The compiling of cricket records has occupied the leisure hours of many of the game’s enthusiasts for well over a hundred years. Books containing cricket averages have been popular sellers since the 1850s and books of published cricket scores go back another fifty years. So it is perhaps surprising that it was not until 1973 that an association was founded specifically to meet the needs of the many cricket enthusiasts who find that their appreciation of the game is enhanced by an awareness of the historical and statistical context in which it takes place.
The Association of Cricket Statisticians and Historians has around a thousand members all over the world. Each member receives a quarterly journal, comprising articles by members on a range of subjects relating to cricket’s history and statistics. Just as important, the Association acts as a focal point for members to meet others interested in the same area of research, compare notes and resolve problems.
Although based in the UK, the ACS takes a global view of the game and supports research and publications dealing with cricket both in the UK and overseas, from its earliest beginnings right up to the present day. Its scope includes not just Test and first-class cricket but all forms of the game: limited-overs, Minor Counties and Second Elevens, women’s cricket, and league and club cricket, to name but a few.
Three major annuals are issued each year: the Year Book gives details of every current first-class and List A player in the world; the Second Eleven Annual gives similar particulars for every player appearing in the English county Second Eleven competition; and the Overseas First-Class Annual provides the full scorecards of every first-class match played outside England and Wales.
A major long-term project has been the publication of the full scores of past first-class matches, a series running from the 1770s to the 1950s. Whenever practical, the compilers have checked details against the original scorebooks, as opposed to simply copying old printed scores with their inherent errors.
The Association is also active in biographical and broader historical research, and produces several publications each year in its critically-acclaimed Lives in Cricket and Cricket Witness series. One of the ACS’s principal aims is to allow members the opportunity to publish their work, whether it takes the form of a full-scale book or an article in the journal or on the website. Members’ proposals for publications are always given careful consideration, and grants are available for members wishing to undertake historical or statistical research.
The ACS gives members an opportunity to set up special interest groups, either face-to-face or online, to look at particular aspects of the game. Current special interest groups include early cricket (before 1800) and Minor County cricket.
The ACS is widely respected for its work on the classification of major cricket. The game’s governing body, the International Cricket Council (ICC), regularly consults the Association on issues of match status. The ACS has agreed a list, generally accepted as authoritative, classifying matches played before first-class status was officially defined by the ICC in 1947, and its definition of List A cricket has been accepted by the ICC for use in classifying current and future limited-overs games.
The Association welcomes applications for membership from anyone with an interest in the subject. There is no joining fee or qualification, simply an annual subscription of £29 (UK) or £34 (outside the UK), with a £2 discount for direct debit. Under-18s pay a junior rate of £10 per year. Annual membership commences on 1 December of each year. Membership benefits include four copies a year of the ACS Journal The Cricket Statistician and a voucher, currently worth £8, to use towards the cost of one order of ACS print publications each year. The ACS is entirely non-profit making and all the money received from subscriptions and other activities goes towards the running of the Association, the publication of our members’ work and the distribution of publications to our members.
For more details on the Association, you should contact the Secretary:
(Secretary – The Association of Cricket Statisticians and Historians)
Telephone: +44 (02920) 419383
or email: email@example.com
For membership enquiries, please contact the Membership Secretary, Huw Nathan, by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org