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Ask Bearders #179

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Bill Frindall | 09:57 UK time, Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Welcome to Ask Bearders, where Test Match Special statistician Bill "The Bearded Wonder" Frindall answers your questions on all things cricket.

Below are Bill's responses to some of your questions posed at the end of his last column and if you have a question for Bill, leave it at the end of this blog entry. Please do include your country of residence - Bill loves to hear where all his correspondents are posting from.

Bill isn't able to answer all of your questions, however. BBC Sport staff will choose a selection of them and send them to Bearders for him to answer.

Q. My father-in-law, John Jameson, I know to be the first person to be run out in each innings of the same Test match. Recently he informed me that he was actually run out in three successive Test innings as he was also run out in his previous Test innings.
Has anyone else managed this feat of being run out in three successive Test innings?
Paul Tregellas (Solihull)

Bearders' Answer: By an extraordinary coincidence your father-in-law and I were seated either side of their president, Tom Graveney, last weekend at the 21st Anniversary Lunch of the Cricket Memorabilia Society.
In fact John was the eleventh batsman to be run out in both innings of a Test match but he remains the only one to suffer this fate for England. He is indeed the only one to have collected three run outs in successive Test innings - a unique hat-trick.
Australians seem especially adept at this form of dismissal as they are the victims of 418 (20.4%) of the 2049 run outs in Tests. Allan Border (12) holds the record for being run out most often in a Test career. Mark Taylor and Ian Healy are alone in being run out in both innings of a Test on two occasions, while Jack Ryder was run out in both innings of his first match.

Q. Who has scored the most first-class runs and never played Test cricket? Also, who has taken the most wickets and never played a Test?
Aaron (Newcastle-upon-Tyne)

Bearders' Answer: Both those unfortunate records go to Welsh-born Glamorgan players. Alan Jones (born in Velindre), amassed the 35th highest first-class runs aggregate: 36,049 runs, average 32.89 with 56 hundreds. The only player to gain an England cap in the 1970 Rest of the World series and not play in any official Tests, he was asked by the TCCB to return it, with his blazer, when the ICC removed Test status from those five matches several years later. Curiously, both items had mysteriously disappeared.
Don Shepherd (Port Eynon) is 22nd on the first-class wickets tally with 2,218 wickets at 21.32 runs apiece. An outstanding bowler of off-spin and cutters, he has been a stalwart of Radio Wales commentaries since he retired in 1972.

Q. You mention in AB 178 that Victor Trott played for "Victoria, Middlesex, Australia and England". Did he therefore play for both countries? Was this a regular occurrence during the Victorian era?

Bearders' Answer: With great relief I see that I was not victim of another 'senior moment' in AB 178 and I did refer to ALBERT Trott!
Qualifications in Victorian times were far more lax than now and Trott was one of five cricketers who appeared in Tests for both England and Australia. The others were JJ (John) Ferris, WE ('Billy) Midwinter, WL ('Billy') Murdoch and SMJ (Sammy) Woods.

Q. I remember as a young boy reading about a cricket match where one side was made up entirely of players from the Edrich family. I have mentioned this to a few people and they think that I'm balmy. Can you provide any details please to confirm my sanity?
Martin Morris (Wraysbury, nr Windsor)

Bearders' Answer: It is not for me to confirm or deny your mental state, Martin, but I can assure you that the Edrich family did indeed field an entire eleven of good cricketers on several occasions in Norfolk. Some of their matches were played at Ingham and at least one, against a Norfolk XI, at Lakenham.
Harry Edrich, a cricketing farmer, sired 13 children. One of his sons (William Archer) fathered four county cricketers - Bill (Middlesex and England), Brian (Kent and Glamorgan), and Eric and Geoff (both Lancashire) - while another son (Fred) begat their cousin, John (Surrey and England). Between them those five Edriches played 1,691 first-class matches between 1934 and 1978.

Q. Is there a law that says if a batsman is given out on ball seven of an erroneous seven-ball over that if he points this out, he will be allowed to stay in?

Bearders' Answer: No.

Q. Ron and Dean Headley, father and son, played Test cricket for two different countries. Have many other such close relations done the same?

Bearders' Answer: Apart from families split by the partition of India in 1947, plus the isolated case of one of the three Hearnes appearing for both England and South Africa, the Headleys are unique, especially when you remember that Ron's father, the highly talented George Headley, who was dubbed 'the Black Bradman', headed the first family to produce three generations of Test cricketers. The Khans subsequently emulated them with Jahangir (India), his son Majid and grandson Bazid who both represented Pakistan.

