William Clarke      

Full name William Clarke

Born December 24, 1798, Nottingham

Died August 25, 1856, Wandworth, London (aged 57 years 245 days)

Major teams Kent, Nottinghamshire, Surrey, Sussex

Also known as William Clark

Batting style Right-hand bat

William Clarke
Batting and fielding averages
Mat Inns NO Runs HS Ave 100 50 Ct St
First-class 143 243 37 2133 75 10.35 0 7 55 0
Bowling averages
Mat Balls Runs Wkts BBI Ave Econ SR 5w 10
First-class 143 14027+ 4319+ 795 9/29 9.99* 2.05* 29.2* 82 25
Career statistics
First-class debut Sheffield and Leicester v Nottingham at Sheffield, Jul 24-26, 1826 scorecard
Last First-class Nottinghamshire v England at Nottingham, Aug 16-18, 1855 scorecard

William Clarke was one of the most remarkable cricketers of the nineteenth century. Born at Nottingham in 1798, he played his first game for his county in 1816 when only seventeen, but it was another twenty years before he appeared in a representative game at Lord's and he was not chosen for the Players in their matches against the Gentlemen until 1846. An underhand bowler, he delivered the ball from hip level, with a curling fii ht, leg-spin, and sharp rise from the pitch. He learnt much of his bowing technique from William Lambert, the Surrey all-rounder, but whereas Lambert changed to the new round-arm style Clarke continued with the old style and slowly perfected it until he was almost unplayable. His general knowledge of the game and skill in managing the field was remarkable. His only fault was that he would continue to bowl himself for too long 'always expecting to get a wicket in his next over'. Clarke was by trade a bricklayer, but afterwards became a licensed victualler, and for some years was landlord of the Bell Inn at Nottingham, opening in 1838 the Trent Bridge ground. In 1846 he formed the All England XI, a team of the finest cricketers in the country, and the eleven, under the captaincy of Clarke, toured the county playing all teams willing to oppose them. In 1852 John Wisden and other young professionals who considered that £4 to £6 a match was not sufficient for their expenses broke from Clarke's eleven and formed the rival United England XI. In the latter part of his career Clarke's bowling performances were astonishing. From 1847 to 1853 he averaged 340 wickets a season and in the season of 1853 alone, after breaking his wrist the previous year, he dismissed 476 batsmen. He died in 1856 after playing forty-one seasons in first-class cricket and obtaining a wicket with the last ball he bowled.
RJ Brown

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William Clarke

William Clarke

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