## 1800's first-class cricket in England: all-rounders (across eras)

This is Part 8 in my series on first-class cricket in the 1800's in England.

1 - data
2 - classification of matches
3 - filling in the gaps
4 - bowlers
5 - batsmen
6 - bowlers across eras
7 - batsmen across eras
8 - all-rounders (across eras)
9 - wicket-keepers

In this post, I look at all-rounders. As I did for Test cricketers, I'll be ranking players by the ratio of batting average to bowling average, where the averages are weighted as in Parts 6 and 7.

Let's start, as always, with the 1800's. The averages below are with respect to 16,6, the overall average for the period in question. The +/- percentage figure applies both to the bowling average (well, technically it applies to the regular bowling average; I fondly hope that it's accurate for the weighted average) and (by a trick of mathematics) to the ratio as well. I've given the wickets per match for those interested; recall that these are underestimates for bowlers whose wicket tallies are estimated. Qualifications: 2000 runs and at least two (regular) wickets per match.
`name             start end   mat  runs  avg     wkts   avg   wpm   ratio +/- %W Lambert        1801  1817  62   2961  37,05   318,1  16,3  5,1   2,3   10,0Lord F Beauclerk 1801  1825  94   4319  37,28   406,4  18,5  4,3   2,0   10,0WG Grace         1865  1908  838  46792 37,41   2495   18,91 2,98  1,98  0,0AG Steel         1877  1895  142  6184  28,28   699    14,53 4,92  1,95  0,0J Broadbridge    1814  1840  90   2368  26,82   407,6  14,2  4,5   1,9   9,9CT Studd         1879  1884  85   3928  30,35   426    16,89 5,01  1,80  0,2A Mynn           1832  1859  200  4749  27,02   1059,9 15,9  5,3   1,7   7,0CG Taylor        1836  1859  122  3020  33,56   292,0  20,5  2,4   1,6   7,0EH Budd          1803  1831  68   2597  30,74   285,8  20,5  4,2   1,5   10,0W Caffyn         1849  1873  180  5405  24,26   564    16,17 3,13  1,50  0,3T Hayward        1854  1872  108  4487  27,00   237    18,00 2,19  1,50  0,6J Wisden         1845  1863  175  4020  19,77   1037,5 13,9  5,9   1,4   3,4RG Barlow        1871  1891  321  10074 18,43   879    13,06 2,74  1,41  0,0G Giffen         1882  1896  158  5621  20,23   502    14,81 3,18  1,37  0,0GA Lohmann       1884  1896  256  6495  16,17   1590   11,99 6,21  1,35  0,0CTB Turner       1888  1893  93   2118  13,15   610    10,34 6,56  1,27  0,0GA Davidson      1886  1898  155  5338  18,45   605    15,35 3,90  1,20  0,0W Bates          1877  1887  257  8651  19,09   746    16,13 2,90  1,18  0,0WE Midwinter     1877  1884  127  3533  17,90   330    15,14 2,60  1,18  0,0W Flowers        1877  1896  409  12035 17,61   1085   15,25 2,65  1,15  0,0`

Lambert's pretty clear at the top. Beauclerk is mildly ahead of WG Grace and Allan Steel, but the uncertainty means that all wa can say is that he's likely to be somewhere between second and sixth.

Before I started on this extended exercise in analysing old English players, I didn't know much at all about the cricketers of the era, apart from WG Grace. One name I did know was Alfred Mynn, rated by John Woodcock as the fourth-greatest cricketer of all time. Now, Woodcock's list has lots of problems (most notably, WG Grace is number one, ahead of Bradman), but I was interested to see how Mynn would fare after adjusting for eras. He comes in at number seven (plus or minus one) on the table above. But if (as might have happened) Woodcock ignored cricket before 1830, then you can see what his method was — he chose near the top all-rounders with huge aggregates. Mynn was not a special batsman, but he was a prolific wicket-taker, even if his bowling average wasn't remarkable for his time. Add in his popularity, and his dominance of single-wicket matches, and you can see where Woodcock was coming from, even if number four is too high.

