Cambridgeshire (cricket)

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Cricket reached the county of Cambridgeshire in the seventeenth century and the earliest definite reference to it is a match at the University of Cambridge in 1710. The earliest reference to cricket elsewhere in the county is a local match between teams from Saffron Walden and Cambridge in 1758. The history of Cambridgeshire cricket in the nineteenth century is somewhat complicated by the existence of the Cambridge Town Club (which had a multiplicity of titles) and the original county club as the two were cross-linked and, in effect, the same team. The earliest known match involving either entity was Cambridge Town Club v Cambridge University in May 1819, which the University won by 2 wickets.[1] This fixture became moreorless annual for many years until it was last played in 1861.

The town club evolved into the county club which made its recognised first-class debut in 1857, against Surrey. The county club, as such, was short-lived and folded after the 1868 season, although two more first-class matches involving teams called Cambridgeshire were organised from 1869 to 1871. The county team took part in a total of 39 first-class matches with the Fenner's ground in Cambridge its normal home venue. The most famous players were Thomas Hayward (father of Tom Hayward), Robert Carpenter, Alfred Diver and George Tarrant. Hayward, Carpenter and Diver were members of the first ever England overseas touring team, to North America in 1859.

The modern Cambridgeshire club was founded on 6 June 1891 and has always been a second-class county. They joined the Minor Counties Cricket Championship in 1898 and have won the competition once, in 1963. They also won the MCCA Knockout Trophy twice, in 1995 and 2003. Their normal home venue is the Avenue Sports Club Ground in March, Cambridgeshire.

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