England cricket team
The England cricket team represents England and Wales in international cricket. Since 1997 it has been governed by the England and Wales Cricket Board, having been governed by Marylebone Cricket Club from 1903 until the end of 1996. England, as a founding nation, is a full member of the International Cricket Council with Test, One Day International and Twenty20 International status; until the 1990s, Scottish and Irish players played for England as those countries were not yet ICC members in their own right. England and Australia were the first teams to play a Test match, these two countries together with South Africa formed the Imperial Cricket Conference on 15 June 1909. England and Australia played the first ODI on 5 January 1971. England's first T20I was played on 13 June 2005, once more against Australia; as of 12 March 2019, England has played 1010 Test matches, winning 365 and losing 300. The team has won The Ashes on 32 occasions. England has played 726 ODIs, winning 362, its record in major ODI tournaments includes finishing as runners-up in three Cricket World Cups, in two ICC Champions Trophys.
England has played 108 T20Is, winning 53. They won the ICC World Twenty20 in 2010, were runners-up in 2016; as of 12 March 2019, England are ranked fifth in Tests, first in ODIs and third in T20Is by the ICC. Though the team and coaching staff faced heavy criticism after their Group Stage exit in the 2015 Cricket World Cup, it has since adopted a more aggressive and modern playing style in ODI cricket, under the leadership of captain Eoin Morgan and head coach Trevor Bayliss; the first recorded incidence of a team with a claim to represent England comes from 9 July 1739 when an "All-England" team, which consisted of 11 gentlemen from any part of England exclusive of Kent, played against "the Unconquerable County" of Kent and lost by a margin of "very few notches". Such matches were repeated on numerous occasions for the best part of a century. In 1846 William Clarke formed the All-England Eleven; this team competed against a United All-England Eleven with annual matches occurring between 1847 and 1856.
These matches were arguably the most important contest of the English season if judged by the quality of the players. The first overseas tour occurred in September 1859 with England touring North America; this team had six players from the All-England Eleven, six from the United All-England Eleven and was captained by George Parr. With the outbreak of the American Civil War, attention turned elsewhere. English tourists visited Australia in 1861–62 with this first tour organised as a commercial venture by Messrs Spiers and Pond, restaurateurs of Melbourne. Most matches played during tours prior to 1877 were "against odds", with the opposing team fielding more than 11 players to make for a more contest; this first Australian tour were against odds of at least 18/11. The tour was so successful that George Parr led a second tour in 1863–64. James Lillywhite led a subsequent England team which sailed on the P&O steamship Poonah on 21 September 1876, they played a combined Australian XI, for once on terms of 11 a side.
The match, starting on 15 March 1877 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground came to be regarded as the inaugural Test match. The combined Australian XI won this Test match by 45 runs with Charles Bannerman of Australia scoring the first Test century. At the time, the match was promoted as James Lillywhite's XI v Combined Victoria and New South Wales; the teams played a return match on the same ground at Easter, 1877, when Lillywhite's team avenged their loss with a victory by four wickets. The first Test match on English soil occurred in 1880 with England victorious. G. Grace included in the team. England lost their first home series 1–0 in 1882 with The Sporting Times printing an obituary on English cricket: In Affectionate Remembrance of ENGLISH CRICKET, which died at the Oval on 29th AUGUST 1882, Deeply lamented by a large circle of sorrowing friends and acquaintances R. I. P. N. B. – The body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia. As a result of this loss the tour of 1882–83 was dubbed by England captain Ivo Bligh as "the quest to regain the ashes".
England with a mixture of amateurs and professionals won the series 2–1. Bligh was presented with an urn that contained some ashes, which have variously been said to be of a bail, ball or a woman's veil and so The Ashes was born. A fourth match was played which Australia won by 4 wickets but the match was not considered part of the Ashes series. England dominated many of these early contests with England winning the Ashes series 10 times between 1884 and 1898. During this period England played their first Test match against South Africa in 1889 at Port Elizabeth. England won the 1890 Ashes Series 2–0, with the third match of the series being the first Test match to be abandoned. England lost 2 -- 1 in the 1891 -- 92 series. England again won the 1894 -- 95 series. In 1895 -- 96 England played Test South Africa; the 1899 Ashes series was the first tour where the MCC and the counties appointed a selection committee. There were three active players: Lord Hawke, W. G. Grace and Herbert Bainbridge, the captain of Warwickshire.
