In cricket, the term wicket has several meanings. Firstly, it is one of two bails at either end of the pitch; the wicket is guarded by a batsman who, with his bat, attempts to prevent the ball from hitting the wicket. Secondly, through metonymic usage, the dismissal of a batsman is known as the taking of a wicket, thirdly, the cricket pitch itself is sometimes called the wicket; the origin of the word is from a small gate. Cricket wickets had only two stumps and one bail and looked like a gate; the third stump was introduced in 1775. The size and shape of the wicket has changed several times during the last 300 years and its dimensions and placing is now determined by Law 8 in the Laws of Cricket, thus: Law 8: The wickets; the wicket consists of three wooden stumps. The stumps are placed along the batting crease with equal distances between each stump, they are positioned. Two wooden bails are placed in shallow grooves on top of the stumps; the bails must not project more than 0.5 inches above the stumps, must, for men's cricket, be 4.31 inches long.
There are specified lengths for the barrel and spigots of the bail. There are different specifications for the bails for junior cricket; the umpires may dispense with the bails. Further details on the specifications of the wickets are contained in Appendix D to the laws. For a batsman to be dismissed by being bowled, run out, stumped or hit wicket, his wicket needs to be put down. What this means is defined by Law 29. A wicket is put down if a bail is removed from the top of the stumps, or a stump is struck out of the grounds by the ball, the striker's bat, the striker's person, a fielder. A 2010 amendment to the Laws clarified the rare circumstance where a bat breaks during the course of a shot and the detached debris breaks the wicket; the wicket is put down if a fielder pulls a stump out of the ground in the same manner. If one bail is off, removing the remaining bail or striking or pulling any of the three stumps out of the ground is sufficient to put the wicket down. A fielder may remake the wicket, if necessary, in order to put it down to have an opportunity of running out a batsman.
If however both bails are off, a fielder must remove one of the three stumps out of the ground with the ball, or pull it out of the ground with a hand or arm, provided that the ball is held in the hand or hands so used, or in the hand of the arm so used. If the umpires have agreed to dispense with bails, for example, it is too windy for the bails to remain on the stumps, the decision as to whether the wicket has been put down is one for the umpire concerned to decide. After a decision to play without bails, the wicket has been put down if the umpire concerned is satisfied that the wicket has been struck by the ball, by the striker's bat, person, or items of his clothing or equipment separated from his person as described above, or by a fielder with the hand holding the ball or with the arm of the hand holding the ball; the dismissal of a batsman is known as the taking of a wicket. The batsman is said to have lost his wicket, the batting side is said to have lost a wicket, the fielding side to have taken a wicket, the bowler is said to have taken his wicket, if the dismissal is one of the types for which the bowler receives credit.
This language is used if the dismissal did not involve the stumps and bails in any way, for example, a catch. Though note that the other four of the five most common methods of dismissal do involve the stumps and bails being put down, or prevented from being put down by the batsman; the word wicket has this meaning in the following contexts: A team's score is described in terms of the total number of runs scored and the total number of wickets lost. The number of wickets taken is a primary measure of a individual bowler's ability, a key part of a bowling analysis; the sequence of time over which two particular batsmen bat together, a partnership, is referred to as a numbered wicket when discriminating it from other partnerships in the innings. The first wicket partnership is from the start of the innings until the team loses its first wicket, i.e. one of the first two batsmen is dismissed. The second wicket partnership is from when the third batsman starts batting until the team loses its second wicket, i.e. a second batsman is dismissed.
