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First-class cricket

First-class cricket is a term for cricket matches of at least three days length, either involving international teams, or the highest division of domestic competition. The game is conducted similarly to Test cricket, though usually of a maximum length of 3 or 4 days rather than the 5 of Test cricket (though a few are). (Technically, Test Cricket is a form of first-class cricket. However, the term "first class" is usually used to refer to domestic competition only.) Around the world, these teams are usually representative of internal political divisions - for instance, Australia's domestic first-class competition is between state representative teams. Due to the time demands of such a competition (the matches cannot be played on weekends, for instance) first-class cricketers are mostly paid professionals.

As well as domestic competition, it is typical for international teams touring another country to play warm-up first-class matches against domestic teams. However, with the increasing schedule of international players and consequent more tightly-scheduled tours, the number of such one-off games is decreasing. According to the International Cricket Council, a match is first class if:

A Test Match is a first class match played between two Full Member countries given the status of a Test match-playing nation by the International Cricket Council, following the Playing Conditions for Test Matches established by the International Cricket Council, and following various other regulations.

The following matches or competitions are also recognized as first-class by the appropriate Boards of Cricket, providing the above regulations are met:


Table of contents
1 First class domestic teams

First class domestic teams



England and Wales

The eighteen major counties (listed below) are divided into two divisions. In each division the teams play each other twice, both home and away. The bottom and top teams of the first and second divisions respectively are relegated and promoted at the end of the season. Most other counties are minor counties and play in their own competition.


New Zealand


The domestic teams may either be city teams, government service teams, or corporate teams. Some cities have two teams; in this case, the second team is named the "Blues."

South Africa

Sri Lanka

West Indies