Prior to this, England teams for home Tests had been chosen by the club on whose ground the match was to be played. England lost the 1899 Ashes series 1–0, with WG Grace making his final Test appearance in the first match of the series; the start of the
Marylebone Cricket Club
Marylebone Cricket Club is a cricket club founded in 1787 and based since 1814 at Lord's cricket ground, which it owns, in St John's Wood, England. The club was the governing body of cricket in England and Wales and, as the sport's legislator, held considerable global influence. In 1788, the MCC took responsibility for the Laws of Cricket. Although changes to the Laws are now determined by the International Cricket Council, the copyright is still owned by MCC. For much of the 20th century, commencing with the 1903–04 tour of Australia and ending with the 1976–77 tour of India, MCC organised international tours in which the England cricket team played Test matches. On these tours, the England team was called MCC in non-international matches. In 1993, its administrative and governance functions were transferred to the ICC and the Test and County Cricket Board; the club's own teams are ad hoc because they have never taken part in any formal competition. MCC teams have always held first-class status depending on the quality of the opposition.
To mark the beginning of each English season, MCC plays the reigning County Champions. The origin of MCC was as a gentlemen's club that had flourished through most of the 18th century, including, at least in part, an existence as the original London Cricket Club, which had played at the Artillery Ground through the middle years of the century. Many of its members became involved with the Hambledon Club through the 1770s and in the early 1780s, had returned to the London area where the White Conduit Club had begun in Islington, it is not known for certain when the White Conduit was founded but it seems to have been after 1780 and by 1785. According to Pelham Warner, it was formed in 1782 as an offshoot from a West End convivial club called the Je-ne-sais-quoi, some of whose members frequented the White Conduit House in Islington and played matches on the neighbouring White Conduit Fields, a prominent venue for cricket in the 1720s. Arthur Haygarth said in Scores and Biographies that "the Marylebone Club was founded in 1787 from the White Conduit's members" but the date of the formation of the White Conduit "could not be found".
This gentlemen's club, multi-purpose, had a social meeting place at the Star and Garter on Pall Mall. It was the same club, responsible for drafting the Laws of Cricket at various times, most notably in 1744 and 1774, this lawgiving responsibility was soon to be vested in the MCC as the final repose of these cricketing gentlemen; when the White Conduit began, its leading lights were George Finch, 9th Earl of Winchilsea and the Hon. Colonel Charles Lennox, who became the 4th Duke of Richmond. White Conduit was nominally an exclusive club that only "gentlemen" might play for, but the club did employ professionals and one of these was the bowler Thomas Lord, a man, recognised for his business acumen as well as his bowling ability; the new club might have continued except that White Conduit Fields was an open area allowing members of the public, including the rowdier elements, to watch the matches and to voice their opinions on the play and the players. The White Conduit gentlemen were not amused by such interruptions and decided to look for a more private venue of their own.
Winchilsea and Lennox asked Lord to find a new ground and offered him a guarantee against any losses he may suffer in the venture. Lord took a lease from the Portman Estate on some land at Dorset Fields where Dorset Square is now sited, it was called the New Cricket Ground because it was off what was called "the New Road" in Marylebone, when the first known match was played there on 21 May but, by the end of July, it was known as Lord's. As it was in Marylebone, the White Conduit members who relocated to it soon decided to call themselves the "Mary-le-bone Club"; the exact date of MCC's foundation is lost but seems to have been sometime in the late spring or the summer of 1787. On 10 & 11 July 1837, a South v North match was staged at Lord's to commemorate the MCC's Golden Jubilee. Warner described it as "a Grand Match to celebrate the Jubilee of the Club" and reproduced the full scorecard. On Wednesday, 25 April 1787, the London Morning Herald newspaper carried a notice: "The Members of the Cricket Club are desired to meet at the Star and Garter, Pall Mall, on Mon.
