1946 English cricket season
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.
- County Championship – Yorkshire
- Minor Counties Championship – Suffolk
- Wisden – Alec Bedser, Laurie Fishlock, Vinoo Mankad, Peter Smith, Cyril Washbrook
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.
- First Test at Lord's: England won by 10 wickets
- Second Test at Old Trafford: match drawn
- Third Test at The Oval: match drawn
Mankad was recognised by Wisden as one of its "Five Cricketers of the Year".
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". 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".
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.
|Position||Team||Played||Won||Lost||Drawn||No Dec||1st inn
lead match L
lead match D
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
|1946 English cricket season – leading batsmen by average|
|1946 English cricket season – leading batsmen by aggregate|
Leading bowlers – all first-class matches
|1946 English cricket season – leading bowlers by average|
|1946 English cricket season – leading bowlers by aggregate|