Cricket has been played in Lancashire since the eighteenth century and the first team using the name of the county was organised by the old Manchester Cricket Club in 1849. In 1864, a county club was formally created by agreement of several existing town clubs throughout the county.
As such, Lancashire County Cricket Club represents the traditional county of Lancashire which included Cartmel, Furness, Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Warrington and Widnes in addition to the present-day ceremonial county that is centred on Preston. The club has held first-class status since foundation. Lancashire's main venue has always been Old Trafford Cricket Ground in Greater Manchester, though the team has played matches at many more grounds around the county such as Aigburth Cricket Ground, Liverpool. The club was a founder member of the County Cricket Championship in 1890 and the team have won the competition nine times, most recently in 2011. Their limited overs team is called Lancashire Lightning after the English Electric Lightning fighter aircraft which was manufactured at Warton Aerodrome near Preston.
Lancashire were widely recognised as the "Champion County" (an unofficial title) four times between 1879 and 1889. They won their first two County Championship titles in the 1897 and 1904 seasons. Between 1926 and 1934, they won the championship five times. Throughout most of the inter-war period, Lancashire and their neighbours Yorkshire had the best two teams in England and the Roses Matches between them were usually the highlight of the domestic season. In 1950, Lancashire shared the title with Surrey. The County Championship was restructured in 2000 with Lancashire in the first division. They won the 2011 County Championship, closing a gap of 77 years since the club's last outright title in 1934.
In 1895, Archie MacLaren scored 424 in an innings for Lancashire, which remains the highest score by an Englishman in first-class cricket. Johnny Briggs, whose career lasted from 1879 to 1900, was the first player to score 10,000 runs and take 1,000 wickets for Lancashire. Ernest Tyldesley, younger brother of Johnny Tyldesley, is the club's leading run-scorer with 34,222 runs in 573 matches for Lancashire between 1909 and 1936. Fast bowler Brian Statham took a club record 1,816 wickets in 430 first-class matches between 1950 and 1968. England batsman Cyril Washbrook became Lancashire's first professional captain in 1954.
The Lancashire side of the late 1960s and early 1970s, which was captained by Jack Bond and featured the West Indian batsman Clive Lloyd, was successful in limited overs cricket, winning the Sunday League in 1969 and 1970 and the Gillette Cup four times between 1970 and 1975. Lancashire won the B&H Cup in 1984, three times between 1990 and 1996, and the Sunday League in 1989, 1998 and 1999. They won the Twenty20 Cup for the first time in 2015.
- Association of Cricket Statisticians and Historians (ACS): A Guide to First-Class Cricket Matches Played in the British Isles. ACS (1982).
- Derlien, Tony: Bowled Statham. Breedon Books (1990).
- Playfair: Playfair Cricket Annual. Playfair Books Ltd (1948 to present).
- Swanton, E. W. (editor): Barclays World of Cricket, 3rd edition. Willow Books (1986).