Northamptonshire County Cricket Club

Northamptonshire County Cricket Club
Northamptonshire County Cricket Club
Northants Cricket Badge.jpg
One-day name: Northants Steelbacks
Second XI: Northamptonshire Second XI
Coach: England David Capel
Captain: South Africa Andrew Hall
Overseas player(s): Sri Lanka Chaminda Vaas
Founded: 1878
Home ground: County Ground, Northampton
Capacity: 6,500+
(10,000 with temporary seating)
First-class debut: Hampshire
in 1905
at Southampton
Championship wins: 0
Clydesdale Bank 40 wins: 0
Twenty20 Cup wins: 0
Official website:

Northamptonshire County Cricket Club is one of the 18 major county clubs which make up the English and Welsh domestic cricket structure, representing the historic county of Northamptonshire. Its limited overs team is called the Northants Steelbacks. The traditional club colour is Maroon. During the 2010 season, the club had different shirts sponsors for each format of the game. First class games were sponsored by AJN Steelstock and one day games including Twenty20 by Old Speckled Hen.[1]

The club plays the majority of its games at the County Cricket Ground, Northampton, but has used outlier grounds at Kettering, Wellingborough, Finedon and Peterborough (formerly considered part of Northamptonshire, but now in Cambridgeshire) in the past. It has also used grounds outside the county, at Luton, Tring and Milton Keynes, for one-day games.

During the 2011 season, Northamptonshire played in Division 2 of the LV= County Championship, Group B of the Clydesdale Bank 40 League and the Northern Division of the revamped Friends Provident T20.



First XI honours

Runners Up (4) – 1912, 1957, 1965, 1976
Division Two: Winners (1) - 2000
Runners Up (1) - 2003
  • Clydesdale Bank 40
Best: 3rd (Group B) 2011
Semi-finalists - 2009
Division One: Runners Up (1) – 2006
Division Two: Promoted (2) - 1999 (3rd) , 2003 (2nd)
Winners (2) – 1976, 1992
Runners Up (5) - 1979, 1981, 1987, 1990, 1995
  • Benson and Hedges Cup
Winners (1) – 1980
Runners Up (2) - 1987, 1996
  • Minor Counties Championship
Winners (2) – 1903, 1904
Shared (2) – 1899, 1900

Second XI honours

Winners (2) – 1960, 1998
Winners (2) - 1986, 1998


Most first-class runs for Northamptonshire
Qualification - 20000 runs [1]

Player Runs
Dennis Brookes 28980
Geoff Cook 20976
John Timms 20433
Wayne Larkins 20317
Rob Bailey 20181
Allan Lamb 20128

Most first-class wickets for Northamptonshire
Qualification - 800 wickets [2]

Player Wickets
Nobby Clark 1102
Vallance Jupp 1078
George Thompson 1078
George Tribe 1021
Albert Thomas 817
Brian Crump 807

Team totals

Record Score Opposition Venue Year Link
Highest Total For 781-7 declared Nottinghamshire Northampton 1995 [3]
Highest Total Against 673-8 declared Yorkshire Headingley 2003 [4]
Lowest Total For 12 Gloucestershire Bristol 1907 [5]
Lowest Total Against 33 Lancashire Northampton 1977 [6]
Player Information
Highest score[2] 1. Mike Hussey
2. Mike Hussey
3. Mal Loye
331* v Somerset at County Ground, Taunton in 2003
329* v Essex at County Ground, Northampton in 2001
322* v Glamorgan at County Ground, Northampton in 1998
Most runs in season[3] 1. Dennis Brookes
2. Norman Oldfield
3. Mike Hussey
2,198 in 1952
2,192 in 1949
2,055 in 2001

