Belhus CC from Essex, Exeter University CC from Devon, Welsh side Haverfordwest CC and Yorkshire’s Whitley Hall CC will vie to win the 41st ECB Indoor National Championship tomorrow at Lord’s.
None of the four regional winners has previously won the national competition and with each team determined to land a maiden title, spectators at the MCC Cricket Academy will be in for a treat.
Before the action commences, here’s a little more info about this long-running six-a-side competition and a few things you might not have known:
The Indoor National Championship debuted in 1976 – the year ABBA introduced us to their Dancing Queen and England lost Test and ODI series to an emerging and supremely talented West Indies team. Durham City CC claimed the silverware in this inaugural edition.
The Championship has gone from strength to strength since its inception and this year the number of clubs entering the county and regional qualifying competitions passed 900 for the first time ever.
Currently, 31 different counties feed into the national competition.
Essex hosts the largest competition in the country, with over 200 clubs – including tomorrow’s finalist Belhus CC – taking part in 2015/16.
Including Haverfordwest this year, Wales has provided a qualifying club to the National Finals for the past four seasons, making it the most successful county in recent times.
Yorkshire, however, stands as the most successful county in the competition’s overall history, supplying national winners on seven separate occasions (plus four runners-up). Whitley Hall CC will hope to make it an even eight.
Exeter University are not the first academic side to the reach the national stages of the competition. Sheffield Hallam University were runners-up in 2009 and Durham University won the title in 1993.
Entry to tomorrow’s National Finals at the MCC Indoor Academy at Lord’s is free, so come down to support your side and enjoy an action-packed day of indoor cricket.
National Finals schedule – Sunday 13 March 2016
11:00 – Semi-final 1 (Haverfordwest v Belhus)
12:45 – Semi-final 2 (Whitley Hall v Exeter University)
14:45 – Final