Cricket may not have reached the English counties of Leicestershire and Rutland until the 18th century. A notice in the Leicester Journal dated 17 August 1776 is the earliest known mention of cricket in the area. A few years later, a Leicestershire & Rutland Cricket Club was taking part in important matches. The Leicester Journal on 4 August 1781 reported Leicester v Melton Mowbray at Barrowcliffe Meadow near Leicester. Melton Mowbray won by 16 runs. Later the same season, the first reports have been found of a match between Leicester and Nottingham Cricket Club. These two old clubs forged quite a fierce rivalry. They met at Loughborough on 17 & 18 September 1781 and the game was incomplete due to a dispute. Nottingham scored 50 & 73; Leicester had scored 73 & 9-2 when the game ended prematurely because of a dispute about wide deliveries. The repercussions dragged on and the dispute remained unresolved for some years. In 1789, Leicester played Nottingham again in two matches at Loughborough. They won one each and full scorecards have survived. It is evident that by this time these teams were representative of their counties and, in 1791, they were both deemed good enough to play against MCC, but they were both well beaten. This was hardly surprising as northern cricket was still developing while the southern teams had considerable match experience. Leicester's game against MCC was played at Burley-on-the-Hill in Rutland, which was the Earl of Winchilsea’s country retreat, used as his base for foxhunting parties.
In 1792, Burley-on-the-Hill staged "Leicestershire & Rutland v Nottingham", the home side winning by 4 wickets and providing a historical example of the fact that Leicestershire cricket encompasses Rutland. In a further game at Leicester in 1800, Nottingham won by an innings and the old Leicestershire & Rutland club seemed to fade away after that, apart from a couple of mentions in the early 19th century. Little more is heard of Leicestershire cricket until the formation of the present club on 25 March 1879. Essex CCC versus Leicestershire CCC at Leyton on 14, 15 & 16 May 1894 was the initial first-class match played by either club. In 1895, the County Championship was restructured into a 14-team competition with the introduction of Essex, Leicestershire and Warwickshire CCC. Leicestershire's first 70 years were largely spent in lower table mediocrity, with few notable exceptions.
In 1953, the motivation of secretary-captain Charles Palmer lifted the side fleetingly to third place, but most of the rest of the 1950s was spent propping up the table, or thereabouts. Change came in the late 1950s with the recruitment of the charismatic Willie Watson at the end of a distinguished career with England and Yorkshire. Watson's run gathering sparked the home-grown Maurice Hallam into becoming one of England's best opening batsmen. In bowling, Leicestershire had an erratically successful group of seamers in Terry Spencer, Brian Boshier, John Cotton and Jack van Geloven, plus the spin of John Savage. Another change was in the captaincy: Tony Lock, the former England and Surrey spinner who had galvanised Western Australia. Ray Illingworth, again from Yorkshire, instilled self-belief to the extent that the county took its first ever trophy in 1972, the Benson & Hedges Cup with Chris Balderstone man of the match. This was start of the first golden era as the first of five trophies in five years and included Leicestershire's first ever County Championship title in 1975.
The land which Grace Road is built on was bought by Leicestershire County Cricket Club in 1877 from the then Duke of Rutland and they spent the massive sum of £40,000 on developing a cricket club, athletic track and hotel. The first match played on the ground took place three months later, when Leicestershire beat the touring Australia team. Contrary to popular belief, the road was named after a local property owner, not W. G. Grace. Leicestershire left the Grace Road site in 1901 due to lack of public transport to the ground causing low crowds. They moved to a site near to Aylestone Road, as it was closer to the city centre. Leicestershire did eventually return to Grace Road after the end of the Second World War in 1946 and have been based there ever since, buying the land back in 1966. The record attendance is 16,000 who watched the match against the touring 1948 Australians. In front of the wicket at both ends the pitch is measured at 56 metres, whilst square of the wicket on both sides the dimensions are recorded as 76 metres. This is larger than most county grounds, but smaller than some of England's major international venues such as The Oval.
There are ramps to both entrances, Park Hill Drive and in front of the stands. There are both steps and a ramp to the Disabled Viewing Gallery. here are accessible toilets within this venue designated for public use. The toilet is not for the sole use of disabled people. There is no additional signage on or near the toilet door. The accessible toilet is 19m (21yd) from the Charles Palmer Suite entrance. Guide Dogs are permitted within the Stadium. Should your dog require water then please ask your nearest Steward and they will do their best to assist. All Grace Road Cricket Matches have commentary provide by BBC local radio. Documents can be requested in Braille. Documents can be requested in large print.
Location : County Ground, Grace Road, Leicester, LE2 8AD
Transport: Leicester (National Rail) then bus. Bus Routes: Arriva 47, 48, 84, 84A, 85, 86 and 87 stop nearby.
Capacity : 12,000
Opening Times: Daily 09:00 to 17:00
Tickets County : Adults £10.00; Concessions £10.00; Children (under 16) £1.00
Tickets One Day : Adults £10.00; Concessions £8.00; Children (under 16) £1.00
Tickets T20 Blast : Adults £15.00; Concessions £10.00; Children (under 16) £5.00
Tickets Pakistan A / England Women : Adults £5.00; Concessions £5.00; Children (under 16) £1.00
Tel: 0116 283 2128