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The County Championship is an annual first-class cricket league competition for county cricket clubs in England and Wales. The league is contested on a round-robin basis and the championship awarded to the team that is top of the league at the end of the season. The first references to county cricket come during the early 18th century, during which time cricket was played almost exclusively in the south-east of England, with teams representing Kent, Middlesex, London and Surrey frequently playing each other. The sport soon became popular through the rest of the country, and by the end of the 18th century, the game was being played nationwide. In 1744, Kent faced "All England" and became the first notional English cricket champions, winning by one wicket. The title of "Champion County" was awarded intermittently and unreliably from 1826, with no team other than Kent, Surrey or Sussex being named champions until 1852. After a meeting of the principal clubs' secretaries in 1889, a method of ranking the teams was agreed upon, and the 1890 season is considered the first official competing of the County Championship. (Full list...)