Ted Alletson

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Ted Alletson
Cricket information
Batting style Right-handed batsman
Bowling style n/a
International information
National side
Career statistics
Competition First-class
Matches 119
Runs scored 3217
Batting average 18.59
100s/50s 1/13
Top score 189
Balls bowled 1253
Wickets 33
Bowling average 19.03
5 wickets in innings 1
10 wickets in match 0
Best bowling 6/74
Catches/stumpings 74/0
Source: CricInfo

Edwin Boaler (Ted) Alletson, (6 March 1884 in Welbeck – 5 July 1963 in Worksop), played English county cricket for Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club during the early years of the 20th century. He was predominantly selected by Nottinghamshire as a right-handed batsman and a not-very-successful fast bowler and, with one exception, his career was unspectacular. Over the 179 innings of his career, he passed 50 runs only 14 times, and converted just one of those 50s to a century.

Alletson secured his place in cricket history with one record-breaking innings played against Sussex County Cricket Club in May 1911. The innings rescued the game for Nottinghamshire and became known as Alletson's Innings. He never repeated this success and his career ended three years later, aged 30, when cricket was suspended at the onset of World War I. He died in 1963, aged 79.

Alletson's Innings[edit]

On Saturday, 20 May 1911, Alletson's Nottinghamshire were playing Sussex at Hove. Nottinghamshire were facing defeat when Alletson, a tailender, came out to bat at number nine in the order, with the score 185/7. The eighth wicket fell at 258 and the ninth soon followed, leaving Nottinghamshire 260/9 and facing imminent defeat.

The teams came in for the lunch interval, and Alletson asked his captain for advice on how to play after the resumption. On being told "I don't think it matters what you do", Alletson replied "Then I'm not half going to give Killick [a Sussex bowler] some stick."[1] Alletson was known for being a "blocker", but after lunch, he attacked both Killick and the other Sussex bowlers. In a spell of sustained hitting, Alletson broke the world record for runs scored off a single over, by hitting Killick for 34. One of his shots smashing the pavilion clock, and another "destroying" the pavilion bar. Team-mates later revealed that as the innings developed Killick was frightened to bowl at Alletson in case Alletson clouted the ball back towards him. He went on to score a career-best 189.

Alletson's hitting generated a number of notable statistics. Alletson's 34 in an over was a new world record for first-class cricket, a record that lasted 57 years until broken by Sir Garry Sobers. He scored 189 runs in just 90 minutes (his post-lunch effort was 142 runs in just 40 minutes) while hitting eight sixes. The 10th wicket partnership was worth 152 and Alletson scored 142 of these runs. At one point, he hit 115 off seven overs, and his record over included two no-balls and read 4, 6, 6, 0, 4, 4, 4, 6.

Alletson was dismissed amid speculation that the fielder who caught him was actually over the boundary rope. According to the laws of cricket, this should have meant six runs to the batsman rather than his dismissal. Alletson had saved the match for his side – it ended in a draw, with Sussex, who needed 237 to win, making 213 for 8. Alletson was rewarded for his achievement by the Duke of Portland, who awarded him a gold watch. It was later revealed that Alletson had batted with an injured wrist. A lot of media attention was given to the innings at the time and some still regard it as the most explosive innings of all time. Nottinghamshire's George Gunn said Alletson had hit the ball harder than anyone he had seen. Years later he told John Arlott: "Ted sent his drives skimming; you could hear them hum; he drove several at the Relf brothers and the ball fizzed through them as if they were ghosts. I have never seen another innings like it." [2]

Subsequent career[edit]

The famous innings marked Alletson's transition from a blocker to a 'biffer' and in fact, even earned him a trial for the England side a fortnight later. However, Alletson could not capitalize on the situation scoring just 15 and 8.[3] Five days after his Hove innings he made 60 in 30 minutes against Gloucestershire, and in 1913 he scored 69 in 47 minutes against Sussex, 88 in 60 minutes against Derbyshire and 55 in 25 minutes against Leicestershire. That summer at Dewsbury he also drove three consecutive balls from Wilfred Rhodes for sixes.[2] However, he could never live up to this fabled performance again. 1913 was to be his most successful season. That year, he scored 634 runs, averaging a modest 21.13 and also showed his utility as a bowler taking six wickets for 43 in the match with Kent at Trent Bridge in 1913, helping Nottinghamshire defeat the eventual champions. Those were, though, isolated peaks of an otherwise relatively undistinguished career. He played his final season of County cricket in 1914, the last season before the First World War.


  1. ^ Bull, Andy (28 March 2008). "The Joy of Six: greatest tail-end innings". guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 23 April 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Williamson, Martin (21 May 2011). "The most explosive innings of all time?". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 23 April 2013. 
  3. ^ "Hove holocaust". ESPNcricinfo. 1 January 1984. Retrieved 23 April 2013. 

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