More about Samridh Agarwal

This is a continuation of the earlier blogpost about Samridh Agarwal and his cricketing career. Here I will look a little deeper into some of the points mentioned earlier.

First, I take up the table for the full list of players who scored 200 or more in their last first-class match, current up to 10 Feb 2015. The link mentioned earlier gives us this table (actually it gives a list of all who scored 100 and above, but it has been trimmed):

Samridh-ext1

If you prefer a jpg file: (click to expand)

Samridh-ext1 001

This “unfiltered” list gives many current players (led by K. L. Rahul) who did indeed score 200-plus in their last first-class match as on date. However, they all seem to be currently playing first-class cricket with the exception of Samridh. We therefore remove them and get the following “filtered” list:

Samridh-ext2

If you prefer a jpg file: (click to expand)

Samridh-ext2 001

Here we can see that 6 of the 9 players played in Tests, i.e. all but Samridh, N. F. Mitchell and N. F. Callaway. Some captained their country. The only example in a Test match is that of Aravinda da Silva, who was captaining Sri Lanka on that occasion.

While N. F. Mitchell had an unremarkable career other than his double century in his last match, the case of N. F. Callaway is quite peculiar. He played in precisely one f-c match, and only one innings in which he scored 207. He was thus the only player in all first-class cricket to score a double century in his only match. There are many who scored a double century on f-c debut and went on to long careers, including G. R. Viswanath and A. A.  Muzumdar.

Even if you had not heard of Mr Callaway earlier, you could probably guess what happened next if you saw the date. Soon after this match he joined the Australian army-and in 1917 became one of the victims of the Great War. More details here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman_Callaway

He was not related to S. T. Callaway who had earlier played a few Tests for Australia.

That leaves us with Samridh Agarwal, who we hope will soon be playing major cricket again and will be rid of this unwanted record.

At this stage you may ask how this state of affairs came about. It is explained here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sam_Agarwal

The key point is : “He was unable to continue playing in England or be contracted by Surrey as he did not qualify as per ECB rules to play for a county as a domestic player in the English county matches”. More of this in a moment.

He also took part for some trials for the UP Ranji team, which apparently did not work out. On the other hand, Indian domestic cricket is full of examples of people originally from one state playing for another in the Ranji, so he should find a suitable team in due course if he wants to. For example, Rajasthan’s success in the past few years (two successive Ranji championships) owed a lot to outsiders such as H. S. Kanitkar and Akash Chopra. In the past various active Test players have moved around quite a bit in Indian domestic cricket.

In England, the rules can be seen in this Cricinfo article from 2012:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/england/content/current/story/563328.html

The key points can be seen in the first two paragraphs. Basically if you became a resident of the UK before your 18th birthday, you need to spend 4 years before you are eligible to play for England. If you arrived after 18, it is 7 years.

And the counties might not be interested in you if you are not eligible to play for the country. Presumably this would not matter so much to 2nd XI or league cricket (where Samridh is now playing). It is not immediately clear whether his stay as a school and college student counts as residency or not. And it is not clear whether the rules consider him as arriving before or after he turned 18 (which was in July 2008).

If you are still with me, you may find the rest of the article and comments section of interest. As it often happens, the comments are more insightful than the original articles.

However, I suspect that major cricket has not seen the last of him.

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