Q. Though as a Durham fan it's always nice to see our players recognised, this year's 'Wisden Cricketers of the Year' list is pretty uninspiring. Are there any notable players who haven't been Cricketer of the Year?
Steve (Manchester)

Bearders' Answer: The current editor of 'Wisden', Scyld Berry, must have read your mind because he has himself written an article entitled 'Never a Cricketer of the Year' in this year's Almanack. He points out that, as the traditional basis for selection has been their performance during an English season, many overseas players have missed out. He has selected and commissioned pieces on five such omissions: Abdul Qadir, Bishan Bedi, Wes Hall, Inzamam-ul-Haq and Jeff Thomson.
Notable England players omitted include Gubby Allen, Tom Cartwright, Phil Edmonds and Phil Tufnell.

Q. As a hardy Gloucestershire CCC supporter, I was wondering whether you knew the last time - excluding Surrey this year - when a county side went a whole season without a Championship victory. If it goes back to the 1890s I don't want to know!
Mark Kingston (Wiltshire)

Bearders' Answer: You only have to backtrack to 1996, Mark. It should provide Gloucestershire with a tad of hope to find that the county who suffered that ignominy was this year's Division I champions, Durham.
However, Gloucestershire are the first Division II team to fail to win a single match since the two-division system was introduced in 2000. They have relieved Derbyshire (2001, 2004 and 2005), Durham (2002) and Glamorgan (2007) of the record for the fewest Division II victories in a season, namely one!

Q. When were batting and bowling points introduced into the County Championship? Did there used to be ties for the title or did they draw lots or rely on the head-to-head result? Sirianblog

Bearders' Answer: Bonus points were introduced in 1957 but that version was restricted to two points for scoring the faster in the first innings. Batting and bowling bonus points arrived in 1968.
Counties finishing level on points used to share the title. This occurred on three occasions, all since World War II: 1949 (Middlesex and Yorkshire), 1950 (Lancashire and Surrey) and 1977 (Kent and Middlesex).

Q. Which bowlers had the most success against Sir Don Bradman in Test cricket? I have read that Hedley Verity got him out 10 times in all, eight of those in Tests, but can't verify that. My own research has tracked down that Sir Alec Bedser, who must be the last person alive to have dismissed him in Tests, got him six times. Did anyone else do better than them against Bradman in Tests?
Oliver Brett (BBC Sport)

Bearders' Answer: Your research is spot on, Oliver. Bradman's 70 Test match dismissals involved 29 bowlers and a run out. Headley Verity leads the bowling table with eight scalps followed by Alec Bedser (the only surviving bowler to dismiss him) with six. Three others - Bill Bowes, Harold Larwood and Maurice Tate - each gained his wicket five times.

Q. Has there ever been a left-arm bowler who batted right handed? I know there are many left-handed batsmen who bowl right-handed like James Anderson.
Ron (St Lucia)

Bearders' Answer: Just looking swiftly through a list of England Test cricketers I was surprised to find how many batted right-handed but bowled with their left arm (and I have probably missed a few): Chris Balderstone, Dick Barlow, Colin Blythe, Brian Bolus, Johnny Briggs, Hugh Bromley-Davenport, Simon Brown, Donald Carr, Denis Compton, Sam Cook, Geoff Cook, Nick Cook, Phil Edmonds, Frank Foster, Ashley Giles, Malcolm Hilton, George Hirst, Len Hopwood, John Iddon, Richard Illingworth, Jeff Jones, John Lever, Tony Lock, Brian Luckhurst, Alan Mullally, George Paine, Charlie Parker, Min Patel, Wilfred Rhodes, Fred Rumsey, A.M. (Mike) Smith, David Steele, Phil Tufnell, Derek Underwood, Hedley Verity, Bill Voce, Abe Waddington, Peter Walker, Jack White, HI 'Sailor' Young and Jack Young.

Q. Following on from the Third New Zealand v England Test, I have a question for you.
In the NZ first innings, Sidebottom and Broad shared all 10 wickets. For England, have there been any other occasions when all 10 wickets were taken by players from the same county?
Following on from this, again for England, has there even been an instance where all 20 wickets, or all the wickets to fall, were taken by bowlers from the same county?

Bearders' Answer: You should have been able to answer both questions yourself simply by recalling the Old Trafford Ashes Test of 1956 when Surrey's Jim Laker (19) and Tony Lock (1) shared all 20 wickets.

Q. What is the record victory by a side that has been enforced to follow-on in all first-class cricket? And (maybe related) what is the biggest difference between a team's first and second innings totals?
buzz1989 (Cambridgeshire)

Bearders' Answer: The answers to your questions are not related.
The biggest margin of victory by a side following on in first-class matches is 171 runs and occurred in a Test match when India (171 and 657-7 dec) beat Australia (445 and 212) at Calcutta in 2000-01.
The biggest difference between a side's totals in a first-class match (577) was also recorded in a Test between England (849 and 272-9 dec) and West Indies at Kingston in 1929-30.

