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Jack Hobbs

Jack Hobbs

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Sir John Berry "Jack" Hobbs (born 16 December 1882 in Cambridge
Cambridge
The city of Cambridge is a university town and the administrative centre of the county of Cambridgeshire, England. It lies in East Anglia about north of London. Cambridge is at the heart of the high-technology centre known as Silicon Fen – a play on Silicon Valley and the fens surrounding the...

; died 21 December 1963 in Hove
Hove
Hove is a town on the south coast of England, immediately to the west of its larger neighbour Brighton, with which it forms the unitary authority Brighton and Hove. It forms a single conurbation together with Brighton and some smaller towns and villages running along the coast...

) was an English professional
Professional sports
Professional sports, as opposed to amateur sports, are sports in which athletes receive payment for their performance. Professional athleticism has come to the fore through a combination of developments. Mass media and increased leisure have brought larger audiences, so that sports organizations...

 cricket
Cricket
Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of 11 players on an oval-shaped field, at the centre of which is a rectangular 22-yard long pitch. One team bats, trying to score as many runs as possible while the other team bowls and fields, trying to dismiss the batsmen and thus limit the...

er who played for Surrey
Surrey County Cricket Club
Surrey County Cricket Club is one of the 18 professional county clubs which make up the English and Welsh domestic cricket structure, representing the historic county of Surrey. Its limited overs team is called the Surrey Lions...

 from 1905 to 1934 and for England in 61 Test matches
Test cricket
Test cricket is the longest form of the sport of cricket. Test matches are played between national representative teams with "Test status", as determined by the International Cricket Council , with four innings played between two teams of 11 players over a period of up to a maximum five days...

 from 1908 to 1930.

Universally known as "Jack" and nicknamed "The Master", Hobbs is widely regarded as cricket's greatest-ever opening batsman and holds world records in first-class cricket
First-class cricket
First-class cricket is a class of cricket that consists of matches of three or more days' scheduled duration, that are between two sides of eleven players and are officially adjudged first-class by virtue of the standard of the competing teams...

 for scoring the most runs
Run (cricket)
In the sport of cricket, a run is the basic unit of scoring. Runs are scored by a batsman, and the aggregate of the scores of a team's batsmen constitutes the team's score. A batsman scoring 50 or 100 runs , or any higher multiple of 50 runs, is considered a particular achievement...

 (61,237 or 61,760 depending on source) and centuries
Century (cricket)
In the sport of cricket, a batsman reaches his century when he scores 100 or more runs in a single innings. The term is also included in "century partnership" which occurs when two batsmen add 100 runs to the team total when they are batting together. A century is regarded as a landmark score for...

 (197 or 199 depending on source).

Hobbs was a right-handed batsman (RHB) and a useful right-arm medium pace bowler
Bowling (cricket)
In the sport of cricket, bowling is the action of propelling the ball toward the wicket defended by a batsman. A player skilled at bowling is called a bowler; a bowler who is also a competent batsman is known as an all-rounder...

 (RM) who took 108 career wickets with a best analysis of 7/56. In the field, Hobbs was considered a "brilliant" cover point.

Childhood


John Berry Hobbs was born at 8 Brewhouse Lane in Cambridge
Cambridge
The city of Cambridge is a university town and the administrative centre of the county of Cambridgeshire, England. It lies in East Anglia about north of London. Cambridge is at the heart of the high-technology centre known as Silicon Fen – a play on Silicon Valley and the fens surrounding the...

 on 16 December 1882. His parents were John Cooper Hobbs and Flora Matilda Hobbs (née Berry). Their home was a cottage belonging to Mrs Hobbs' parents. Jack was the eldest of 12 children. He was christened John after his father and Berry after his mother's family but, like his father, was always known as Jack. John Cooper Hobbs was a slater
Slater
Slater is an occupational surname of English origin. A slater is a tradesman.-Surname:* Allana Slater , Australian artistic gymnast* Bert Slater , Scottish football player* Bill Slater , English footballer...

's labourer at this time but he subsequently achieved a personal ambition by becoming a professional cricketer in the employ of Cambridge University Cricket Club
Cambridge University Cricket Club
Cambridge University Cricket Club is a first-class cricket team. It now plays all but one of its first-class cricket matches as part of the Cambridge University Centre of Cricketing Excellence , which includes Anglia Ruskin University...

 as a net bowler and occasional umpire
Umpire (cricket)
In cricket, an umpire is a person who has the authority to make judgements on the cricket field, according to the Laws of Cricket...

 at the Fenner's
Fenner's
Fenner's is the University of Cambridge's cricket ground.-History:Fenner's has hosted first-class cricket since 1848, and many of the world's great players have graced the wicket. The ground was established on land leased for the purpose by Francis Fenner, after whom the ground is named.Playing for...

 ground. Later, he was a groundsman and umpire at Jesus College
Jesus College, Cambridge
Jesus College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge, England.The College was founded in 1496 on the site of a Benedictine nunnery by John Alcock, then Bishop of Ely...

.

