The County Cricket Ground (known as The 3aaa County Ground for sponsorship reasons; usually shortened to the County Ground and also known as the Racecourse Ground) is a cricket ground in Derby, England. It has been the home of Derbyshire County Cricket Club since 1871. The ground was first used by South Derbyshire Cricket Club in 1863 and was initially located within Derby Racecourse, although racing ceased after 1939. The ground has staged two One-Day Internationals: New Zealand against Sri Lanka during the 1983 World Cup and New Zealand against Pakistan during the 1999 World Cup. It was one of the venues for the 2017 Women's Cricket World Cup.
The ground was also formerly used for football, and was the home of Derby County F.C. between 1884 and 1895. It staged the first ever FA Cup Final match played outside London, a replay of the 1886 Final, and hosted an international match between England and Ireland in 1895.
|The 3aaa County Ground|
Derbyshire v Australia tour match, July 2010, taken from the position of the new media centre.
18 June 1983:|
New Zealand v Sri Lanka
28 May 1999:|
New Zealand v Pakistan
15 July 1998:|
England v Australia
20 July 2017:|
Australia v India
5 August 2006:|
England v India
25 June 2009:|
England v Australia
As of 26 August 2010|
The ground was first used by South Derbyshire Cricket Club in 1863 and was initially located within Derby Racecourse, although racing ceased after 1939.
It also held the games of Derby County Football Club until their move to the Baseball Ground in 1895. The first FA Cup Final outside London was held at the ground in 1886 when Blackburn Rovers beat West Bromwich Albion 2-0 in a replay. England played one football international here, beating Ireland 9-0 in the British Home Championship on 9 March 1895.
The playing area used to feature pitches laid on an east–west axis. Most first-class grounds feature pitches laid north–south to avoid problems with the light from the setting Sun. Derbyshire re-laid the pitch on a north–south axis over the 2009/10 winter at a cost of £100,000, ready for the 2010 season. This involved moving some of the floodlights and the electronic scoreboard to suit the new alignment.
In early 2010 a large 1800 seat stand was erected at the Racecourse End of the ground. This stand was taken down in late 2015 in order to make way for a new £2.2 million four storey media centre, which was completed and officially opened in September 2016. Some 1100 seats were immediately reinstated at the Pavilion End of the ground, with the remaining reinstated next to the new media centre. In February 2017 Derby Civic Society awarded a commendation in the category of Best New Build of 2016 to Derbyshire County Cricket Club for the new media centre.
A new marquee was also built in 2010, which is used for private functions and entertainment during match days.
In 2014 Derbyshire County Cricket Club signed a sponsorship agreement with Derbyshire-based apprenticeship training business Aspire Achieve Advance Ltd (3aaa). This deal resulted in The County Ground being renamed The 3aaa County Ground for the next three years. When spoken this is pronounced 'three-a'.
In February 2016, it was announced that the County Ground would be one of the host venues for the 2017 Women's Cricket World Cup in England. Along with Bristol, Derby hosted one of the semi-finals of the tournament.