North v South (cricket)
The North of England and South of England cricket teams appeared in first-class matches between the 1836 and 1961 seasons, most often playing against each other but also individually in games against touring teams, Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) and others. Until international cricket became firmly established towards the end of the 19th century, the North v South match was one of the major fixtures in the cricketing calendar along with Gentlemen v Players. Indeed, North v South was really the major fixture because it could potentially showcase the best 22 players in the country, whereas Gentlemen teams in the other match were often very weak.
In all, there were 155 North v South matches in first-class cricket. The South won 62; the North won 55; 37 were drawn, and one match in 1889 was abandoned.
Early matches – 1836 to 1838
Cricket in the 18th century had been predominantly a southern game, played especially in London and the southeastern counties. It had spread to the northern counties by the 1770s and noted clubs were formed at Manchester, Nottingham and Sheffield which eventually became the basis of county cricket in the north. In the 1820s, a number of northern players such as Sam Redgate, Tom Marsden, Thomas Barker and James Dearman established reputations which made cricket promoters aware of commercial possibilities in a North v South fixture.
The inaugural North v South match was held at Lord's Cricket Ground on 11 and 12 July 1836 and the North won by 6 wickets to confirm their capability and potential. Barker took ten wickets in the match and scored the most runs with 25 and 12 not out. The North's victory caused a sensation and a return match was quickly organised. This took place at Barker's Ground in Leicester and the South won by 218 runs. Redgate for the North and William Lillywhite for the South took twelve and eleven wickets in the match respectively, but the outstanding performance was an innings of 125 not out by Alfred Mynn despite a serious leg injury sustained in practice. His condition worsened as the match went on and he had to withdraw. With insufficient medical resources locally, Mynn was lifted onto the roof of a stagecoach and secured there to be taken to London, where he was admitted to St Bartholomew's Hospital. The surgeon considered amputation but decided against it and Mynn was able to resume his cricket career in July 1838. Mynn's injury raised the issue of leg guards which were generally frowned upon at the time, but the legalisation of roundarm bowling in 1835 meant that bowling was much faster than formerly and, gradually, pads were introduced.
The next two North v South games took place in 1837 and 1838 and were won convincingly by the South. Interest faded and the fixture disappeared for eleven years until it was resurrected in the 1849 season. In the meantime (1840–48), the North played annual matches against Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC). A feature of North v South from the beginning was that players could represent either team depending on current residency or being "borderline", thus a player living in the Midlands might well change sides often. In the first four games alone, no less than six players represented both sides. The total appearances by players in the 1836 to 1838 matches were:
- 4 – Ned Wenman, Fuller Pilch, George Jarvis, George Millyard, James Cobbett, Sam Redgate, Thomas Barker, Tom Marsden
- 3 – Emmanuel Vincent, William Lillywhite, James Dearman, James Taylor, Thomas Beagley, Thomas Box, William Clifford, William Garrat
- 2 – Alfred Mynn, Bartholomew Good, Charles Creswell, Francis Fenner, George Rothera, Jem Broadbridge, Richard Mills, Tom Adams, William Hillyer
- 1 – Arthur Rich, Daniel Hayward, Edward Grimston, Frederick Ponsonby, Henry Hall, John Bayley, John Gibson, Joe Guy, John Wenman, Thomas Heath, William Clarke, William Dorrinton, William Ward, Will Caldecourt
An annual event
From 1849, the match became virtually an annual fixture and was often contested two or three times in the same season. It was played four times in 1878. The revival was at Lord's on 16 and 17 July 1849 when the North won by 243 runs after William Clarke and John Wisden dismissed the South for 48 and 67.
There was a change to the fixture's naming convention between 1866 and 1868 when the River Thames became the dividing line and the teams were called North of the Thames and South of the Thames. This effectively restricted the South's catchment to the counties of Hampshire, Kent, Surrey and Sussex.
The match at Lord's on 27–29 May 1889 had to be abandoned without a ball being bowled, due to bad weather. Cricket magazine pointed out that three Lord's fixtures were abandoned during that month. Despite the loss of that match, the fixture was played another five times in 1889 at The Oval, Chichester, Old Trafford, Scarborough and Hastings. North v South continued annually through to 1897 but was not held in either 1898 or 1899. It was revived in September 1900 when two matches were played, both at southern venues.
During the 1870s the fixture received competition in the shape of matches between the equivalent professional touring teams, the United North of England Eleven and the United South of England Eleven. There were 11 games involving the United sides and then one (the last) in 1880 when the United South played against the official North. Other variations featured teams called Gentlemen of the North, Gentlemen of the South, Players of the North and Players of the South who played against each other on several occasions.
