John Small      

Full name John Small

Born April 19, 1737, Empshott, Hampshire

Died December 31, 1826, Petersfield, Hampshire (aged 89 years 256 days)

Major teams Hampshire, Hampshire XI

Batting style Right-hand bat

Relation Son - J Small jnr, Son - E Small

Batting and fielding averages
Mat Inns NO Runs HS Ave 100 50 Ct St
First-class 111 209 9 3348 138 16.74 1 10 77 0
Bowling averages
Mat Inns Balls Runs Wkts BBI BBM 4w 5w 10
First-class 111 2 0+ 0+ 4 3/? 3/? 0 0 0
Career statistics
First-class debut Hampshire XI v England at Hambledon, Jun 24-25, 1772 scorecard
Last First-class Marylebone Cricket Club v Hampshire XI at Lord's (Old), Aug 2-3, 1798 scorecard

John Small was a right-hand batsman who dominated cricket for two decades from the 1760s. He was renowned for running quick singles - John Nyren said he was "as active as a hare" and effectively invented doing so, as well as a more upright stance. He was also an excellent fielder at "middle wicket". Many of his feats predated the keeping of accurate records, but in 1775 he made 136 not out for Hambledon against Surrey, adding 85 not out in the same fixture the next year. He was still playing for MCC at the age of 60. In 1775 he was bowled three times by "Lumpy" Stevens, the ball passing between the two stumps on each occasion - a third stump was added soon afterwards as a result. Away from cricket he was a gamekeeper, draper, violinist and, for 75 years, a chorister at Petersfield. He was originally a cobbler but he later expanded his business to the manufacture of cricket bats and balls. It is sometimes said that he introduced the straight bat, instead of the old curved bat, after bowlers started pitching the ball instead of skimming or trundling it. It is more likely that he was simply the first batsman to master the use of the straight bat and that he subsequently made them.
Martin Williamson

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