Dorset County Cricket Club is one of the County clubs which make up the Minor Counties in the English domestic cricket structure, representing the historic county of Dorset and playing in the Minor Counties Championship and the MCCA Knockout Trophy. The Minor Counties play three-day matches at a level one below that of the first-class game. At present, Dorset competes in the Western Division of the Minor Counties Championship.
According to Wisden, there was county organisation in existence in either 1862 or 1871 but the present Dorset County Cricket Club was established on 5th February 1896. Since then, it has played Minor Counties cricket since 1897 and played List A cricket from 1968 to 2004, using a different number of home grounds during that time. Their first minor counties fixture in 1897 was against Wiltshire at the Recreation Ground, Blandford Forum, while their first List A match came 71 years later against Bedfordshire in the 1968 Gillette Cup at Sherborne School. The club is based at Dean Park, Bournemouth, which also held first-class and List A cricket for Hampshire from 1897 to 1992.
Cricket must have reached Dorset via neighbouring Hampshire by the end of the 17th century. An advertisement in the Sherborne Mercury, dated Tuesday 9th May 1738, is the earliest reference for cricket in Dorset. Twelve Dorchester men at Ridgway Races challenged twelve men from elsewhere to play them at cricker for the prize of twelve pairs of gloves valued at a shilling a pair.
Dorset has won the Minor Counties Championship twice, in 2000 and 2010.
Dorset has won the MCCA Knockout Trophy once since its inception in 1983. It won in 1988.
The ECB continues to work with Sport England on the pioneering club accreditation scheme 'Clubmark' to develop a vibrant and healthy club cricket infrastructure.
Cricket clubs can play a key role in the successful delivery of Building Partnerships – cricket's strategic plan for 2006-2009 - by supporting the delivery and implementation of the following programmes:
The ECB Clubmark and community cricket clubs play a central role in all of these programmes and Clubmark will provide the standards that clubs involved in these programmes will aspire to.
In addition, it is expected that clubs who achieve the ECB Clubmark will be recognised and rewarded for their hard work and commitment to club cricket in England and Wales.
By registering to work towards ECB Clubmark, clubs join a growing number of cricket clubs across England and Wales that are prioritising junior development, creating a benchmark for high quality community club cricket.
County Cricket Development Managers can help clubs through the process of achieving ECB Clubmark Accreditation.
ECB Clubmark gives clubs an opportunity to write and implement new procedures as well as acknowledge existing practices. Cricket clubs are required to present evidence and demonstrate implementation across four different themes, culminating in the production of a Club Development Plan.
The four themes are:
For more information see www.ecb.co.uk/clubmark