ACS News

20 March 2021
AGM 2021

The AGM on Zoon
ACS members attend the 2021 AGM via Zoom

The 48th Annual General Meeting of the ACS was held virtually via Zoom on Saturday 20 March, and attended by 81 members.

It was agreed to introduce a new category of digital membership from December 2021. Digital members would have full voting rights, but receive the quarterly mailing by email.

The rules were also updated to cover the staging of committee meetings and the AGM in virtual format.

Derek Carlaw was named the Brooke-Lambert Statistician of the Year, and Philip Bailey acknowledged the award of honorary life membership.

The meeting was recorded, and is available for viewing in the Members Area (password required), along with the minutes.

15 March 2021
Second Eleven Cricket – 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the cancellation by the ECB of the Second Eleven Championship and the inter-county T20 competitions planned for 2020. In light of this decision, and the absence of any formal competitions, the ACS decided not to publish a Second Eleven Annual for 2021.

However, a dozen friendlies took place during August and September 2020. To help statisticians, as well as the county scorers, in their compilation of records and other biographical information, a pdf on Second Eleven Cricket in 2020 has been produced as an interim measure ahead of the 2021 domestic season when it is hoped that the Second Eleven Championship and T20 competition will return to the calendar.

The Second Eleven Annual for 2022 will contain information about both the truncated 2020 season, and its players, as well as the normal amount of player and match detail for the 2021 season, plus the updated records.

27 February 2021
AGM to be held via Zoom on 20 March 2021

The 48th Annual General Meeting of the ACS will be held virtually via Zoom on Saturday 20 March, beginning at 10 am GMT. Papers for the AGM were posted to members in the February mailing.

Members are asked to confirm their attendance by emailing secretary@acscricket.com by 13 March; the Secretary will send log-in information and instructions on voting ahead of the meeting. Members should also email any points or questions about the annual reports from the Chairman and Treasurer (published in the February mailing) by 13 March.

The meeting will be recorded, and will subsequently be available for viewing in the Members Area (password required). Minutes of previous AGMs are also available in the Members Area.

27 February 2021
Members Meeting

We held a second members’ virtual meeting on 27 February, attended by 81 members.

Members’ responses were invited on three matters – please contact secretary@acscricket.com if you can help or have comments.

  • We are looking for one or more volunteers to help manage our website. No previous experience is necessary – training will be given!
  • We are seeking members’ thoughts on what the ACS might do to mark the 250th anniversary, in June 2022, of the match regarded as the first-ever ‘great’ or first-class match. The Broadhalfpenny Down Association is already making plans to mark this occasion: should the ACS join in with them, and/or should we mark this anniversary in some other way?
  • We also want your thoughts on some specific statistical issues arising from the introduction of The Hundred competition later this year – follow the link for details.

The meeting also included a talk from Eric Midwinter, the winner of the Brooke-Lambert Trophy for Statistician of the Year in 2019, while Jeremy Lonsdale, Mick Pope, Anthony Bradbury and Roy Morgan spoke about their recent or forthcoming ACS publications.

A recording of the meeting is available in the Members Area (you will need the members’ password to view this), along with our previous virtual meeting in November.

22 December 2020
Committee decisions following Members Meeting on 21 November

At its meeting on 12/13 December, the ACS committee considered at length the issues discussed during the virtual meeting of members on 21 November, and the many written comments that had been received.

The following decisions were taken (summarised):

Postage

  • It was agreed not to pursue the option of using surface mail for sending the quarterly mailing, or books, to overseas members.
  • It was agreed that the overseas surcharge should be at a rate of 20% for European destinations and 30% elsewhere, but that for orders of over £100 a tailored postage calculation would be made and, if cheaper, offered to the purchaser.

Journal frequency

  • It was agreed that the Journal should remain a quarterly publication (thus bringing to an end some years of debate on this subject).