Etc... The tenth wicket or last wicket partnership is from when the eleventh batsman starts batting until the team loses its tenth wicket, i.e. a tenth batsman is dismissed. A team can win a match by a certain number of wickets; this means that they were batting last, reached the winning target with a certain number of batsmen still not dismissed. For example, if the side scored the required number of runs to win with only three batsmen dismissed, they are said to have won by seven wickets; the word wicket is sometimes used to refer to the cricket pitch itself. According to the Laws of Cricket, this usage is incorrect, but it is in common usage and understood by cricket followers; the term sticky wicket refers to a situation in which the pitch has become damp due to rain or high humidity. This makes the path of the ball more unpredictable thus making the
Inverness is a city in the Scottish Highlands. It is the administrative centre for The Highland Council and is regarded as the capital of the Highlands. Inverness lies near two important battle sites: the 11th-century battle of Blàr nam Fèinne against Norway which took place on the Aird and the 18th century Battle of Culloden which took place on Culloden Moor, it is the northernmost city in the United Kingdom and lies within the Great Glen at its north-eastern extremity where the River Ness enters the Moray Firth. At the latest, a settlement was established by the 6th century with the first royal charter being granted by Dabíd mac Maíl Choluim in the 12th century; the Gaelic king Mac Bethad Mac Findláich whose 11th-century killing of King Duncan was immortalised in Shakespeare's fictionalized play Macbeth, held a castle within the city where he ruled as Mormaer of Moray and Ross. The population of Inverness grew from 40,969 in 2001 to 46,869 in 2012; the Greater Inverness area, including Culloden and Westhill, had a population of 59,969 in 2012.
In 2018, it had a population of 69,989. Inverness is one of Europe's fastest growing cities, with a quarter of the Highland population living in or around it, is ranked fifth out of 189 British cities for its quality of life, the highest of any Scottish city. In the recent past, Inverness has experienced rapid economic growth: between 1998 and 2008, Inverness and the rest of the central Highlands showed the largest growth of average economic productivity per person in Scotland and the second greatest growth in the United Kingdom as a whole, with an increase of 86%. Inverness is twinned with one German city and two French towns, La Baule and Saint-Valery-en-Caux. Inverness College is the main campus for the University of the Islands. With around 8,500 students, Inverness College hosts around a quarter of all the University of the Highlands and Islands' students, 30% of those studying to degree level. In 2014, a survey by a property website described Inverness as the happiest place in Scotland and the second happiest in the UK.
Inverness was again found to be the happiest place in Scotland by a new study conducted in 2015. Inverness was one of the chief strongholds of the Picts, in CE 565 was visited by St Columba with the intention of converting the Pictish king Brude, supposed to have resided in the vitrified fort on Craig Phadrig, on the western edge of the city. A 93 oz silver chain dating to 500–800 was found just to the south of Torvean in 1983. A church or a monk's cell is thought to have been established by early Celtic monks on St Michael's Mount, a mound close to the river, now the site of the Old High Church and graveyard; the castle is said to have been built by Máel Coluim III of Scotland, after he had razed to the ground the castle in which Mac Bethad mac Findláich had, according to much tradition, murdered Máel Coluim's father Donnchad, which stood on a hill around 1 km to the north-east. The strategic location of Inverness has led to many conflicts in the area. Reputedly there was a battle in the early 11th century between King Malcolm and Thorfinn of Norway at Blar Nam Feinne, to the southwest of the city.
Inverness had four traditional fairs, including Legavrik or "Leth-Gheamhradh", meaning midwinter, Faoilleach. William the Lion granted Inverness four charters, by one. Of the Dominican friary founded by Alexander III in 1233, only one pillar and a worn knight's effigy survive in a secluded graveyard near the town centre. Medieval Inverness suffered regular raids from the Western Isles by the MacDonald Lords of the Isles in the 15th century. In 1187 one Domhnall Bán led islanders in a battle at Torvean against men from Inverness Castle led by the governor's son, Donnchadh Mac An Toisich. Both leaders were killed in the battle, Donald Ban is said to have been buried in a large cairn near the river, close to where the silver chain was found. Local tradition says that the citizens fought off the Clan Donald in 1340 at the Battle of Blairnacoi on Drumderfit Hill, north of Inverness across the Beauly Firth. On his way to the Battle of Harlaw in 1411, Donald of Islay harried the city, sixteen years James I held a parliament in the castle to which the northern chieftains were summoned, of whom three were arrested for defying the king's command.
Clan Munro defeated Clan Mackintosh in 1454 at the Battle of Clachnaharry just west of the city. Clan Donald and their allies stormed the castle during the Raid on Ross in 1491. In 1562, during the progress undertaken to suppress Huntly's insurrection, Queen of Scots, was denied admittance into Inverness Castle by the governor, who belonged to the earl's faction, whom she afterwards caused to be hanged; the Clan Munro and Clan Fraser of Lovat took the castle for her. The house in which she lived meanwhile stood in Bridge Street until the 1970s, when it was demolished to make way for the second Bridge Street development. Beyond the northern limits of the town, Oliver Cromwell built a citadel capable of accommodating 1,000 men, but with the exception of a portion of the ramparts it was demolished at the Restoration; the only surviving modern remnant is a clock tower. Inverness played a role in the Jacobite rising of 1689. In early May, it was besieged by a contingent of Jacobites led by MacDonell of Keppoch.
