Varsity Cricket | University of Oxford
Cricketers in University Parks
Cricketers in University Parks
Credit: Emily Alexander. This image comes from Oxford University Images

Varsity Cricket

The 2016 one-day Varsity match will take place at Lord's on Friday 1 July. The 2016 four-day Varsity match will take place from Tuesday 5 to Friday 8 July at the University Parks in Oxford.

The traditional first-class Varsity match began in 1827. There have been 171 matches played up to and including 2015. Cambridge have won 59, Oxford have won 55 and 56 were drawn. One match, in 1988, was abandoned. 

In 2015, Oxford beat Cambridge in both the men's and the women's Varsity matches.

In 2001 the traditional Varsity match was replaced by two fixtures each year: a one-day match played at Lord's and a four-day first-class fixture played in alternate years at Fenner's in Cambridge and University Parks in Oxford. In 2008 a Twenty20 fixture was also introduced. A one-day Varsity match, for the Johnson Fry Trophy, has been played since 1995.

Cricket at Oxford has a long and distinguished history and has produced many notable cricketers, several of whom have gone on to captain their country. Alumni include C B Fry, Douglas Jardine and M J K Smith (England), the Nawab of Pataudi Snr and Jnr (India), and Imran Khan and Abdul Kardar (Pakistan). Other former OUCC players include Colin Cowdrey, Vic Marks, Mark Wagh, James Averis, Jamie Dalrymple and Mike Munday.

Varsity Twenty20 Match

Oxford won both the Men's and Women's Neptune Varsity T20 matches in May 2016.

The Twenty20 format of cricket, with two short innings of twenty overs, was introduced by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) in 2003. The inaugural Varsity Twenty20 match was held in June 2008. The Varsity Twenty20 match precedes the four and one-day Varsity fixtures and is a great chance to watch the team ahead of their Lord’s one-day fixture.

The match is held in University Parks and admission is free.

Cricket at Oxford

The OUCC team is made up of students from both Oxford Brookes University and the University of Oxford. This collaboration is part of a national scheme introduced by the ECB in 1999 to ensure the best young cricketers in the UK are encouraged to go onto a university education.

The club has consistently been placed in the top two teams in the country, in terms of performance and talent development. The facilities the centre has for young players are first-class and include a full-time professional resident coach, Graham Charlesworth, who is committed to maintaining Oxford as the highest achieving quality cricket centres in the country.

The club has two Men’s Teams and a Women’s Team. The Men’s 1st XI (Blues) play throughout the season in friendlies preparing for their two Varsity Fixtures. These fixtures are against quality sides, including select sides from the MCC, Combined Services, Earl of Arundel and Sir Paul Getty. The 4-day Varsity is held alternatively at Oxford or Cambridge. This First Class fixture is the highlight of the season with the starting 11 gaining their 'Blues'. The Blues also play a 1-day fixture, competed at Lords, the game attracts a good crowd as well as giving players the opportunity to play at the home of cricket. The 2nd XI compete in the British Universities programme, along with friendlies making up a quality fixture programme of over 15 games. The Women’s team, also compete in the BUSA programme, and hold their Varsity fixture at the Nursery Ground at Lords on the same day as the Blues Fixture.

The Oxford University Cricket Club is based at the University Parks and is the only UK cricket ground where first-class cricket can be watched for free.