Hampshire Cricket History

Now & Then
February 27, 2021, 3:30 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I’m a member of the Association of Cricket Statisticians and Historians who tend to play a significant part in how (and why) statistics are presented as they are. They even have a ‘Stats-Log’ sub group that considers new ideas and challenges and this year that includes how to report the statistical information from the new competition.

I’m sorry to report that some of you will be disappointed to learn that they don’t propose to describe these non-county matches as taking 16.4 overs per innings, but they are currently considering a number of issues, including:

  1. If the matches are treated as 20 x five-ball overs should all stats and records be part of the same group as T20. The key point here is that Test and first-class records from the distant past don’t distinguish between four, five, six and eight-ball overs, so there’s no issue around including five and six-ball overs in the same records
  2. Should team totals be described as from 20 overs or 100 balls – and should scoreboards show a ‘count-down’ from 100 balls rather than overs bowled?
  3. How best to record bowling performances? Perhaps Balls – Dot Balls – Runs – Wickets? Linked to that should averages for batsmen and bowlers be shown as they are currently or in both cases as Strike Rates – and if so, should bowlers strike rates be average runs conceded per every five balls or perhaps % dot balls?

Once ACS (and therefore Cricket Archive) have decided will there be one consistent approach on other sites, Wisden, newspapers, magazines, broadcast media etc?

And for those of you more interested in the History of the game:

2022 will be the 250th Anniversary of what is now acknowledged as the inaugural First-Class match played anywhere in the world – Hampshire v England at Broadhalfpenny Down, Hambledon, on 24 & 25 June 1772, which Hampshire won by 53 runs – and there were incidentally four-ball overs. John Small top-scored with 78 in a game in which scores were even lower than this week’s Test Match – there are no bowling figures or dismissal information. (There has been a suggestion that the 23rd should have been the first day, but it rained. No one has been able to confirm this).

There will be various events to mark and celebrate this historic event.

9 Comments so far
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As a stats man, I know what I will be doing. Totally ignore the whole farce!

Comment by Tigger

Very sensible approach Tigger, me too!

Comment by James

In ‘ball countdown history’ (! and :)) when there were 240 of them per innings we used to count balls and runs needed from about 10 overs to go, but once an over until the last over or two maybe.

Good luck to anyone counting down from 100 balls, I hope to be where the count is up to 50, as in overs!

Comment by stephenfh

I get that! I think it’s a proposal just to display it that way on the Scoreboard – but I’m rather in the same camp as Tigger and James!

Comment by pompeypop

For the number of balls in an over in Tests for different countries see


No doubt when it was increased from 4 to 5 some peopel complained “Five balls an over. What is the world coming to”

Comment by Colin Price

Lovely! What indeed! The over rates would have been impressive.

Comment by pompeypop

I am with Tigger with this as well.
Also if I remember correctly from what was said when the 16.4 was launched, there are 2 fundamental changes to the game. The first is that a blower may bowl successive sets of 5 balls, including one from end A then the next from end B. The second is tha when a batsman is dismissed by a catch in the deep and the batsmen crossed the incoming batsman goes to the striker’s end rather than the non strikers end as at present.

Comment by Bob Murrell

I think the more changes the better, especially if players become specialists and eventually – rather like baseball in the USA – they can call it ‘Hundred’ as distinct from various forms of the game of Cricket. On the way it could subsume the T20.

Comment by pompeypop

Or they could just call it Not Cricket!

Comment by James

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