In last week’s “Ask Steven” section on CricInfo “Irfan” from Pakistan asked:
I noticed that Ajit Agarkar has a Test batting average of 16.79 despite having a century to his name. Is this the lowest Test batting average to include a century?
The Indian fast bowler turned Cricinfo pundit Ajit Agarkar might be relieved to learn that he comes in quite a way down this particular list. Agarkar’s hundred came at Lord’s, no less, in 2002; his next highest score was 48. There are eight players with lower batting averages who also scored a Test century, one of them a current player, the Zimbabwe captain Graeme Cremer, (16.27.)
Top of the list is someone who might also yet reappear in Test cricket. The West Indian fast bowler Jerome Taylor averages only 12.96 despite having slammed 106 against New Zealand in Dunedin in 2008-09. Taylor’s 106 that day is exactly double his next highest score.
The other Test centurions with a lower batting average than Agarkar’s 16.79 can be seen here : http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?class=1;filter=advanced;orderby=batting_average;orderbyad=reverse;qualmin1=1;qualval1=hundreds;template=results;type=batting
In a bored moment this got SDCC thinking and we looked at all our centurions, (now up to 81 after Alastair Curran, Ishan Mulchandani and Reino Grobler got themselves on our hundreds board this year – http://www.stokecc.co.uk/centuries/), to see how we compared.
In fairness to our boys, though, we only play single innings cricket and are more likely to damage our averages in the pursuit of quick runs towards the end of an innings; plus some others have also made a number of low scores as juniors when making their first steps into adult cricket; so we’ll compare our stats against the International ODI list rather than the Test list in the ‘Ask Steven’ feature. (We can’t do a T20 comparison as no Stoker has made a century in T20 cricket yet!)
The full list of 81 Stokers with a century to their name, (the eighteen players who played in 2017 are highlighted), and their career averages can be viewed here : Career Averages for All Stoke Centurions to the end of the 2017 season
So Cyril Viney has the ‘honour’ of having the lowest career average of any Stoke centurion, averaging 12.34 despite a top score of 102 not out against Oxshott in 1957; but hey, he’s on the 100s board – over 1500 other people have played for Stoke but have yet to make it on there and the above spreadsheet.
The lowest International ODI average, (Trevor Chappell’s 17.61), beats Cyril and seven other Stokers; but at the other end of the table 43 Stokers can boast a better career batting average than the highest on the ODI list, 24.62 by England’s Wayne Larkins.
Surprisingly Larkins is one of only two Englishmen on the ODI list, that includes a few stellar names you wouldn’t expect to be on there; Shahid Afridi, Kapil Dev, Shoaib Mohammed, (Test average 44!), and Sri Lankan World Cup winner Romesh Kaluwitharana – anyone up for a game of Pointless?
The other Englishman is a familiar face to Stoke and Surrey. Ali Brown is quite high on the ODI list, but we guess this stat was pretty low on the things he might have thought of including in his material when he spoke at our Double Promotion Celebration at The Oval 2008…
…before handing out the End of Season awards that year…to a number of people who feature in the spreadsheet in this article who don’t look to have aged at all!
Hmm, Double Promotion Celebrations. We’re good at those! Anyone up for organising a catch-up in the next few weeks?