April 30. Dinner on table at half past five o'clock. N. B; the favour of an answer is desired". The agenda is unknown but, only three weeks on Saturday, 19 May, the Morning Herald advertised: "A grand match will be played on Monday, 21 May in the New Cricket Ground, the New Road, Mary-le-bone, between eleven Noblemen of the White Conduit Club and eleven Gentlemen of the County of Middlesex with two men given, for 500 guineas a side; the wickets to be pitched at ten o'clock, the match to be played out". No post-match report has been found but, as G. B. Buckley said, it was "apparently the first match to be played on Lord's new ground". A total of eight matches are known to have been played at Lord's in 1787, one of them a single wicket event; the only one which featured the Mary-le-bone Club took place on 30 July. It was advertised in The World on Friday, 27 July 1787: "On Monday, 30 July will be played a match between 11 gentlemen of the Mary-le-bone Club and 11 gentlemen of the Islington Club".
Buckley stated that "this is the earliest notice of the Marylebone Club". As with the inaugural match at Lord's, no post-match report of the inaugural MCC match has been found. There have been three Lord's grounds: the original on the Portman Estate and two on the Eyre Estate
Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a field at the centre of, a 20-metre pitch with a wicket at each end, each comprising two bails balanced on three stumps. The batting side scores runs by striking the ball bowled at the wicket with the bat, while the bowling and fielding side tries to prevent this and dismiss each player. Means of dismissal include being bowled, when the ball hits the stumps and dislodges the bails, by the fielding side catching the ball after it is hit by the bat, but before it hits the ground; when ten players have been dismissed, the innings ends and the teams swap roles. The game is adjudicated by two umpires, aided by a third umpire and match referee in international matches, they communicate with two off-field scorers. There are various formats ranging from Twenty20, played over a few hours with each team batting for a single innings of 20 overs, to Test matches, played over five days with unlimited overs and the teams each batting for two innings of unlimited length.
Traditionally cricketers play in all-white kit, but in limited overs cricket they wear club or team colours. In addition to the basic kit, some players wear protective gear to prevent injury caused by the ball, a hard, solid spheroid made of compressed leather with a raised sewn seam enclosing a cork core, layered with wound string. Cricket's origins are uncertain and the earliest definite reference is in south-east England in the middle of the 16th century, it spread globally with the expansion of the British Empire, leading to the first international matches in the second half of the 19th century. The game's governing body is the International Cricket Council, which has over 100 members, twelve of which are full members who play Test matches; the game's rules are held in a code called the Laws of Cricket, owned and maintained by Marylebone Cricket Club in London. The sport is followed in the Indian subcontinent, the United Kingdom, southern Africa and the West Indies, its globalisation occurring during the expansion of the British Empire and remaining popular into the 21st century.
Women's cricket, organised and played separately, has achieved international standard. The most successful side playing international cricket is Australia, having won seven One Day International trophies, including five World Cups, more than any other country, having been the top-rated Test side more than any other country. Cricket is one of many games in the "club ball" sphere that involve hitting a ball with a hand-held implement. In cricket's case, a key difference is the existence of a solid target structure, the wicket, that the batsman must defend; the cricket historian Harry Altham identified three "groups" of "club ball" games: the "hockey group", in which the ball is driven to and fro between two targets. It is believed that cricket originated as a children's game in the south-eastern counties of England, sometime during the medieval period. Although there are claims for prior dates, the earliest definite reference to cricket being played comes from evidence given at a court case in Guildford on Monday, 17 January 1597.
The case concerned ownership of a certain plot of land and the court heard the testimony of a 59-year-old coroner, John Derrick, who gave witness that: "Being a scholler in the ffree schoole of Guldeford hee and diverse of his fellows did runne and play there at creckett and other plaies". Given Derrick's age, it was about half a century earlier when he was at school and so it is certain that cricket was being played c. 1550 by boys in Surrey. The view that it was a children's game is reinforced by Randle Cotgrave's 1611 English-French dictionary in which he defined the noun "crosse" as "the crooked staff wherewith boys play at cricket" and the verb form "crosser" as "to play at cricket". One possible source for the sport's name is the Old English word "cryce" meaning a staff. In Samuel Johnson's Dictionary, he derived cricket from "cryce, Saxon, a stick". In Old French, the word "criquet" seems to have meant a kind of stick. Given the strong medieval trade connections between south-east England and the County of Flanders when the latter belonged to the Duchy of Burgundy, the name may have been derived from the Middle Dutch "krick", meaning a stick.
