1871 English cricket season
|Cricket formats||major, including inter-county|
The 1871 English cricket season was exceptionally memorable for a number of reasons. It saw the first-class debut of Derbyshire CCC, and the last first-class matches ever played by Cambridgeshire, who in the days of Bob Carpenter, the first Tom Hayward and George Tarrant had been one of the leading cricket counties.
More significantly, it saw WG Grace surpass his previous season’s record of 1,808 runs and his 1869 average of 57.39 by scoring 2,739 at the staggering average of 78.25 at a time when most pitches were still unrolled and very dangerous to batsmen - though the heavy roller was already producing major improvements to Lord’s and eliminating the fabled bottom-of-the-stump shooters. These were not beaten until Arthur Shrewsbury averaged 78.71 in 1887 and K.S. Ranjitsinhji scored 2,780 runs in 1896.
Leading batsmen (qualification 15 innings)
|1871 English season leading batsmen|
|Name||Team||Matches||Innings||Not outs||Runs||Highest score||Average||100s||50s|
All England Eleven
|Robert Carpenter||All England Eleven
|9||16||4||446||87 not out||37.16||0||3|
|Walter Hadow||Oxford University
Leading bowlers (qualification 800 balls)
|1871 English season leading bowlers|
|Name||Team||Balls bowled||Runs conceded||Wickets taken||Average||Best bowling||5 wickets
|Samuel Butler||Oxford University||1136||446||37||12.05||10/38||4||2|
All England Eleven
|E. M. Grace||Gloucestershire||930||286||22||13.00||6/36||1||0|
- Cambridgeshire CCC played one match in the 1871 season and ceased to be a first-class county thereafter. This was blamed on the reluctance of the leading players in the county to appear for the Cambridgeshire side, preferring to play for the touring elevens.
- In Derbyshire’s opening season the club played its initial first-class match v. Lancashire at Old Trafford on 26 and 27 May.
- Middlesex CCC, after being threatened with disbanding due to lack of a ground, acquired the Lillie Bridge ground in West Brompton as a "home" venue, but played only one match there.
- Prince's Cricket Ground was opened on former market gardens in Chelsea by two brothers dissatisfied with the condition of the Lord’s pitch - ironically Lord’s improved markedly this very season. Prince’s was a major ground in the middle 1870s but was built-on between 1877 and 1886.
- 28 June: William Game, with 281 for Sherborne against Motcombe, hit the first double century in a public school game
- W. G. Grace caused a sensation by scoring 2,739 runs - this being the first time 2,000 was exceeded. He was to repeat the feat in 1876 and 1887, but no other player was to equal Grace until Andrew Stoddart and William Gunn did so in 1893. Grace's dominance is shown by comparing his figures for the season with the next best. Richard Daft had the next highest average among batsmen playing 10 innings or more, with 37.66, less than half Grace’s figure. Harry Jupp had the next highest runs aggregate, with 1068.
- With ten centuries, Grace beat his 1869 record of six in one season. This was not equalled until Ranjitsinhji in 1896 and beaten by Ranji in 1900. No other batsman made more than a single hundred.
- Surrey played thirteen county games without a single win, an ignominy not surpassed until Derbyshire in 1897 played sixteen winless games. Surrey were not to fail to win a single county game again until 2008.
- Baily’s Magazine of Sports and Pastimes, Volume 20 (1871); p. 286
- Wynne-Thomas, Peter; The Rigby A-Z of Cricket Records; p. 53 ISBN 072701868X
- First Class Batting in England in 1871
- First Class Bowling in England in 1871
- First Class Cricket Matches 1871 - ACS - Nottingham Ed. Robert W Brooke
- Wisden, John (editor); John Wisden’s Cricketers’ Almanac; Eighth Edition (1871); p. 121
- Rae, Simon; W. G. Grace: A Life; p. 106 ISBN 0571195733
- See Wisden, John (editor); John Wisden’s Cricketers’ Almanac; Eighth Edition (1871); pp. 148-149
- John Lillywhite's Cricketer's Companion (Green Lilly), Lillywhite, 1872
- James Lillywhite's Cricketers' Annual (Red Lilly), Lillywhite, 1872
- John Wisden's Cricketers' Almanack, 1872