The town was rescued by Viscount Dundee, the overall Jacobite commander, when he arrived with the main Jacobite army, although he required Inverness to profess loyalty to King James VII. In 1715 the Jacobites occupie
Batting average (cricket)
In cricket, a player's batting average is the total number of runs they have scored divided by the number of times they have been out. Since the number of runs a player scores and how they get out are measures of their own playing ability, independent of their teammates, batting average is a good metric for an individual player's skill as a batter; the number is simple to interpret intuitively. If all the batter's innings were completed, this is the average number of runs they score per innings. If they did not complete all their innings, this number is an estimate of the unknown average number of runs they score per innings; each player has several batting averages, with a different figure calculated for each type of match they play, a player's batting averages may be calculated for individual seasons or series, or at particular grounds, or against particular opponents, or across their whole career. Batting average has been used to gauge cricket players' relative skills since the 18th century.
Most players have career batting averages in the range of 20 to 40. This is the desirable range for wicket-keepers, though some fall short and make up for it with keeping skill; until a substantial increase in scores in the 21st century due to improved bats and smaller grounds among other factors, players who sustained an average above 50 through a career were considered exceptional, before the development of the heavy roller in the 1870s an average of 25 was considered good. All-rounders who are more prominent bowlers than batsmen average something between 20 and 30. 15 and under is typical for specialist bowlers. A small number of players have averaged less than 5 for a complete career, though a player with such an average is a liability unless an exceptional bowler as Alf Valentine, B. S. Chandrasekhar or Glenn McGrath were. Career records for batting average are subject to a minimum qualification of 20 innings played or completed, in order to exclude batsmen who have not played enough games for their skill to be reliably assessed.
Under this qualification, the highest Test batting average belongs to Australia's Sir Donald Bradman, with 99.94. Given that a career batting average over 50 is exceptional, that only five other players have averages over 60, this is an outstanding statistic; the fact that Bradman's average is so far above that of any other cricketer has led several statisticians to argue that, statistically at least, he was the greatest athlete in any sport. Disregarding this 20 innings qualification, the highest career test batting average is 112, by Andy Ganteaume, a Trinidadian Keeper-batsman, dismissed for 112 in his only test innings. Batting averages in One Day International cricket tend to be lower than in Test cricket, because of the need to score runs more and take riskier strokes and the lesser emphasis on building a large innings, it should be remembered in relation to the ODI histogram above, that there were no ODI competitions when Bradman played. If a batter has been dismissed in every single innings this statistic gives the average number of runs they score per innings.
However, for a batter with innings which finished not out, the true average number of runs they score per innings is unknown as it is not known how many runs they would have scored if they could have completed all their not out innings. This statistic is an estimate of the average number of runs. If their scores have a geometric distribution this statistic is the maximum likelihood estimate of their true unknown average. Batting averages can be affected by the number of not outs. For example, Phil Tufnell, noted for his poor batting, has an respectable ODI average of 15, despite a highest score of only 5 not out, as he scored an overall total of 15 runs from 10 innings, but was out only once. A batter who has not been dismissed in any of the innings over which their average is being calculated does not have a batting average, as dividing by zero does not give a result. Highest career batting averages in Test matches. Table shows players with at least 20 innings completed. * denotes not out. Last updated: 14 October 2018.
