The 1897 Minor Counties Championship was the third running of the Minor Counties Cricket Championship, and ran from 7 June to 28 August 1897. Having been unbeaten for the entire season, Worcestershire won their second consecutive outright title, having also shared the title in 1895.Staffordshire were level in the table with Worcestershire, but played an insufficient number of matches to be considered co-champions. Sixteen teams competed in the championship, with Cornwall, Dorset and Monmouthshire all competing for the first time, though none of them played the minimum of eight matches.
One point was awarded for a win, and one point was taken away for each loss. Final placings were decided by dividing the number of points earned by the number of completed matches (i.e. those that ended in a win or a loss), and multiplying by 100.
Worcestershire County Cricket Club
Worcestershire County Cricket Club is one of eighteen first-class county clubs within the domestic cricket structure of England and Wales. It represents the county of Worcestershire. Its Twenty20 team has been rebranded the Worcestershire Rapids, but the county is known by most fans as the Pears, the club is based at New Road, Worcester. Founded in 1865, Worcestershire held minor status at first and was a prominent member of the early Minor Counties Championship in the 1890s, in 1899, the club joined the County Championship and the team was elevated to senior status as an official first-class team. Worcestershire has been classified as a List A team since the beginning of limited overs cricket in 1963, a match on 28 August 1844 at Hartlebury Common between Worcestershire and Shropshire is the earliest known instance of a county team in Worcestershire. Two years later, XXII of Worcestershire played William Clarkes All-England Eleven at Powick Hams, Worcestershire CCC was formed on 4 March 1865 at the Star Hotel in Worcester. The club owes much to Paul Foley who was from a family of iron masters in Stourbridge and he also owned an agricultural estate at Stoke Edith in Herefordshire. He became involved with the club in the 1880s and helped to establish the Minor Counties Championship which began in 1895, Worcestershire shared the inaugural title with Durham and Norfolk before winning outright in 1896,1897 and 1898. With this success behind it, the applied for first-class status. Worcestershire CCC played its initial first-class match versus Yorkshire CCC on 4,5 &6 May 1899, the inclusion of Worcestershire increased the County Championship to 15 teams. At first they performed moderately despite the batting of Tip Foster. Their best performance that year was an innings of 567 on a difficult pitch against Fielder. After that year, however, the batting was never enough to make up for woefully weak bowling. Their form, with one exception, was woeful up to the early thirties. Fred Root, one of the first exponents of leg theory bowling, roly Jenkins, with 183 wickets in 1949, gave them briefly the best attack in county cricket, but they soon declined again and their form in the 1950s was indifferent at best. They were also losing finalist in the first ever Gillette Cup Final in 1963 - the inaugural limited overs knockout competition in England, Worcestershire also won the Sunday League in 1987 and 1988. Worcestershires success continued into the 1990s, with a first ever success in the Benson and Hedges Cup in 1991, captained by Phil Neale, the Pears beat Lancashire by 65 runs in the final at Lords, gaining revenge for defeat against Lancashire in the previous years competition. Worcestershires next title came in 1994 when they won the Natwest Trophy, not only did they avenge their defeat at the hands of Warwickshire in the B&H Cup Final earlier that summer but it was also their first success in the competition after three previous final defeats