Cricket may not have reached the county of Nottinghamshire until the eighteenth century. The earliest known reference to cricket in the county is the Nottingham v. Sheffield match on the Forest Racecourse at Nottingham on Monday, 26 and Tuesday, 27 August 1771. This match involved the old Nottingham town club which continued to play important matches into the 19th century. Nottinghamshire as a county team played its first inter-county match versus Sussex at Brown's Ground, Brighton on 27, 28 and 29 August 1835. Nottinghamshire is recognised as a first-class county team, rather than a town club team, from 1835 but it is doubtful if the organisation at that time was a formally constituted club. That did not happen until March or April 1841. The first club captain was William Clarke who created the travelling All-England Eleven (AEE) in 1846.
From July 1840, county matches had been played at Trent Bridge which had been opened by Clarke on land adjacent to the Trent Bridge Inn, which was owned by Clarke and his wife. Trent Bridge is the club's home base and has been a regular Test venue since 1899. Nottinghamshire had one of the strongest county teams from the 1860s to the 1880s when they had players like Alfred Shaw, Fred Morley and Arthur Shrewsbury. They are reckoned to have been the (unofficial) champion county fifteen times (seven shared) between 1865 and 1889. The club were founder members of the County Cricket Championship in 1890 but it was not until 1907 that they won their first official title. They have won the County Championship six times in all, most recently in 2010. Other famous Nottinghamshire players include George Parr, John Jackson, Billy Gunn, Harold Larwood, Bill Voce, Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann. They have been especially well represented by overseas players including three of the all-time greats in Gary Sobers, Richard Hadlee and Clive Rice.
- Haygarth, p. 2.
- Buckley, FLPVC, p. 6.
- Buckley, G. B.: Fresh Light on Pre-Victorian Cricket (FLPVC). Cotterell (1937).
- Haygarth, Arthur: Scores & Biographies, Volume 1 (1744-1826). Lillywhite (1862).