Highest career batting averages in First-class cricket as follows: Source: Cricinfo Statsguru. Table shows players with at least 50 innings batted, note this table has no requirement for minimum number of runs scored. * denotes not out. Last updated: 10 November 2018. Alternative measures of batting effectiveness have been developed, including: Strike rate measures a different concept to batting average – how the batter scores – so it does not supplant the role of batting average, it is used in limited overs matches, where the speed at which a batter scores is more important than it is in first-class cricket. A system of player rankings was developed to produce a better indication of players' current standings than is provided by comparing their averages. Cricket statistics Batting average Bowling average
New Zealand national cricket team
The New Zealand national cricket team, nicknamed the Black Caps, played their first Test in 1930 against England in Christchurch, becoming the fifth country to play Test cricket. From 1930 New Zealand had to wait until 1956, more than 26 years, for its first Test victory, against the West Indies at Eden Park in Auckland, they played their first ODI in the 1972–73 season against Pakistan in Christchurch. The current Test, One-day and Twenty20 captain is Kane Williamson, who replaced Brendon McCullum who announced his retirement in late December 2015; the national team is organised by New Zealand Cricket. The New Zealand cricket team became known as the Black Caps in January 1998, after its sponsor at the time, Clear Communications, held a competition to choose a name for the team. Official New Zealand Cricket sources typeset the nickname as BLACKCAPS; this is one of many national team nicknames related to the All Blacks. As of 12 March 2019, New Zealand have played 1309 Internationals, winning 496, losing 594, tying 11 and drawing 165 matches while 43 matches ended yielding no result.
The team is ranked 2nd in Tests, 3rd in ODIs and 6th in T20Is by the ICC. New Zealand defeated South Africa in the semi final of Cricket World Cup 2015, their first win in the a world cup semi final and hence they made their maiden appearance in a World Cup Final; the reverend Henry Williams provided history with the first report of a game of cricket in New Zealand, when he wrote in his diary in December 1832 about boys in and around Paihia on Horotutu Beach playing cricket. In 1835, Charles Darwin and HMS Beagle called into the Bay of Islands on its epic circumnavigation of the Earth and Darwin witnessed a game of cricket played by freed Māori slaves and the son of a missionary at Waimate North. Darwin in The Voyage of the Beagle wrote: several young men redeemed by the missionaires from slavery were employed on the farm. In the evening I saw a party of them at cricket; the first recorded game of cricket in New Zealand took place in Wellington in December 1842. The Wellington Spectator reports a game on 28 December 1842 played by a "Red" team and a "Blue" team from the Wellington Club.
The first recorded match was reported by the Examiner in Nelson between the Surveyors and Nelson in March 1844. The first team to tour New Zealand was Parr's all England XI in 1863–64. Between 1864 and 1914, 22 foreign teams toured New Zealand. England sent Australia 15 and one from Fiji. On 15–17 February 1894 the first team representing New Zealand played New South Wales at Lancaster Park in Christchurch. New South Wales won by 160 runs. New South Wales returned again in 1895–96 and New Zealand won the solitary game by 142 runs, its first victory; the New Zealand Cricket Council was formed towards the end of 1894. New Zealand played its first two internationals in 1904–05 against a star-studded Australia team containing such players as Victor Trumper, Warwick Armstrong and Clem Hill. Rain saved New Zealand from a thrashing in the first match, but not the second, which New Zealand lost by an innings and 358 runs – the second largest defeat in New Zealand first-class history. In 1927 NZ toured England.
They played 26 first class matches against county sides. They managed to beat Worcestershire, Glamorgan and Derbyshire. On the strength of the performances of this tour New Zealand was granted Test status. In 1929/30 the M. C. C played 4 Tests all of 3 days in duration. New Zealand lost its first Test match but drew the next 3. In the second Test Stewie Dempster and Jackie Mills put on 276 for the first wicket; this is still the highest partnership for New Zealand against England. New Zealand first played South Africa in 1931–32 in a three match series but were unable to secure Test matches against any teams other than England before World War II ended all Test cricket for 7 years. A Test tour by Australia, planned for February and March 1940, was cancelled after the outbreak of the war. New Zealand's first Test after the war was against Australia in 1945/46; this game was not considered a "Test" at the time but it was granted Test status retrospectively by the International Cricket Council in March 1948.
The New Zealand players who appeared in this match did not appreciate this move by the ICC as New Zealand were dismissed for 42 and 54. The New Zealand Cricket Council's unwillingness to pay Australian players a decent allowance to tour New Zealand ensured that this was the only Test Australia played against New Zealand between 1929 and 1972. In 1949 New Zealand sent one of its best sides to England, it contained Martin Donnelly, John R. Reid and Jack Cowie. However, 3-day Test matches ensured. Many have regarded the 1949 tour of England among New Zealand's best touring performances. All four tests were high-scoring despite being draws and Martin Donnelly's 206 at Lord's hailed as one of the finest innings seen there. Despite being winless, New Zealand did not lose a test either. Prior to this, only the legendary 1948 Australian team, led by the great Don Bradman, had achieved this. New Zealand played its first matches against the West Indies in 1951–52, Pakistan and India in 1955/56. In 1954/55 New Zealand recorded the lowest innings total, 26 against England.