Membership, including Digital membership

  • It was agreed that the subscription for ‘traditional’ membership (with paper mailings) should remain at its present level of £29 for UK members and £34 for overseas members, but that the £29 rate would also be extended to cover members in Europe as well as the UK.
  • It was agreed to propose the introduction of the category of ‘Digital membership’, open to all members who were willing to receive their quarterly mailings in digital form rather than as hard copies. The subscription rate would be £25 wherever in the world the member is located.
  • The £2 discount for paying subscriptions by direct debit will remain available to all members, including ‘digital members’.
  • It was agreed that ‘traditional’ membership and digital membership are separate options: members must choose one or the other.
  • It was confirmed that ‘digital members’ would remain full members of the Association, with exactly the same privileges as all other members.
  • The details of these changes, and the changes to the ACS’s Rules to accommodate them, would be set out in the booklet for the 2021 AGM, and if approved by the AGM would take effect from 1 December 2021.

Electronic publishing formats

  • It was agreed that, at least for now, the Journal and any other publications produced in electronic form will be produced in pdf format.
  • Other formats will be considered if there is significant member interest in using a different, or additional, format.

Electronic publications

  • It was agreed that the current 12-month interval between publishing a book in paper form and (potentially) making it available electronically should remain, but exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis.
  • It was agreed to stress to members receiving material in electronic form (including the Journal) that this material is for their personal use only, and should not be passed to third parties.
  • A sub-committee was set up to consider the use of electronic platforms in addition to Google Play, such as Kindle.

Voucher scheme

  • The support for the scheme was welcomed, and it was agreed that it should continue.
  • It was agreed that each year’s voucher should run (as at present) from 1 December to 30 November, but that when each new year’s code is announced it would be made very clear that it would not become operational until 1 December, and that voucher purchases before that date should continue to use the previous year’s code.
  • It was agreed that the voucher is available for purchasing printed books only, and not for electronic publications or for any other purpose.

20 December 2020
Johnny Lawrence book launch, Tuesday 12 January – with Sir Geoffrey Boycott

UPDATE: the book launch can now be viewed here (MP4 file, lasting just under two hours).

We are delighted to announce the launch of Schooled in Cricket: the Johnny Lawrence Story at 2pm on Tuesday 12 January.

This fascinating book, written by Steve Bindman and published as part of the ACS’s Lives in Cricket series, will be launched via ZOOM with a discussion about Johnny’s career as a county cricketer and a coach, featuring the author, plus Stephen Lawrence (Johnny’s youngest son) and Sir Geoffrey Boycott (who wrote the foreword). Stephen Hill will also be speaking about Johnny’s career with Somerset. 

There will be an opportunity to ask questions besides raising any relevant discussion points. 

The event, expected to last approx. 90 minutes, is free of charge. If you would like to attend, please email secretary@acscricket.com by 12 noon on Monday 11 January. Further information, including log-in details for ZOOM, will be sent to all those who have registered in advance.

If you have any questions or points in advance, please email secretary@acscricket.com.

12 December 2020
Peter Griffiths co-opted to ACS committee

We are pleased to announce that, at a meeting of the ACS General Committee on 12 December, we co-opted Peter Griffiths to join our ranks.

Pete previously served on the committee from 1993 to 2008, and has carried out many other roles for the Association, including typesetting many publications and running ACS Sales from 2006 to 2014. His expertise in matters digital and technological will be a great asset as the committee develops some of the ideas that were discussed at the members’ virtual meeting in November.

There is still one vacancy on the committee. We are looking to diversify the committee’s ‘skill-set’, so if any member with a specialist skill – especially in an area such as marketing – would be interested in joining us, please get in touch with the Secretary at secretary@acscricket.com

21 November 2020
Members meeting

A members’ virtual meeting was held on 21 November, to discuss issues including postage costs, the publication frequency of the Journal, electronic publications and the discount sales voucher. Fifty-six members attended. A recording is available in the Members Area (you will need the members’ password to view this).

15 October 2020
Nigel Plews book launch, Saturday 7 November

UPDATE: the book launch can now be viewed here (MP4 file, lasting an hour and a half).

A Tall Story is the latest book from the ACS Cricket Witness series. It is based on the life and times of Nigel Plews, the Nottingham policeman who became one of world cricket’s most respected umpires, despite never having played at professional level. After retiring from the Fraud Squad, Nigel stood in first-class cricket from 1981 until 1999, officiating in 11 Tests, 16 one-day internationals and many major one-day games and cup finals.