Q. This season two bowlers took four wickets in four balls on my team's ground. Has there ever been an occurrence of four wickets in four balls taking place twice in a season or even twice on one ground?

Bearders' Answer: In first-class matches there have been 35 instances of bowlers taking four wickets with consecutive balls. Bob Crisp (Rhodesia, Western Province, Worcestershire and South Africa) is the only bowler to perform this feat twice. He is also the only Test cricketer to climb Mount Kilimanjaro twice.
Three seasons (1895, 1907, 1914 and 1965-66) produced two instances but none involved the same ground. Lord's has been the venue on three occasions, while six other grounds have witnessed two.

Q. If 15 overs are taken as a minimum requirement, are there any bowlers who have conceded 0 runs in a Test match innings. If not, who has the most economical figures?
Eddie (Yorkshire)

Bearders' Answer: Taking your qualification of 15 overs (presumably six-ball ones giving 90 balls), the fewest runs conceded in an innings in Test cricket are five by RG ('Bapu') Nadkarni for India v England at the Corporation Ground in Madras in January 1964. His full analysis was 32-27-5-0.
The next most frugal analyses both involved the concession of seven runs in matches against South Africa - by HL Collins for Australia at the Old Wanderers, Johannesburg in November 1921 (15-12-7-0), and by Jim Laker for England v South Africa at Cape Town in January 1957 (14.1-9-7-2).

Q. Two questions, both related to age and prompted by our game against Coaver CC on Sunday. Our 67-year-old opening bat scored a ton on Sunday. He has now scored club cricket centuries in each of six decades, his first being in 1959. Has anyone heard of this being done before? Have any first-class players managed tons in more than three decades?
Charles Sheldrick (Cheriton Fitzpaine CC)

Bearders' Answer: I toured India in 1991-92 with a remarkable batsman, Jack Hyams, who was then 72 and, having scored hundreds every season since he began playing in his late-teens, had amassed over 60,000 runs. Apparently he still plays occasionally in his late eighties so I suspect he might have at least equalled your colleague's remarkable feat.
As Jack Hobbs scored his maiden first-class hundred in 1905 (including 137 before lunch against Essex, the county that had spurned first option on his services) and his last in 1934, his 197 centuries were gathered during four decades. He remains the oldest (46 years 82 days) to score a hundred in Test cricket.

Q. Why is AB de Villiers of South Africa always referred to as 'AB' rather than by his first name? Presumably A and B represent his first names. I think there is also someone in the Indian team who is referred to in the same manner.

Bearders' Answer: Possibly because he doesn't care for either of his given names, Abraham Benjamin, but more likely because that was what he was always called at school.
There have been others, among them JJ Ferris, HD Ackerman and your Indian, VVS Laxman, whose names, Vangipurappu Venkata Sai, could be the reason.

Q. Has there been a Test match where all the wickets in one innings were caught out? Has any one fielder ever been responsible for catching all of these?
Luke (UK)

Bearders' Answer: There have been 53 instances of all ten wickets in a Test match innings falling to catches. At Brisbane in 1982-83, Australia caught 19 of England's 20 wickets, the other one being bowled.
The most catches in an innings by one fielder is five by Vic Richardson on the last of his 19 appearances for Australia, against South Africa at Durban in 1935-36.


  • Comment number 1.

    on Bill's last point, there has been more than just the one fielder who took 5 catches in one test innings:

    Azharuddin for IND vs PAK in 1989
    Srikkanth for IND vs AUS in 92
    Flemming for NZ vs ZIM in 97
    Y.Singh for IND vs ENG in 77

    Richardson was the first, but not only

  • Comment number 2.

    James Anderson is not a left handed bowler who bats right-handed!

  • Comment number 3.

    Dear Bill,

    I am too young to have seen him play but have read many times that Garry Sobers was the greatest all-rounder of all. His batting record speaks for itself but I am particularly intrigued by his bowling exploits. I don't know if records allow it but I would be fascinated to see seperate breakdowns of his test match bowling record as a bowler of left-arm orthodox, wrist spin and fast-medium respectively. Was he particularly superior in one of these suits or did he achieve similar results whichever delivery style he employed?
    Many Thanks

    James Harvey

  • Comment number 4.

    Reference the left hand bowling/right hand batting.

    Samit Patel (no tests yet) bats right hand, bowls left hand but throws right hand.

    Presumably Patel could bowl right handed as well, has a bowler ever in first class or test cricket ever changed hands ?

  • Comment number 5.


    I am wondering what the stats at all levels;

    For batting the highest seqence (or score) without getting a dot-ball, or the highest sequence of dot-balls.

    Likewise for bowling - highest sequence of no dot balls, or highest sequence of dot balls.