The following season New Zealand achieved its first Test victory. The first 3 Tests of a 4 Test series were won by the West Indies but New Zealand won the fourth to notch up its first Test victory, it had taken them 26 years to attain. In the next 20 years New Zealand won only seven more Tests. For most of this period New Zealand lacked a class bowler to lead their attack although they had two excellent batsmen in Bert Sutcliffe and Glenn Turner and a great all-rounder in John R. Reid. Reid capt
Rugby union known in most of the world as rugby, is a contact team sport which originated in England in the first half of the 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand. In its most common form, a game is between two teams of 15 players using an oval-shaped ball on a rectangular field with H-shaped goalposts at each end. Rugby union is a popular sport around the world, played by male and female players of all ages. In 2014, there were more than 6 million people playing worldwide, of whom 2.36 million were registered players. World Rugby called the International Rugby Football Board and the International Rugby Board, has been the governing body for rugby union since 1886, has 101 countries as full members and 18 associate members. In 1845, the first football laws were written by Rugby School pupils. An amateur sport, in 1995 restrictions on payments to players were removed, making the game professional at the highest level for the first time.
Rugby union spread from the Home Nations of Great Britain and Ireland and was absorbed by many of the countries associated with the British Empire. Early exponents of the sport included New Zealand, South Africa and France. Countries that have adopted rugby union as their de facto national sport include Fiji, Madagascar, New Zealand and Tonga. International matches have taken place since 1871 when the first game took place between Scotland and England at Raeburn Place in Edinburgh; the Rugby World Cup, first held in 1987, takes place every four years. The Six Nations Championship in Europe and The Rugby Championship in the Southern Hemisphere are other major international competitions, held annually. National club or provincial competitions include the Premiership in England, the Top 14 in France, the Mitre 10 Cup in New Zealand, the National Rugby Championship in Australia, the Currie Cup in South Africa. Other transnational club competitions include the Pro14 in Europe and South Africa, the European Rugby Champions Cup in Europe, Super Rugby, in the Southern Hemisphere and Japan.
The origin of rugby football is reputed to be an incident during a game of English school football at Rugby School in 1823, when William Webb Ellis is said to have picked up the ball and run with it. Although the evidence for the story is doubtful, it was immortalised at the school with a plaque unveiled in 1895. Despite the doubtful evidence, the Rugby World Cup trophy is named after Webb Ellis. Rugby football stems from the form of game played at Rugby School, which former pupils introduced to their university. Old Rugbeian Albert Pell, a student at Cambridge, is credited with having formed the first "football" team. During this early period different schools used different rules, with former pupils from Rugby and Eton attempting to carry their preferred rules through to their universities. A significant event in the early development of rugby football was the production of the first written laws of the game at Rugby School in 1845, followed by the Cambridge Rules drawn up in 1848. Other important events include the Blackheath Club's decision to leave the Football Association in 1863 and the formation of the Rugby Football Union in 1871.
The code was known as "rugby football". Despite the sport's full name of rugby union, it is known as rugby throughout most of the world; the first rugby football international was played on 27 March 1871 between Scotland and England in Edinburgh. Scotland won the game 1-0. By 1881 both Ireland and Wales had representative teams, in 1883 the first international competition, the Home Nations Championship had begun. 1883 is the year of the first rugby sevens tournament, the Melrose Sevens, still held annually. Two important overseas tours took place in 1888: a British Isles team visited Australia and New Zealand—although a private venture, it laid the foundations for future British and Irish Lions tours. During the early history of rugby union, a time before commercial air travel, teams from different continents met; the first two notable tours both took place in 1888—the British Isles team touring New Zealand and Australia, followed by the New Zealand team touring Europe. Traditionally the most prestigious tours were the Southern Hemisphere countries of Australia, New Zealand and South Africa making a tour of a Northern Hemisphere, the return tours made by a joint British and Irish team.