This book, written in conjunction with Nigel’s family, draws on the diaries and notebooks which he kept assiduously throughout his distinguished career, starting with his days umpiring in league cricket in the East Midlands. Tragically, Nigel was diagnosed with inoperable kidney cancer in 2007; during the final years of his life, with the help of his wife and children, he collated his memoirs, the basis of this fascinating book.

A virtual launch (via ZOOM) of A Tall Story will take place on Saturday 7 November, starting at 10.00. A number of speakers will be making short presentations, including the author, Andrew Hignell, members of Nigel’s family and former colleagues from Nottingham Police, as well as Neil Bainton, another man who has progressed from the recreational game to the first-class umpires’ list, and who has written the foreword.

If you would like to attend the virtual launch, please send an email to secretary@acscricket.com by 5 November, giving your email contact details.

10 October 2020
2020 AGM report

The 47th Annual General Meeting of the ACS, postponed from 21 March, took place on Saturday 10 October. It was held as a ‘virtual’ meeting, attended by the Association’s President (David Kendix), the members of the General Committee, and two observers from among the membership (Jenny Heald and Chris O’Brien).

The six motions on which members had been asked for their votes were all carried by an overwhelming majority of the 97 members who had sent in valid voting papers.

A recording was made of the meeting, and this can now be seen in the Members Area of the website, for which you will need your password.

The minutes of the meeting are available in the same area and also appear in the Spring 2021 edition of The Cricket Statistician.

25 August 2020
1945: The Victory Tests and England v The Dominions

To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the return of first-class cricket to England at the end of the Second World War, ACS member Barry Valentine has compiled ball-by-ball records of England’s five Victory Tests against the Australian Services and England v The Dominions, all played between May and August 1945. These are available in pdf form via our Research page.

England were led by Wally Hammond, and included Len Hutton, Cyril Washbrook, Bill Edrich and Doug Wright; the Australians, under Lindsay Hassett, discovered a new star in Keith Miller; and the Dominions were captained by Learie Constantine, in his final first-class match. England looked the strongest team, but the summer would not go entirely their way. Barry’s work has enabled us to relive the series, blow by blow.

Second Victory Test at Bramall Lane: photo from Australian War Memorial https://www.awm.gov.au/

3 August 2020
2020 AGM to be held ‘virtually’

As previously announced, the 2020 AGM, postponed from 21 March, has been rescheduled for Saturday 10 October.

Regrettably, restrictions linked to the Covid-19 pandemic mean that we will be unable to hold the AGM as a normal ‘in-person’ gathering. So the decision has been taken that the AGM will be held as a small-scale, virtual meeting which will consider only the procedural matters on which a formal decision of the membership is required.

Fuller details of the arrangements for a virtual AGM were sent some time ago to members for whom we have email addresses. To ensure that all members have a chance to see them, these details are repeated in the mailing that is being posted to all members in early August. The documents included with the mailing also give more background to the decision to hold this year’s meeting virtually, and explain how members will be able to cast their votes on the matters that this year’s AGM will consider. A voting paper is also included.

These documents, including the voting paper, can also be seen in the Members Area of the website, for which you will need your password.

22 May 2020
New date for 2020 AGM – Saturday 10 October

The 2020 AGM, postponed from 21 March, has been rescheduled for Saturday 10 October.

We hope that we will be able to hold the AGM as a normal ‘in-person’ gathering – in which case it will be at Derbyshire CCC, as usual.

If that is not possible, the AGM will be held ‘virtually’, and will consider only the procedural matters on which a formal decision of the membership is required.

Fuller details of the arrangements for a virtual AGM have been sent to all members for whom we have email addresses. If the AGM is to be held virtually, these details will be repeated in the mailing that goes by post to all members in early August. By that time a definite decision will have been taken as to whether the AGM will be held ‘in person’ or virtually. That decision will also be included in the August mailing.