  • Comment number 6.


    the question referred to innings in which all wickets were caught. Those you mention must have also featured run outs, bowled and stumpings.

  • Comment number 7.

    my question comes from the fact that my team have often had low totals where "extras" is the highest scorer.

    But, I wonder, what is the HIGHEST score in an innings (1st class and test, if possible) where extras has still outscored the batsmen?

    I doubt we'd ever beat it, but it would be interesting to know as a target.

    Many thanks,

  • Comment number 8.

    question 6 - Baz of the Boleyn

    actually it didn't, not for the catches by fielder

    but anyway 2 of mine, Azharuddin and Srikkant were in all caught innings, but Richardson wasn't!

  • Comment number 9.

    question 7 - Inland seadog

    a question much asked and answered (partially) in previous blogs

    in the last blog Bill stated

    "I don't have access to a full list of instances in all first-class matches. In Test cricket, extras have been the highest contributor on 13 occasions in 6,812 innings; i.e. 0.19%. The most recent instance occurred in England's first innings against West Indies at Kingston, Jamaica, in March 2004. England's total (339), the number of extras (60) and the highest individual score (58) are each the highest tallies when extras have top scored in Tests."

    previous answers by others have included

    "in TESTS extras have been highest scorer in 17 innings, ranging from 30 all out, extras 11 for SA vs ENG 1924, to 339 all out, extras 60, for ENG vs WI in 2004

    these are highest innings scores, "extras" have in fact managed more than this on occasion, and even when they have, like the above, led the scoring, the highest being 65 out of 319 for 8 dec ZIM vs SL 1994"

  • Comment number 10.

    question 4 - Chip Leader

    in tests Hanif Mohammed bowled right and left handed (occasionally). famously against Gary Sobers during his 365, so maybe not too sucessfully?

    from a history of cricket

    "[Hasif] was the bowler that Gary Sobers hit a single from to pass Len Hutton's test record score of 364. Interestingly, Hanif was able to bowl both right and left handed. In the over that Sobers scored in 365 run, Hanif bowled the first two balls as a right armed off spinner, from which Sobers and his batting partner Clyde Walcott each hit singles. Sobers was on strike on 364, and Hanif asked the umpire if he could switch to bowling left handed. The umpire asked Sobers if that was OK, Sobers replied that Hanif could bowl with both hands at the same time if he wanted to, so Hanif proceeded to bowl the third ball as a left arm off spinner, Sobers stroked it into the covers for a single, and Hutton's record was broken."

    more successfully i believe Ganguly has bowled left handed spinners in first class matches (as well as his right arm mediums) whilst limiting himself to right arm medium pace in tests

  • Comment number 11.

    oh yes jimmy anderson that notable left aremer... sort it

  • Comment number 12.

    re: top takers of Bradman's wicket

    I think it was Barnes who Bradman rated as the best bowler he had ever faced. Not a bad endorsement.

  • Comment number 13.

    Three seasons ago a friend and I started a cricket club which now plays regularly on a Sunday in the South Essex Conference. During our inaurgural season we suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of Southend CC. This defeat included six of our batsmen being part of 2 hat-tricks by two different bowlers (this made the local paper much to our embarassment). I was wondering how many times in internationl matches have two seperate bowlers picked up hat-tricks in the same innings? On a related note in another tragic defeat my club was bowled out for just 64 runs with 6 batsmen being dismissed for ducks and failing to register a run. I was wondering what is the highest number of ducks recorded in a single innings and single match?

  • Comment number 14.

    As the India - Australia test series is about to get underway, it got me to thinking about the Test team with the highest aggregate of runs scored and wickets taken at the time of playing the Test ie not at the point of retirement.

    Does this Indian team with Messrs Dravid, Tendulkar, Ganguly and Laxman hold that distinction for runs totals, or was it an Australian side with the Waughs, Taylor, Boon et al.

    On the wickets side, I can imagine the Aussies with McGrath and Warne leading them would be pretty high up, probably ahead of the West Indies side with Ambrose and Walsh at the end of their careers.

    Dee, London

  • Comment number 15.

    What is the rule on a bowler running a batman out while bowler is running into bowl. I do it regulary and the batting side don't like it. I give the batsmen a warning and if they do it again I run them out. Some umpries give it some don't. Is it a legal move can you clarify for me??

    Matt, South Yorkshire

  • Comment number 16.

    question 13 - Inzy Warne

    the most ducks in a Test match innings is 6, held by 3 teams:

    Pakistan v West Indies 1980
    South Africa v India 1996
    Bangladesh v West Indies 2002

    in a test match the record is 11, by 10 teams, from Eng vs Aus 1888 to SriLan vs WI 2001

    in ODIs the innings record is also 6, also 3 times:

    Pakistan v England 1987
    Pakistan v West Indies 1993
    South Africa v Australia 2002

    the match record is 8 for Eng vs WI in 1979

    of the 37 hat-tricks in tests and 24 in ODIs there were never 2 in one innings, the closest being 2 in one match when Matthews for AUS took a hat-trick in both innings vs SA in 1912

  • Comment number 17.

