1772 English cricket season
The 1772 English cricket season is notable in cricket statistics because it is from then that surviving scorecards are common. Scorecards have survived of three first-class matches played in 1772. These were all organised, in part at least, by the Hambledon Club and were between Hampshire and All-England.
Hampshire twice defeated All-England but lost the third of the three scorecarded matches before defeating Surrey in a match with no known scorecard. The leading bowlers of the day are understood to have been Thomas Brett of Hampshire and Lumpy Stevens of Chertsey and Surrey, although the scorecards of 1772 have not preserved any bowling or fielding data. The outstanding batsman of the season in terms of known runs scored was John Small of Hampshire, while William Yalden of Chertsey and Surrey also achieved good scores.
Re the matches on 10–11 and 26–27 August, the sources occasionally refer to teams raised by the Hambledon Club as being representative of both Hampshire and Sussex. Sussex as a county team is rarely mentioned during the "Hambledon Era".
|1 June (M)||Sheffield v Nottingham||unknown location in Sheffield||Sheffield won|
Nottingham forfeited the match after being dismissed for 14 and then seeing Sheffield score 70 with wickets still in hand. See also the match on 26 August 1771. A pre-match announcement appeared in the (Nottingham) Daily Messenger on Tuesday, 25 May: We are informed that the great Cricket Match which has been so long depending between the Society of Nottingham & that of Sheffield is to be finally determined at Sheffield on Mon., 1 June . . . . The Sherwood youths have been practising for some weeks past, and we are told, the odds at Nottingham are 2 to 1 in their favour. The paper followed up with a report on Friday, 12 June that bewailed the defeat of the Nottingham team.
|24–25 June (W-Th)||Hampshire v All-England||Broadhalfpenny Down||Hampshire won by 53 runs|
Commencing with this game, there is what amounts to a continuous "statistical record" with surviving scorecards of at least some games in every single season from 1772 onwards. Until the middle of the 19th century, there remain numerous matches with missing or incomplete scorecards but a norm was established in 1772 and the available data increases in later seasons. No details of bowling or fielding are known.
Hampshire had two given men: William Yalden and John Edmeads, both of Surrey. This gave Hampshire two wicketkeepers, Tom Sueter and Yalden, but it is not known which of them kept wicket in this match and both were noted wicketkeeper-batsmen. The All-England wicketkeeper was probably Gill of Buckinghamshire who is known to have been the wicketkeeper for All-England in its matches against Dartford in September 1759.
Noted bowlers taking part in the game were John Frame, Lumpy Stevens, Dick May and Thomas White for All-England and Thomas Brett, Richard Nyren, William Hogsflesh and William Barber for Hampshire. The match was played for 500 guineas and, in some accounts, the All-England was termed "Kent, Middlesex and Surrey".
John Small's score of 78 was the highest recorded in the 1772 season and, as such, it established the then record for the highest individual score definitely recorded in a first-class match (note — it is believed that higher scores were made in past seasons but none of them are definite). According to contemporary newspaper reports, "bets of £500 were laid against John Minshull (aka Minchin) in favour of John Small". Other batsmen playing were Sueter, Yalden, Edmeads, George Leer, Peter Stewart and Edward Aburrow for Hampshire; and Tom May, Joseph Miller, James Fuggles, William Palmer and Childs for All-England.
|23–24 July (Th-F)||All-England v Hampshire||Guildford Bason||Hampshire won by 62 runs|
Hampshire 152 (W. Yalden 68) & 122 (W. Yalden 49, J. Small 30); All-England 126 (J. Miller 30, R. Simmons 27) & 86 (J. Miller 26)
This is the second game in 1772 with a surviving scorecard. As in the previous match, Hampshire had two given men: William "the Yold" Yalden and John Edmeads, both of Surrey. Yalden's contribution was significant as he scored 68 and 49 in his team's totals of 152 & 122. Again, the bowling and fielding details are unknown. Some confusion has arisen over the extras as, according to F. S. Ashley-Cooper: "In the course of the game, the Hambledon Club (sic) got 11 notches in byes and All-England (sic) 21, but they were not entered in the scoresheet". He gave the match scores as 144 and 118 to 117 and 73 with Hampshire winning by 72 runs.