The fixture's popularity waned as international cricket expanded and it was played less frequently in the 20th century. Following the two games in September 1900, there were only eight instances between then and September 1920, all of them in the 1904 to 1908 period. Between the two world wars, there were eleven matches. The fixture was resurrected in 1946 after the end of the Second World War and, except for 1953, was played annually, sometimes more than once a season, through to 1958. Then there was a three-year hiatus until the final first-class match took place 6 to 8 September 1961 at Stanley Park, Blackpool, the South winning by two wickets. The fixture was finally ended by the advent of limited overs cricket, which left no space for it in an already crowded calendar.
The last North v South contest of the 20th century was a one-day 50 over match at Trent Bridge in the 1971 season, which the South won by 9 runs. There was a temporary revival in March 2017 when a three-match series, under one-day 50 overs rules, was staged in the United Arab Emirates. In March 2018, a similar series was played in Barbados as part of the English county cricket pre-season schedule.
List of first-class North v South matches
|List of first-class North v South matches|
|1||11 July 1836||Lord's, St John's Wood, London||North||6 wickets||scorecard|
|2||22 August 1836||Barker's Ground, Leicester||South||218 runs||scorecard|
|3||10 July 1837||Lord's||South||5 wickets||scorecard|
|4||25 June 1838||Lord's||South||8 wickets||scorecard|
|5||16 July 1849||Lord's||North||243 runs||scorecard|
|6||30 August 1849||Parr and Wisden's Ground, Leamington Spa||North||9 wickets||scorecard|
|7||15 July 1850||Lord's||North||innings and 19 runs||scorecard|
|8||8 August 1850||Leamington Spa||North||innings and 118 runs||scorecard|
|9||3 July 1851||The Oval, Kennington, London||North||60 runs||scorecard|
|10||14 July 1851||Lord's||North||12 runs||scorecard|
|11||1 July 1852||The Oval||North||innings and 8 runs||scorecard|
|12||7 July 1853||The Oval||South||70 runs||scorecard|
|13||27 July 1854||Higher Common Ground, Tunbridge Wells||South||2 wickets||scorecard|
|14||28 May 1855||Lord's||North||18 runs||scorecard|
|15||9 August 1855||Tunbridge Wells||South||innings and 39 runs||scorecard|
|16||30 June 1856||Lord's||South||6 wickets||scorecard|
|17||7 August 1856||Broughton Cricket Club Ground, Salford||Drawn||scorecard|
|18||20 July 1857||Lord's||South||14 runs||scorecard|
|19||13 August 1857||Tunbridge Wells||North||8 wickets||scorecard|
|20||7 September 1857||Trent Bridge, Nottingham||Drawn||scorecard|
|21||12 July 1858||Lord's||North||4 wickets||scorecard|
|22||27 June 1859||Lord's||South||10 wickets||scorecard|
|23||15 August 1859||St Lawrence Ground, Canterbury||North||90 runs||scorecard|
|24||30 August 1860||Merefield Ground, Rochdale||Drawn||scorecard|
|25||17 September 1860||London Road, Sleaford||North||53 runs||scorecard|
|26||15 July 1861||Lord's||South||4 wickets||scorecard|
|27||5 September 1861||Aston Park, Aston, Birmingham||South||43 runs||scorecard|
|28||29 May 1862||Old Trafford, Manchester||Drawn||scorecard|
|29||21 July 1862||Lord's||North||innings and 10 runs||scorecard|
|30||21 May 1863||Old Trafford||North||10 wickets||scorecard|
|31||20 July 1863||Lord's||North||29 runs||scorecard|
|32||27 August 1863||Wavertree Road Ground, Liverpool||North||84 runs||scorecard|
|33||27 June 1864||Sleaford||Drawn||scorecard|
|34||11 August 1864||Old Trafford||North||9 wickets||scorecard|
|35||5 September 1864||Cattle Market Ground, Islington||South||innings and 29 runs||scorecard|
|36||12 June 1865||Lord's||South||52 runs||scorecard|
|37||7 August 1865||Canterbury||South||27 runs||scorecard|
|38||2 July 1866||Lord's||South||innings and 43 runs||scorecard|
|39||3 June 1869||The Oval||North||9 wickets||scorecard|
|40||26 July 1869||Bramall Lane, Sheffield||South||66 runs||scorecard|
|41||9 August 1869||Canterbury||South||8 wickets||scorecard|
|42||6 June 1870||Lord's||North||6 wickets||scorecard|
|43||8 August 1870||Canterbury||Drawn||scorecard|
|44||5 September 1870||Dewsbury and Savile Ground, Dewsbury||North||innings and 154 runs||scorecard|
