28th September 2023
1st August 2023
Do feel free to order during the next two weeks. We are on a bit of a holiday ‘go-slow’ but orders will be fufilled and sent out…just a little more slowly!
20th July 2023
It’s that time again, when we can hope and dare to dream: that England CAN win the 2023 World Cup in New Zealand and Australia. They have a good chance. It’s a great time for women’s football…and it’s a good time to look back at its history. As we all know, women’s football grew massively […]
It’s just not cricket…or is it? Cricket as a sport has always been seen as one steeped in good manners. In recent years, however, we have all lived through incidents of ball tampering and match fixing in recent cricket matches. Is this a recent phenomenon? Or despite cricket’s gentlemanly reputation, has cunning behaviour been a part of the sport since its beginning?
One of the sport’s earliest organised matches was between Chertsey and the world’s first cricket club, Hambledon. Hambledon had an extremely strong team, including leading bowler, Thomas Brett, and captain, Richard Nyren. They hadn’t bargained on a genius batsman from Chertsey however. Thomas ‘Shock’ White came out to bat…with a bat as wide as the stumps! At that point, a bat as wide as you like was perfectly legal. It hadn’t yet occurred to anyone to play with an outrageously wide bat or to restrict their dimension. Funnily enough, Hambledon quickly put in a formal written protest and by 1774 the Laws of Cricket had been changed. The legal width of a bat was restricted to today’s maximum size of 10.8 cm.
One of the greatest cricketing names in history had a slightly questionable reputation for ‘gentlemanly behaviour’: W G Grace. Grace was known to be a notorious sledger – generally frowned on if not actually illegal in cricket. The great batsman was also said to have at times ignored being bowled out. He simply replaced the bails after a bowler had disturbed his wicket and carried on batting regardless. He was claimed to have told the ‘offending’ bowler, “They’ve come to watch me bat, not you bowl”, which may have been fair comment too. Obviously we all want well behaved, legal cricket teams to support and matches to watch but nothing beats a cricket match nailbiter to watch, especially with a bit of controversy thrown in too!
Rare & unusual Cricket Scorecards – our new cricket catalogue is out. We’ve struggled to keep the item numbers down in the catalogue. There are simply too many cricket scorecards with great stories to tell on our website! Some of the scorecards stand out due to their age. An I Zingari v the Liverpool Club cricket match took place on 19th July 1859. An extremely rare scorecard from the first ever Australian Tour of England in 1878 tells a painful early story of England Cricket.
The game was at Lord’s. Somehow the Australians scored only 41 yet won the match by 9 wickets. England, led by WG Grace, were bowled out twice in an afternoon, scoring just 33 and 19. The scorecard belonged to Alick Bannerman, the famous “stone-waller”, and has his name printed to the reverse.
Another cricket scorecard stands out due to the match’s extraordinary score. On 24-29th December 1926 Victoria amassed a still unbeaten First-Class record score against New South Wales at Melbourne. Victoria made 1107 runs over the five days. Ponsford was top scorer, having made 352 runs. Arthur Mailey was hit for a soul-destroying 362 runs in his 64 8-ball overs. New South Wales lost – unsurprisingly – by an innings and 656 runs. It remains only the third heaviest defeat in history…so far.
Other cricket scorecards in the catalogue tell stories that bring in outside elements to cricket itself. Footballing legend Geoff Hurst’s only First Test Match score was in a cricket match in 1962 . Another of the cricket scorecards in our catalogue introduces a significant element of interest outside cricket. In July 1902 London County played the MCC at Crystal Palace. London County won by an innings with Wood, Poidevin and WG Grace all scoring centuries for County. But the real intrigue is the appearance of one Sir A Conan Doyle for the MCC team, who scored his highest first-class score in the match. He made 43 runs.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) was a hard hitting, though not especially skilled, batsman and a bowler of slow, loopy lobs which often took a puzzling flight. Indeed he once quipped that so slow was his bowling that if he ever delivered one he didn’t fancy could run down the wicket, intercept it, and come back for another go! In 1899, for the MCC, he took seven for 61 against Cambridgeshire at Lord’s and on the same ground two years later carried out his bat for 32 against Leicestershire. It is said that Shacklock, the Nottinghamshire player, inspired him with the Christian name of his famous character, Sherlock Holmes, and that of the latter’s brother Mycroft was suggested by the Derbyshire cricketer of that name.