Scottish Cricket History

Cricket in Scotland has been with us a long time. The first matches for which records are available were played in 1785 between two teams populated by members of the aristocracy of the time. A series of five matches took place, starting on 20th July. The team names varied for these games, but with a degree of similarity in the participants. The most well known of these games was the last, which took place on 3rd September 1785 at Schaw Park, Alloa, between the Duke of Atholl’s XI and Colonel George Talbot’s XI, for an extravagant 1,000 guineas per side wager.

It was the mid 19th century before the game really took off, with a first visit by the All England XI in 1849 creating great excitement and leading to a surge in interest.

Today we have a host of representative sides administered by Cricket Scotland plus over 200 clubs competing in a wide variety of competitions. The timeline below covers some of the key moments in Scottish Cricket history from the 18th to 21st century!

Cathcart Family Group at one of the matches played in 1785 (By kind permission of the present Earl Cathcart)

Cricket in Scotland – Timeline

1785: First recorded games in Scotland, starting on 20th July 

1789: Match in Aberdeen between Gordon Castle XI & 55th Regiment

1820: Formation of Kelso CC

1820s: Cricket played on Bruntsfield Links, Edinburgh & also at Edinburgh Academy in the School grounds.

1830s: Formation of Stirling County CC. Cricket being played at the Old Gibbet Toll, Edinburgh & Fleshers’ Haugh, Glasgow.

1846: Match takes place between Perth & “All Scotland”.

Don Bradman leads his Australian side out on to Mannofield for what was to be his last match on British soil in Sept 1948

1849: The All England XI visit Scotland for the first time, playing in Edinburgh, sparking a great upsurge in club formation.

1865: Scotland’s first recognised “Cap” games take place, beating Gentlemen of Surrey at the Oval before losing to the MCC at Lord’s

1871: Publication of first edition of Scottish Cricketers’ Annual and Guide by Percival King, Scotland’s first ever cricket publication which lasted 18 editions.

1872: Start of East of Scotland v West of Scotland matches.

1874: Scotland beat MCC at Lord’s

1878: First ever full Australia touring team visit Scotland to play West of Scotland

1879: Formation of first Scottish Cricket Union. It lasted only four years due to financial difficulties and declining membership.

1882: Scotland beat Australia in One-Day Game

1888: First ever match against Ireland

1891: Start of Edinburgh Parks Trophy – Scotland’s oldest Cup competition

1891: Scotland beat a Gloucestershire CCC side brought together by WG Grace

1893: Start of Aberdeenshire League, North of Scotland League & Western Union

1895: Start of Border League

1895: Start of first East of Scotland League. It lasted only four seasons.

1902: Start of Scottish County Championship

1908: Formation of second Scottish Cricket Union

1923: Start of Rowan Cup

1929: Start of Strathmore Union

1933: Start of Glasgow Parks Cup

1948: Start of Western Cup

1951: Start of West League Cup

1953: Start of revived East of Scotland League

1955: Start of Glasgow and District League

1959: Scotland beat Warwickshire at Edgebaston, their first ever victory against a full First Class County

1959: Start of Border KO Cup

1963: Start of Perthshire League

1966: First Scottish Cup Competition

1975: Start of Inter-District Competition

1980: Scotland participate in the Benson & Hedges Cup, there first ever games in a competition

1981: Start of Shetland Outdoor League

1985: Freuchie win Haig Village Trophy at Lord’s, the only Scottish team to ever win the trophy.

1991: Scotland score 537 for 5 against MCC, with Iain Philip contributing 234. Both totals are still records for Scotland.

1993: First ever Triple Crown Tournament, with Scotland, England Amateur XI, Ireland & Wales competing. It lasted until 2000, with Scotland being the most successful of the four teams.

Scotland team at the Wanderers in 1992

1992: Scotland undertake two week tour to Johannesburg & Pretoria, the first ever tour abroad by a Scotland side.

1993: Western CA win NCA County Championship, only ever victory by a Scottish District.

1993Scotland undertake two week tour to Cape Town.

1996: First form of Scottish League Competition established

1997: Scotland compete in the ICC Trophy for the first time, finishing in 3rd place to qualify for the 1999 World Cup

1998: Scotland compete in the Commonwealth Games, staged in Malaysia.

1999: Scotland compete in the World Cup played in England & Scotland

2001: Scotland Women play first ODI (against England Women) at Bradfield College, Reading

2003: Scotland compete in the National League against English County sides for the first time, winning three of their first four games.

2004: Scotland beat Bangladesh at Raeburn Place, Edinburgh. First ever victory against a test Playing side in a 50 over/side match.

2004: Scotland win ICC Inter Continental Cup.

2005: Scotland win the ICC Trophy, beating Ireland in the Final, staged at Clontarf.

2007: Scotland compete in first ever ICC World T20 Finals, staged in South Africa.

2012: Scotland beat Bangladesh in T20 International staged in the Netherlands. Fist ever victory over Test Playing Nation in this format.

2014: Scotland win World Cup Qualifying Tournament in New Zealand.

2015: Scotland compete in ICC World Cup Finals in Australia & New Zealand.

2016: Scotland secure first victory at a global event over Hong Kong at World T20 in India

2017: Scotland defeat a Full Member (Zimbabwe) for the first time in an ODI

2018: Scotland beat England for the first time in their history 

2019: Scotland host the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Global Qualifiers at Forfarshire and Arbroath

2021: Scotland compete in ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Finals

2022: Scotland compete in ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Finals

2023: Scotland compete in ICC Women’s Under-19 T20 World Cup Finals

2023: Scotland Men win ICC Cricket World Cup League Two 2019 to 2023

The respective New Zealand and Scotland teams stand to their National Anthems during the ICC Cricket World Cup match between New Zealand and Scotland at University Oval on February 17, 2015 in Dunedin, New Zealand. (Photo by Rob Jefferies-IDI/IDI via Getty Images)



 ‘Ask Leitchy’

Cricket Scotland’s historian, Neil Leitch, has been recording the history of the Scottish game for over 35 years and alongside scoring duties for club and country Neil is a constant source of information and knowledge for coaches, players and administrators.

There is nothing our treasured historian likes more than a challenge so why not test him and ‘Ask Leitchy’ by clicking HERE – Leitchy will take on the challenge to find the answers that will feature in a regular column on this site.