Another possible source is the Middle Dutch word "krickstoel", meaning a long low stool used for kneeling in church and which resembled the long low wicket with two stumps used in early cricket. According to Heiner Gillmeister, a European language expert of Bonn University, "cricket" derives from the Middle Dutch phrase for hockey, met de sen. Gillmeister has suggested that not only the name but the sport itself may be of Flemish origin. Although the main object of the game has always been to score the most runs, the early form of cricket differed from the modern game in certain key technical aspects; the ball was bowled underarm by the bowler and all along the ground towards a batsman armed with a bat that, in shape, resembled a hockey stick.
Test cricket is the form of the sport of cricket with the longest duration, is considered the game's highest standard. Test matches are played between national representative teams with "Test status", as determined and conferred by the International Cricket Council; the term Test stems from the fact of the form's long, gruelling matches being both mentally and physically testing. Two teams of 11 players each play a four-innings match, it is considered the most complete examination of a team's endurance and ability. The first recognised Test match took place between 15 and 19 March 1877 and was played between England and Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, where Australia won by 45 runs. A Test match to celebrate 100 years of Test cricket was held in Melbourne between 12 and 17 March 1977, in which Australia beat England by 45 runs—the same margin as that first Test. In October 2012, the ICC recast the playing conditions for Test matches, permitting day/night Test matches; the first day/night game took place between Australia and New Zealand at the Adelaide Oval, Adelaide, on 27 November – 1 December 2015.
Women's Test cricket is played over four days, with slight differences in format from men's Tests. Test matches are the highest level of cricket, statistically, their data form part of first-class cricket. Matches are played between national representative teams with "Test status", as determined by the International Cricket Council; as of June 2017, twelve national teams have Test status, the most promoted being Afghanistan and Ireland on 22 June 2017. Zimbabwe's Test status was voluntarily suspended, because of poor performances between 2006 and 2011. In January 2014, during an ICC meeting in Dubai, the pathway for new potential Test nations was laid out with the winners of the next round of the ICC Intercontinental Cup playing a 5-day match against the bottom ranked Test nation. If the Associate team defeats the Test nation they could be added as the new Test country and granted full membership. A list of matches, defined as "Tests", was first drawn up by Australian Clarence Moody in the mid-1890s.
Representative matches played by simultaneous England touring sides of 1891–92 and 1929–30 are deemed to have "Test status". In 1970, a series of five "Test matches" was played in England between England and a Rest of the World XI; these matches scheduled between England and South Africa, were amended after South Africa was suspended from international cricket because of their government's policy of apartheid. Although given Test status, this was withdrawn and a principle was established that official Test matches can only be between nations. Despite this, in 2005, the ICC ruled that the six-day Super Series match that took place in October 2005, between Australia and a World XI, was an official Test match; some cricket writers and statisticians, including Bill Frindall, ignored the ICC's ruling and excluded the 2005 match from their records. The series of "Test matches" played in Australia between Australia and a World XI in 1971–72 do not have Test status; the commercial "Supertests" organised by Kerry Packer as part of his World Series Cricket enterprise and played between "WSC Australia", "WSC World XI" and "WSC West Indies" from 1977 to 1979 have never been regarded as official Test matches.
There are twelve Test-playing men's teams. The teams all represent individual, independent nations, except for England, the West Indies and Ireland. Test status is conferred upon a group of countries by the International Cricket Council. Teams that do not have Test status can play in the ICC Intercontinental Cup designed to allow non-Test teams to play under conditions similar to Tests; the teams are listed below with the date of each team's Test debut: England Australia South Africa West Indies New Zealand India Pakistan Sri Lanka Zimbabwe Bangladesh Ireland Afghanistan In the mid 2010s, the ICC evaluated proposals for dividing Test cricket into two tiers, with promotion and relegation between Tier-1 and Tier-2. These proposals were opposed by others; these proposals were not implemented. A standard day of Test cricket consists of three sessions of two hours each, the breaks between sessions being 40 minutes for lunch and 20 minutes for tea; however the times of sessions and intervals may be altered in certain circumstances: if bad weather or a change of innings occurs close to a scheduled break, the break may be taken immediately.
