Bill Frindall, aka the Bearded Wonder, answers your latest batch of queries.
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Mike Higgins, Saudi Arabia
My wife and I work in Saudi Arabia and have been watching the Cricket World Cup. We are surprised to hear the term 'power play'. Please could you explain this for us?
What is a power play? When was it introduced?
'Power play', a term borrowed from several other sports including ice hockey, lacrosse, US indoor soccer and rugby league, refers to Fielding Restriction Overs (FRO) in limited-overs matches. It was introduced at Headingley on 7 July 2005 in the first of a three-match NatWest Challenge Series between England and Australia when FRO were first extended from the previous first-15 mandatory overs, to 20 overs. These have to be taken in three blocks of 10, five and five overs.
The first block is mandatory for the first 10 overs of an innings (Power Play One). As previously, only two players are allowed to stand outside the 30-yard circle and two fielders are required to be placed in close catching positions.
The remaining ten overs are taken in two blocks of five chosen at the fielding captain's discretion. In Power Play Two two fielders are allowed outside the 30-yard circle but there is no mandatory number of close catchers under this power play. The second block of five overs - Power Play Three - has identical parameters to its predecessor.
Robert Petit, UK
I work with Robert Hollies, a nephew of Eric. Could you let me know the stats re Eric Hollies?
William Eric Hollies (1912-81) was a leg-break and top-spin bowler who used his googly sparingly. One of the latter bowled Don Bradman for a second-ball duck in his final Test innings, leaving the Australian captain four runs short of 7,000 and a Test career average of 100. Hollies, whose 13 England caps spanned 16 years, played for Warwickshire from 1932-57, taking a county record 2,201 wickets including 100 in a season 14 times despite losing his prime years to the war.
He took all 10 Nottinghamshire wickets for 49 runs in 1946 without the aid of a fielder. One of Wisden's Cricketers of the Year for 1954, he captained Warwickshire in 1956. He later played for his native Staffordshire before returning to the Birmingham League where he continued taking wickets well into his sixties.
Jason Linsdell, Newton Abbot, Devon
I believe Aussie spinner Stuart MacGill once played for Devon. Do you have any statistics for his time playing for Devon, please? Furthermore, Andy Hele, a teacher from school many years ago used to play wicketkeeper for Devon. Do you have any data for him?
MacGill appeared twice for Devon at Exmouth in NatWest Trophy games against Leicestershire (1997) and Yorkshire (1998).
Hele played 46 games for Devon (1997-2001), six of them List 'A' limited-overs matches. You can find a full list of his scores, tallying 377 runs, average 13.00 with a top score of 58 not out, on the Cricket Archive website.
Tom Ulley, England
Ken Taylor, the Yorkshire batsman, once had a throwing competition with an Australian prior to a first-class match. Who was the Aussie and what distances did they throw?
Fascinating question, Tom, because I witnessed it at Sheffield on 29 June 1968 towards the end of Taylor's final first-class season. Neither my score sheets nor their attached press cuttings mention this contest but I do remember it being staged diagonally across the Bramall Lane ground.
Memory is vague but I recall Taylor winning the contest but not passing the accepted but unsubstantiated record of 140 yards 2 feet by Robert Percival at Durham Racecourse in 1882. I suspect he comfortably exceeded 100 yards and his opponent was the probably the finest fielder of that Australian side, Paul Sheahan.
More memorable was the fact that Yorkshire, led astutely and dramatically by Fred Trueman, gained their first victory against the Aussies since 1902 and by the emphatic margin of an innings and 69 runs.
Paul, South Africa
During his Test career Wilfred Rhodes at one time or other batted at every position in the order, from one to eleven. Has any other Test cricketer ever done that?
Amjad Malik, UK
Is it true that Pakistani Test batsman and skipper Majid Khan (aka M.J.Khan) is the only batsman who has batted in all eleven positions in Test matches?
Australia's Syd Gregory was the first of three players to bat in all eleven positions, reaching the landmark in May 1909 during the 47th of his 58 Tests.
Wilfred Rhodes emulated him in March 1910 during the 29th of his 58 Tests. Beginning as a specialist slow left-arm bowler and a tail-ender, he developed into a leading batsman of his era. In addition to being the only bowler to take 4000 wickets, he stands 17th in the list of most prolific scorers in first-class cricket.
