Welcome to the ACS

Peter Wynne-Thomas 1934–2021

Peter Wynne-Thomas
Peter Wynne-Thomas in 2013, after being named Statistician of the Year for the second time

The ACS is very sad to hear of the death of our dear friend Peter Wynne-Thomas, the leading cricket statistician and historian, who served as our Secretary for 32 years.

Peter Wynne-Thomas was the finest cricket statistician and historian of recent times. The genial occupant of the Library at Trent Bridge and former Honorary Secretary of the ACS stands alongside Arthur Haygarth and FS Ashley-Cooper, not to mention Messrs Wisden and Lillywhite, as one of the leading chroniclers of the summer game.

An exemplar of patience, diligence and understanding, Peter was a founder member of the ACS in 1973 and became a cornerstone of the organisation; after a brief spell as Treasurer, he was the Association’s helpful and friendly Secretary from 1974 until retiring in 2006. In many people’s eyes he was the ACS, and a visit to Trent Bridge was not complete without calling into the Library to speak with Peter.

He was also a prolific author, writing around 50 books. Among his best works were The History of Cricket: From the Weald to the World, published by Her Majesty’s Stationery Office in 1997, a definitive history of the game, and Cricket’s Historians, published in 2011, in which Peter wrote with typical warmth and wisdom about his fellow historians and record-keepers.

He was named ACS Statistician of the Year twice – in 1993, along with Philip Bailey and Philip Thorn, for their epic Who’s Who of Cricketers, and in 2012 for Cricket’s Historians.

A Nottinghamshire man through and through – his first book, in 1971, was Nottinghamshire Cricketers 1821–1914 – Peter was appointed the club’s President in 2016. He was awarded the British Empire Medal in the 2019 New Year’s Honours List, for services to cricket and the community of Nottinghamshire.

On hearing the sad news of Peter’s passing, David Kendix, the President of the ACS said: ‘Peter’s contribution to cricket scholarship in general and the ACS in particular was immeasurable. Visiting him in the Trent Bridge library was a pilgrimage; watching him entrance parties of visiting schoolchildren with stories of cricketing history was to see a master craftsman at work. He possessed authority without ego, and his work set standards in quality and rigour to which we can all aspire. He was also a friend for 30 years and I will miss him greatly.’

Members and other admirers of Peter are welcome to send tributes to webmaster@acscricket.com so that they can be added to his obituary.

The Hundred – ACS Guidance

The ACS Statistics Logistics sub-group has recently discussed how to treat statistics for the ECB’s new 100-ball competition, after consultation with ACS members, ECB officials, Wisden and Cricket Archive. Their advice on how to handle statistics for The Hundred is available in pdf form here.

What is the ACS?

Who is the oldest man to hit a Test match century? What is the most expensive bowling analysis in first-class cricket? Does a match start with the toss, the call of ‘Play’ or the first delivery?

If you are intrigued by such conundrums, or if you’re interested in the origins and history of the game, you’ll find a group of like minds in the ACS. Founded in 1973, we are an international body represented in over 20 countries, and our members include most of the world’s leading cricket statisticians and several of its most accomplished historians and biographers.

Our principal purpose is ‘to promote and encourage research into the statistical and historical aspects of cricket throughout the world at all levels and to publish the findings’. Members of the ACS have significantly contributed to a wider understanding of the game and have led the way in uncovering many biographical details of first-class cricketers.

We have around a thousand members all over the world. Membership is open to everyone – all you need to join us is to share our interest in the statistics and history of the game.

Members receive our quarterly journal, The Cricket Statistician, and an annual voucher, currently worth £8, towards the cost of our printed publications. They are entitled to a 33% discount on subscriptions to the Cricket Archive website and to the CSW cricket database. Members can also join our email forum to share information, ask questions and chat about topical cricketing issues. Details about the email forum and discounts are available in the Members Area; any member who does not have the password for this page should contact webmaster@acscricket.com.

We publish a range of titles which are available in the ACS Online Shop.

The website includes several valuable research tools open to all visitors:

  • The ACS Online Cricket Records Section, which is updated on a daily basis and covers first-class cricket, Test cricket, List A, Twenty20 and women’s international cricket, with some minor cricket records too.
  • The archive of The Cricket Statistician up to 2018 in digitised form; copies of more recent issues are still on sale in the shop.
  • Our Research Section which contains further resources, including the first two parts of a massive A to Z of Kent Cricketers, compiled by Derek Carlaw, currently covering all Kent players who appeared between 1806 and 1939, and County Cricket: Sundry Extras, biographical details compiled by David Jeater on over a thousand county cricketers with achievements in areas of public life away from cricket.
  • Ask the ACS, a collection of statistical questions and answers on specialised one-off matters.