Today, Test matches are scheduled to be played across five consecutive days
West Indies cricket team
The West Indies cricket team, traditionally known as the Windies, is a multi-national cricket team representing the Anglophone Caribbean region and administered by Cricket West Indies. The players on this composite team are selected from a chain of fifteen Caribbean territories, which are parts of several different countries and dependencies; as of 24 June 2018, the West Indian cricket team is ranked ninth in the world in Tests, ninth in ODIs and seventh in T20Is in the official ICC rankings. From the mid-late 1970s to the early 1990s, the West Indies team was the strongest in the world in both Test and One Day International cricket. A number of cricketers who were considered among the best in the world have hailed from the West Indies: Sir Garfield Sobers, Lance Gibbs, George Headley, Brian Lara, Clive Lloyd, Malcolm Marshall, Sir Andy Roberts, Rohan Kanhai, Sir Frank Worrell, Sir Clyde Walcott, Sir Everton Weekes, Sir Curtly Ambrose, Michael Holding, Courtney Walsh, Joel Garner, Sir Viv Richards and Sir Wes Hall have all been inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame.
The West Indies have won the ICC Cricket World Cup twice, the ICC World Twenty20 twice, the ICC Champions Trophy once, the ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup once, have finished as runners-up in the Cricket World Cup, the Under 19 Cricket World Cup, the ICC Champions Trophy. The West Indies appeared in three consecutive World Cup finals, were the first team to win back-to-back World Cups; the West Indies has hosted the 2007 Cricket World Cup and the 2010 ICC World Twenty20. The current side represents: Sovereign states Antigua and BarbudaL Barbados DominicaW GrenadaW Guyana Jamaica Saint LuciaW Saint Vincent and the GrenadinesW Trinidad and Tobago Parts of Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint KittsL NevisL British Overseas Territories AnguillaL MontserratL British Virgin IslandsL Constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands Sint MaartenL Territory of the United States US Virgin IslandsLLegends L = Participant of the Leeward Islands team and member of the Leeward Islands Cricket Association W = Participant of the Windward Islands team and member of the Windward Islands Cricket Board of ControlNotes Cricket West Indies, the governing body of the team, consists of the six cricket associations of Barbados, Jamaica and Tobago, Leeward Islands and Windward Islands.
The Leeward Islands Cricket Association consists of associations of one sovereign state, the two entities of Saint Kitts and Nevis, three British Overseas Territories and two other dependencies. The Windward Islands Cricket Board of Control consists of associations of four sovereign states. Cayman Islands and Turks and Caicos Islands, other historical parts of the former West Indies Federation and now British Overseas Territories, have their own teams. National teams exist for the various islands, which, as they are all separate countries much keep their local identities and support their local favourites; these national teams take part in the Carib Beer Cup. It is common for other international teams to play the island teams for warm-up games before they take on the combined West Indies team; the population of these countries and dependencies is estimated at around 6 million, more than Scotland and the Republic of Ireland. The member associations of Cricket West Indies are: Barbados Cricket Association Guyana Cricket Board Jamaica Cricket Association Trinidad & Tobago Cricket Board Leeward Islands Cricket Association.
The WICB joined the sport's international ruling body, the Imperial Cricket Conference, in 1926, played their first official international match, granted Test status, in 1928, thus becoming the fourth Test nation. In their early days in the 1930s, the side represented the British colonies that would form the West Indies Federation plus British Guiana; the last series the West Indies played before the outbreak of the Second World War was against England in 1939. There followed a hiatus. Of the West Indies players in that first match after the war only Gerry Gomez, George Headley, Jeffrey Stollmeyer, Foffie Williams had played Test cricket. In 1948, leg spinner Wilfred Ferguson became the first West Indian bowler to take ten wickets in a Test, finishing with 11/229 in a match against England.
