© 2019 – Nicolas Rackow for OUCC
Oxford University Cricket Club (O.U.C.C.) is the home of men’s and women’s cricket at Oxford University, with a long and distinguished history dating back to the 18th century. The men’s and women’s University sides, operate alongside the Brookes-Oxford combined MCCU side, and play their home games in the picturesque University Parks, which has been the home of O.U.C.C. since 1881 when Cricket was first officially played there.
Today The Parks hosts Men’s Blues, Women’s Blues and Authentics (‘Tics) fixtures against opposition including the M.C.C, Arabs, Teddington CC and Free Forresters, whilst also being the venue for the majority of home Varsity Matches. O.U.C.C. is also blessed with a lovely ‘second’ ground, ‘Marston Road’, which hosts the majority of ‘Tics fixtures and Blues BUCS fixtures.
The focus of any season for each of the O.U.C.C. sides remains the Varsity matches. The Men’s Blues 4-day Match, renowned as the oldest First Class fixture in the world, dates from 1827, and remains the sole fixture for which a Men’s Blue can be awarded. The match is now supplemented by a One Day fixture at Lord’s and, in the last few years, by a Twenty20 match. The Women’s Blues contest two Varsity matches, including the One Day fixture (on the Nursery Ground at Lord’s) and the Twenty20 match. The Authentics contest three fixtures, with 3-day, One-Day and T20 fixtures against Cambridge played over the latter part of the summer.
Over the years, O.U.C.C. has produced many notable cricketers, several of whom have gone on to captain their respective countries; 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). In recent years, Jamie Dalrymple has played One Day Internationals for England, and several players have gone onto achieve success in the county arena. Claire Taylor, who played for the Women’s Blues, represented England more than 150 times between 1998 and 2011. A top order batter, she was the first woman to be named a Wisden Cricketer of the Year.
In 2014, OUCC began the formal process to merge with Oxford University Women’s Cricket Club (OUWCC), to create a unified ‘Oxford University Cricket Club’ for the first time. On the 20th February 2019, the proposal to merge OUCC and OUWCC under one Club (OUCC) was unanimously approved, as was the election as Vice-Chair of OUCC of Claire Taylor (with immediate effect). Now operating as one single club, the merger has ensured that OUCC can provide the best possible platform for developing men’s and women’s cricket across the University.