All-England cricket teams

All-England Cricket Teams

All-England cricket teams

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In cricket, the term All-England (often rendered confusingly as "England") has been used for various non-international teams that have been formed for short-term purposes since the 1739 English cricket season and it indicates that the "Rest of England" is playing against, say, MCC or an individual county team. Teams of this type have always been "occasional elevens", per se, and there is a significant difference between them and the official England national cricket team which takes part in international fixtures. Nevertheless, they have invariably been strong sides and a typical All-England team would consist of leading first-class players drawn from several county teams.

Origin of the name

The term was first used in reports of two Kent v All-England matches in July 1739.

The first match was at Bromley Common in Kent on Monday 9 July 1739. It was billed as between "eleven gentlemen of that county (i.e., Kent) and eleven gentlemen from any part of England, exclusive of Kent". Kent, described as "the unconquerable county" won by "a very few notches".

The second match was at the Artillery Ground in Bunhill Fields, Finsbury on Monday 23 July 1739. This game was drawn and a report includes the phrase "eleven picked out of all (sic) England".

Generic usage

The term then became a generic one and was used...
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