Arthur Shrewsbury was an English cricketer and rugby football administrator. He was rated as competing with W. G. Grace for the accolade of best batsman of the 1880s. An opening batsman, Shrewsbury played his cricket for Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club and played 23 Test matches for England, captaining them in 7 games, with a record of won 5, lost 2, he was the last professional to be England captain until Len Hutton was chosen in 1952. He was a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1890, he organised the first British Isles rugby tour to Australasia in 1888. An expert on sticky wickets, Shrewsbury topped the first-class batting averages seven times including in 1902, his final season; the following spring, incorrectly believing he had an incurable disease, he shot himself at his sister's home in Gedling, Nottinghamshire. Shrewsbury, the seventh child of William Shrewsbury and Mary Ann Wragg, was born in New Lenton, Nottinghamshire, he was educated at the People's College and trained as a draughtsman.
His early club cricket was, like William Scotton, with Meadow Imperial and he subsequently played for Nottingham Commercial Club where he came to the notice of the county officials. On 12 May 1873, having just turned 17, Shrewsbury made his first appearance at Lord's for the Colts of England against the Marylebone Cricket Club, his batting was modelled on that of Richard Daft. The season saw Meadow Imperial, Shrewsbury's club side, replaced by Meadow Willow CC. Shrewsbury missed most of the 1874 season with rheumatic fever, did not make his first-class debut until May 1875 for Nottinghamshire against Derbyshire, he ended the season with 313 runs at 17.38, with a top score of 41. The following year Shrewsbury made his maiden first-class century, scoring 118 against Yorkshire, at Trent Bridge sharing in an opening partnership of 183 with Richard Daft. Shrewsbury finished the season with an innings of 65 not out against Surrey in a low scoring match. In May 1877, he made 119 at The Oval for the Players of the North against Gentlemen of the South.
He scored four fifties and finished the season with 778 runs at 19.94. In 1878 Australia made their first tour to England, their first match was against Nottinghamshire: Shrewsbury scored 8 in an innings victory for the home team. He scored 724 runs at 21.29 during the season with a top score of 74 not out. The following season was less successful – his average dropped to 15.78 and he was not selected for either of the Gentlemen v Players fixtures. He toured North America in September 1879 with Richard Daft's XI, where the side won all six matches, all of them against odds. During the 1880 season he scored 403 runs, his highest score, 66 not out, against the touring Australians. In 1881 Shrewsbury led the strike of Nottinghamshire professional players alongside Alfred Shaw following disagreements with the county secretary, Captain Henry Holden, over an early season fixture with Yorkshire arranged by Shaw and Shrewsbury; the strike meant. The break allowed him and James Lillywhite to organise a lucrative eight-month tour of Australia, New Zealand and America the following winter.
The tour began with games in North America, although Shrewsbury missed the first leg of the tour with bronchitis and sailed directly to Australia via Suez. The five matches in America were financial failures with receipts just covering expenses. In Australia, the team played two first-class matches before the First Test. In the second of these the tourists beat Victoria despite having followed-on with Shrewsbury scoring 80 not out in the second innings; the First Test was staged at Melbourne over the New Year. Shrewsbury, one of ten debutants, scored 16 in a drawn match. Seven matches in New Zealand followed before the team returned to Australia for the remaining three Test matches, Shrewsbury scored 7 and 22 in the Second Test at Sydney, his best performance of the tour came in the Third Test, again at Sydney, top scoring in both innings – 82 and 47 – the next highest score by an Englishman was 23. In the final Test he scored 1, final day rain ruining the best chance of English victory during the series which ended 2–0.
The matches in Sydney and Melbourne proved popular meaning. After the tour Shrewsbury returned to England in better physical shape thanks to the warmer climate of Australia, he and Shaw wrote to the Nottinghamshire committee to apologise for their previous season's actions, both were welcomed back into the side. In 1882 Shrewsbury scored his maiden first-class double century, the first double century by a Nottinghamshire cricketer, an innings of 207 at The Oval sharing in a stand of 289 with Billy Barnes, a first-class second wicket record, but this was Shrewsbury's only score above fifty all season. The following season was in complete contrast, as Shrewsbury scored seven fifties and no century, reaching 1,000 runs in a season for the first time. In 1884 Australia toured England. Shrewsbury warmed up for the First Test with 209 against Sussex at Hove, sharing in a stand of 266 with Billy Gunn, a first-class record for the fifth wicket. In the drawn First Test at Old Trafford Shrewsbury top scored with 43.
