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National Counties Cricket Championship
|Administrator||England and Wales Cricket Board|
|Tournament format||two ten-team divisions
home and away in 3-day matches.
|Number of teams||20|
|Current champion||Berkshire County Cricket Club|
The NCCA 3 Day Championship (previously the Minor Counties Cricket Championship) is a season-long competition in England and Wales that is contested by the members of the National Counties Cricket Association (NCCA), the so-called national counties that do not have first-class status.
The competition began in 1895, with the Worcestershire honorary secretary Paul Foley being influential in its creation. Apart from the two World War periods, it has been contested annually ever since. Since 2014, the tournament has been known as the Unicorns Championship.
Until 1959, when the Second XI Championship was founded, most second XIs of the first-class counties used to contest the Minor Counties. A few continued to do so and the last to withdraw was Somerset 2nd XI after the 1987 season.
Since 1983, the clubs have been split into an Eastern and a Western Division. The winners of the two divisions play each other in a match at the end of the season to determine which will be the Champions. Until 1983 all clubs competed in a single league. Teams played varying numbers of matches and did not play all other counties, so the table was ranked according to average points gained per match. The team with the highest average won the championship, except in a year when the top two counties had not played each other. In this case the second-placed team in the table had the right to challenge the leaders to a match to decide the championship. The second-placed team had to win this Challenge Match to take the title, with the league leaders being declared champions if they won or the game was drawn.
At present, there are twenty clubs involved. Nineteen represent English counties and the other is a Wales team that represents all the Welsh counties except Glamorgan. For details, see Minor counties of English cricket.
List of Minor Counties/National Counties Champions
In 1983, the then minor counties were divided into a Western Division and an Eastern Division, the winners of each division meeting in a final to decide the overall winner. From 1983 to 1993, the Championship was decided by a 55-over limited over match. From 1994, the final was decided by a two-day, two-innings match with certain restrictions on the first innings, and from 1999 the final has been a three-day, two-innings match and only an outright result has decided the Championship.
Performance by county
- Bold denotes the current 20 National Counties.
|Club||Titles||National Counties Championship-winning seasons|
|Staffordshire||12 + 1 shared||1906, 1908, 1911, 1912 (shared), 1914, 1920, 1921, 1927, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1998, 2014|
|Buckinghamshire||9 + 1 shared||1899 (shared), 1922, 1923, 1925, 1932, 1938, 1952, 1969, 1987, 2009|
|Durham||7 + 2 shared||1895 (shared), 1900 (shared), 1901, 1926, 1930, 1976, 1980, 1981, 1984|
|Berkshire||8||1924, 1928, 1953, 2008, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019|
|Devon||7 + 1 shared||1978, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2004 (shared), 2006, 2011|
|Lancashire II||7||1907, 1934, 1937, 1948, 1949, 1960, 1964|
|Cheshire||5 + 2 shared||1967, 1985, 1988, 2001 (shared), 2005 (shared), 2007, 2013|
|Yorkshire II||6||1933, 1947, 1957, 1958, 1968, 1971|
|Norfolk||3 + 3 shared||1895 (shared), 1905, 1910, 1912 (shared), 1913, 2002 (shared)|
|Hertfordshire||4||1936, 1975, 1983, 1990|
|Oxfordshire||4||1929, 1974, 1982, 1989|
|Surrey II||4||1939, 1950, 1954, 1955|
|Suffolk||3 + 1 shared||1946, 1977, 1979, 2005 (shared)|
|Worcestershire||3 + 1 shared||1895 (shared), 1896, 1897, 1898|
|Northamptonshire||2 + 2 shared||1899 (shared), 1900 (shared), 1903, 1904|
|Cumberland||3||1986, 1999, 2015|
|Bedfordshire||2 + 1 shared||1970, 1972 2004 (shared)|
|Lincolnshire||2 + 1 shared||1966, 2001 (shared), 2003|
|Kent II||2||1951, 1956|
|Somerset II||2||1961, 1965|
|Warwickshire II||2||1959, 1962|
|Glamorgan||0 + 1 shared||1900 (shared)|
|Herefordshire||0 + 1 shared||2002 (shared)|
|Wales Minor Counties||0|
- National Counties of English and Welsh cricket
- Rowland Bowen, Cricket: A History of its Growth and Development, Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1970
- Playfair Cricket Annual
- Wisden Cricketers' Almanack
- "A brief history of Worcestershire". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 13 November 2020.
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