and was severely affected by rain. However, the club did not begin to play games at Headingley on a regular basis until 1888.
County Cricket – Greatest Moments
From their beginnings, Yorkshire was always one of the most powerful and successful county sides around. When, in 1883, Lord Hawke was appointed as captain of the club, much needed discipline and direction was brought to the side. As a result, by the mid 1890s they were dominating the County Championship. In a momentous occasion in 1896, Yorkshire attained the highest score to date (887) against a much weaker Warwickshire side. In fact, between 1900-02, Yorkshire lost only two County matches from 80.
Yorkshire’s success continued more or less unabated through the two World Wars. Following the war, they returned to win the first post-war Championship in 1919 and went on to lift the trophy every year from 1922 to 1925 and 7 more times in the 1930s. Their success in this period was largely attributable to a pool of great players including the great Wilfred Rhodes, who upon retirement in 1930 had taken the unbelievable total of 3597 wickets in his career.
After the Second World War, Yorkshire continued to reign supreme. A record crowd of 47,000 flocked to the first post-war Roses match in 1946, and Yorkshire went on to win the Championship once again that season. Although Surrey took the helm to dominate the Championship throughout the 1950s, Yorkshire emerged once again in the 1960s. In this period, Yorkshire celebrated one of the greatest ever County sides, including players like Doug Padgett, Geoff Boycott, Ray Illingworth, Jimmy Binks, Brian Close, Jack Hampshire and ‘Fiery’ Fred Trueman.
However, after this flurry of success in the 1960s in which they won the County Championship 6 times, Yorkshire suffered a dip in form and success continued to elude them throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Indeed, this slump arguably lasted right until the turn of the millennium, when the arrival of a number of truly excellent players saw a revival in the county’s form. Matthew Hoggard and Michael Vaughan have shone both at international and county level, and the recent formal and exclusive commitment of Vaughan to county cricket has really boosted the confidence and strength about the team.
By beating Glamorgan in 2001, they were able to claim their first County Championship title since 1968. More recently, with the arrival of Darren Gough as captain, and several high profile signings, namely Younus Khan and Jacques Rudolph, things are really looking up for Yorkshire County cricket.
Great Yorkshire Players
Wilfred Rhodes is considered among the finest all rounders the game has ever produced. He played over 30 years of cricket for Yorkshire, retiring at the age of 53, taking 73 wickets and scoring 485 runs alone in that final season. His career totals, including international and county cricket, are quite simply breathtaking. He played a total of 1110 games, scoring 39969 runs, taking 4204 wickets and taking 765 catches. He is among only four players to have achieved such statistics – scoring over 30,000 runs and taking over 2000 wickets. A true cricket legend.
Gough is a right arm fast bowler and one of the most successful at international and county level. Indeed, he is England’s all-time highest wicket taker in one-day internationals with 234, and he took 229 wickets in 58 Test matches, making him England’s ninth most successful wicket taker. With such statistics, who could dispute his greatness?
New star Matthew Hoggard has made big waves on the county and international scene. Like Gough, he is a fast arm right hand bowler and has excellent career averages to date – in Test cricket he has taken 246 wickets at an average of 29.64, and in county cricket he has taken 546 wickets at an average of 27.29.
Other all-time Yorkshire greats include (in chronological order) Lord Hawke, Geoff Boycott, Ray Illingworth, Herbert Sutcliffe, Richie Richardson, Sachin Tendulkar, Michael Vaughan, Mat Elliot, Jason Gillespie, Inzamam, Rana Naved, Younus Khan.
One Day Cricket
Yorkshire have still not enjoyed success as a One Day team. At present, the Yorkshire Phoenix does not have any One-Day silverware to its name.
First XI Honours
- Champion County (3) – Winners (1867, 1870, 1869 (shared))
- County Championship (30) – Winners (1893, 1896, 1898, 1900, 1901, 1902, 1905, 1908, 1912, 1919, 1922, 1923, 1924, 1925, 1931, 1932, 1933, 1935, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1946, 1949 (shared) 1959, 1960, 1962, 1963, 1966, 1967, 1968, 2001)
- FP Trophy (3) – (1965, 1969, 2002)
- National League – Winners (1983)
- Benson & Hedges Cup – Winners (1987)
Second XI Honours
- Second XI Championship (4) – Winners (1977, 1984, 1987 (shared), 1991, 2003)
- Minor Counties Championship (5) – Winners (1947, 1957, 1958, 1968, 1971)
- Fenner Trophy (3) – Winners (1972, 1974, 1981)
- Asda Challenge – Winners (1987)
- Ward Knockout Cup – Winners (1989)
- Joshua Tetley Festival Trophy (6) – Winners (1991, 1992 (shared), 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998)
- Tilcon Trophy – Winners (1988)
- Under-25 Competition (3) – Winners (1976, 1978, 1987)
- Bain Clarkson Trophy – Winners (1994)
The excellent official website of Yorkshire County Cricket Club can be found here and includes detailed information regarding fixtures, news and tickets.
Tickets for all games at Headingley, county and international, can be purchased through their website by clicking on the following link. To buy directly from Headlingley Stadium, you can find directions on the website.
Leeds station is located only 10-15 minutes drive from the Headingley ground. Alternatively, Headingley station is 5 minutes walk from the ground and can be reached on the Harrogate Line – trains leave from Leeds station half hourly.
From the south – From the M1 South, leave at Junction 43 to take the M621 as far as Junction 2. On the M62 West, exit at Junction 27, taking the M621 as far as Junction 2. From the M62 East, leave at Junction 29 and move on to the M1 northbound to Junction 2 of the M621. At Junction 2 of the M621, follow the signs for Headlingley Stadium along the A643.
From the north – All routes into Leeds from these areas lead to the Leeds Outer Ring Road, the A6110 – A6120 – A63. Along the Outer Ring Road, signposting to Headingley Stadium will lead you to the A660 Otley Road and from here southwards to the Headingley area.