He managed 27 in the Second Test. The Third Test was drawn, Australia having scored 551. Declarations were not permitted until after 1889, Australia batted for 311 overs; every England player got a bowl. Shrewsbury finished the season just short of 1,000 runs a
In cricket, a player's bowling average is the number of runs they have conceded per wicket taken. The lower the bowling average is, the better the bowler is performing, it is one of a number of statistics used to compare bowlers used alongside the economy rate and the strike rate to judge the overall performance of a bowler. When a bowler has taken only a small number of wickets, their bowling average can be artificially high or low, unstable, with further wickets taken or runs conceded resulting in large changes to their bowling average. Due to this, qualification restrictions are applied when determining which players have the best bowling averages. After applying these criteria, George Lohmann holds the record for the lowest average in Test cricket, having claimed 112 wickets at an average of 10.75 runs per wicket. A cricketer's bowling average is calculated by dividing the numbers of runs they have conceded by the number of wickets they have taken; the number of runs conceded by a bowler is determined as the total number of runs that the opposing side have scored while the bowler was bowling, excluding any byes, leg byes, or penalty runs.
The bowler receives credit for any wickets taken during their bowling that are either bowled, hit wicket, leg before wicket or stumped. B o w l i n g a v e r a g e = R u n s c o n c e d e d W i c k e t s t a k e n A number of flaws have been identified for the statistic, most notable among these the fact that a bowler who has taken no wickets can not have a bowling average, as dividing by zero does not give a result; the effect of this is that the bowling average can not distinguish between a bowler who has taken no wickets and conceded one run, a bowler who has taken no wickets and conceded one hundred runs. The bowling average does not tend to give a true reflection of the bowler's ability when the number of wickets they have taken is small in comparison to the number of runs they have conceded. In his paper proposing an alternative method of judging batsmen and bowlers, Paul van Staden gives an example of this: Suppose a bowler has bowled a total of 80 balls, conceded 60 runs and has taken only 2 wickets so that..
30. If the bowler takes a wicket with the next ball bowled 20. Due to this, when establishing records for bowling averages, qualification criteria are set. For Test cricket, the Wisden Cricketers' Almanack sets this as 75 wickets, while ESPNcricinfo requires 2,000 deliveries. Similar restrictions are set for one-day cricket. A number of factors other than purely the ability level of the bowler have an effect on a player's bowling average. Most significant among these are the different eras; the bowling average tables in Test and first-class cricket are headed by players who competed in the nineteenth century, a period when pitches were uncovered and some were so badly looked after that they had rocks on them. The bowlers competing in the Howa Bowl, a competition played in South African during the apartheid-era, restricted to non-white players, during which time, according to Vincent Barnes: "Most of the wickets we played on were underprepared. For me, as a bowler, it was great." Other factors which provided an advantage to bowlers in that era was the lack of significant safety equipment.
Other variations are caused by frequent matches against stronger or weaker opposition, changes in the laws of cricket and the length of matches. Due to the varying qualifying restrictions placed on the records by different statisticians, the record for the lowest career bowling average can be different from publication to publication. In Test cricket, George Lohmann is listed as having the superior average by each of the Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, ESPNcricinfo and CricketArchive. Though all three use different restrictions, Lohmann's average of 10.75 is considered the best. If no qualification criteria were applied at all, three players—Wilf Barber, A. N. Hornby and Bruce Murray—would tie for the best average, all having claimed just one wicket in Test matches, without conceding any runs, thus averaging zero. ESPNcricinfo list Betty Wilson as having the best Women's Test cricket average with 11.80, while CricketArchive accept Mary Spear's average of 5.78. In One Day Internationals, the varying criteria set by ESPNcricinfo and CricketArchive result in different players being listed as holding the record.
ESPNcricinfo has the stricter restriction, requiring 1,000 deliveries: by this measure, Joel Garner is the record-holder, having claimed his wickets at an average of 18.84. By CricketArchive's more relaxed requirement of 400 deliveries, John Snow leads the way, with an average of 16.57. In women's One Day International cricket, Caroline Barrs tops the CricketArchive list with an average of 9.52, but by ESPNcricinfo's stricter guidelines, the record is instead held by Gill Smith's 12.53. The record is again split for the two websites for Twenty20 International cricket. George O'Brien's average of 8.20 holds the record using those criteri