    Question 10 - PortoIan

    Many thanks for your reply to my question.

    Thought it may have happened at some time but involving lesser individuals than Hanif and Sobers.

  • Comment number 18.

    "Presumably Patel could bowl right handed as well, has a bowler ever in first class or test cricket ever changed hands ?"

    I presume not as that would at least in the current game most certainly be a No Ball. This was pointed out when people were debating whether the KP "switch hit" was in the spirit of the game and was in my view one of the strongest arguments against the shot.

  • Comment number 19.

    Hi Bill

    I've been wondering what the highest lowest score is in a completed innings in Test Cricket, and equally what is the lowest highest score, again in a completed Test innings.

    Great column by the way.

    Adrian, Aylesbury

  • Comment number 20.

    question 15 - sewellem

    Running Out non - strikers

    it is perfectly legal, in fact under the laws the umpire would have no choice on a legitmate appeal but to give the batsman out.

    the only person who could turn down this would be the fielding captain, as he could withdraw the appeal, if he felt it was not "correct" to gain a wkt like that. But once an appeal has been made the umpire has no choice but give a dismissed batsman out

    under the laws you do not even need to give a "warning", although most players do

    this has happened at all levels of cricket, in fact it gained a certain "notoriety" in 1948

    Vinoo Mankad ran out a backing up non-striker in a test against AUS in 1947/8

    the act of running out a non striker by the bowler became called "to Mankad" or "mankaded"

    see both the 4th paragraph here

    and the part titled "mankaded" here

  • Comment number 21.

    question 18 - Carior

    i assumed in my answer, post 10 above, that the change of hands was after the umpire had been informed, and so told the batsman, and this was how the question was meant (and if you read my answer this "informing" is part of it)

    as you say a bowler changing hands without informing the umpire would be no-balled

  • Comment number 22.

    question 19 - Adrian Ben

    the first question, the highest low score in a completed innings, is quite easy to find

    there have only been 11 completed test innings where all 11 batsmen have scored double figures and only once did everyone score 12 or above:

    in 1968 for IND vs NZ RG Nadkerni scored 12 in their innings of 359, everyone else scoring more than this

    the second question is more difficult but the answer is 7:

    H Taylor top scored with 7 for SA vs ENG in 1924 when his entire team's innings was 30

  • Comment number 23.


    In this season's match between Hampshire and Lancashire at the Rose Bowl, the highest stand in both the home team's innings was made by the last pair (84 and 37). Do you know of any other instance of a side's tenth wicket producing the most runs twice in the same match?

  • Comment number 24.

    Hello Bill.

    My partners great grandfather was Kent and England player Arthur Fielder. Can you tell me if any of his achievements still stand please ?


  • Comment number 25.

    Re 18 - Graham Gooch has certainly bowled with both arms during a Test match - as part of his regular party piece towards the end of dead games, he used to imitate the bowling styles of others. In India, this included bespectacled left-arm spinner Dilip Doshi, and gooch went so far as to borrow a pair of glasses from a member of the crowd before delivering a few balls of (apparently passable) left-arm spin.

  • Comment number 26.

    Thanks for answering my question.
    re your answer about AB de Villiers. The reason he is refered to as AB, probably is to distinguish him from his father who is also called Abraham Benjamin. Similarly HD Ackerman, is the son of Hylton Michael Ackerman, formerly of Western province and Northants.
    Aaron, Newcastle-u-Tyne

  • Comment number 27.

    Re Cricketers scoring First-class centuries over more than 3 decades. I
    can think of others who emulated Hobbs in scoring First -class centuries over 4 decades, but I'm surprised that Bearders has overlooked 'W.G.' whos scored First-class tons in 5 different decades (1860s,70s,80s,90s and 1900s).

  • Comment number 28.

    Another reason for ABdV being referred to by his initials is, he apparently dislikes his name!! (?!)
    See for more details...

  • Comment number 29.

    In Tests, has there ever been an occasion where a team coming out to bat at the start of a new days play, have faced only one ball to win/lose the match? If not what was the fewest number of balls faced at the start of a day in order to achieve a result?

    buzz1989, Cambs

  • Comment number 30.

    question 29 - Buzz 1989

    in all tests only 5 have been won in one ball in the 4th innings, twice by WI and once each by AUS, ENG and PAK

    none of these was the only action on one day, but....

    in the first test in 1932 between AUS and ENG the 4th day finished with AUS on 164 for 9, exactly tied with ENG

    the 5th day saw the last AUS wkt fall with no addition to the score (it is not clear how many balls were bowled for this wkt, the minimum would be 3) then ENG scored the one run needed for victory in one ball

    so the final day saw 1wkt fall, 1 run scored and possibly less the one over (4 balls) bowled...great fun for the spectators!

    i'd like to point out that PAK scored 5 off their one ball, they needed 2 in 1992 to beat ENG, Ramprakash (!!) then bowled a wide, the first legitmate ball faced by Sohail he hit for 4 (but as ENG lost 5 wkts for 37 runs that day it is nowhere near the record you want)

  • Comment number 31.