5 May 2020
Happy Birthday, Rob!

Robert Brooke
Robert Brooke wins the Statistician of the Year trophy for the second time

Happy 80th Birthday to Robert Brooke, one of the ACS’s Founders! Our first Chairman and the first editor of The Cricket Statistician, he has written many cricket books, especially on his beloved Warwickshire. He has been named Statistician of the Year twice, for 1989 and in 2011; since 2017, the Statistician of the Year trophy has been named the Brooke-Lambert Trophy in honour of him and the late Dennis Lambert, with whom he founded the Association.

28 April 2020
Kent County Cricketers A to Z

Following the online publication last year of Part One of Derek Carlaw’s Kent County Cricketers A to Z, we are delighted that Part Two is also now available on the ACS website.

This second volume relates to the 92 players who made their debuts for Kent between 1919 and 1939. It follows the same format, a series of biographies written by Derek Carlaw, plus statistics collated by John Winnifrith. A contents page with clickable links takes the reader directly to each player.

At the same time, Part One, which covers the 524 cricketers who played from 1806 to 1914, has been revised, with updated biographies, first-class statistics, and the addition of a contents page with links to each entry.

Our thanks and congratulations once again to Derek and John for their outstanding research. If you have any additional information about any of these players, or amendments which you would like to share with Derek and John, please send an email to secretary@acscricket.com

We look forward in due course to the publication of subsequent volumes.

12 April 2020
#1920 cricket

Our new Collaborative Research Projects are coming along nicely, and the first fruits are available via the Research page.

But we’re planning another project to enliven this year without a cricket season, via the @ACScricket Twitter account.

From 1 May, we’ll be reliving the 1920 season, with the hashtag #1920cricket.

We don’t yet know whether there will be any Championship cricket in 2020, but back in 1920 the County Championship is hitting its stride again after the war, with three-day matches restored after 1919’s two-day experiment, and the competition building up to a thrilling climax.

There are no international tourists, but the county players are hoping to win a place on England’s tour to Australia in 1920/21 for the first Test series in nearly seven years.

Curiosities of the season include 13 hat-tricks (11 in the Championship), victory for a team who were all out for 22 in their first innings – and the fastest hundred in first-class cricket.

The first ball will be bowled on 1 May, when Surrey host Northamptonshire at The Oval.

Thanks to Chris Overson and Simon Sweetman who are researching our daily bulletins from a century ago.

Follow #1920cricket at @ACScricket for day-to-day updates as the 1920 season develops!

29 March 2020
Thank you, Philip!

After serving on the ACS’s General Committee for a total of 41 years, Philip Bailey has now stood down from that position – for the time being at least.

Philip will be known to many of our members as the statistical power behind many thrones, both inside and outside the ACS. There is no doubt that, without his efforts over all this time, the ACS would not be the flourishing and respected organisation that it is today.

We feel sure that all members would like to join with the Committee in giving our grateful thanks to Philip for all that he has done for the Association over the years.

He is not leaving us altogether, though, and we are very pleased that he will continue to undertake all the many tasks, outside his committee role, that he carries out on the ACS’s behalf.

A fuller thank-you to Philip, and a suitable presentation, will be made at the rearranged AGM in due course.

Keith Walmsley
Chairman

21 March 2020
Can you help with our new research projects?

Stuck at home, with no cricket to watch, and looking for something to do?

The ACS is launching a new series of collaborative research projects, and we need our members’ help.

The internet provides access to a huge number of local newspapers, without having to go to the library, so you can get involved even if you’re self-isolating. Among the subjects we want to work on are women’s cricket (compiling a definitive list of major domestic matches), league cricket, national competitions, research into county committees, scorebooks (where are historic scorebooks kept?) and several more. We’re open to further suggestions!

For more details on what we’re planning and how you can help, read Peter Griffiths’s proposals which include contact details for the project co-ordinators.

21 March 2020
Brooke-Lambert Trophy

Eric Midwinter
Eric Midwinter, Statistician of the Year for 2019

We are delighted to announce that Eric Midwinter has been awarded the Brooke-Lambert Trophy for the Statistician of the Year.

Sadly, he could not be presented with the trophy amid the applause of our members, as the AGM on 21 March has had to be postponed because of the Covid-19 emergency.