Tours would last for months, due to the number of games undertaken. Touring international sides would play Test matches against international opponents, including national and county sides in the case of Northern Hemisphere rugby, or provincial/state sides in the case of Southern Hemisphere rugby. Between 1905 and 1908, all three major Southern Hemisphere rugby countries sent their first touring teams to the Northern Hemisphere: New Zealand in 1905, followed by South Africa in 1906 and Australia in 1908. All three teams brought new styles of play, fitness levels and tactics, were far more successful than critics had expected; the New Zealand 1905 touri
Rugby union positions
In the game of rugby union, there are 15 players on each team, comprising eight forwards and seven backs. In addition, there may be up to eight replacement players "on the bench", numbered 16–23. Players are not restricted to a single position, although they specialise in just one or two that suit their skills and body types. Players that play multiple positions are called "utility players"; the scrum must consist of eight players from each team: the "front row", the "second row", a "back row". The players outside the scrum are called "the backs": half back, first five, second five, two wings, a fullback. Early names, such as "three-quarters" and "outside-halves" are still used by many in the Northern Hemisphere, while in the Southern Hemisphere the fly-half and inside centre are colloquially called "first five-eighth" and "second five-eighth" while the scrum-half is known as the "half-back"; the backs play behind the forwards and are more built and faster. Successful backs are skilful at kicking.
Full-backs need to be good defenders and kickers, have the ability to catch a kicked ball. The wingers are among the fastest players in a team and score many of the tries; the centres' key attacking roles are to break through the defensive line and link with wingers. The fly-half can be a good kicker and directs the backline; the scrum-half retrieves the ball from the forwards and needs a quick and accurate pass to get the ball to the backs. Forwards compete for the ball in scrums and line-outs and are bigger and stronger than the backs. Props push in the scrums. Locks jump for the ball at the line-out after the hooker has thrown it in; the flankers and number eight should be the first forwards to a tackle and play an important role in securing possession of the ball for their team. There are a maximum of 15 players from each team on a rugby field at one time; the players' position at the start of the game are indicated by the numbers on the back of their shirts, 1 to 15. The positions are divided into two main categories.
In international matches, there are eight substitutes. The substitutes, numbered 16 to 23, can either take up the position of the player they replace or the on-field players can be shuffled to make room for this player in another position; the replacement players will have a number that corresponds with their intended replacement position with the numbers from 16 to 20 being forwards and 21 to 23 being backs. There are no personal squad numbers and a versatile player's position and number may change from one game to the next. Players can change positions with players on the field during the match, and, as long as the laws are followed, any player can change positions with another player during the match. Common examples are the fly-half playing the full-back's position in defence or a prop taking the hooker's position at line-outs. Different positions on the field suit certain skill sets and body types leading to players specialising in a limited number of positions; each position has certain roles to play on the field, although most have been established through convention rather than law.
During general play, as long as they are not offside, the players may be positioned anywhere on the field. It is during the set pieces and line-out, when the positions are enforced. During early rugby union games there were only two positions; the attacking possibilities of playing close behind the scrimmage were recognised. The players who stationed themselves between the forwards and tends became known as "half-tends", it was observed that the players outside scrimmage were not limited to a defensive role, so the tends and half-tends were renamed "backs" and "half-backs". As the game became more sophisticated, the backs positioned at different depths behind the forwards, they were further differentiated into half-backs, three-quarter-backs, full-back. Specialised roles for the scrum evolved with "wing-forward" being employed to protect the half-back; the first international between England and Scotland was played in 1871 and consisted of twenty players on each side: thirteen forwards, three half-backs, one three-quarter and three full-backs.
The player numbers were reduced to fifteen in 1877. Numbers were added to the backs of players' jerseys in the 1920s as a way for coaches and selectors to rate individual players; the various positions have changed names over time and many are known by different names in different countries. Players in the flanker positions were known as "wing forwards", while in the backs, "centre three-quarter" and "wing three-quarter" were used to describe the outside centre and wing The names used by World Rugby tend to reflect Northern Hemisphere usage although fly-half is still known as "outside-half" or "stand-off" in Britain, "outhalf" in Ireland. In New Zealand, the scrum-half is still referred to as the "half-back", the fly-half is referred to as the "first five-eighth", the inside centre is called the "second five-eighth" and t
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters are at Broadcasting House in Westminster, it is the world's oldest national broadcasting organisation and the largest broadcaster in the world by number of employees, it employs over 20,950 staff in total. The total number of staff is 35,402 when part-time and fixed-contract staff are included; the BBC is established under a Royal Charter and operates under its Agreement with the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture and Sport. Its work is funded principally by an annual television licence fee, charged to all British households and organisations using any type of equipment to receive or record live television broadcasts and iPlayer catch-up; the fee is set by the British Government, agreed by Parliament, used to fund the BBC's radio, TV, online services covering the nations and regions of the UK. Since 1 April 2014, it has funded the BBC World Service, which broadcasts in 28 languages and provides comprehensive TV, online services in Arabic and Persian.
