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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). 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.

Table of contents

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


South Africa

Sri Lanka


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