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1947 cricket season in England and Wales

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The 1947 cricket season was the 48th in which the official County Cricket Championship was contested in England and Wales. The touring team was South Africa, captained by Alan Melville. They played a five-Test series against England which was won by the hosts. The County Championship was a memorably tight contest between Middlesex and Gloucestershire. Middlesex prevailed to win the title for the first time since 1921.

The winter of 1946–47 is one of the coldest and harshest on record. Heavy snowfalls disrupted communication and supply for about six weeks from January to March. February was one of the coldest months on record and March was the wettest for over 300 years. Even so, the country basked in a glorious summer as fine weather prevailed and "the sun shone throughout".[1] This was in sharp contrast to the wet summer of 1946. Despite austerity and rationing, the country was still in post-war euphoria and there was great enthusiasm for sporting events with large crowds at all grounds. In the first-ever edition of Playfair (published in April 1948), editor Peter West wrote that "a grand and glorious summer had been a feast amidst austerity indeed, a fine reward for months of waiting through a chill and infamous winter". West went on to claim that "nearly three million people", with the younger generation strongly represented, attended first-class matches in 1947 (it must be remembered that this means three million attendances and not literally three million people).[2]

The outstanding players of the season were the Middlesex and England batsmen Denis Compton, Bill Edrich and Jack Robertson. Compton established seasonal batting records that, with the reduction in the number of first-class matches since 1968, will probably never be broken. His totals of 3,816 runs and eighteen centuries are both records for a single season. Edrich scored 3,539 runs (the second-highest ever) with twelve centuries and Robertson scored 2,760 runs with twelve centuries. Gloucestershire's Tom Goddard was by far the most successful bowler, taking 238 wickets. Next best were Doug Wright (177) and Peter Smith (172). Godfrey Evans was the top wicket-keeper with 93 dismissals (68 caught; 25 stumped).

Notes

  1. Wisden Online.
  2. Playfair, page 8.

Bibliography

  • Birley, Derek: A Social History of English Cricket. Aurum (1999).
  • Bowen, Rowland: Cricket: A History of its Growth and Development. Eyre & Spottiswoode (1970).
  • Cricket Archive: 1947 season summary. CricketArchive.
  • Playfair: Playfair Cricket Annual 1948. First edition, edited by Peter West. Playfair Books (1948).
  • Preston, Hubert (editor): Wisden Cricketers' Almanack – 84th Edition. Sporting Handbooks Ltd (1947).
  • Preston, Hubert (editor): A Wonderful Season, 1947. Wisden Online (1948).
  • Swanton, E. W. (editor): Barclays World of Cricket, 3rd edition. Willow Books (1986).
  • Webber, Roy: The County Cricket Championship. Sportsman's Book Club (1958).
  • Webber, Roy: The Phoenix History of Cricket. Phoenix (1960).
  • Webber, Roy: The Playfair Book of Cricket Records. Playfair Books (1951).