Cambridgeshire County Cricket Club is one of twenty minor county clubs within the domestic cricket structure of England and Wales. It represents the historic county of Cambridgeshire.
The original Cambridgeshire club, established in 1844, is classified as an important team by substantial sources from 1857 to 1871. The present club, founded in 1891, has always had minor status although it has played List A matches occasionally from 1964 until 2004 but is not classified as a List A team per se.
The club is based at The Avenue Sports Club Ground, March, though they have played a number of matches at Fenner's, Cambridge University's ground, and occasionally play games there still. In recent years, matches have also been held at Wisbech and Saffron Walden (in northeastern Essex).
Minor Counties Championship (1) - 1963; shared (0) -
MCCA Knockout Trophy (2) - 1995, 2003
Cricket must have reached Cambridgeshire in the 17th century. 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 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". After 1847, the name reverted to Cambridge Town.
The county club did not play matches outside East Anglia until 1857 when it played Surrey. From 1857 until 1871, the county club was recognised as holding important match status. The club itself was dissolved in 1869 (according to James Lillywhite's Cricketers' Companion of that year) but two matches arranged in 1869 and 1871 involved playing members of the former club and the team in both these games was called Cambridgeshire by Wisden and other sources.
The club played 39 important 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 the most appearances, playing in 35 of the matches. He also made most runs, with 1,934 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 the 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.
According to Simon Wilde, in the early 1860s Carpenter and Hayward were rated as two of the three finest batsmen in England along with Richard Daft. Daft himself ranked Carpenter and Hayward as being equal, but George Parr reckoned Carpenter to be the better. Wilde's own estimation was that Carpenter was the best batsman in England from 1860 to 1866.
The present club was founded on 6 June 1891.
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.
The following Cambridgeshire cricketers also made an impact on the first-class game:Gerry Alexander