You can also follow the Association via Twitter, at @ACScricket.

If you are looking for an answer to any question about cricket, seeking clarification about a particular record or feat, or searching for information on a team or a particular player, please send an email to secretary@acscricket.com and the Secretary will point you in the right direction.

Latest publications

Our latest biography in the Lives in Cricket series is George Macaulay: The Road to Sullom Voe, Giles Wilcock’s account of a complex and difficult man who played a key role in the great Yorkshire side of the 1920s and had a stunning Test debut but came to a tragic end during the Second World War. George Macaulay is also available in a Yorkshire Lives in Cricket package, along with Brian Sellers.

Some of our older publications are now on sale at a discount, including All Ten: The Ultimate Bowling Feat, The Summer Field, Cricket and Cannons (an account of cricket in the Crimean War), First-Class Cricket Matches 1951, and a couple of the International Cricket Year Books.

Among the other books in the ACS Online Shop, Bill Bestwick: Rough Diamond, the biography of the controversial Derbyshire seamer who was acquitted of manslaughter in 1907, has proved highly popular and extra copies have been printed to meet demand.

Fly at a higher game: The Story of TAL Whittington and the elevation of Glamorgan CCC into the County Championship (also available in a special Glamorgan Anniversary Package with The Daffodil Blooms) tells the story of Glamorgan’s first Championship title in 1948.

Other recent titles include A Tall Story: The Life of Nigel Plews, documenting the career of the well-respected umpire from his own diaries, and Jeremy Lonsdale’s Yorkshire trilogy: A Game Taken Seriously and A Game Divided: Triumphs and troubles in Yorkshire in the 1920s are still available from the shop, while A Game Sustained is available as an ebook.

First-Class Matches: Pakistan 1984/85 to 1986/87 is available, on its own and in packages with earlier volumes of Pakistan scorecards.

Regular titles include the ACS International Cricket Year Book and the ACS Overseas First-Class Cricket Annual; in place of the Second Eleven Annual the ACS has produced a free pdf on Second Eleven Cricket in 2020, because the Covid-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of the regular competitions last year.

Many earlier publications are available in the online shop, including extra copies of the ACS Journal, The Cricket Statistician.

If you need to get in touch with ACS Sales, their contact details are here.

AGM 20 March 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.

An Evening with David Frith

The ACS’s latest virtual event for members was An Evening with David Frith on 12 June.

The eminent writer and cricket historian discussed his life in cricket and answered members’ questions. The conversation can now be viewed in the Members Area (password required).

Members Meeting 27 February

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.

ACS Statistics Logistics sub-group

The ACS has created a Statistics Logistics sub-group drawn from the ACS committee, members of the Association, and members of the scoring and umpiring community, to discuss and advise on the recording or calculation of cricket statistics.

The group’s answers to an initial batch of 17 questions, and explanations of how they reached their decisions, are available in a PDF document here.

The ‘2nd not 1st’ project

The ACS has started work on a series of pen portraits of players who appeared for county 2nd XIs but never appeared in 1st XI cricket.

We are placing the initial batch of entries on Glamorgan players online, and you can find them via this page. If you have additional information on these players or others not yet included, or you would like to help compile a listing for another county, please email secretary@acscricket.com.

Online book launches

Two recent online launches of ACS books can now be viewed on the site.

On 12 January, Steve Bindman’s book Schooled in Cricket: the Johnny Lawrence Story was discussed by the author, Stephen Lawrence (Johnny’s youngest son), Sir Geoffrey Boycott (who wrote the foreword) and Somerset historian Stephen Hill. The launch can be viewed here (MP4 file, lasting just under two hours).

In November, A Tall Story, based on the life and times of umpire Nigel Plews, was launched by author Andrew Hignell, members of Nigel’s family and former colleagues from Nottingham Police, and fellow-umpire Neil Bainton. The event can be viewed here (MP4 file, lasting an hour and a half).

Can you help with our research projects?

Stuck at home, unable to visit a cricket ground, and looking for something to do?

The ACS has launched a 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. Links to the first results are on our Research page.

More ACS news

A summary of recent website updates

Join the ACS

If you are not yet a member of the Association, we very much hope that you will consider joining. Click on Join the ACS and follow the links and instructions there.

Once you have joined, you will have access to the Members Area and can subscribe to the Members’ Email Forum. Members can obtain the password for the Members Area by sending an email to webmaster@acscricket.com.