William Clarke

Country: England
Born: December 24, 1798, Nottingham
Batting Style: Right hand Bat
Died: August 25, 1856, Wandworth, London, (aged 57y 245d)

William Clarke Bio

William Clarke, born in Nottingham in 1798, was undoubtedly one of the most outstanding cricketers of the entire nineteenth century. With a career that spanned an impressive forty-one seasons in first-class cricket, Clarke’s contributions to the sport cannot be overstated.

From a young age, Clarke displayed immense talent on the cricket field. Making his debut for his county in 1816 at just seventeen years old, it took him another twenty years to be selected for a representative match at Lord’s. Notably, it wasn’t until 1846 that he was chosen to represent the Players against the Gentlemen in their matches. However, patience proved to be a virtue for Clarke, as he would go on to leave an indelible mark on the cricketing world.

Clarke’s bowling technique was nothing short of extraordinary. As an underhand bowler, he would deliver the ball from hip level, employing a unique combination of curling flight, leg-spin, and sharp rise from the pitch. He honed his skills under the tutelage of William Lambert, the revered Surrey all-rounder, but unlike Lambert, Clarke stuck to the old-style and perfected it to near-unplayable levels.

His incredible knowledge of the game and exceptional ability to manage the field were widely recognized. Clarke’s only flaw was his tendency to persistently keep bowling himself for long spells, always believing that he would secure a wicket in his next over. However, this slight drawback did little to overshadow his exceptional talent and overall contribution to the game.

Beyond his cricketing prowess, Clarke had a varied professional life. Initially working as a bricklayer, he later became a licensed victualler and served as the landlord of the Bell Inn in Nottingham. In 1838, Clarke opened the iconic Trent Bridge ground, which would become a beloved venue in the cricketing world.

In 1846, Clarke assembled the All England XI, a team comprised of the finest cricketers in the country. With Clarke leading the team as captain, the All England XI toured the county, taking on any team willing to challenge them. However, in 1852, a group of young professionals, including the famous John Wisden, felt that the wages offered by Clarke’s team were insufficient to cover their expenses. Consequently, they broke away and formed the rival United England XI.

The latter part of Clarke’s career saw him deliver astonishing bowling performances. From 1847 to 1853, he averaged a remarkable 340 wickets per season. In a single season alone, 1853, after recovering from a broken wrist sustained the previous year, he dismissed an astonishing 476 batsmen. Such feats firmly cemented Clarke’s status as one of cricketing history’s greatest players.

Unfortunately, Clarke’s extraordinary journey came to an end in 1856 when he passed away. However, true to his remarkable legacy, he managed to claim a wicket with the last ball he bowled in first-class cricket. His impact on the game, both as a player and as a cricketing pioneer, will always be remembered as pivotal in shaping the sport in England and beyond.

William Clarke Career Stats

William Clarke Batting Stats

Batting Matches Innings Nos Runs High Score Ave BF SR 100s 50s 4s 6s Ct St
Tests - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T20Is - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
ODIs - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
FC 143 243 37 2133 75 10.35 - - 0 7 - - 55 0
List A - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T20s - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

William Clarke Bowling Stats

Bowling Matches Innings Balls Runs Wkts BBI BBM Ave Econ SR 4w 5w 10w
Tests - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T20Is - - - - - - - - - - - - -
ODIs - - - - - - - - - - - - -
FC 143 - 14027 4319 795 9/29 - 5.43 1.84 17.6 - 82 25
List A - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T20s - - - - - - - - - - - - -

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