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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Samridh Agarwal and his world record in first-class cricket

Explanatory notes:

1) This article was primarily written for a readership of alumni of the Doon School, Dehradun who refer to themselves as Doscos.

2) I have had limited personal contact with Mr Samridh Agarwal, though most of the information in this article is available in the public domain.

THE DOSCO WHO HOLDS A WORLD CRICKET RECORD

There are a fair number of Old Boys as well as staff who have played first-class cricket with varying degrees of success. Until recently, Mr R. L. Holdsworth and Michael Dalvi could be said to have the most distinguished records. There were a few who had scored double centuries. But somehow Doscos did not shine as bowlers or all-rounders, and until recently Anand Bhatia’s 4-36 was the best return by an Old Boy in FC matches.

The rewriting of record books began in earnest with Samridh Sunil Agarwal (160-J, 2009). He moved to Millfield after ICSE and then joined Queen’s College at Oxford University. While still at our school he had played for UP’s Under-17 team in the Vijay Merchant Trophy, with present Test player Bhuvneswar Kumar among his team-mates in 2006-07. Later his name appears in the records of Millfield’s inter-school matches in 2009-10. He played primarily as a batsman, though his off-spin was frequently called upon.

His records can be seen under S.S. Agarwal and Sam Agarwal (as an England player) in Cricinfo, though the non first-class matches in India and England are covered better in www.cricketarchive.com . He made an unobtrusive first-class debut for Oxford vs Northamptonshire in April 2010, scoring 1 not out. He did make the headlines in the University Match against Cambridge on Jul 6-9, 2010 in which he scored 117 and 5-78. This is one of the few instances of a century plus five-for in the University matches. And he became the first Dosco to take a five–for as well as the only one to complete the all-rounder’s double of a century and five-for in the same match. The scorecard can be seen here:

http://www.cricketarchive.com/archive/scorecards/275/275963.html

He wrote himself firmly into the record books in another University Match, the Oxford v Cambridge match on Jul 2-4, 2013. By then he had been awarded his Blue (in 2012) and was captaining Oxford. He made 313 not out, the highest ever score in the University match. He also found enough energy to bowl 32 overs for 97 runs in the match, taking the wicket of Cambridge’s top-scorer in the second innings. Oxford won this match by an innings and 186 runs. The scorecard can be seen here:

http://cricketarchive.com/Archive/Scorecards/495/495498.html

Now, you may say, he holds the record for Oxford and is also the only Dosco to score a triple century in first-class cricket. But that doesn’t qualify as a world record. That was yet to come. He played in some matches for Surrey Second XI later in 2013, but has not so far played another first class match. He is now understood to be working in Britain, and has recently played club matches for Teddington in the Middlesex league. We hope that he soon gets back into regular cricket.

As of today, his first class career record is:

Batting (2010-13): 13 matches, 21 innings, 3 not out, 899 runs, highest 313 not out, Average 49.94, strike rate 61.61, 3 centuries, 3 fifties, 4 catches.

Bowling (2010-13): 13 matches, 2000 balls, 998 runs, 20 wickets, best 5-78, Average 49.90, economy 2.99, strike rate 100.00, one 5wi.

Numerologists may wonder that he has a neat figure of 2000 balls bowled and a strike rate of exactly 100.00. Also his batting average is virtually the same as his bowling average.

(This can be seen from the Wikipedia link at the bottom).

The world record is that he is now the only person to have scored a triple century in his final first-class match-although we should sincerely wish that he soon loses this record once he resumes his cricketing career.

Here is a list of players who scored 200 and above in their last first-class match. This can be extracted from the table “Century in last match” in the first-class section of the website http://stats.acscricket.com/records.html  (Access to this website needs registration though it is free and takes a few moments). Here we have a list of all those who achieved this in their last matches in 2013 or earlier. (There are also some active players who have achieved this in 2013-14 or later, but are not included below since they are likely to play in the future.) As you will see, this list includes some well-known international players.

200 OR MORE IN LAST FIRST-CLASS MATCH AS ON 15 DEC 2014 (In descending order)

Score Name Year

313* S. S. Agarwal 2013

241* A. H.Bakewell 1936

220 N. F. Mitchell 1926-27

217 R. C. Fredericks 1982-83

207 N. F. Callaway 1914-15

207 I. J. Siedle 1936-37

206 P. A. De Silva 2002

200* A. C. MacLaren 1922-23

200* Moin Khan 2005-06

While we may be glad to note that a Dosco holds this unusual world record, I think you will all join me in hoping that he soon loses it!

See this Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sam_Agarwal