, 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
The term then became a generic one and was used... Read More