First-Class Cricket Rules, Features, First-Class Status, And History explained!

First-class cricket is a match that is scheduled for three or more days. Each side of the team has eleven players, and each side may have two innings. The match is played at a venue that has standard criteria.

Shortly, it is an official classification of domestic and international cricket. It is also known as FC. That is a short form of first class. So don’t worry when you hear FC in cricket. however, first-class cricket usually follows the laws of cricket, except for some minor amendments. Additionally, the International Cricket Council (ICC) itself calls it first-class cricket.

Basic Features of First-Class Cricket

There are some basic features of first-class cricket that help you understand this official classification of matches

Number of days

The first class of cricket lasts for three or more days, which is the basic feature or identity of this classification of cricket. 

Number of innings

In first-class cricket, each team has two innings during the game.  

Number of overs

A lot of people raise the question of how many overs there are in first-class cricket. You will be astonished and maybe calmed if you are familiar with it, as it has similarities to test matches. There is no limit on the number of overs in first-class cricket.  

Highest Individual Score In First-Class Cricket

Brian Lare scored 501 for Warwickshire in first-class cricket in 1994. Interestingly, there are ten other scores of 400 or more. However, this credit goes to Lara and two to Bill Ponsford. 

Rules of first-class cricket

There are some rules of first-class cricket that are important to understand for every player to get full command of this type of cricket.

Official ICC Competition

For official ICC competitions, the status of all matches shall be decided by the International Cricket Council (ICC). 

Outside of the official ICC competition

When the match is outside of the official ICC competition, a full member of the International Cricket Council decides the status of the match. 

Full Member of The ICC

first-class cricket matches played in countries that are not full members of the ICC. The following conditions may be met:

  • If both teams belong to different full-member countries, then the status shall be decided by agreement of both teams. 
  • Another condition is that if one of the teams belongs to full-member country, then that country will decide the status of the game
  • Moreover, if both teams belong to the same full-member country, then that country shall decide the status.
  • Otherwise, the International Cricket Council (ICC) will decide the status. 

First Class Status In Cricket

There are some matches that have a duration of three or more days and are called first-class matches.

  1. Test matches
  2.  ICC Intercontinental Cup matches
  3.  Ahmad Shah Abdali Regional (ASA) tournament (Afghanistan)  
  4. Sheffield Shield matches between states (Australia)
  5. National Cricket League matches between divisions and Bangladesh Cricket League matches between zones
  6. Division 1 and 2 County Championship matches between counties in England and Wales
  7.  In India, Ranji Trophy matches between states, Duleep Trophy matches between zones, and an Iran Cup match between the Ranji Trophy winner and the rest of India
  8. Inter-Provincial Championship played between Provincial Unions in Ireland
  9.   Plunket Shield matches between provinces in New Zealand
  10.  Quaid-e-Azam Trophy in Pakistan
  11.  In South Africa, Franchise tournament matches between franchises, the CSA Provincial Cup between provinces
  12.  Major Tier “A” is a 3- or 4-day match, Major Tier “B” is a 3-day match, and Super Provincial is a 3- or 4-day match in Sri Lanka.
  13.  In West Indies West Indies Championship (WIC) matches between territories or franchises 
  14. Logan Cup between Franchises In Zimbabwe

Test cricket

Test cricket is an interesting form of first-class cricket played at the international level. Secondly,  it was played between teams representing full member countries of the International Cricket Council. The test match is scheduled to last for up to five days. Moreover, this form of first class consists of four innings. 

Test Teams

Currently, there are twelve test teams that are following. First, let’s go through these teams!

  1. Afghanistan
  2.  Australia
  3.  Bangladesh
  4.  England,
  5. India
  6.  Ireland
  7.  New Zealand
  8. Pakistan
  9. South Africa
  10.  Sri Lanka
  11.  West Indies 
  12.  Zimbabwe

History of First Class Cricket

All important matches include first-class cricket before 1895. In May 1895, the official status of first-class cricket was under discussion after a meeting of leading English clubs. by the way, the official international definition of first-class cricket was given by the Imperial Cricket Conference (ICC) in 1947.

However, a basic thing that happened when the international definition of first-class cricket was established was the omission of its backdated definition by the ICC. 

Further, the statisticians and historians faced difficulties during the classification of the matches that played in Great Britain before 1895.

Moreover, the Association of Cricket Statisticians and Historians (ACS) solved this problem. At that time, they cataloged the matches that were played before 1895. Consequently, a high standard of classification was established.    


The test match is a basic type of first-class cricket. First-class cricket gains more fame with time. Many countries enjoy this luxury type of cricket. However, I hope this post has covered all your complex questions regarding first-class matches. If you want to get more concise information about all cricket terms, you can go to the link mentioned below. Further, if you are a beginner, you must follow the cricket laws that will ensure your skills and abilities regarding cricket. 



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