The Association chose Timothy J. McCann as its 2004 Statistician of the Year for his book Sussex Cricket in the Eighteenth Century.
In the opinion of the Association, this book ranks with the published works of G. B. Buckley and H. T. Waghorn. Like them, it will stand as an invaluable reference book to early cricket.
Mr McCann, the Assistant County Archivist at the West Sussex Record Office in Chichester, researched over many years the papers of the Dukes of Richmond through the 18th century. More than 20 years ago, he published in the Cricket Society Journal a number of previously unknown cricketing notes, which reinforced the major part that the Goodwood household played in the game’s development.
Fortunately for the researcher, Mr McCann includes the 17th-century references to the game in Sussex which demonstrates how common ‘cricket’ in its crudest form was during that period.
The volume sets out in chronological order every Sussex cricket reference that he could discover. Two aspects of his work set him aside from earlier similar books: he gives exact reference to everything he found (unlike Waghorn); and he gives the full text of the reference (unlike both Waghorn and Buckley).
One would hope that this book will inspire other county experts to produce similar volumes – but a deal of hard graft is needed.