|45||29 May 1871||Lord's||South||innings and 49 runs||scorecard|
|46||31 July 1871||The Oval||Drawn||scorecard|
|47||7 August 1871||Canterbury||South||100 runs||scorecard|
|48||29 April 1872||Liverpool Wavertree||South||innings and 20 runs||scorecard|
|49||16 May 1872||Prince's Cricket Ground, Chelsea, London||Drawn||scorecard|
|50||20 May 1872||Lord's||South||52 runs||scorecard|
|51||25 July 1872||The Oval||South||8 wickets||scorecard|
|52||5 August 1872||Canterbury||North||innings and 46 runs||scorecard|
|53||15 May 1873||Prince's||Drawn||scorecard|
|54||2 June 1873||Lord's||North||84 runs||scorecard|
|55||24 July 1873||The Oval||South||innings and 58 runs||scorecard|
|56||4 August 1873||Canterbury||South||7 wickets||scorecard|
|57||25 May 1874||Lord's||South||8 wickets||scorecard|
|58||4 June 1874||Prince's||North||3 runs||scorecard|
|59||17 May 1875||Lord's||South||10 wickets||scorecard|
|60||27 May 1875||Prince's||South||5 wickets||scorecard|
|61||28 June 1875||Trent Bridge||Drawn||scorecard|
|62||15 July 1875||Fartown Ground, Huddersfield||Drawn||scorecard|
|63||19 August 1875||Tunbridge Wells||North||innings and 58 runs||scorecard|
|64||2 September 1875||Argyle Street, Kingston upon Hull||South||23 runs||scorecard|
|65||6 September 1875||Tyler's Ground, Loughborough||North||125 runs||scorecard|
|66||1 June 1876||Prince's||South||153 runs||scorecard|
|67||5 June 1876||Lord's||South||85 runs||scorecard|
|68||17 July 1876||Trent Bridge||South||8 wickets||scorecard|
|69||20 July 1876||The Oval||Drawn||scorecard|
|70||7 September 1876||Milnrow Road, Rochdale||Drawn||scorecard|
|71||21 May 1877||Lord's||South||3 wickets||scorecard|
|72||31 May 1877||Prince's||South||innings and 162 runs||scorecard|
|73||21 June 1877||The Oval||South||1 wicket||scorecard|
|74||23 July 1877||Argyle Street, Hull||North||innings and 14 runs||scorecard|
|75||6 June 1878||Prince's||Drawn||scorecard|
|76||10 June 1878||Lord's||North||3 wickets||scorecard|
|77||27 June 1878||Trent Bridge||South||10 wickets||scorecard|
|78||19 September 1878||The Oval||North||innings and 123 runs||scorecard|
|79||2 June 1879||Lord's||North||49 runs||scorecard|
|80||17 July 1879||The Oval||North||9 wickets||scorecard|
|81||14 July 1881||The Oval||North||innings and 91 runs||scorecard|
|82||14 May 1883||Lord's||North||170 runs||scorecard|
|83||21 June 1883||The Oval||North||22 runs||scorecard|
|84||30 August 1883||Tunbridge Wells||North||innings and 38 runs||scorecard|
|85||2 June 1884||Lord's||South||66 runs||scorecard|
|86||25 May 1885||Lord's||South||9 wickets||scorecard|
|87||25 June 1885||The Oval||North||8 wickets||scorecard|
|88||9 July 1885||Old Trafford||Drawn||scorecard|
|89||14 June 1886||Lord's||North||9 wickets||scorecard|
|90||30 May 1887||Lord's||North||6 wickets||scorecard|
|91||5 September 1887||North Marine Road, Scarborough, North Yorkshire||Drawn||scorecard|
|92||8 September 1887||Central Recreation Ground, Hastings||North||27 runs||scorecard|
|93||13 September 1888||Hastings||South||47 runs||scorecard|
|94||16 May 1889||The Oval||North||innings and 25 runs||scorecard|
|95||27 May 1889||Lord's||Abandoned||scorecard|
|96||3 June 1889||Priory Park, Chichester||South||8 wickets||scorecard|
|97||11 July 1889||Old Trafford||Drawn||scorecard|
|98||5 September 1889||Scarborough||Drawn||scorecard|
|99||12 September 1889||Hastings||North||152 runs||scorecard|
|100||19 May 1890||Lord's||South||135 runs||scorecard|
|101||11 September 1890||Hastings||South||9 runs||scorecard|
|102||11 May 1891||Lord's||South||34 runs||scorecard|
|103||29 June 1891||Edgbaston, Birmingham||Drawn||scorecard|
|104||31 August 1891||Scarborough||South||6 runs||scorecard|
|105||10 September 1891||Hastings||Drawn||scorecard|
|106||30 June 1892||Edgbaston||North||6 wickets||scorecard|
|107||8 September 1892||Hastings||South||innings and 10 runs||scorecard|
|108||11 September 1893||Hastings||North||25 runs||scorecard|
|109||2 August 1894||The Oval||Drawn||scorecard|
|110||30 August 1894||Scarborough||Drawn||scorecard|
|111||6 September 1894||Hastings||Drawn||scorecard|
|112||2 September 1895||Scarborough||North||8 wickets||scorecard|
