MCC Cricket

Cricket

The MCC was formed in November 1838 and, after occupying three other sites, finally settled in 1853 on its present location, the now famous Melbourne Cricket Ground.

In January 1858, the MCC challenged any team in the Australian Colonies and a team from New South Wales accepted the challenge, which was played on the MCG.

This was really the forerunner of what eventually became the Sheffield Shield competition, after Lord Sheffield presented the trophy for inter-colonial competition.

Up until the turn of the century, visits to Australia for English teams and sides to England by Australians were sponsored by Melbourne CC with the exception of the first English visit in 1862 which was undertaken on the initiative of the club’s caterers.

As the Port Phillip District’s pioneer club, the MCC’s early role was administrative and promotional as well as competitive. We played a major role in guiding the game’s destiny until the then Victorian Cricket Association (VCA) took over the reins in 1906.

MCC was an inaugural member club in the Cricket Victoria Premier Cricket competition (formerly VCA District Cricket).  However, MCC initially did not accept the residential qualification rules and was not permitted to compete for the premiership until the 1914/15 season.

The MCC introduced women’s teams for the first time in season 2012/13, entering two sides into Victorian Premier Cricket. A third women's team was added in 2015.

MCC has been synonymous with cricket success, measured in numerous premierships, club championships and state and national representatives.

MCC Australian Test players
MCC Victorian representatives

MCC has been home to many fine players who wore the baggy green cap: Fred Spofforth, Jack Blackham, Warwick Armstrong, Bert Ironmonger, Hugh Trumble, Vernon Ransford, Bill Ponsford, Keith Rigg, Colin McDonald, Lindsay Kline, Paul Sheahan, Max Walker, Dean Jones and Brad Hodge, to name but a few. Will Pucovski was the latest to add his name to this list in January 2021.

Among the many other fine cricketers to feature prominently at club level with the Demons include Percy Beames, Ian Huntington, Jeff Moss, Robert Templeton, Richard Herman, Peter King, Steven McCooke, Warren Ayres, David Broad, Michael Sholly, Bob Lloyd and fast bowling pair Jack ‘Dasher’ Daniel and Clive Fairbairn. View the MCC's team of the century.

In 2016/17, Hayley Jensen became the first MCC female cricketer to earn State selection. Ella Hayward, Amy Vine, Rhiann O'Donnell, Hayleigh Brennan and Amy Yates have since followed in her footsteps as MCC Cricketers to have represented their State.

Clive Fairbairn's involvement as an administrator after his playing days were over is legendary. Such was his impact, the club decided to recognise his achievements in 1991 by naming the Pavilion at its home ground - the Albert Ground - in his honour.

The MCC currently fields teams in the various grades of Cricket Victoria’s Premier Cricket competition (men’s and women’s) and in the MCC Club XI Competition.

In addition, social cricket by an MCC group known as the XXIX Club is played mid-week and on Sundays and MCC members are welcome to participate.

Things to do

Vale John Bell

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of one of the Melbourne Cricket Club’s most beloved contributors and characters, John Bell. Health complications following a recent fall at home saw him pass away in hospital yesterday.

Variously known as “Belly”, “Tinker” or “Dinger”, John’s association with MCC Premier Cricket began in 1995/96, when he took on the key role as Team Manager of the Men’s 1st XI. He’d answered an advertisement and received only the briefest inductions from Mark ‘Dos’ Anderson before being thrown in the deep end.

Despite his laid back and unassuming style, Belly’s impact was immediate. He managed the wide variety of personalities within an ambitious, fiercely competitive dressing room with aplomb. He provided sympathy and support where required and calmly stood his ground where necessary as well. Combined with a strong work ethic and sharp insight into the game, this approach saw him win universal respect and forge enduring friendships across generations of players over a quarter of a century.

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Vale John Walter Robert Bell
25/1/1943 – 23/5/2022


Vale John Bell