1946 English cricket season

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The 1946 English cricket season was the first full season of first-class cricket to be played in England after World War II. It featured a three-match Test series between England and India, which was arranged at short notice. Meanwhile, Yorkshire retained the County Championship title, having been the last pre-war champions in 1939.

Wisden Cricketers Almanack (1947 edition), in its review of the 1946 season, remarked that "the weather in 1946 might have been dreadful, but it didn't stop the crowds flocking to games".[1]

Honours[edit]

Test series[edit]

England managed to arrange a three-match series against India, whose team was captained by former England player Iftikhar Ali Khan, the Nawab of Pataudi and included Vinoo Mankad, Vijay Merchant and future Pakistan captain Abdul Hafeez Kardar.

England won the First Test thanks to Alec Bedser's 11 wickets on his debut. The Second Test was drawn after India's last two batsmen held out for the final 13 minutes with England well ahead, Bedser again having taken 11 wickets in the match. The Third Test was also drawn after being ruined by persistent rain.

Mankad was recognised by Wisden as one of its "Five Cricketers of the Year".

County Championship[edit]

Review[edit]

The 1946 County Championship had all teams scheduled to play 26 matches, although there were many incomplete games because of the weather "may be written down as the worst in living memory".[2] Teams were awarded 12 points for a win and could also claim points for first innings lead in matches drawn or lost. In the end, the team with the most wins finished first and the team with the second most wins finished second, so the additional points did not really impact the outcome. According to Wisden in its 1947 edition, Yorkshire retained the title with "something to spare" but the competition was very close until the last few days. Middlesex and Lancashire "gave Yorkshire most reason for anxiety".[2]

Captained by Brian Sellers, Yorkshire's success was chiefly due to its two main bowlers Ellis Robinson and Arthur Booth who took 167 and 111 wickets respectively in all first-class matches. Yorkshire's pace bowlers were the veteran Bill Bowes, who played for England in 1946, and future England player Alec Coxon. They took 65 and 69 wickets respectively. Seamer Frank Smailes, who also played for England against India, took 76 wickets. Booth was the season's surprise success as he was then 43 and had been a Minor Counties player before the war. Yorkshire had recalled him after many years absence as a replacement for the late Hedley Verity and Booth made the most of frequently damp conditions that suited his type of slow left arm bowling. Yorkshire's batting depended heavily on Len Hutton, supported by veterans Wilf Barber and Maurice Leyland. Norman Yardley batted well and took part in a Test trial.

Runners-up Middlesex was captained by Walter Robins and had a very strong batting lineup led by Denis Compton. The best Middlesex bowlers were Jim Sims and Jack Young.

Final table[edit]

Position Team Played Won Lost Drawn No Dec 1st inn

lead match L

1st inn

lead match D

Points
Pts 12 4 4
1 Yorkshire 26 17 1 5 3 0 4 216
2 Middlesex 26 16 5 5 0 1 2 204
3 Lancashire 26 15 4 5 2 1 4 200
4 Somerset 26 12 6 7 1 2 3 166
5 Gloucestershire 26 12 6 4 4 1 3 160
=6 Glamorgan 26 10 8 6 2 3 3 144
=6 Kent 26 11 8 7 0 0 3 144
=8 Essex 26 8 9 8 1 2 4 120
=8 Worcestershire 26 9 12 2 3 3 0 120
10 Hampshire 26 8 15 3 0 2 2 112
=11 Leicestershire 26 7 13 4 2 2 2 100
=11 Surrey 26 6 11 7 2 3 4 100
13 Nottinghamshire 26 6 8 11 1 1 5 96
14 Warwickshire 26 7 15 3 1 1 1 92
15 Derbyshire 26 5 12 8 1 3 4 88
16 Northamptonshire 26 2 11 11 2 2 8 64
17 Sussex 26 4 11 10 1 2 1 60

Yorkshire total includes eight points for win on first innings in match reduced by weather to one day. Somerset total includes two points for tie on first innings in match lost.

Leading batsmen – all first-class matches[edit]

1946 English cricket season – leading batsmen by average
Name Innings Runs Highest Average 100s
Walter Hammond 26 1783 214 84.90 7
Vijay Merchant 41 2385 242* 74.53 7
Cyril Washbrook 43 2400 182 68.57 9
Denis Compton 45 2403 235 61.61 10
Martin Donnelly 29 1425 142 52.77 6
Micky Walford 10 472 141* 52.44 2
1946 English cricket season – leading batsmen by aggregate
Name Innings Runs Highest Average 100s
Denis Compton 45 2403 235 61.61 10
Cyril Washbrook 43 2400 182 68.57 9
Vijay Merchant 41 2385 242* 74.53 7
Laurie Fishlock 46 2221 172 50.47 5
Dennis Brookes 48 2191 200 50.95 7
Jack Robertson 58 2114 128 38.43 5

Leading bowlers – all first-class matches[edit]

1946 English cricket season – leading bowlers by average
Name Balls Maidens Runs Wickets Average
Arthur Booth 5504 423 1289 111 11.61
Johnnie Clay 4874 204 1742 130 13.40
Austin Matthews 4160 215 1329 93 14.29
Ellis Robinson 6830 354 2498 167 14.95
Bill Bowes 3578 203 987 65 15.18
1946 English cricket season – leading bowlers by aggregate
Name Balls Maidens Runs Wickets Average
Eric Hollies 9168 433 2871 184 15.60
Tom Goddard 7862 358 3095 177 17.48
Ellis Robinson 6830 354 2498 167 14.95
Jack Walsh 5962 144 3012 148 20.35
Sam Cook 6739 327 2477 133 18.62

References[edit]

  1. ^ Wisden 1947 – Review of 1946 season. Retrieved on 29 September 2009.
  2. ^ a b Wisden 1947 – Notes by the Editor. Retrieved on 14 October 2009.

External links[edit]

Bibliography[edit]