    "I know there are many left-handed batsmen who bowl right-handed like James Anderson. "

    Thats seems perfectly correct to me !

  • Comment number 32.

    RP Singh is also known by his initials...

  • Comment number 33.

    Dear Bill,

    In one of our matches this season, at the start of our game, our tall opening bowler ran in and bowled a fairly standard delivery. Immediately the umpire ruled a no-ball, as our bowler had not stated his action to the umpire. This struck all of us as being incredibly petty, as we felt it was the role of the umpire to enquire as to the bowler's action. Having looked at law 24 for a no-ball, it seems an umpire can give a no-ball if the bowler changes arm or side without informing the umpire, but states nothing about his first delivery.

    Is it the role of the umpire or bowler to raise the issue, and therefore were we right to feel hard done by?

    Paul, Surrey

  • Comment number 34.

    Hello Bill

    Has anybody played both Major League baseball in the US and First Class cricket in England?

  • Comment number 35.

    question 33 - Demps12

    this happened in a game we played a few years ago, although i was convinced the umpire was wrong, he should ask for the first ball, other team mates insisted on asking an acredited umpire, who had recently given a "talk" to us about umpiring. He stated too that the umpire should ask, as have a couple of other "real" umpires i've since asked

    as it quite clearly states in the laws (24 as you said)

    "The umpire shall ascertain whether the bowler intends to bowl right handed or left handed, over or round the wicket, and shall so inform the striker."

    the key word being "ASCERTAIN" which according to my thesaurus means "discover, find out, verify, ferret out" clearly putting the ball in his court, not the bowler's

  • Comment number 36.

    question 34 - Jimbo Royle

    the only player who played both first class cricket and ML Baseball was George Wright (1847-1937)

    from his entry in CricInfo

    "George Wright only played two first-class matches but his debut for the USA side [not 1st class game] came when he was only 15 and three years later played in the game against Canada when the USA won by one wicket despite fielding only ten men. His cricket career took second place to baseball from 1868 when he joined brother Harry at the Cincinnati Red Stockings as a shortstop. In 1871 Harry and George moved to Boston and they were widely credited with formulating the role of the team manager. George returned to cricket after his serious baseball career finished, making his first-class debut in 1883 for USA against Gentlemen of Philadelphia. In the same fixture in 1884 he captained the USA"

    he averaged 14.33 with the bat across his 3 innings and bowled without success

    in baseball his career ave was .302 (whatever that means) in 591 games

    both his father, sam, and brother, harry, played for USA in non-first class matches as well as being baseball professionals

  • Comment number 37.

    I imagine you are not fond of all the new innovations in modern limited overs cricket. One of those I only heard of recently, is the "free hit".
    Firstly, When did it first appear? and secondly, How do you show it in your scoring system?

  • Comment number 38.

    Allow me another further question please.
    There was a lot of talk a few years back about the 1st class status of matches against the rebel teams in South Africa in the 80's. What is the current status of these games? and which major players' averages or records would be significantly altered if the status would be changed now?
    Aaron. Newcastle upon Tyne, (formerly Johannesburg)

  • Comment number 39.

    question 38 - Aaron Geordie

    the games you refer to are not counted as first class

    there were 7 of these unofficial tours, 2 each with "representative" teams from ENG, AUS and WI, together with 1 SL tour

    for more info, and most of the important players, esp. those who would undergo large stats changes, see:

  • Comment number 40.

    Hi Bearders,
    If Ricky Ponting was in a lift and it began plummeting, would it save his life if he jumped JUST before the falling lift hit the ground, or would gravity affect both Ricky AND the faulty elevator?
    Please let me know; either way,
    Julian Meteor, Plymouth

  • Comment number 41.

    Dear Bill,

    This season I have been out for a duck 6 times. Most of these were quick first-ballers, but some were longer (my longest duck this year was about seven balls).

    Therefore, I was wondering how long a batsman has been out in the middle and still gone for 0 (in balls and/or minutes) in a Test match? I would imagine the record is an hour, or 40 balls.