Record partnership for each wicket

Wicket Score Batting partners Opposition Venue Year Link
1st 375 RA White & MJ Powell Gloucestershire Northampton 2002 [7]
2nd 344 G Cook & RJ Boyd-Moss Lancashire Northampton 1986 [8]
3rd 393 A Fordham & AJ Lamb Yorkshire Leeds 1990 [9]
4th 370 RT Virgin & P Willey Somerset Northampton 1976 [10]
5th 401 MB Loye & D Ripley Glamorgan Northampton 1998 [11]
6th 376 R Subba Row & A Lightfoot Surrey The Oval 1958 [12]
7th 293 DJG Sales & D Ripley Essex Northampton 1999 [13]
8th 179 AJ Hall & JD Middlebrook Surrey The Oval 2011 [14]
9th 156 R Subba Row & S Starkie Lancashire Northampton 1955 [15]
10th 148 BW Bellamy & JV Murdin Glamorgan Northampton 1925 [16]
Player Information
Best bowling (innings)[4] 1. Vallance Jupp
2. Albert Thomas
3. Vincent Broderick
10-127 v Kent at Nevill Ground, Tunbridge Wells in 1932
9-30 v Yorkshire at Park Avenue, Bradford in 1920
9-35 v Sussex at Cricketfield Road, Horsham in 1948
Best bowling (match)[5] 1. George Tribe
2. Vallance Jupp
3. George Tribe
15-31 v Yorkshire at County Ground, Northampton in 1958
15-52 v Glamorgan at St. Helen's, Swansea in 1925
15-75 v Yorkshire at Park Avenue, Bradford in 1955
Most wickets in season[6] 1. George Tribe
2. George Thompson
3. Nobby Clark
175 in 1955
148 in 1913
141 in 1929
Player Information
Most victims in innings[7] 1. Keith Andrew
2. David Ripley
7 v Lancashire at Old Trafford, Manchester in 1962
6 v Sussex at County Ground, Northampton in 1988
Most victims in season[8] 1. Keith Andrew
2. David Ripley
90 in 1962
81 in 1988


For a statistical breakdown by season, see List of Northamptonshire County Cricket Club seasons

Earliest cricket

Cricket had probably reached Northamptonshire by the end of the 17th century and the first two references to cricket in the county are within a few days of each other in 1741. On Monday 10 August, there was a match at Woburn Park between a Bedfordshire XI and a combined Northants and Huntingdonshire XI.[9] Woburn Cricket Club under the leadership of the Duke of Bedford was on the point of becoming a well known club. On Tuesday 18 August, a match played on the Cow Meadow near Northampton between two teams of amateurs from Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire is the earliest known instance of cricket being played in Northamptonshire county.

Origin of club

On 31 July 1878, the official formation of Northants CCC took place at a meeting in the George Hotel, Kettering based on an existing organisation that dated back to 1820. The 1820 date, if it could be verified, would make Northants the oldest club in the present-day County Championship. The club came to prominence in the Minor Counties Championship during the 1890s as, between 1900 and 1904, the bowling of George Thompson and William East was much too good for almost all batsmen at that level. The county applied for first-class status in 1904 and was promoted the following year when it joined the County Championship. They played its inaugural first-class match versus Hampshire CCC at Southampton on 18, 19 & 20 May 1905 when making its County Championship debut.

The origin of the one day name, the Steelbacks, comes from the Northamptonshire Regiment which was formed in 1881. The name was supposedly a tribute to the soldiers' apparent indifference to the harsh discipline imposed by their officers. Northamptonshire cricket used the nickname to signify the sort of grit and resolution all of their supporters look for in the county's cricketers, just like the soldiers did against their officers.[10]

Stepping up to first-class

Although Thompson and East proved themselves to be bowlers of high class, a weak batting line-up meant that the team remained close to the bottom of the championship table until Sydney Smith arrived in 1909. After three years in the middle of the table, Northants surprisingly improved to finish second in 1912 and fourth in 1913. Thompson, Smith and William "Bumper" Wells formed one of the strongest attacks in county cricket at the time, whilst Smith and Haywood were the county's best batsmen.

