by Peter Griffiths
I was thinking, as I sometimes do, that the ACS as an organisation seems to be drifting a bit. So what could be done to raise the profile of the ACS, particularly in the on-line community, and also to encourage more members to be involved in our activities? It seems to me that the ACS website should be the ‘go-to’ place when looking for cricket statistics and other information. Looking back, we were strong when working together on projects – for example the first-class match list, the books of first-class scores, etc. A more recent example is the minor counties scores research project.
So I mentioned to Keith Walmsley that perhaps we should look at trying to set up one or more projects designed to involve several members in research. He raised the concept with the committee and I’m grateful to them for supporting this initiative. However I have to say at the outset that many individuals I have spoken to have told me ‘you will never get anyone to take part’. I hope that we can prove the doubters wrong.
The projects need to be large enough that they won’t be completed in a few days, but at the same same not so esoteric that finding information is next to impossible. Nor should they be restricted to cricket in the UK. There is scope for research in the rest of the world. My idea is that at any point in time the current project results will be available on-line on the ACS website – both to encourage others to take part and to ensure that there is not too much duplication of effort.
So – here are some thoughts. Not in any particular order.
Women’s Major Cricket – compile a list of all women’s major domestic matches (T20, List A, first-class) world-wide – international matches are well documented but no-one has yet done the work that the ACS did at its outset when compiling a definitive list of men’s first-class matches – and the documentation of women’s domestic matches is deficient. We should also attempt to assemble as many match scores as possible.
League Cricket – compile a list of all cricket leagues – their dates and the clubs/teams taking part.
Competitions – we could create a section of the website for all international and national competitions with lists of winners (at least). The Logan Cup will serve as a good example here – the first-class incarnation of this is documented season-by-season but without a single page showing a complete list of winners, and the pre-first-class competition with the same name is not so well documented. Similarly for many other tournaments. This project would give us the opportunity to contact people outside the Test-playing countries and to raise the profile of the ACS there.
Records/Statistics – there are many records/statistics that have not yet been generated programatically by any of the available computer programs and/or websites. One example is progressive records – the early ACS journals had some of these for English counties (which could be built on). Lists of captains, wicketkeepers, etc is another area. Plenty of scope for members to produce their own favourite statistic and to encourage others to do the same for other teams.
Bibliography – some ACS journals had lists compiled (I think) by Peter Wynne-Thomas detailing ‘Books for the Cricket Statistician’ – we could put these lists on-line and add the books produced in the intervening years since the articles were written.
Scorebooks – we could investigate and put on-line the whereabouts of scorebooks – not just for first-class but other teams too. Again, there were some lists published in the ACS journals, but many of those are probably out-of-date. Only first-class teams were covered in these lists so it would be good to extend that.
Ernest Gross Information – try to find information (summary scores at the very least) for some of the matches in the minor records lists in the Ernest Gross manuscripts. The lists are already on-line on crickethistory.website. Bring these lists up-to-date. Keith Walmsley has already started research on this but there is much more research that can be done, both in the UK and beyond.
Committee Research – enhance the work already begun on the research into county committee members – expand it into minor counties, the TCCB/ECB and beyond. This gives us an insight as to who has run our game over the years.
Other – early women’s cricket; schools cricket; services cricket; police cricket; inter-college cricket at Oxford and Cambridge, age-group (over-50 etc; under-15 etc), wandering clubs, indoor cricket, etc, etc.
Finally – some research has never been so easy – the internet allows you to access a huge number of local newspapers without having the chore of going to the local library. Indeed it allows you to access newspapers from many places within the UK – and even beyond. So YOU can help with research from the comfort of your armchair or desk.
Keith Walmsley has offered to manage the Ernest Gross information project. At the outset I will be the first contact point for all other projects. If several projects are started, though, I will have to hand some of them over to others to manage. Please contact me or Keith if you wish to take part – or have ideas for other projects. The list I’ve given is more of a sample than a complete definitive list.
UPDATE: The first fruits of these research projects are now available via the Research page.