Hertfordshire is almost unique in county cricket management in that all of the cricketing activities in the County are now under one structure (Hertfordshire Cricket Limited) rather than being split between independent operations controlling the County Club and recreational cricket.
The first Minor Counties Championship matches took place in 1895 and Hertfordshire played in that competition. But Hertfordshire Cricket has an even longer history. In June 2014 the County was part of the MCC’s activities celebrating the bicentenary of the current Lord’s Cricket Ground. Herts were the first opponents of the MCC on the ground and were honoured to play the MCC again on the exact date, 200 years later. The picture above shows Hertfordshire batting during the County’s last appearance at Lord’s, in the MCCA One-Day Trophy Final against Berkshire in 2011.
The County Cricket Club also includes the Second XI, which has recently developed from the Young Cricketers Under 19 team; and manages other senior cricketing activities in the County. There is a very active section providing competitive cricket for older players from Over 50 to Over 70
Women’s cricket is the fastest growing group in the game at the present time and Hertfordshire are enthusiastically involved. The Women’s XI has been successfully integrated into the County setup, has benefited from support within the County and has been developing in ability, achievement and player satisfaction.
In recent years the policy of the County Club has been to select as many players as possible who have risen through the ranks of Herts junior cricket. A high proportion of the current County First XI squad are graduates of these development activities. Coaching takes place through the winter and young players are given maximum encouragement to develop their cricketing skills, both physical and mental, as well as life skills.
Support is very important in today’s cricket world and Hertfordshire have thriving organisations involved in coaching, umpiring and scoring. Players are encouraged to remain in the game by being offered training courses in all three of these activities
Club cricket is very active in Hertfordshire and 2014 saw the inauguration of the County’s own ECB Premier League. This is a big step forward for the development of Hertfordshire cricket and cricketers.
Hertfordshire has been a pioneer in promoting Sunday cricket and have been able to buck the trend of falling participation in this part of our sport. The Chess Valley Cricket League is now one of the largest Sunday leagues in the country.
All in all the new Hertfordshire Cricket organisation offers tremendous possibilities for everyone interested in participating in our wonderful sport from the youngest age groups to our senior citizens.
For more details about Cricket in Hertfordshire please go to our main website http://www.hertscricket.org/