Cricket may have been played in Worcestershire during the 18th century, however the earliest reference to cricket in the county is 1829 and the county cricket club was not formed until 1865. A match on 28 August 1844 at Hartlebury Common between Worcestershire and Shropshire is the earliest known instance of a county team in Worcestershire. Two years later, XXII of Worcestershire played William Clarke's All-England Eleven at Powick Hams. Worcestershire CCC was formed on 4 March 1865 at the Star Hotel in Worcester. The club owes much to Paul Foley who was from a family of iron masters in Stourbridge. He also owned an agricultural estate at Stoke Edith in Herefordshire. He became involved with the club in the 1880s and helped to establish the Minor Counties Championship which began in 1895. Worcestershire shared the inaugural title with Durham and Norfolk before winning outright in 1896, 1897 and 1898. With this success behind it, the club applied for first-class status and entered the County Championship in 1899. Worcestershire CCC played its initial first-class match versus Yorkshire CCC on 4, 5 & 6 May 1899.
The inclusion of Worcestershire increased the County Championship to 15 teams. At first they performed moderately despite the superb batting of Tip Foster, who could rarely play after 1901. But in 1907, when Tip Foster played regularly for three months, their batting, considering the difficulty of the pitches, was among the finest of any county team. Their best performance that year was an innings of 567 on a somewhat difficult pitch against Fielder and Blythe of Kent CCC. After that year, however, the batting was never strong enough to make up for woefully weak bowling. Worcestershire were so weak the club could not compete in the Championship in 1919, and their form in 1920 – when they lost three successive games by an innings and over 200 runs – was probably the worst of any county side. Their form, with one remarkable exception, was woeful up to the early thirties. Fred Root, one of the first exponents of leg theory bowling, took over 1,500 wickets for the county and was a Test standard player in an otherwise fourth-rate team. In Cyril Walters and the Nawab of Pataudi the team acquired its first class batsmen since the Fosters, but both had to give up the game after playing brilliantly in 1933 – when the bowling was briefly very weak.
The emergence of Dick Howorth and Reg Perks in the 1930s, however, was built up so well that by 1947 Worcestershire were sufficiently strong in bowling to be competitive at county level even if their batting was not adequate for high honours. Roly Jenkins, with 183 wickets in 1949, gave them briefly the best attack in county cricket, but they soon declined again and their form in the 1950s was indifferent at best. Their first period of great success came in the 1960s under the captaincy of Don Kenyon, when the county won two County Championships thanks to the achievements of such players as Norman Gifford, Tom Graveney, Jack Flavell, Len Coldwell and Basil D'Oliveira. They were also losing finalist in the first ever Gillette Cup Final in 1963 - the inaugural limited overs knockout competition in England. In 1971 Worcestershire won their first ever Sunday League title thanks largely to the bowling of Vanburn Holder and the New Zealander Glenn Turner was instrumental in Worcestershire's third championship win in 1974. In the 1980s, the prodigious batting feats of Graeme Hick and the arrival of Ian Botham paved the way for two more county titles in 1988 and 1989 - the same year in which they beat the touring Australians inside two days. Worcestershire also won the Sunday League in 1987 and 1988.
New Road, Worcester has been the home cricket ground of Worcestershire County Cricket Club since 1896. The ground is situated in central Worcester, on the west bank of the River Severn, overlooked by Worcester Cathedral on the opposite bank. To the northwest is Cripplegate Park. Until 1976, the ground was owned by the Dean and Chapter of Worcester Cathedral. The capacity of the ground is 4,500, small by first-class standards. There is a small cricket shop located just outside the ground, selling cricket equipment, clothing, books and accessories. This shop opened in July 2008, replacing a long-standing older shop inside the ground. The shop also contains the administrative office for ticket sales and enquiries. The New Road ground is often flooded in winter by the nearby river, and was severely affected by the floods of July 2007, leading to the cancellation of several matches, and losses that were estimated to take nine years to recoup. This has influenced the naming of the new Worcestershire T20 side, the Worcestershire Rapids
New Road has hosted three men's One Day Internationals: one in the 1983 World Cup, when Gordon Greenidge scored 105 not out (the only ever men's international century at the ground) to take the West Indies to an eight-wicket victory over Zimbabwe; and two in the 1999 World Cup: a six-wicket victory for Australia over Scotland and a four-wicket victory for Sri Lanka over Zimbabwe. The ground has also seen nine Women's Test matches between 1951 and 2009, including the England Women's decisive victory during the 2005 Ashes, in which Katherine Brunt scored 52 and took match figures of 9/111; Brunt also took a first-innings 6/69 in the 2009 Ashes Test at Worcester, which was drawn. It has staged a single Women's ODI in 2000, a match curtailed by rain in which South Africa defeated England on run rate.
There is full wheelchair access via lifts to the following areas; Graeme Hick Pavilion, Sports bar, 1865 Lounge (access via street level), The View development (levels 2 & 3) and ticket office. Viewing: There are plenty of areas from which to view the game, either at pitch level or from balconies (in members areas) please speak to one of the stewards who will happily assist you. Disabled Parking: Regardless of the weather 12 parking spaces are always reserved for blue badge holders at a cost of £10 per day on a first come first served basis. Please note that if these 12 spaces are taken then stewards will always do their best to accommodate blue badge holders so please make yourself known at the main gate. Toilets: Wheelchair friendly toilet facilities are plentiful and available throughout the ground. Assistance dogs are welcome. All matches are broadcast via the BBC local radio service.
Location : County Ground, New Road, Worcester WR2 4QQ
Transport: Worcester Foregate Street (National Rail) 10 minutes. Bus Routes: 21, 30, 31, 39, 44, 294, 295, 308, 309, 310, 363 and 373 stop nearby.
Capacity : 5,500
Opening Times: Daily 09:30 to 17:00
Tickets T20 Blast : Adults £19.00; Juniors ( under 18 ) £5.00
Tickets One Day: Adults £16.00; Juniors ( under 18 ) £0.00
Tickets County: Adults £13.00; Juniors ( under 18 ) £5.00
Tickets England Women: Adults £10.00; Juniors ( under 18 ) £1.00
Tel: 01905 748 474