The seeds for this project were sown during 2017/18 as the Committee of the ACS began to discuss how the 50th anniversary of the Second Eleven Championship could be suitably marked in 2019. It was agreed that the popular Second Eleven Annual, listing the players who appear each year in the competition, as well as in the limited-overs games, T20 contests and other friendlies at 2nd XI level, together with the various records and feats, could be augmented by some accompanying narrative looking back to the first year of the competition in 1959, as well as setting the scene for the formation of the competition.
Another suggestion which was raised was that the 2019 edition of the Second Eleven Annual could include a series of pen portraits of some players who appeared for the various county 2nd XIs but never appeared in 1st XI cricket and won fame in other fields. Whereas the ideas above saw the light of day, these short player profiles were never included – simply because it soon became clear, when researching the potential entries, that it was a separate project in itself.
So was born the ‘2nd not 1st’ Project, looking specifically at the players – county-by-county – who have represented the Second Elevens but have never played for the First Elevens in first-class, List A or T20 matches or other friendlies, such as those against the various MCCUs. With a number of scorecards still to be fully researched and the identities of players yet to be established, this is a work in progress, and the listings which will be appearing online are by no means complete and definitive.
As with any family history or biographical research, additional information and extra nuggets can often be gleaned simply by sharing information with others. It is with this very much in mind that the initial batch of entries will be placed online shortly. If you have additional information about any of the players which you would like to share, or indeed believe that you know the details of somebody not currently included, please send an email with these details to firstname.lastname@example.org. Similarly, if you would like to take part in this project and help compile a listing for another county, I would be delighted to hear from you.
In due course, we also hope to add career statistics for all of these players, but this cannot be achieved until each and every scorecard has been tracked down and checked.
I hope that you enjoy delving into these entries.