Whether it’s players scoring a record 350 runs or taking seven wickets for six, the Royal London Club Championship has long been in the habit of serving up prime cricket entertainment – 47 years’ worth to be exact.
This season promises to be no different and it all gets going with the first round on Sunday.
Before things get into full swing, we’ve pulled out a few interesting facts about the competition through the decades.
Middlesex side Hampstead CC were winners of the inaugural competition in 1969, beating the brilliantly named Pocklington Pixies from Yorkshire.
Speaking of Yorkshire, the county has fared well through the years, with its clubs winning the title nine times.
Scarborough CC have been the most successful of the Yorkshire clubs, lifting the trophy a record five times.
Worcestershire club Old Hill are hot on their heels with four entries on the all-time honoursboard.
On the other side of the coin, unlucky Ealing CC from Middlesex have the unwanted distinction of being runners-up four times – in 2013, 2010, 1994 and 1971.
There have plenty of standout performances through the competition’s run, none more so than Liam Livingstone’s innings of 350 for his club side Nantwich CC of Cheshire in 2015.
His side eventually wom that first-round match by 500 runs against a young and inexperienced Caldy side and Livingstone went on to make a half century for Lancashire in his first-class debut.
Ryan Sylvester has hit two double centuries in the competition for two different South Wales clubs sides: one for Sully Centurions CC (245 not out) against Corsham CC in 2008 and the second while playing for Ynysygerwn CC (205 not out) against Gloucester City Winget CC in 2015.
The most wickets taken in by one player in a match is seven – take a bow Andrew Parkin-Coates. The Doncaster CC bowler recorded a return of seven for six (including a hat-trick) against Hallam CC in 2009.
Chris Peploe from Ealing CC in Middlesex has taken the most wickets in the competition, with a current total of 97. Peploe is a former Middlesex CCC player and helped his Ealing side to the National Club T20 title in 2015 with a man-of-the-match performance in the final.
Richard Hindley from Havant CC in Hampshire is in second place with 81 while Stephen Humble of South Northumberland CC has 71.
All three are still playing for their clubs.
Quentin Hughes of Chester Le Street CC in Durham is doubly represented in the record books as he is currently fourth on the all-time competition wicket taker list and fifth on the all-time competition runs scorer.
England players in the Royal London Club Championship
Here are a few players who have gone on to represent their country since appearing in the Club Championship:
- Moeen Ali (Warwickshire, Worcestershire & England) – Water Orton CC (2004)
- Joe Root (Yorkshire & England) – Sheffield Collegiate CC (2006-10)
- Gary Ballance (Yorkshire & England) – Spondon CC (2006)
- Alex Hales (Nottinghamshire & England) – Gerrards Cross CC (2006)
- Jos Buttler (Somerset, Lancashire & England) – Glastonbury CC (2007-08)
- Sam Billings (Kent & England) – Hartley Country Club CC (2008)
- Reece Topley (Essex, Hampshire & England) – Colchester & East Essex CC (2015)
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