A. G. Steel

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A. G. Steel
Ranji 1897 page 259 A. G. Steel.jpg
Personal information
Full name Allan Gibson Steel
Born (1858-09-24)24 September 1858
West Derby, Liverpool, Lancashire, England
Died 15 June 1914(1914-06-15) (aged 55)
Hyde Park, London, England
Batting style Right-handed
Bowling style Right arm fast-medium / slow-medium
International information
National side
Test debut (cap 28) 6 September 1880 v Australia
Last Test 17 July 1888 v Australia
Domestic team information
Years Team
1877–1893 Lancashire
1880–1890 MCC
1878–1881 Cambridge University
Career statistics
Competition Tests First-class
Matches 13 162
Runs scored 600 7,000
Batting average 35.29 29.41
100s/50s 2/0 8/36
Top score 148 171
Balls bowled 1360 31,137
Wickets 29 789
Bowling average 20.86 14.78
5 wickets in innings 0 64
10 wickets in match 0 20
Best bowling 3/27 9/63
Catches/stumpings 5/– 141/–
Source: CricketArchive, 23 September 2008

Allan Gibson "AG" Steel (registered at birth as Alan Gibson Steel) (1858 –1914) was a Lancashire and England cricketer, who was reckoned by many in his day to be the equal of the legendary W G Grace.

Biography[edit]

Born 24 September 1858 in West Derby, Liverpool to Joseph Steel of Liverpool, and Kirkwood in Scotland, he was one of seven cricketing brothers and three of his brothers Ernest (EE), Douglas (DQ) and Harold (HB), also played first-class cricket for Lancashire. After his schooldays at Marlborough College, where he played cricket superbly, he proceeded to Trinity Hall, Cambridge.[1] He was an instant star in the Cambridge University side of 1878 where he topped the bowling averages for the whole of England as a freshman. According to HS Altham, "it was unquestionably A.G. Steel's bowling that made the difference between a good and a great eleven".

Steel played in the first ever Test Match in England at The Oval in 1880, then in the famous Test which England narrowly lost in 1882. The mock obituary was published in The Sporting Times saying "R.I.P. English Cricket...the body will be cremated and the Ashes will be taken to Australia."

Soon after Steel set off for Australia with his Cambridge University friends Ivo Bligh and the Studd brothers George and Charles, and a team they had put together. They toured Australia in 1882–1883 and won the agreed series 2–1, thus being given a small urn. They are commemorated by the poem inscribed on the side of the urn:

When Ivo goes back with the urn, the urn;
Studds, Steel, Read and Tylecote return, return;
The welkin will ring loud,
The great crowd will feel proud,
Seeing Barlow and Bates with the urn, the urn;
And the rest coming home with the urn.

Steel scored 135 at the Sydney Cricket Ground in a Fourth Test match arranged as an "extra" on that tour, in 1883. Over the whole tour he topped both the batting and the bowling averages.

Steel, who was known by his initials to differentiate him from his brothers, then made his highest Test score, of 148, in 1884 which was the first ever Test match century scored at Lord's. His name still heads the Honours Board. He captained England in 1886 winning all three times – whitewashing the Australians 3–0. His last Test was in 1888, again as captain but losing this one.

Steel wrote the chapter on bowling in the cricket volume of the Badminton Library (1888).[2]

He was president of the Marylebone Cricket Club for 1902. His son Allan Ivo Steel played a handful of first-class matches for MCC and Middlesex but was killed in the First World War. He died 15 June 1914 in London

A. G. Steel

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Steel, Allan Gibson (STL877AG)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 
  2. ^ "Allan Gibson Steel – A tribute". Wisden Cricketers' Almanack. 1915. 
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Arthur Shrewsbury
English national cricket captain
1886
Succeeded by
Arthur Shrewsbury