|10–11 August (M-Tu)||Hampshire & Sussex v Kent||Broadhalfpenny Down||Hampshire & Sussex won by 50 runs|
The stake was 500 guineas. No details are known besides the result.
|19–20 August (W-Th)||All-England v Hampshire||Bishopsbourne Paddock||All-England won by 2 wickets|
Hampshire 123 (G. Leer 29, T. Sueter 26) & 113 (J. Small 48); All-England 136 (W. Palmer 29, J. Minshull 24) & 101–8 (J. Wood 20, J. Miller 17*)
The third 1772 match with a surviving scorecard. Hampshire again had Yalden and Edmeads of Surrey as given men. Nine of the All-England players were of Kent with Stevens and Thomas White of Surrey.
|26–27 August (W-Th)||Kent v Hampshire & Sussex||Guildford Bason||Kent won by innings & 29 runs|
The bets placed seem to have been mainly around how many the Duke of Dorset would score compared with "Mr Ellis", a now unknown player. It is possible that this was a "gentlemen only" game and the same may be true of the match on 10 August. The report was in the General Evening Post on Saturday, 29 August.
|28 August (F)||Surrey v Hampshire||Guildford Bason||Hampshire won by 45 runs|
No details are known except the result.
Tuesday, 2 June. There was a fives match at the Artillery Ground between Kent and Hampshire. Hampshire scored 11 & 46; Kent scored 35 & 23 for 4 to win by one wicket. The Kent team was John Boorman, John Frame, Richard May, John Minshull and Joseph Miller. Minshull scored 26 & 11; Frame scored the winning run. The Hampshire team was John Small, Tom Sueter, George Leer, Thomas Brett and Richard Nyren. Nyren scored 29 out of 46 in the second innings.
There are surviving scorecards from every English season starting in 1772 and these provide a continuous "statistical record", albeit a largely incomplete one till the mid-19th century. There are older scorecards, beginning with two matches at the Artillery Ground in 1744, but few were created, or have survived, between then and 1772.
There were a couple of games in June that involved the Blackheath club against teams designated as counties but, as G. B. Buckley says, "the alleged Kent team cannot have been representative" and they are minor matches only.
Another Kent game against a team called "London & Middlesex" apparently took place at the Artillery Ground on Tuesday, 11 August, the same day as the Hampshire & Sussex v Kent match above. It is believed that this was not a representative game, especially given the stakes on offer at Hambledon.
Many scorecards in the 18th century are unknown or have missing details and so it is impossible to provide a complete analysis of batting performances: e.g., the missing not outs prevent computation of batting averages. The "runs scored" are in fact the runs known.
No bowling figures are available. The most notable bowlers of the time were Lumpy Stevens of Chertsey, John Frame of Dartford and Hambledon's Thomas Brett, Richard Nyren, William Barber and William Hogsflesh.
Leading fielders & wicket-keepers
No fielding figures are available. Noted wicketkeepers of the time were Tom Sueter of Hambledon and Hampshire; William Yalden of Chertsey and Surrey; and Richard Simmons of Kent. One player who was noted for his fielding exploits was George Louch, of Chatham, who later became an early MCC stalwart.
- "First-class cricket" was officially defined in May 1894 by a meeting at Lord's of Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) and the county clubs which were then competing in the County Championship. The ruling was effective from the beginning of the 1895 season. Pre-1895 matches of the same standard have no official definition of status because the ruling is not retrospective and the "unofficial first-class" designation, as applied to a given match, is based on the views of one or more substantial historical sources. For further information, see First-class cricket, Forms of cricket and History of cricket.
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