Thompson and Smith finished playing after World War I and, during the inter-war period, Northamptonshire were regularly one of the weaker championship sides. This was exacerbated when Vallance Jupp declined due to age and, despite the arrival of Nobby Clark, a young left arm fast bowler from Huntingdonshire who burst onto the scene at the age of 20 in 1922 with 20 wickets at an average of 17.10 and Fred Bakewell, an exciting batsman who regularly exceeded 1000 runs a season, Northamptonshire could only finish above second from last four times between 1923 and 1948, finishing last every year from 1934 to 1938 and enduring a run of 99 matches from 14 May 1935 to 29 May 1939 without a single championship victory, a record that has never been beaten and doesn’t look like being beaten in the future. Things got worse for Northamptonshire during this time when Bakewell’s career ended due to a broken arm in a car crash that also resulted in the fatality of fellow teammate, Reginald Northway.[11]

The post-war recovery

After the Second World War, things could only get better for Northamptonshire and they started by recruiting widely from other counties and countries, bringing in Freddie Brown from Surrey; the Australians Jock Livingston, George Tribe and Jack Manning; the New Zealander Peter Arnold; and the Cambridge University opening bat and leg-spinner Raman Subba Row. Brown joined as captain in 1949, and led the team to six place in his first season after previous years of disappointment.[12] Under the new leadership of Dennis Brookes (a stalwart batsman for over 20 years), finished second in 1957, their best finish for 45 years. This was mainly due to the bowling attack of Frank Tyson,[13] Vincent Broderick, Michael Allen, George Tribe and Manning. Northamptonshire were widely considered the best team in England in the late 50’s and early 60’s, during this time Keith Andrew, Northants best ever Wicket-keeper broke the records of most victims in an innings and a season.

Subsequently, the club has seen mixed fortunes. The club has had intermittent success in one-day competitions, but it has still not won the County Championship, although second place was achieved in each of 1957, 1965 and 1976. Nonetheless it has included several famous players qualified for England, including the South African-born batsman Allan Lamb; fast bowler David Larter; the hard hitting opener Colin Milburn, whose career was cut tragically short by an eye injury sustained in a car crash; the reliable batsmen David Steele and Rob Bailey; opening batsman Wayne Larkins; and all-rounders Peter Willey and David Capel.

Several notable overseas players such as Matthew Hayden, Curtly Ambrose, Andre Nel, Kapil Dev, Mike Hussey, Sarfraz Nawaz, Mushtaq Mohammad, Anil Kumble, Dennis Lillee and Bishen Bedi have starred for the club, which was particularly formidable as a one-day batting outfit in the late 1970s and early 1980s. More recently, Lance Klusener and Monty Panesar have been notable players.

Northants have recently been criticised for the number of Kolpak players in the team, but for the 2009 season there were only three in Andrew Hall, Johan van der Wath and Nicky Boje.

Ground history

County Ground

As with all county cricket clubs, Northamptonshire CCC represents the historic county and not any modern or current administrative unit. In Northamptonshire's case, this means the county of Northamptonshire and the Town of Northampton, although the club have in the past played some home matches outside the historic borders such as in Peterborough, Luton and Milton Keynes.

Northamptonshire first played at the county ground in Northampton in 1905, and continue to do so till this day even though Northampton Town F.C. shared the ground up until 1994 when The Cobblers moved to Sixfields Stadium. After the football club moved, the ground at the Abington Avenue was demolished and replaced by a new indoor school which includes seating looking on to the ground. In 2009, Northants cricket announced plans to improve the ground by building two new stands on the scoreboard side of the ground, there will also be a permanent commentary box with a view to have a ' mini Lords ' style media centre.

