There is a famous quote that goes by the saying of “when the going gets tough the tough get going”. In cricket for the tough to get going, it requires him to have been in similar situations before this is where domestic cricket plays a significant role. Performances in the domestic circuit pave the way for the players to get a shot at their national teams sure but the experience they gain at this level makes them perform under pressure at the highest level for their country. The Domestic level is where amateurs turn into professionals, mediocre turn into legends.
This segment focuses on the domestic circuit of cricket and what better country to focus on than the country from where cricket originated and has been the home for the Mecca of cricket (Lord’s cricket ground). We would be looking at the most successful county clubs from England;
Home of the current England Test captain Joe Root, Yorkshire has won 32 titles and shared 1 title which equals the 2nd and 3rd most successful club’s titles combined. This gives a measure of how dominant a side Yorkshire is in the county circuit. Yorkshire has always produced legends from the very beginning from Sir Len Hutton, Freud Trueman, and Ray Illingworth to Geoff Boycott, Johnny Bairstow among others. Though they are now not as dominant as they used to be during the 19th and 20th with only 3 titles from 2000 onwards and also the racism scandal hitting the club recently and creating a big controversy around it. But they still produce quality players to compete at the highest level for England.
The second on the list and the closest if we could say to Yorkshire in terms of the no of titles won with 19 titles won and 1 title shared. Surrey’s most dominant period was around the 1950s where they won 8 titles in 10 years and 7 of them consecutively. If there is any club that comes close to Yorkshire in terms of producing legends it sure would be Surrey. Surrey boasts of a great line-up of legendary players to have played for them, namely, Kevin Pieterson, Jim Laker to the legendary Jack Hobbs. Surrey is also famous for recruiting and having a few of the best in the world as their overseas players from Saqlain Mushtaq, Kumar Sangakkara to Hashim Amla and R. Ashwin recently.
The place where the Buckingham palace and house of parliament were situated before its abolishment boasts of tremendous cricketing history. With 11 title wins and two shared it comes 3rd on the list of most successful clubs in England. With a history of creating great captains, the county boasts of some greats to have played the game representing them, former captains Mike Gatting, Andrew Strauss to name a few. But the most outstanding player to have ever played from Middlesex remains Denis Compton with an astonishing record as a batter. The club won most of its titles during the 20th century with its latest title coming in 2016.
Home of 2 of the greatest players to have played the game of cricket for England in the 21st century Andrew Flintoff and James Anderson, come next on the list with eight titles victory and one shared. The club is famous to have been home to great legends and Hall of Famers from the likes of Muttiah Muralitharan and Wasim Akram to the twice World cup winning West Indian captain Clive Lloyd. The club has won 8 titles before 1951 and since then has endured a tough time winning titles at the county level.
Famously known and viewed as a party county Essex comes next on this list with eight title wins combined with their most recent tile victory coming in 2019. Essex is home to Alastair Cook the prolific opener of England and one of the greats to have played the game for England. It is also home to 2 other greats for England in Nasser Hussain and Graham Gooch. The county has enjoyed a good run in the competition of late by winning two titles in the last four years.
Next is Warwickshire on the list with the same number of titles i.e. eight won. The club isn’t consistent in terms of winning with their titles coming with a good amount of gap between them. Still, they have produced good performances to win the titles from time to time. They have produced their share of greats with names such as Jonathan Trott, Ian Bell, Bob Wills, and Nick Knight from the county representing England and proving to be an invaluable asset for the team. They are the current county champions.
The county famously known as the garden of England comes next with six titles won and one shared. They have not won a single title since 1978. They have not produced the desired results of late within the competition. Some of the famous players to have come from Kent include Derek Underwood and Leslie Ames. They do have their share of great overseas players in Rahul Dravid, Aravinda Da Silva, and Kagiso Rabada amongst others.
The county with one of the richest cricketing history comes next with six titles. Their most recent title though was in 2010. They had been twice runner-ups before winning the title in 2010 which was probably one of the best periods of cricket played by the club. They have a large roaster of great overseas players in Daniel Vettori, Richard Hadlee, Younis Khan, Ross Taylor, and many others. The club is home to one of the better spinners England has produced in Graeme Swann and is still known for its cricketing history.
The club where Andre Russell showed a glimpse of him and started his journey of being a modern-day T20 great comes next with five titles. They again have not won a single title since 1989 and have not been consistent either with their last closest chance of winning a title being in 1993 when they ended up being runners up. The club was home to the great Iftikhar Ali Khan Pataudi. Amongst its notable players are Moeen Ali, Graeme Hick, and Don Kenyon.
Last on the list is the Durham county club owned by Indian media Figure Gautam Radia with all the three titles coming after 2000. They have not been as consistent with performances since their last title-winning performance in 2013. They have produced a great set of local talent to represent England in the form of Paul Collingwood, Liam Plunkett, and Stephen Harmison and are also home to arguably 2 of the best all-rounder’s to have played for England in the form of Ian Botham and Ben Stokes.