Now let's move onto all first-class cricket in England. Players whose career began in the 1800's are in bold. Averages are with respect to 24,5.
`name             start end   mat  runs  avg     wkts   avg   wpm   ratio +/- %KR Miller        1945  1959  75   4253  49,22   164    17,59 2,19  2,80  0,0WW Armstrong     1902  1921  124  5641  41,87   407    16,36 3,28  2,56  0,0W Lambert        1801  1817  62   2961  54,68   318,1  24,01 5,13  2,28  10,0RJ Hadlee        1973  1990  187  6887  30,48   780    14,13 4,17  2,16  0,0GStA Sobers      1957  1974  209  13491 48,01   548    23,38 2,62  2,05  0,0FE Woolley       1906  1938  886  54535 40,98   1893   20,11 2,14  2,04  0,0WG Grace         1865  1908  838  52043 51,85   2675   25,62 3,19  2,02  0,0Lord F Beauclerk 1801  1825  94   4319  55,02   406,4  27,3  4,3   2,0   10,0FA Tarrant       1903  1914  295  15925 36,93   1327   18,92 4,50  1,95  0,0AG Steel         1877  1895  142  6184  41,74   699    21,45 4,92  1,95  0,0J Broadbridge    1814  1840  90   2368  39,58   407,6  21,0  4,5   1,9   9,9JM Gregory       1919  1926  77   2869  34,26   281    18,49 3,65  1,85  0,0GH Hirst         1891  1929  801  35378 35,52   2687   19,26 3,35  1,84  0,0CT Studd         1879  1884  85   3928  44,80   426    24,92 5,01  1,80  0,2MJ Procter       1965  1981  264  14733 32,27   848    18,31 3,21  1,76  0,0W Rhodes         1898  1930  1007 35015 30,35   3960   17,43 3,93  1,74  0,0GA Faulkner      1907  1924  74   3046  29,83   267    17,42 3,61  1,71  0,0FS Jackson       1890  1907  301  15626 38,88   744    22,81 2,47  1,70  0,0JW Hearne        1909  1936  593  34438 41,25   1687   24,22 2,84  1,70  0,0A Mynn           1832  1859  200  4749  39,88   1059,9 23,5  5,3   1,7   7,0TL Goddard       1955  1962  48   2549  32,85   140    19,39 2,92  1,69  0,0SG Smith         1906  1914  143  7575  33,87   606    20,48 4,24  1,65  0,0CG Taylor        1836  1859  122  3020  49,52   292,0  30,3  2,4   1,6   7,0R Kilner         1911  1927  389  13722 29,48   917    18,53 2,36  1,59  0,0Imran Khan       1971  1988  240  11679 31,80   733    20,17 3,05  1,58  0,0JR Mason         1893  1914  324  16619 35,92   817    23,71 2,52  1,52  0,0EH Budd          1803  1831  68   2597  45,37   285,8  30,2  4,2   1,5   10,0W Caffyn         1849  1873  180  5405  35,81   564    23,87 3,13  1,50  0,3T Hayward        1854  1872  108  4487  39,85   237    26,58 2,19  1,50  0,6IJ Harvey        1999  2007  75   4044  28,43   219    19,11 2,92  1,49  0,0`

Keith Miller comes out on top, ahead of (surprisingly) the Big Ship Warwick Armstrong. Lambert leads a host of 19th century players, who are vastly over-represented in the table — almost half of the top thirty spots! Given the number of players since 1900, you'd expect only about five or six from the 1800's. Alfred Mynn is a long way down the table (20th place), but if you give more weighting to wickets per match, he would be higher.

At number nine is Frank Tarrant, someone I'd never heard of. He never played a Test, which, at first glance, is extraordinary for someone with his first-class record. His lack of Test cricket is explained by his being Australian and playing for Middlesex, which barred him from playing for Australia (though he did play for the MCC at times).

The abundance of 19th century all-rounders tells us something about the nature of the game and/or its players. I'm not sure exactly what factors contributed to it, but I would suggest the following. When cricket was less developed, and had fewer top-level players, a talented athlete was more likely to dominate with both bat and ball. As batting and bowling techniques became more sophisticated, and the number of players increased, there were more specialists in both disciplines, making it harder for the talented cricketer to be good (relative to his peers) with both bat and ball.

Next up (and the last instalment in this series): wicket-keepers.

Thank you for putting Ian Harvey on the same list as Keith Miller, i've never been happier.

No worries Jrod. It probably won't happen again though!