This following table gives details of every venue at which Northamptonshire have hosted a first-class, List A or Twenty20 cricket match:

Name of ground Location Year FC
County Ground Northampton 1905–present 969 341 17 1327
Town Ground Kettering 1923–1973 65 4 - 69
School Ground Wellingborough 1946–1991 43 17 - 60
Town Ground Peterborough 1906–1966 46 - - 46
Wardown Park Luton 1973–2004 11 24 1 36
Town Ground Rushden 1924–1963 22 - - 22
Tring Park Tring 1974–1991 - 16 - 16
Manor Fields Bletchley 1976–1987 3 7 - 10
Baker Perkins Peterborough 1967–1974 3 5 - 8
Campbell Park Milton Keynes 1997–present - 2 3 5
Buckingham Road Brackley 1971–1975 - 4 - 4
Dolben Ground Finedon 1986–1989 - 3 - 3
Bedford School Bedford 1971–1982 - 2 - 2
Horton House Horton 1976–1977 - 2 - 2
Ideal Clothiers Ground Wellingborough 1929 1 - - 1
Stowe School Stowe 2005 - 1 - 1
Updated: 6 November 2009

Current Officials of Northamptonshire

  • President: The Rt Hon the Lord Naseby
  • Chairman: Martin Lawrence
  • Chief Executive: Mark Tagg
  • Scorer: Tony Kingston
  • Head Groundsman: Paul Marshall

Coaching staff

  • Head Coach: David Capel
  • Academy Director/2nd XI Coach: David Ripley
  • Performance Coach/Fielding Coach: Kevin Innes
  • Performance Coach: Phil Rowe
  • Club Physiotherapist: Barry Goudriaan


Current squad

The Northamptonshire squad for the 2011 season consists of (this section could change as players are released or signed):

Players with international caps are listed in bold.

No. Name Nat Birth date Batting Style Bowling Style Notes
27 Ben Howgego England 3 March 1988 (1988-03-03) (age 23) Left-handed Right arm fast-medium
?? Rob Keogh England 21 October 1991 (1991-10-21) (age 20) Right-handed Right arm off break
11 Stephen Peters England 10 December 1978 (1978-12-10) (age 32) Right-handed Right arm leg break Former England U19
21 Rob Newton England 18 January 1990 (1990-01-18) (age 21) Right-handed Right arm leg break
5 David Sales England 3 December 1977 (1977-12-03) (age 33) Right-handed Right arm medium pace Former England A
?? Bilal Shafayat England 10 July 1984 (1984-07-10) (age 27) Right-handed Right arm medium pace Former England U19
8 Alex Wakely England 3 November 1988 (1988-11-03) (age 23) Right-handed Right arm off break Former England U19
18 Robert White England 15 October 1979 (1979-10-15) (age 32) Right-handed Right arm leg break
19 David Murphy England 24 June 1989 (1989-06-24) (age 22) Right-handed
81 Niall O'Brien Republic of Ireland 8 November 1981 (1981-11-08) (age 30) Left-handed Ireland ODI Player
16 Gavin Baker England 3 October 1988 (1988-10-03) (age 23) Right-handed Right arm medium-fast
48 Johan Botha South Africa 2 May 1982 (1982-05-02) (age 29) Right-handed Right arm off break T20 Overseas Player
1 Andrew Hall (c) South Africa 31 July 1975 (1975-07-31) (age 36) Right-handed Right arm fast-medium Kolpak Player
15 David Willey England 28 February 1990 (1990-02-28) (age 21) Left-handed Left arm medium pace Former England U19
16 Tom Brett England 13 November 1989 (1989-11-13) (age 22) Right-handed Slow left-arm orthodox
9 Jack Brooks England 4 June 1984 (1984-06-04) (age 27) Right-handed Right arm fast-medium
10 Lee Daggett England 1 October 1982 (1982-10-01) (age 29) Right-handed Right arm medium-fast
25 Luke Evans England 26 April 1987 (1987-04-26) (age 24) Right-handed Right arm fast-medium
7 James Middlebrook England 13 May 1977 (1977-05-13) (age 34) Right-handed Right arm off break
4 Chaminda Vaas Sri Lanka 27 January 1974 (1974-01-27) (age 37) Left-handed Left arm medium-fast Overseas Player

Notable players

This list is compiled of International cricketers who have played Test and/or ODI cricket. It also includes players who have been mentioned in the '100 Greats:Northamptonshire county cricket club' book.[14] Therefore making them notable to the county and international cricket scene.



