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Thursday, 19 September, 2002, 11:22 GMT 12:22 UK
Stump The Bearded Wonder No 35
Pose your cricket questions to Bearders
Bill Frindall, aka the Bearded Wonder, is poised to solve your cricket queries and teasers.

The Test Match Special statistician will be busy answering your questions throughout the English summer.


Patrick Finn, Brazil

Am I correct in believing that W.G. Grace is the only batsman to score two treble hundreds in the same season?

Intriguing question, Patrick. No, 'The Doctor' was the first of three. Two famous Australians subsequently emulated his feat: W.H. ('Bill') Ponsford, for Victoria in 1927-28, scored 437 v Queensland and 336 v South Australia, and D.G. 'Don' Bradman, for South Australia in 1935-36, scored 357 v Victoria and 369 v Tasmania.

Peter Dykes, UK

A friend told me that cricket was once an Olympic sport - and that France won the gold medal! Is this true?

The first fact is true, the second false on two counts! Cricket has featured only once in an Olympic Games, in 1900, when France played England in a 12-a-side match at the Velodrome de Vincennes in Paris.

England, represented by the Devon County Wanderers, a combination of the old boys of Blundell's School in Tiverton and Castle Cary CC in Somerset, beat All-Paris by 163 runs and received models of the Eiffel Tower (built 1889). Olympic medals were not introduced until 1908.

Chris Bonnington, England

Who holds the record for the highest number of consecutive maidens bowled in both domestic and Test cricket? I am a descendant of Alfred Shaw, and believe he may have held this record or one similar.

Because of the number of balls constituting an over has varied there are four records under the heading 'Most Maiden Overs in Succession'. Your famous ancestor holds the four-ball one.

FOUR-BALL OVERS: 23 - A.Shaw, North v South, Nottingham, 1876; FIVE-BALL OVERS: 10 - E.Robson, Somerset v Sussex, Hove, 1897; SIX-BALL OVERS: 21 - R.G.Nadkarni, India v England, Madras, 1963-64; EIGHT-BALL OVERS: 14 - H.J.Tayfield, South Africa v England, Durban, 1956-57.

Simon Cash, England

Bill, who was the last double international in both rugby and cricket for England and will we ever see their like again?

M.J.K. 'Mike' Smith was the last England cricketer to play international rugby. He played in 50 Tests and gained his solitary RU cap against Wales in 1955-56. The overlap of seasons makes it extremely unlikely that there will be another double.

Geoff, Yorkshire

Please remind me, in which one day final did Sir Geoffrey score 146 for Yorkshire?

Geoffrey Boycott scored 146 for Yorkshire v Surrey in the 1965 Gillette Cup Final. It remains the highest score in a Lord's county limited-overs final.

Stuart, UK

Can a batsman be out 'stumped' by a fielder other than the wicket-keeper? If so, has it ever happened in Test cricket?

No, only a wicket-keeper can effect a stumping. If a fielder is involved the batsman is run out.

Tony Roberts, West Sussex, England

In The Oval Test, S.B. Bangar was one of the opening bowlers in the England second innings. He was also one of the opening batsmen when India batted. Has this happened before in Test cricket?

It has occurred many times. The first instance involved Alfred Shaw for England against Australia at Melbourne in 1876-77 in the second Test ever played.

Paul Hawkins, Dubai

As a Compton fan in the 40s and 50s, I remember him scoring 300 for the MCC at Benoni in South Africa in about 1947 or 48, in 180 minutes, the fastest triple hundred on record.

Is it on record exactly how many 4s and 6s he hit, how many balls he faced and whether the cricket ground was of normal dimensions? Also, does the Benoni cricket ground still exist today?

Denis Compton scored an undefeated 300 out of 399 in 181 minutes for MCC v North-Eastern Transvaal at Benoni in 1948-49. It remains the fastest triple century in first-class matches. He scored 198 in boundaries (five sixes and 42 fours) and scored his final 180 in 90 minutes before lunch on the second day.

One of his sixes travelled 110 yards. His first hundred took 66 minutes, his second 78 and his third just 37. The number of balls faced is not known. Willowmore Park is a standard sized ground - England played a limited-overs game there against Easterns in November 1999.

Ami, UK

In the recent home series between England and India, 13 centuries were scored. What is the record for the most centuries scored in a Test series?

The record is 17, Ami, in five Tests between Australia and England in 1928-29 and in six Tests between Pakistan and India in 1982-83. This summer's series fell one short of the four-Test record of 14 by England and Australia in 1938.

Steve Edwards, England

Is there any law about players wearing gloves in the field? Do players who field at silly point have to wear pads under their trousers or can they wear them over their trousers like the wicket-keeper?

Protective Equipment - Law 40 states: 'The wicket-keeper is the only member of the fielding side permitted to wear gloves and external leg guards.'

Chris Johnson, England

Does an umpire have to inform the scorers of a bowling change, or is it just common courtesy?

An umpire does not have to inform the scorers when there is a bowling change - they are supposed to be watching! He does tell the batsman and advises if there is a change of action from the previous bowler.

Frank Chable, England

Where was Sir Jack Hobbs born?

John Berry Hobbs was born (and bred) in Cambridge on 16 December 1882, the eldest of 12 children of a professional bowler and umpire at Fenner's who subsequently became groundsman at Jesus College. 'The Master' died in Hove 81 years later having been knighted in 1953.

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