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Dorset County Cricket Club

History

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.

FORMER Dorset team-mates have been paying their tributes to pace bowler Damian Worrad, who died suddenly aged 43, writes Conrad Sutcliffe.

The father of three, who emigrated to Australia in 2005, is thought to have suffered a heart attack. His funeral took place on Thursday, August 9.

A minute's silence was observed before the start of Dorset's Unicorns Championship match against Shropshire at the weekend.

Stuart Rintoul, who was captain when Worrad played for Dorset between 2002-2004, described him as a ‘brother in arms’ who was ‘a real handful’ to opposition batsmen.

Sean Walbridge, then the left-arm spinner in the side, now the county club chairman, said Worrad was a ‘fiery’ opening bowler who ‘took the fight to the opposition’.

Worrad lived in Devon and played Premier cricket at Barton CC, where Dorset’s hard-hitting batsman Darren Cowley was a player.

Devon CCC were not interested in Worrad, despite an impressive CV in county age-group and 2nd XI county cricket, so Cowley recommended him to Dorset.  Worrad had a reputation for being fiery on the cricket field and was no stranger to league disciplinary hearings.  That may have discouraged Devon from picking him, but was not a problem as far as Dorset were concerned.

“At the time we had no one like Damian available to us – a lively fast bowler with a bit of spirit,” said Wallbridge.  “We knew he could be a bit fiery at times, but he always channelled it in the right direction playing for us.  “He was just what we needed at the time – an opening bowler who took the fight to the opposition – and he was great in the dressing room.”

Worrad was Dorset’s leading Minor Counties wicket taker in 2003, picking up 18 wickets at 25.72 with a best of seven for 71 against Berkshire at Dean Park, Bournemouth.  Worrad appeared 14 times for Dorset between 2002-04. Playing against Yorkshire in the C&G Trophy he dismissed England players Craig White and Chris Silverwood.

Rintoul, who skippered Dorset while Worrad played for the county, said it was no surprise to him that he got good players out.  “Damian was tall – 6ft 3, 6ft 4 – he was athletic, he bowled at a good pace and he shaped the ball away nicely,” said Rintoul.  “When Damian got it right he was a real handful – especially to left-handers – and could bowl electric spells.  “Damian was a character in the dressing room and forceful in his views at times. 

“We are all brothers in arms in the dressing room and to lose someone you have been in the trenches with at such a young age is a huge shame.”

Worrad, who worked in the IT industry, initially went out to Australia for six months on a six-month sabbatical to play some cricket. He met his wife-to-be there and settled permanently in Perth. Away from the cricket pitch Worrad enjoyed a round of golf and also played football.

Cricket ran in the Worrad family. Dad Ian played and brother Barnaby also went through the Wales youth system and played for Gloucestershire 2nd XI over a three-year period.

The brothers played against each other in the Hilda Overy U19 National Trophy in 1993 - Damian for Gloucestershire and Barnaby for Glamorgan – and together for Glamorgan Colts the following season.

Damian played 2nd XI cricket for Glamorgan, Gloucestershire and one game for Worcestershire.

 

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The following Dorset players also played for, or had careers with, First-Class Counties:
Jimmy Adams Edward Freeman Steve Malone
William Andrew Archie Gibson Robert Manser
Peter Badham Harold Gimblett Dimitri Mascarenhas
John Baker John Gordon Walter McBride
Patrick Barrow James Graham-Brown Cuan McCarthy
Leslie Bean Hubert Greenhill Geoffrey Ogilvy
Rayner Blitz Jon Hardy Owen Parkin
Bertie Bolton Percy Hardy David Payne
Thomas Bowley Ælfric Harrison Vyvian Pike
Derek Bridge Geoffrey Hebden Colin Roper
Charles Brutton Bob Herman Lee Savident
Paul Carey Andrew Hodgson Richard Scott
Box Case Philip Hope Steve Selwood
Edgar Chester-Master William Hounsell Derek Shackleton
John Claughton Wilf Hughes Julian Shackleton
Alan Coleman William Jephson Roger Sillence
Robert Coombs Gilbert Jessop Harold Stephenson
Geof Courtenay Chris Jones Reginald Swalwell
Nigel Cowley George Jones David Taylor
Len Creese Steffan Jones Max Waller
Ray Dovey Matthew Keech John Watson
Charles Fawcus Andrew Kennedy Charles Johnston Bourne Webb
Rob Ferley Walter Lancashire Alan Willows
Lloyd Ferreira Jack Leach George Woodhouse
Douglas Freeman Richard Lewis Larry Worrell

To apply for membership of Dorset CCC, or to register your email address as an existing member, please email : membership@dorsetccc.com for information and an application form.  To become an online member, select the Sign Up option above.