When it comes time for England's cricket governing body, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), to select players for the English national cricket squad, it draws them from the country's eighteen county cricket teams, also known as English first-class counties. They are Derbyshire, Durham, Essex, Glamorgan, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leicestershire,. Middlesex, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, Somerset, Surrey, Sussex, Warwickshire, Worcestershire and Yorkshire. County Cricket Club (CCC) six often added to the name of each team.
Over and above the eighteen English first-class counties (including Wales), when the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) plays one of the first-class counties, the game is awarded a 'first-class status.' Marylebone Cricket Club is based at Lords Cricket Ground in St John's Wood, London, which is considered the 'Mecca' of cricket. In addition, four university cricket teams are awarded first-class cricket status when playing one of the counties. Known as University Cricketing Centre of Excellence (UCCE) teams, they are Cambridge, Durham, Loughborough and Oxford.
Every year the first-class counties compete against each other in the County Championship, which has a two-division league format, the first division obviously containing the better teams. Between 1890 until now, the county cricket club that has won the most County Championships is Yorkshire, which has 30 and 1 shared to its name. The next best is Surrey with 18 and 1 shared followed by Middlesex with 10 and 2 shared, and then Lancashire with 7 and 1 shared. Durham County Cricket Club won the 2009 County Championship.