A. G. Steel
|Full name||Allan Gibson Steel|
|Born||24 September 1858|
West Derby, Liverpool, Lancashire, England
|Died||15 June 1914 (aged 55)|
Hyde Park, London, England
|Bowling||Right arm fast-medium / slow-medium|
|Relations||Allan Ivo Steel (son)|
|Test debut (cap 28)||6 September 1880 v Australia|
|Last Test||17 July 1888 v Australia|
|Domestic team information|
|1880–1890||Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC)|
Source: CricketArchive, 23 September 2008
Born 24 September 1858 in West Derby, Liverpool to Joseph Steel of Liverpool, and Kirkwood, Lockerbie 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. 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. These efforts led him to achieve the number 1 ranking in ICC Test Batsman Ranking in 1884 (he retained it in 1885 as well).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, Allan Gibson (STL877AG)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
- "India's fairy-tale T20 triumph". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 25 September 2017.
- "Allan Gibson Steel – A tribute". Wisden Cricketers' Almanack. 1915.
- Pollock, J. C. (1955). The Cambridge Seven. p. 70.
- Paths of Glory. Friends of Kensal Green Cemetery. 1997. p. 93.
- Media related to A. G. Steel at Wikimedia Commons
- Cricinfo page on A G Steel
- CricketArchive page on A G Steel
| English national cricket captain