Derbyshire County Cricket Ground
Derbyshire County Cricket Ground


                          The Incora County Ground, Derby, has a rich sporting history which includes horse racing, football as well as international and county cricket.

The Incora County Ground at Derby is often referred to by locals as the Racecourse Ground. Also, commentators describing a match are frequently heard referring to the Racecourse End of the ground. This dates back to 1848 when a new racecourse opened where the cricket ground is now sited. An elegant stand for racegoers was built where The Gateway now sits.

Derbyshire County Cricket Club was formed on 4 November 1870 with the first match taking place the following year. The cricketers spent their winter months keeping fit by playing football on a piece of land on the west side of the ground. As a direct result, Derby County Football Club was formed and prospered. The 1886 F A CUP Final replay between Blackburn Rovers and West Bromwich Albion was played at Derby in front of 15,000 spectators. Five FA Cup semi-finals were staged at the ground and in 1895 a full international between England and Northern Ireland.

Later in 1895, Derby County moved to their new home at the Baseball Ground. Cricket and horse racing continued to exist on adjacent land until 1939 when the final race took place. Gordon Richards (later Sir Gordon) rode one of the winners. Three years previously Derbyshire finished the season as County Champions a remarkable achievement for a ‘county of its stature.

The club had to wait until 1981, before winning another major trophy, when they pulled off a stunning win at Lord’s in the NatWest Cup Final. They were at it again in 1990 when they won the Sunday League and three years later the Benson and Hedges Cup. In 2012, Derbyshire finished first in the Second Division Championship.

Derbyshire County Cricket Club is rapidly becoming the venue for big-box office events featuring international stars. The events page on the club’s website is now being scrutinised by entertainment lovers from all over the country.

Off the field the club has been making steady progress since the Cavendish, later renamed Lund, Pavilion was opened in 1982. The following year the County Ground was chosen as the venue for the ICC World Cup game between New Zealand and Sri Lanka. A further World Cup game was played at Derby in 1999, between New Zealand and Pakistan.

Further ground developments continued in the 21st century. In 2017, Derby hosted the ICC Women’s World Cup opening ceremony, group games and a semi-final. Perhaps, even more, surprising for Derby people was that the County Ground hosted a concert featuring a world-renowned superstar, Elton John. It was attended by 15,000 people who were seated on the outfield.

Today, non-cricket income is vital to the survival of cricket clubs like Derbyshire which do not stage test matches and benefit from the money they generate. A forerunner of the enterprise now being shown by the club to diversify, came in 1983 when Colin Tunnicliffe, a former player and then sales manager organised a bonfire and firework extravaganza. It proved a great success with more than 5,000 people attending. The club now holds annual fireworks and funfair events attended by upwards of 10,00 people.

After a period of low achievement, on the pitch. the club reached Finals Day of the Vitality Blast in 2019, beating some highly fancied teams on the way. Better times seemed to lie ahead. Unfortunately, the following season was cut short by the pandemic that swept across the country and only started in August. But the team performed well finishing second in the six-team Northern Group of the Bob Willis Trophy. Following a poor season in 2021, Mickey Arthur, an international coach took over for 2022.