Cricket probably did not reach Durham until the 18th century. The earliest reference is a game at Raby Castle on or soon after 5 August 1751 between the Earl of Northumberland’s XI and the Duke of Cleveland’s XI. As it happens, there was a return game soon afterwards at Stanwick, near Richmond, and that is the earliest reference to cricket in Yorkshire. The first recorded match of representative cricket in the county took place in 1848 at Sunderland, between an All England XII and a Bishopwearmouth 22. Despite their extra numbers the cricketers of Bishopwearmouth were comprehensively outplayed as All England's scores of 129 and 143 dwarfed their own 56 and 59. The first team to carry the name of 'Durham County' played an MCC team in 1876 and went on to take on the touring Australians in 1878, winning by 71 runs, and again in 1880, losing by an innings and 38, with the great Fred Spofforth taking 17 wickets for 66. Durham CCC was founded as an official entity on 23 May 1882, and the nascent club played its first competitive match on 12 June of that year, beating Northumberland by 4 wickets at the Ashbrooke Ground, Sunderland. The club established an enviable record as a minor county: becoming the first minor county to beat a first-class county in the Gillette Cup (defeating Yorkshire in round one in 1973, and then in 1985 beating Derbyshire at the same stage); winning the Minor Counties Championship a record-equalling seven times between 1901 and 1984; and putting together a record of 65 matches without defeat between 1976 and 1982 that remains unbroken to the present day. Early in 1989, the Club began the process of applying to become a first-class cricketing county and join the County Championship. First-class status was awarded on 6 December 1991, with Durham becoming the first new first-class county for 70 years.
The club's acceptance into first-class cricket in 1991 was made conditional on the building of a new Test match-standard cricket ground. Work began on the new ground at the Riverside in a location overlooked by Lumley Castle in 1990, and development has continued in phases until the present day. The first significant match played at Chester-le-Street was when Durham took on the touring New Zealanders in 1992, but it was when Durham were awarded first-class status in 1992 that the development really took off and an international-standard stadium has now been constructed. The hard work was rewarded in 1999 when the ground was awarded two matches in the World Cup, and the following year England played a NatWest Series game. In 2003, the venue because the first new Test ground in England since 1902 when it staged a match against ZImbabwe, and it is now has a firm place on the international fixture list, although Chester-le-Street still has to take in place in the pecking order below the established grounds. It's a long walk from the train station or bus and, once there, spectators face a long day if exposed to the cold. And exposed is the word: the stands around three-quarters of the ground are fairly low, although compensation is made in some part by a fine view of Lumley Castle over the open eastern side from the west and south stands.
The Public Address system will give live scores and updates of key developments during the match. Guide dogs are permitted within the ground. Should your dog require water then the staff at any food service outlet will be willing to help. Should any assistance be required to reach your seat or any facility, please contact the nearest steward who will make arrangements to provide this. Visually impaired spectators at Durham matches can benefit from the match day commentary supplied by volunteers which is available at home County Championship and Royal London One Day Cup matches. The service is free of charge although you are requested to book your place in advance. Radio Newcastle is now carrying commentary of all Durham CCC matches. Every step on each staircase is painted with a yellow line, two inches in width. Signage inside the County Ground is both clear and bold. There is a high contrast between both the characters and the background colours of the signs. The Club has a fully constituted Disabled Members Forum which meets on an annual basis. The forum is designed to give Members an opportunity to discuss current access issues with the club. For further details please contact Richard Dowson, Chief Operating Officer. (firstname.lastname@example.org , 0191 387 1717). Disabled members can take advantage of a special reduced rate membership for each season.
There are a number of services available to spectators at the Riverside who require the use of a wheelchair. Wheelchairs (electric and manual) are available to prebook from reception. All doors are wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair. Pavilion access is via the ground floor and there are three lifts to all floors. All stands have wheelchair access either via ramps, lifts, or are on the ground floor. 31 wheelchair bays situated in front of the western stands including the Don Robson Pavilion and County Stand. The bays provide ample space for a wheelchair and a seat for a carer. Carers are admitted into the ground for free for all Durham matches. Disabled car parking passes, which enable disabled members to park within the ground, are available at a cost of £75 per season. Spaces are limited. There are also spaces in Durham County Council Car Parks which are adjacent to the ground. Wheelchair friendly toilet facilities are plentiful and available throughout the ground. There are 6 disabled toilets within the Don Robson Pavilion, 3 on the east side of the ground and 2 on the west. Disabled taxis are available to book from the pavilion reception. Access to the required part of the ground has dropped kerbs in addition to wheelchair friendly gates. There is an induction loop system incorporated into the Members Lounge for spectators with hearing impairments. Durham County Cricket Club stewards are trained to assist spectators with any special needs should the need arise. The club will supply large print fixture lists to all spectators.
Location : Emirates Riverside, Riverside, Chester-le-Street, County Durham DH3 3QR
Transport: Chester-le-Street (National Rail) 15 minute walk. Bus Routes: 36, North East 78, North East 78A, 885, 886, 887 and 888 stop nearby.
Capacity : 5,000; Internationals 17,000
Opening Times: Daily 09:00 to 17:00
Tickets County/One Day : Adults £12.00; Children £5.00
Tickets T20 Blast: Adults £15.00; Children £5.00
Tel: 0191 387 1717