    Also how many ducks have been recorded in Test cricket, and who has "scored" the most?


    rupelikescricket, Gloucestershire

  • Comment number 42.

    question 41 - Rupe Likes Cricket

    the record for most ducks in test cricket belongs to CA Walsh of the WI with 43 in 185 innings (23 % or under over one every four innings)

    the top five (ducks-inns-%) are:

    Walsh 43-185-23%
    McGrath 35-138-25%
    Warne 34-199-17%
    Dillon 26-68-38%

    Dillon in fact leads the % (for players with more than 30 innings)

    GI Allott of NZ managed a duck in 101 minutes (77 balls) vs SA in the 1st test
    1999, putting on 32 for the lsat wkt with CZ Harris

    there have been 7163 ducks in all tests (12.4%) by far the most common score on dismissal

  • Comment number 43.

    Hello Bill,

    Sachin Tendulkar recently became the maiden test victim of 2 debutant bowlers. I seem to recall that he may similarly, have been the maiden victim of other ddbutants.

    Does Tendulkar have the highest number of such debut dismissals?

    Sandeep Varshani

  • Comment number 44.

    PortoIan, read this .
    My question (which was addressed to Bill Frindall) is, has this proposal been discussed yet at all?
    Also, are there any prominent statisticians who DO consider these as 1st Class?

  • Comment number 45.

    Hi Bearders,

    Today on 4th day of the Test between India and Australia, Aus lost five wickets between 49 and 58.

    What is the most number wickets lost and least number of runs scored between the game?


  • Comment number 46.

    44 aarongeordie

    I do hope Bill will address the whole question of first-class status for South African matches during the apartheid era (domestic and rebel tours) as it is confusing for a lot of us.

    As far as I can tell cricket statisticians generally (and certainly the Association of Cricket Statisticians and Historians) regard all those matches as first class, and it is the ICC who are out of step and have been since 1993 when they decided to disallow official first-class status. They were going to discuss this mess in September 2007 but consideration was deferred at South Africa's request. I am not aware of anything significant happening since then.

    I believe I am right in saying that the ICC agreed to let the ACSH decide the status of one day matches by allowing them to classify them as List A matches or not. I believe the ICC should come to a similar agreement as far as classification of first-class matches is concerned. Given the other nonsensical rulings the ICC has made, I would say the question of match status should be kept clear of the political, economic and power struggles within the ICC.

  • Comment number 47.

    question 44 - Aaron Geordie

    it has and the result, and statisticians comments, are here:

    i further suggest that you read Bill's first post on this blog (his second try for the BBC by the way) that reads

    "So feel free - if you can provide an answer to a simple question posed by another poster - to jump in and help."


  • Comment number 48.

    question 45 - KuKoo77

    taking 8 wkts as a minimum NZ lost their 3rd to 10th wkt for 6 runs against AUS in 1946 when they collapsed from 37/2 to 42 all out

    again in 2001 vs PAK they lost their last 8 wkts for 10 runs, moving from 121/2 to 131 all out

    the worst START to an innings was IND vs ENG in 1952 when IND lost 4 wkts for zero runs

    progressive bad starts are (score/wkts)

    IND 1952 vs ENG 5/6
    AUS 1888 vs ENG 6/7
    AUS 1896 vs ENG 7/14
    AUS 1896 vs ENG 8/19
    AUS 1896 vs ENG 9/25
    NZ 1955 vs ENG 10/26

    but these are just starts, wkts might fall for less runs further in an innings, as shown by NZ losing 8 for 6 runs shown above

  • Comment number 49.

    47 PortoIan

    Thank you for posting the definitive acscricket link. I should have known it. Well spotted!

    So it seems those South African matches are in something like a time corridor of uncertainty!

  • Comment number 50.

    45 kukoo77

    All the test records for collapses (five wickets or more) occurred in only three matches:

    South Africa v England, Cape Town, 1898-99
    FOW 18,21,21,27,27,28,28,31,35,35
    10 wkts lost for 17 runs, 9 for 14

    New Zealand v Australia, Wellington, 1945-46
    FOW 7,15,37,37,37,37,37,38,40,42
    8 for 5, 5 for 0

    New Zealand v Pakistan, Rawalpindi, 1964-65
    FOW 3,42,57,58,59,59,59,59,59,79
    7 for 2, 6 for 1, 5 for 0

  • Comment number 51.

    I am from England and have been a keen cricket follower for many years.

    As a result of Tendulkar’s feat of surpassing Lara’s test aggregate score there have been many comparisons between the two and indeed Ponting. It’s well known or understood that Sir Don stands above them all as the greatest ever. I was a great fan of Sunil Gavasker and wondered your thoughts on the merits of the two players. Setting aside their techniques and Gavaskar’s blip of 36 in 60 overs. I thought Gavaskar perhaps stands out more so than Tendulkar. Often he was the linchpin of a weak Indian Batting line-up and faced some of the fiercest bowling attacks from Australia (Lille, Thompson, Alderman) England (Willis, Botham), Richard Hadlee, Imran Khan and the continuous barrage from the West Indian bowlers. I seem to remember his guile mainly and ability to score big runs to save or win matches for India. I know Gavaskar would have coped well with the support of India’s recent middle order, do you think Tendulkar may made the same impact with a weak batting line-up. Also are you ever whether Tendulkar and Gavaskar ever played together in competitive matches.