Around a quarter of BBC revenues come from its commercial arm BBC Studios Ltd, which sells BBC programmes and services internationally and distributes the BBC's international 24-hour English-language news services BBC World News, from BBC.com, provided by BBC Global News Ltd. From its inception, through the Second World War, to the 21st century, the BBC has played a prominent role in British culture, it is known colloquially as "The Beeb", "Auntie", or a combination of both. Britain's first live public broadcast from the Marconi factory in Chelmsford took place in June 1920, it was sponsored by the Daily Mail's Lord Northcliffe and featured the famous Australian soprano Dame Nellie Melba. The Melba broadcast caught the people's imagination and marked a turning point in the British public's attitude to radio. However, this public enthusiasm was not shared in official circles where such broadcasts were held to interfere with important military and civil communications. By late 1920, pressure from these quarters and uneasiness among the staff of the licensing authority, the General Post Office, was sufficient to lead to a ban on further Chelmsford broadcasts.
But by 1922, the GPO had received nearly 100 broadcast licence requests and moved to rescind its ban in the wake of a petition by 63 wireless societies with over 3,000 members. Anxious to avoid the same chaotic expansion experienced in the United States, the GPO proposed that it would issue a single broadcasting licence to a company jointly owned by a consortium of leading wireless receiver manufactures, to be known as the British Broadcasting Company Ltd. John Reith, a Scottish Calvinist, was appointed its General Manager in December 1922 a few weeks after the company made its first official broadcast; the company was to be financed by a royalty on the sale of BBC wireless receiving sets from approved domestic manufacturers. To this day, the BBC aims to follow the Reithian directive to "inform and entertain"; the financial arrangements soon proved inadequate. Set sales were disappointing as amateurs made their own receivers and listeners bought rival unlicensed sets. By mid-1923, discussions between the GPO and the BBC had become deadlocked and the Postmaster-General commissioned a review of broadcasting by the Sykes Committee.
The Committee recommended a short term reorganisation of licence fees with improved enforcement in order to address the BBC's immediate financial distress, an increased share of the licence revenue split between it and the GPO. This was to be followed by a simple 10 shillings licence fee with no royalty once the wireless manufactures protection expired; the BBC's broadcasting monopoly was made explicit for the duration of its current broadcast licence, as was the prohibition on advertising. The BBC was banned from presenting news bulletins before 19.00 and was required to source all news from external wire services. Mid-1925 found the future of broadcasting under further consideration, this time by the Crawford committee. By now, the BBC, under Reith's leadership, had forged a consensus favouring a continuation of the unified broadcasting service, but more money was still required to finance rapid expansion. Wireless manufacturers were anxious to exit the loss making consortium with Reith keen that the BBC be seen as a public service rather than a commercial enterprise.
The recommendations of the Crawford Committee were published in March the following year and were still under consideration by the GPO when the 1926 general strike broke out in May. The strike temporarily interrupted newspaper production, with restrictions on news bulletins waived, the BBC became the primary source of news for the duration of the crisis; the crisis placed the BBC in a delicate position. On one hand Reith was acutely aware that the Government might exercise its right to commandeer the BBC at any time as a mouthpiece of the Government if the BBC were to step out of line, but on the other he was anxious to maintain public trust by appearing to be acting independently; the Government was divided on how to handle the BBC but ended up trusting Reith, whose opposition to the strike mirrored the PM's own. Thus the BBC was granted sufficient leeway to pursue the Government's objectives in a manner of its own choosing; the resulting coverage of both striker and government viewpoints impressed millions of listeners who were unaware that the PM had broadcast to the nation from Reith's home, using one of Reith's sound bites inserted at the last moment