Ask Bearders #179
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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.