County Ground

County Cricket Ground, Chelmsford

 

It is almost certain that cricket reached Essex by the 16th century and that it developed during the 17th century with inter-parish matches being played. The first definite mention of cricket in connection with the county is a highly controversial match in 1724 between Chingford and Mr Edwin Stead's XI, which is recorded in The Dawn of Cricket by H T Waghorn. The earliest reference to a team called Essex is in July 1732 when a combined Essex & Herts team played against the London Cricket Club. In July 1737, there was London v Essex at the Artillery Ground, London winning by 45 runs. In a return game at Ilford on 1 August 1737, Essex won by 7 runs. References are then occasional until 1785 when the Hornchurch Cricket Club became prominent. This club had a strong team that was representative of Essex as a county. However, the sources differed among themselves as to whether the team should be called Essex or Hornchurch. But there is no doubt that Essex was a First-Class county from 1785 until 1794, after which the county strangely and abruptly disappeared from the records for a long time.

 

Little was heard of Essex cricket from 1794 until the formation of Essex CCC on 14 January 1876 at a meeting in the Shire Hall, Chelmsford. The new club did not become First-Class until 1894. Essex CCC played its inaugural first-class match on 14, 15 & 16 May 1894 against Leicestershire CCC at Leyton. It was the initial First-Class match played by either club, and Essex failed to win a match against any other county. In 1895, both of these clubs and Warwickshire CCC joined the County Championship. In the club’s first championship match, of their first championship season, James Burns scored 114 against Warwickshire at Edgbaston and this was the first century for Essex in First-Class cricket. G.F. Higgins scored the second championship century for Essex in the same match putting on 205 with Burns for the fourth wicket. The club made an extraordinary score of 692 against Somerset with the rarely available veteran Bunny Lucas scoring 145, but the most notable feat was by Walter Mead who took 17–119 against Hampshire CCC at Southampton. Essex improved rapidly from 1895, so that by 1897 they were in the running for the Championship, only losing it when Surrey beat them at Leyton. They fell off after this despite beating a fine Australian team on a dubious pitch in 1899, never finishing higher than sixth between 1899 and 1932.

 

County Cricket Ground - Chelmsford

 

The County Ground, known as 'Fortress Chelmsford' due to the home team advantage, has been the headquarters of Essex since 1967. The ground is notoriously windy but with great drainage following improvements in 1982. It is a compact ground for a county HQ, but nevertheless much use has been made of the space available. The ground has one double-decker seating area, marquees, executive suites and mostly single-tier seating. Its pavilion, built in the 1970s, has recently been extended and contains all sorts of memorabilia. It is also one of the only two current grounds with permanent floodlights which were installed in 2002. Graham Gooch has scored most of his 40,000 plus first-class runs here and Essex have had their most successful seasons here, too. Surrey will remember one match for a different reason, though: in 1983, they recorded their lowest innings of 14. The playing area, which slopes slightly from south-east to north-west, has been used for some time as a standby emergency helicopter landing place for the nearby hospital, until the casualty department was relocated.

 

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 Derbyshire matches can listen to the match day commentary supplied by the BBC. Disabled visitors to The Essex County Ground are required to access via the Main Entrance on New Writtle Street. Accessible car park spaces are available opposite the Essex Cricket Store at the end of the driveway. There are a limited number of spaces available on matchdays and for non-matchday events, on a first come, first served basis.

 

Location : County Ground, New Writtle Street, Chelmsford, Essex CM2 0PG

Transport: Chelmsford (National Rail) 10 minute walk. Bus Routes: First Group 42 and 100 stop nearby.

Capacity : 6500

Opening Times: Daily 09:00 to 17:00

Tickets County : Adults £13.00;  Student (18-25) £10:00;  Children £5.00

Tickets One Day : Adults £15.00;  Student (18-25) £10:00;  Children £5.00

Tickets T20 Blast: Adults £25.00;  Student (18-25) £20:00;  Children £10.00

Tickets Internationals : Adults £15.00;  Student (18-25) £5:00;  Children £1.00

Tel: 01245 252420

Castle Park Ground - Colchester

Lower Castle Park

Lower Castle Park

Colchester CC opened their new ground at Castle Park in 1908 and Essex staged their first game in 1914 returning their after the Great War and remaining through to 1966 when they transferred to the nearby Garrison Cricket Ground because of consistently poor drainage - in 1958 one festival match was abandoned as deckchairs floated across the outfield. They remained there until 1974 when they returned and continued to play matches there since. Castle Park is, by far and away, the most attractive of the grounds used by Essex County Cricket Club. Lying to the north of the High Street, and below the level of the town and castle itself, the park is bordered by the remains of the Roman perimeter wall and the old Colchester by-pass. During Colchester Cricket Week, the park is transformed by the sudden arrival of tiered seating, the ubiquitous blue and white marquees and, of course, the mobile scoreboard. The pavilion is quite an elegant building, backed by trees through which the tower of the Victorian town hall peeps, spire-like, in the distance. Through the park runs the willow-lined River Colne, beautiful enough, but responsible for most of the ground's considerable drainage problems. In 1938 Arthur Fagg became the only batsman ever to hit a double century in each innings - scoring 244 in his first and 202 not out in his second against Kent.

 

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 Essex matches can listen to the match day commentary supplied by the BBC. There is disabled parking available and fully accessible toilets reserved for disabled use. Assistance dogs are welcome.

 

Location : The Pavilion, Colchester, Essex CO1 1UD

Transport: Colchester Town (National Rail) 15 minute walk. Bus Routes: 2, 2A, 2C, 4, 8 and 8C stop close by.

Capacity : 6,000

Opening Times: Daily 09:00 to 17:00

Tickets County : Adults £13.00;  Student (18-25) £10:00;  Children £5.00

Tickets One Day : Adults £15.00;  Student (18-25) £10:00;  Children £5.00

Tickets T20 Blast: Adults £25.00;  Student (18-25) £20:00;  Children £10.00

Tickets Internationals : Adults £15.00;  Student (18-25) £5:00;  Children £1.00

Tel: 01206574028