    Also I have come across the term Heavy Ball mentioned a few times, I wondered if you had heard of it and whether you know how they are bowled.

    Also I wanted to agree with Moby’s comment in blog 178 that I appreciate PortoIan’s and others input into your blogs.


  • Comment number 52.

    PortoIan, I apologise for my comment to you as I did not realise other posters are invited to answer questions, and I thank you for doing so.
    As a child spending many hours at the Wanderers watching the great Transvaal Mean Machine of the 80's I had no idea I was watching unofficial cricket, which has been grudgingly considered 1st class. In my mind this was and will always be considered as cricket of the highest standard. Graeme Pollock in full glorious flow in front a packed Wanderers 'Bullring' or Clive Rice bowling at the death have to have a status better than club cricket trundlers on an obscure village green!!
    ...and now a question. I seem to remember Transvaal's opening bowlers, Richard Snell and Steven Jack also opening the batting together. Is it my memory playing tricks, or am I right? Has this happened anywhere else?
    Aaron, now Geordieland.

  • Comment number 53.

    question 52 - aaron geordie

    in tests the 2 opening bowlers have opened the batting in only 2 tests

    in ENG's 2nd innings (needing 75 to win) against the WI in Jan 1935 K Farnes and CIJ Smith opened the batting, having opened the bowling in both the WI innings (not in ENG 1st inns though) this was not a success however with Smith falling for 0 and Farnes for 5...ENG finally won scoring 75 for 6!

    similarly, but with no hope of a result, PAK opened their 4th innings, against IND in Oct 1983, needing 186 to win in 8 overs with T Naqqash and A Hafeez who had opened the bowling in both the IND innings, slightly more sucessful than the ENG pair they both made 18, before Hafeez was out calling an end to the match

    however for only one bowler this has happened more than 150 times, quite often with one opening bowler from each team doing it, stretching from the very first test in 1877 when A Hill did it for ENG to Jan 2008 when Pathan did it for IND vs AUS

    frequently (more than 10 times) M Prabhakar achieved this for IND in the 1990s, as did M Nazeer for PAK in the 1980s and Jaisimha for IND in the 1960s

    oddly (for me anyway) is Gooch once, JB Hobbs 3 times and Sunhil Gavaskar 4 times but Richard Hadlee or Ian Botham never

  • Comment number 54.

    A friend claims that "one of the top Italian football teams" was originally formed as a cricket club. Frustratingly he can't remember which. Is he correct or is he winding me up?

  • Comment number 55.

    #54 - I believe you friend was referring to Lazio. While best known for their football section, the club actually comprises 37 different sports sections, including cricket, which was the first to be incorporated when teh club was formed in 1900.

  • Comment number 56.

    question 54 - Sir Ian Blog

    no he's not winding you up, the team is Genoa, see:

    it's not alone is being formed as a cricket club before becoming a football team, here in Portugal Leixoes, who in the last few years have been moving alternately between the Port 1st and 2nd divisions, still use a cricket bat on their badge:

    and a more famous club, Benfica, bought their first football from the Lisbon Cricket Club, as recorded in Benfica's first ever minuted meeting in 1907 (the ball was second hand and cost 1 and half escudos, which is about half penny in todays money)

  • Comment number 57.

    sorry the Leixoes link should have a tilde, a wavy line, over the o of Leixoes

    reading leixoes_sport_club

    as i don't think this blog supports tildes just go to wikipedia and in the search box put LEIXOES with no accents and click on the sport club answer

  • Comment number 58.

    post 55 - Tom Rutherford

    as far as i understand italian SS Lazio does indeed have a cricket section, but this wasn't started until 1983 (or maybe 1987, although i think this was the first ground), not in 1900 when the sports club was founded as an athletics club

  • Comment number 59.

    My partner Sallyanne i is always telling me that her uncle used to play for Yorkshire. Her uncle's name is "Jimmy Muscroft" i have searched archives but have found nothing. I dont disbelieve her but untill someone who knows more than me can tell me either way i would be very greatful.

  • Comment number 60.

    question 59 - The dachshund

    if you search here

    you will find the official list of all players who have played first class cricket for Yorkshire, and you can also search for players who have played for Yorkshire CCC in non-first class matches

    i'm afraid Muscroft does not appear in either list

    also the next blog (and in fact the one after that and the one after that!) have already started


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