|113||5 September 1895||Hastings||South||109 runs||scorecard|
|114||7 September 1896||Hastings||South||5 wickets||scorecard|
|115||2 September 1897||Scarborough||Drawn||scorecard|
|116||9 September 1897||Hastings||North||8 wickets||scorecard|
|117||6 September 1900||Hastings||Drawn||scorecard|
|118||13 September 1900||Lord's||Drawn||scorecard|
|119||5 September 1904||Scarborough||Drawn||scorecard|
|120||8 September 1904||Hastings||North||10 wickets||scorecard|
|121||28 August 1905||Whitegate Park, Blackpool||North||8 wickets||scorecard|
|122||4 September 1905||Scarborough||Drawn||scorecard|
|123||3 September 1906||Scarborough||North||innings and 71 runs||scorecard|
|124||5 September 1907||Scarborough||North||7 wickets||scorecard|
|125||7 September 1908||Hastings||South||5 wickets||scorecard|
|126||10 September 1908||The Oval||South||innings and 54 runs||scorecard|
|127||2 September 1920||Hastings||South||52 runs||scorecard|
|128||20 September 1922||The Saffrons, Eastbourne||North||7 wickets||scorecard|
|129||23 June 1923||Old Trafford||South||38 runs||scorecard|
|130||9 September 1925||Stanley Park, Blackpool||South||96 runs||scorecard|
|131||25 June 1927 (Test Trial)||Bramall Lane||Drawn||scorecard|
|132||3 September 1927||Cheriton Road, Folkestone||Drawn||scorecard|
|133||8 September 1928||Dean Park Cricket Ground, Bournemouth||South||4 wickets||scorecard|
|134||18 June 1932||Old Trafford||Drawn||scorecard|
|135||13 June 1936||Lord's||Drawn||scorecard|
|136||22 May 1937||Lord's||South||6 wickets||scorecard|
|137||11 September 1946||Scarborough||North||130 runs||scorecard|
|138||27 August 1947||St George's Road, Harrogate||North||86 runs||scorecard|
|139||3 September 1947||Leyland Motors Ground, Kingston upon Thames||South||4 wickets||scorecard|
|140||6 September 1947||Scarborough||Drawn||scorecard|
|141||4 September 1948||Hastings||South||5 wickets||scorecard|
|142||4 September 1948||Leyland Motors Ground, Kingston upon Thames||Drawn||scorecard|
|143||1 June 1949 (Test trial)||Edgbaston||Drawn||scorecard|
|144||3 September 1949||Scarborough||Drawn||scorecard|
|145||7 September 1949||Hawker's Sports Ground, Kingston upon Thames||North||4 wickets||scorecard|
|146||2 September 1950||Hawker's Sports Ground, Kingston upon Thames||North||8 wickets||scorecard|
|147||6 September 1950||Scarborough||South||3 wickets||scorecard|
|148||1 September 1951||Hawker's Sports Ground, Kingston upon Thames||North||4 wickets||scorecard|
|149||6 September 1952||Hawker's Sports Ground, Kingston upon Thames||South||innings and 79 runs||scorecard|
|150||4 September 1954||Recreation Ground, Torquay||South||61 runs||scorecard|
|151||3 September 1955||Torquay||South||109 runs||scorecard|
|152||1 September 1956||Torquay||Drawn||scorecard|
|153||7 September 1957||Torquay||South||1 wicket||scorecard|
|154||6 September 1958||Torquay||South||38 runs||scorecard|
|155||6 September 1961||Stanley Park, Blackpool||South||2 wickets||scorecard|
- Birley, p.73.
- South v North, July 1836.
- North v South, August 1836.
- Birley, pp.73–74.
- Birley, p.77.
- South v North, July 1849.
- "Pavilion Gossip", Cricket, issue 209, 30 May 1889, p. 154.
- North v South first-class fixtures (Scorecard Oracle).
- North v South, September 1961.
- North v South, July 1971.
- North v South: Mark Wood strikes on return while Ben Duckett makes century, BBC Sport, 15 March 2017.
- Barbados to host North-South series & MCC champion county match, BBC Sport, 21 September 2017.
- Some content on this page may previously have appeared on Wikipedia.
This article was created by me on the other site and, with the exception of the huge table which was built by another editor, is entirely my own work. The table may be deemed superfluous (I'm in two minds about it) and, if that should be the case, the attribution tag can be removed. Thanks. John (talk) 09:51, 5 June 2023 (CDT)
- Birley, Derek (1999). A Social History of English Cricket. Aurum.
- Bowen, Rowland (1970). Cricket: A History of its Growth and Development. Eyre & Spottiswoode.
- Haygarth, Arthur (1862). Scores & Biographies, Volume 1 (1827–1840). Lillywhite.