Cricket probably reached the county of Leicestershire sometime during the eighteenth century. The earliest known reference is a notice in the Leicester Journal dated 17 August 1776. The Leicestershire and Rutland Cricket Club was formed and played in a number of matches against Nottingham Cricket Club and Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) from 1781 to the end of the century.
Leicestershire County Cricket Club was founded on 25 March 1879 and became a first-class team in 1894 before joining the official County Cricket Championship as an expansion team in 1895. The club's home base is the Grace Road ground in Leicester. Leicestershire were not able to seriously challenge for honours until the arrival of Ray Illingworth in 1969. They won their first trophy in 1972 and their first County Championship in 1975. In all, they have won three County Championships, most recently in 1998, and five limited overs tournaments. They have been successful in the Twenty20 Cup with three wins.