South Africa



West Indies

New Zealand



County Captains

A complete list of officially appointed Northamptonshire captains can be found here: List of Northamptonshire cricket captains.

Notable captains:

County Caps

Northamptonshire do not automatically award caps to players on their first appearance; instead, they have to be "earned" through good performances. In recent times, cricketers who are awarded a county cap are given a new cap with yellow stripes on the maroon instead of a plain maroon cap. The following players have received caps:

Northamptonshire facts and feats

  • Northamptonshire, along with Gloucestershire and Somerset, are the only teams not to have won the County Championship.
  • They have finished bottom, receiving the wooden spoon 11 times
  • Northamptonshire endured a record run of 99 matches from 14 May 1935 to 29 May 1939 without a single championship victory.
  • Northamptonshire have made it out of the group stages of the Twenty20 Cup on 5 occasions out of the 8 years the competition has been running, most recently getting to the quarter-finals in the 2010 competition before being beaten by eventual runners up Somerset Sabres.


  1. ^ Previously known as the Sunday League between 1969 and 1998
  2. ^ Previously known as the Gillette Cup between 1963 and 1980, the NatWest Trophy between 1981 and 2000 and the Cheltenham & Gloucester Trophy between 2001 and 2006


  1. ^ AJN Steelstock confirm sponsorship of Northamptonshire 2010-03-08. Retrieved 2010-06-30.
  2. ^ Highest score for Northamptonshire CricketArchive. Retrieved 18 September 2009
  3. ^ Most Runs in a Season for Northamptonshire CricketArchive. Retrieved 18 September 2009
  4. ^ Most Wickets in an Innings for Northamptonshire CricketArchive. Retrieved 19 September 2009
  5. ^ Most Wickets in a Match for Northamptonshire CricketArchive. Retrieved 19 September 2009
  6. ^ Most Wickets in a Season for Northamptonshire CricketArchive. Retrieved 19 September 2009
  7. ^ Most Victims in an Innings for Northamptonshire CricketArchive. Retrieved 19 September 2009
  8. ^ Most Victims in a Season for Northamptonshire CricketArchive. Retrieved on 19 September 2009.
  9. ^ Waghorn (1899), p27.
  10. ^ Club History: Why the Steelbacks? Retrieved 2010-06-30.
  11. ^ "Deaths in 1936". Wisden Cricketers' Almanack (1937 ed.). Wisden. pp. Part I, 276. 
  12. ^ 1949 County Championship table CricketArchive. Retrieved 30 October 2009
  13. ^ Frank Tyson, In the Eye of the Typhoon, Parrs Wood Press, 2004
  14. ^ *Radd, Andrew (February 2001). 100 Greats: Northamptonshire County Cricket Club. Northampton: Tempus Publishing Limited. ISBN 0-7524-2195-6. 


  • Radd, Andrew (February 2001). 100 Greats: Northamptonshire County Cricket Club. Northampton: Tempus Publishing Limited. ISBN 0-7524-2195-6. 

Further reading

  • H S Altham, A History of Cricket, Volume 1 (to 1914), George Allen & Unwin, 1962
  • Derek Birley, A Social History of English Cricket, Aurum, 1999
  • Rowland Bowen, Cricket: A History of its Growth and Development, Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1970
  • H T Waghorn, Cricket Scores, Notes, etc. (1730–1773), Blackwood, 1899
  • Roy Webber, The Playfair Book of Cricket Records, Playfair Books, 1951
  • Playfair Cricket Annual – various editions
  • Wisden Cricketers Almanack – various editions

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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