But you can read the Hon. Secretary’s citation explaining why Eric has earned the award, and Eric’s response, here.

Eric has also sent us a shortened version of the talk he was due to give after the AGM, entitled Cricket in My Life, in which he expounds on the significance of cricket and comedy in his own life and popular culture.

8 January 2020
Neil Beck

We are sorry to report the death of Neil Beck, one of our earliest members, on New Year’s Day. Many will remember Neil for his cricket book shop at the County Ground at Hove.

28 October 2019
Members’ Email Forum moves to Groups.io

The ACS has moved its members’ email forum to Groups.io, following the announcement that Yahoo Groups, our previous forum host, was removing the web-based elements of their service. For instructions on how to join the new forum, go to the page on the Members’ Email Forum in the Members Area. Any member who does not have the password for the Members Area should contact webmaster@acscricket.com.

11 September 2019
Kit Bartlett

The Association regrets to report the death of Kit Bartlett, one of our founder members, on 6 September. He served on the committee from 1995 to 2006 and edited the Famous Cricketers series.

4 August 2019
Former ACS President MJK Smith honoured at Edgbaston

MJK at the gates
MJK Smith and his gates at Edgbaston

We are delighted that Warwickshire CCC has named a set of gates at Edgbaston after MJK Smith, who served as a very popular President of the ACS from 2007 to 2017. The gates were officially opened on 4 August during the Edgbaston Ashes Test.

MJK is best known as a former captain of Warwickshire and England. He played 50 Tests between 1958 and 1972, half of them as captain, and 637 first-class matches in all, scoring 39,832 runs at 41.84, which put him 18th on the all-time list for career runs. He served as Warwickshire’s chairman from 1991 to 2003, became the ICC’s first referee in the Australia-India series of 1991-92, and managed several England tours.

29 December 2018
ACS stalwart Peter Wynne-Thomas awarded BEM

Peter Wynne-Thomas and Enid Bakewell
Peter Wynne-Thomas and Enid Bakewell at the launch of her biography at Trent Bridge in 2018

We are delighted that former ACS Secretary Peter Wynne-Thomas was awarded the British Empire Medal in the New Year’s Honours list, in acknowledgment of his services to cricket and the community in Nottinghamshire. A founder member of the ACS, Peter served as Secretary from 1974 to 2006. One of England’s most eminent cricket statisticians and historians, he has published around 30 books, and is also famous as Nottinghamshire CCC’s librarian.

England Test all-rounder Enid Bakewell, whose biography by Simon Sweetman we published in 2018, was also honoured with an MBE. Coalminer’s Daughter is available from the ACS Shop.

29 November 2018
Congratulations to Jeremy Lonsdale

We are very pleased to announce that the ACS publication A Game Taken Seriously: The Foundations of Yorkshire’s Cricketing Power by Jeremy Lonsdale was on the final shortlist for the British Society of Sports History’s prestigious Lord Aberdare Literary Prize for books published in 2017. This is an outstanding achievement – congratulations, Jeremy!

1 November 2017
County Cricket: Sundry Extras

The Research Section of the ACS website now contains County Cricket: Sundry Extras, an interesting piece of research by David Jeater. It gives biographical details of over a thousand county cricketers, some well-known but many not, with achievements in areas of public life away from cricket, including fields administrative, commercial, cultural, judicial, military, political, professional and sporting.

David has put Sundry Extras together over several years; he says that many ACS members have contributed to it in one way or another, and wishes to thank all those who can see in the list some of their own findings.

8 October 2017
Brian Heald

We are saddened to report the death of Brian Heald, one of the ACS’s original members, who served the Association as a committee member and in numerous other roles. He was made an Honorary Life Member at the AGM earlier this year.

21 November 2016
Dennis Lambert

The Association is sorry to announce the death of Dennis Lambert, one of its Founder Members. In October 1972, Dennis Lambert and Robert Brooke placed an advert in The Cricketer, asking anyone interested in forming a ‘Cricket Statisticians Association’ to get in touch. Dennis became the ACS’s first Secretary and was Chairman from 1979 to 1981.