1889 was the 103rd season of cricket in England since the foundation of Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC). The number of balls per over was increased from four to five. The four-ball over had been used since time immemorial.
Earlier in the year, on 12 and 13 March, South Africa versus England at Port Elizabeth was the start of cricket in South Africa at both Test and first-class level. Domestic first-class matches began at the end of the same year. The England team, captained by future Hollywood actor C Aubrey Smith, played two Tests on the inaugural tour, at Port Elizabeth and Cape Town, winning both by comfortable margins. Lancashire spinner Johnny Briggs had match figures of 15-28 at Cape Town.
|1889 English season leading batsmen|
|Name||Team||Matches||Innings||Not outs||Runs||Highest score||Average||100s||50s|
|27||40||4||1249||130 not out||34.69||3||6|
|1889 English season leading bowlers|
|Name||Team||Balls bowled||Runs conceded||Wickets taken||Average||Best bowling||5 wickets
a An unofficial seasonal title sometimes proclaimed by consensus of media and historians prior to December 1889 when the official County Championship was constituted. Although there are ante-dated claims prior to 1873, when residence qualifications were introduced, it is only since that ruling that any quasi-official status can be ascribed.
b Between 1887 and 1889 an unofficial point system of 1 point for a win and 0.5 points for a draw, devised by the "Cricket Reporting Agency", was used to determine the unofficial "Champion County"
c The match between Middlesex and Kent at Lord’s was completely washed out