The first record of cricket being played at the University dates back to 1866 when what was then ‘Queen’s College Cork’ played against Cork each year until 1872 at the Mardyke. While there is no written record, it is highly probable that Queen’s College Cork continued to participate in cricket matches until at least 1900.
Under the provisions of the Irish Universities Act, 1908, two new Universities were established – the National University of Ireland and the Queen’s University, Belfast. Queen’s College Cork became University College Cork, a Constituent College of the National University of Ireland. A new Charter for the College was issued on the 2 December, 1908. While there was no cricket club attached to the new University, several students competed for Cork County and the Gentlemen of Ireland during the 1910’s.
The infamous GAA ban on ‘foreign’ games had a negative impact on cricket in UCC with some students forced to stop playing cricket in order to comply with the ban. In 1971 when the GAA ban ended, there was no cricket club at UCC with students preferring to play for their own clubs rather than the University team.
UCC Cricket Club in its current form was established in 1978/79 and there has been a cricket club at UCC since that year. The club competed in both University competitions and club leagues since the mid-1980’s.
The first firm record of UCC Cricket Club competing in the Munster Cricket Union’s competitions comes in the form of the 1986 MCU Handbook where Mr. M. Cosgrave is listed as the club secretary. UCC competed in the Junior League, Junior Cup and Taverners’ matches in that season. UCC Cricket Club have competed regularly in the MCU leagues since then alternating between Division 2 and Division 3 before dropping out briefly in 2011 due to a lack of playing members. UCC returned to MCU Division 2 in 2013.
In the late 1990’s and early 2000’s UCC enjoyed particular success in the Junior Cup, defeating Cork County in two Cup Finals after the turn of the millenium. UCC have also tasted success at Intervarsity level, most recently in 2014 where they completed a near unprecedented double by emerging victorious in both the Indoor and Outdoor Championships.
Off the field, UCC Cricket Club has been resurgent in recent years, winning multiple clubs awards in the last decade, the most distinguished of which was the Most Improved Club Award in 2013.