Derbyshire set for 4,000th game

Thursday 4th July 2019
& News
Written by Danny Painter

Derbyshire reach a playing milestone when they take on Worcestershire at Kidderminster starting on Sunday, 7  July 2019. It will be the county’s 4,000th scheduled game of cricket in all formats.

Heritage Officer and Statistician, David Griffin, delves into the history books to reveal more.

Derbyshire began their cricketing odyssey on May 26 1871 when they played Lancashire at Old Trafford, Manchester in their first-ever formal game of cricket.

The game was won by an innings and 11 runs, and their next six first-class games were also played against Lancashire over the course of four seasons.

Kent, and then Nottinghamshire agreed to provide the opposition in ensuing seasons, while teams like the United North of England XI, MCC and the first tourists to visit the county, the Australians in 1880, also played against Derbyshire prior to the start of the 20th century.

By then, the County Championship had been formalised, but still the occasional oddity arose, most notably the 1908 fixture at Derby against the Gentlemen of Philadelphia, a first-class game which the visitors won by nine wickets.

Derbyshire’s 100th game was against Surrey in 1884, and their 1,000th game arrived in that golden summer of 1936, when they won the County Championship.

By the time the 2,000th game came along, limited overs cricket was an integral part of the county schedule, although it was a tour game, against the West Indies at Chesterfield in 1973 which brought up the 2,000.

The proliferation of one-day cricket in the final quarter of the twentieth century – the Gillette Cup had been introduced in 1963, the Players County League (renamed the John Player League) came along in 1969, and the Benson and Hedges Cup in 1972 – meant that the next 1,000 games took just 22 years to complete, with number 3,000 taking place at March against Cambridgeshire in the Nat West Trophy in June 1995.

The number of games has reduced since the turn of the century, and particularly in the last decade as List A cricket matches have reduced from a potential high of 20-plus fixtures to just nine scheduled matches this summer, although, of course, the newest form of the game, Twenty20, has partly filled that gap.

The real reduction in matches has been in the County Championship where teams now only play 14 matches, whereas 28 games were the norm throughout much of the period between 1929 and 1968, and in 1961 and 1963, the county played 31 first class matches in all.

Of their 2,812 scheduled first-class matches, Derbyshire have won 687, drawn 1,066 and lost 1,031, while in List A they have been victorious in 413 of their 1,008 matches, with 487 defeats and nine matches tied. In Twenty20, the club has won 57 of its 179 scheduled games in the format, while 101 have ended in defeat. There have also been 92 games abandoned throughout the club’s history.

Derbyshire have won five trophies, as follows;

Year Competition
1936 County Championship
1981 NatWest Bank Trophy
1990 RAL Sunday League
1993 Benson and Hedges Cup
2012 County Championship Division Two

The county has appeared in 25 quarter-finals, nine semi-finals and six finals.

The breakdown over the years of the 4,000 games is as follows;

Years Milestone
1871-1936 1,000th game
1936-1973 2,000th game
1973-1995 3,000th game
1995-2019 4,000th game

The breakdown of wins and losses and more, is as follows;

Games Scheduled Won Drawn Lost Tied No result
3,999 1,157 1,066 1,619 11 54

Vitality Blast is back this month! Tickets for all seven home matches on sale now, including the big clash against Notts Outlaws on Friday 26 July. Buy online or call 01332 388 101.


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