Indian all-rounder 'Vinoo' Mankad, who opened the batting in 40 of his 72 innings, is the most recent to achieve this feat, completing the list in February 1955 during the 35th of his 44 Tests.
Majid Khan never batted lower than number eight in his 63 Tests.
Dave Houghton (I'm not the Zim Batsman) Hootie, South Africa
I would like to know if 22 yards was the original length of a cricket pitch when Test cricket was first played in 1877? If so, Wow! If not, when was it altered? With today's bats and balls, allied to the athleticism of today's players compared with 100 years ago, I should imagine it was only 10yds.
The first known measurement for the length of a cricket pitch wicket-to-wicket is the 23 yards given in the 1727 Articles of Agreement between the second Duke of Richmond and Mr Brodrick of Peper Harow in Surrey.
The 1744 code stipulated 22 yards, a distance that, despite the vast fundamental changes in cricket techniques and equipment, has remained steadfast ever since. It is also the length of the agricultural chain invented by Edmund Gunter (1581-1626), a Hertfordshire-born mathematician of Welsh extraction, which was derived from four poles (66 feet) and contained 100 links.
Frank Nowlan, Ireland
Do you know anything about a William Harrington? He was my great grandfather and I think he might have played for Gentleman of Ireland in the late 19th Century.
Bill Harrington (1869-1940), who died at his birthplace, Templeogue in County Dublin, was a right-handed batsman and off-break bowler who played in 15 first-class matches for Ireland (1902-21), including two in Philadelphia in 1909. He took 53 wickets at 19.22, including five in an innings on four occasions and ten in a match once. His best analysis was 7-76 v Cambridge University in 1902. He averaged only 7.65 with the bat and boasted a top score of 28.
Ron Gerard, England
Scott Styris, Stephen Fleming, Jacques Kallis, Andrew Strauss and Ed Joyce have all captained Middlesex at some stage. Add to that Chaminda Vaas, Eoin Morgan and Jamie Dalrymple who are registered for the county in 2007, and Ajit Agarkar and Irfan Pathan who have been in earlier seasons, and I'd imagine that must be a unique county record for the World Cup. Can you please confirm this?
Knowing you, Ron, you will already have carefully checked through the affiliations of every player who participated in all nine of these tournaments. Ten players is indeed a weighty contribution but it is sad to note that only three of them are qualified for England and none were born within the UK.
Is it only the wicket-keeper that can perform a stumping and are all other fielders accredited with a "run out"?
Absolutely correct, Felix. Law 39 (1a) note iv, states 'The striker is out stumped if his wicket is fairly put down by the wicket-keeper without the intervention of another member of the fielding side'. If another fielder is involved the dismissal is run out.
I believe that you can connect from the Inaugural Test to the most recent England Test using only 10 players: Albert Shaw, who played with W.G.Grace in 1880; who played with Wilfred Rhodes in 1899; who played with Bill Voce in 1930; who played with Godfrey Evans in 1947; who played with Colin Cowdrey in 1959; who played with Keith Fletcher in 1975; who played with Graham Gooch in 1982; who played with Graham Thorpe in 1995; who played with Andrew Flintoff in 2005. Can make this connection using fewer players?
Ten is the fewest players to bridge England's 857 Tests to the start of this 2007 season. There are alternative connections but they differ only slightly from yours, Richard: G.Ulyett to W.G.Grace (or W.Gunn) in 1890; to W.Rhodes in 1899; to W.Voce in 1929-30; to T.G.Evans in 1946-47; to M.C.Cowdrey in 1959; to K.W.R.Fletcher (or D.L.Underwood) in 1974-75; to J.E.Emburey in 1981-82; to M.A.Atherton (or D.G.Cork or A.R.C.Fraser) in 1995; to A.Flintoff in 1998.
Barrie Shaw, USA
In the opening CC game between Surrey and Yorkshire, the 9th wicket stand of 246 between Jason Gillespie and Tom Bresnan was recorded as the third-highest 9th wicket stand in England. So who has the record and who is number two?
The world first-class record is 283 by John Chapman and Arnold Warren for Derbyshire v Warwickshire at Blackwell in 1910. The second-highest in England (third-highest anywhere) is 251 by Johnny Douglas and Steriker Hare for Essex v Derbyshire at Leyton in 1921.
Bresnan and Gillespie overtook the 192 between George Hirst and Schofield Haigh against Surrey at Bradford that had survived since 1898.