The family moved house more than once and is known to have lived at Norfolk Terrace and Rivar Place, which were both on the east side of Cambridge close to the public playing field at Parker's Piece
Parker's Piece
Parker's Piece is a flat and very roughly square green common located near the centre of Cambridge, England. The two main walking and cycling paths across it run diagonally, and the single lamp-post at the junction is commonly known as Reality Checkpoint...

 where there is now an establishment called The Hobbs Pavilion.

Hobbs acquired his love of cricket from his father and said he "took to it naturally (as) the best way to make a decent living". Hobbs began by playing with friends as a young boy and recalled that "the first wicket he defended was a lamp-post in a Cambridge street".

He attended a Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

 boys' school but cricket was not popular there and the playground had football goals painted on its walls. Hobbs first played in an organised cricket match for a church choir team. During school holidays, he helped his father at work on the Jesus College ground and, when time allowed, he would field at the nets and play his own version of cricket with the college servants, using a tennis ball
Tennis ball
A tennis ball is a ball designed for the sport of tennis,approximately 6.7 cm in diameter. Tennis balls are generally bright green, but in recreational play can be virtually any color. Tennis balls are covered in a fibrous fluffy felt which modifies their aerodynamic properties...

, a cricket stump
Stump (cricket)
Stump is a term used in the sport of cricket where it has three different meanings:# part of the wicket# a manner of dismissing a batsman# the end of the day's play .-Part of the wicket:...

 for a bat and a tennis post for a wicket on a gravel pitch. In 1896 when he was 13, he left school to work at the college himself for seven-and-sixpence a week.

Development as a cricketer


Hobbs had minimal coaching as a boy and played as often as he could, effectively teaching himself how to bat by trying to "produce the strokes which he had seen players use in college matches". The narrow straight stump helped him to appreciate "the importance of playing a straight bat" and, with his "natural assets of a keen eye and flexible wrists", he learned to hit the ball with confidence using a wide variety of strokes. He always remembered a piece of advice which his father gave him about batting against a spin bowler. Hobbs was inclined to stand clear of his stumps but his father said to him: "Don't draw away. Standing up to the wicket is all important. If you draw away, you cannot play with a straight bat and the movement may cause you to be bowled off your pads".

Hobbs helped to form a boys' team called the Ivy Club which played on Parker's Piece. It was here that Daniel Hayward, brother of "Old" Tom Hayward
Thomas Hayward (cricketer)
Thomas Hayward was a Cambridgeshire and All-England Eleven cricketer who was generally reckoned to be one of the outstanding batsmen of the 1850s and 1860s. In the early 1860s, he and Robert Carpenter, his Cambridgeshire colleague, were rated as the two finest batsmen in England...

 and father of "Young" Tom Hayward
Tom Hayward
Thomas Walter Hayward was a cricketer who played for Surrey and England between the 1890s and the outbreak of World War I. He was primarily an opening batsman, noted especially for the quality of his off-drive...

, acted as groundsman and looked after the nets
Cricket nets
Cricket nets are practice nets used by batsmen and bowlers to warm up and/or improve their cricketing techniques. Cricket nets consist of a cricket pitch which is enclosed by cricket nets on either side, to the rear and optionally the roof. The bowling end of the net is left open...

. When not working at the college or doing his chores at home, Hobbs practised incessantly and aimed to emulate the younger Hayward who was playing for Surrey and England at that time.

By 1901, Hobbs was playing for a local club called Ainsworth and, in that season, he scored his first century in any class of cricket when he made 102 batting at number four for Ainsworth against the Cambridge Liberal Club. In total, he made 244 centuries in all classes of cricket, 199 of them in first-class cricket. His performance for Ainsworth earned him an invitation to play for Cambridgeshire
Cambridgeshire County Cricket Club
Cambridgeshire County Cricket Club is one of the county clubs which make up the Minor Counties in the English domestic cricket structure, representing the historic county of Cambridgeshire and playing in the Minor Counties Championship and the MCCA Knockout Trophy.The club is based at The Avenue...

 against Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire County Cricket Club
Hertfordshire County Cricket Club is one of the county clubs which make up the Minor Counties in the English domestic cricket structure, representing the historic county of Hertfordshire and playing in the Minor Counties Championship and the MCCA Knockout Trophy...

 as an amateur. Cambridgeshire won by 158 runs and Hobbs, batting at number nine scored 30 and 0. In the first innings, he shared in a stand of 81 for the eighth wicket with Arthur Rich.

In 1902, dissatisfied with the prospects of working at Jesus College, Hobbs applied for and was offered a job as an assistant professional at Bedford Grammar School. Much of the work involved groundsmanship and bowling in the nets but he was also expected to umpire school matches and this enabled him to visit London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 for the first time. At the end of the school term, Hobbs returned to Cambridge and played as a professional for the first time when he was paid ten shillings to represent Royston Cricket Club against Hertfordshire Club and Ground. He scored 119 and this innings gave much pleasure to his father who died only a week later.

Tom Hayward arranged a trial for Hobbs at Surrey in April 1903, and he was taken on immediately. Another application had been sent to Essex
Essex County Cricket Club
Essex County Cricket Club is one of the 18 major county clubs which make up the English and Welsh national cricket structure, representing the historic county of Essex. Its limited overs team is called the Essex Eagles, their team colours this season are blue.The club plays most of its home games...

 whose secretary ignored it. As Hobbs was not born in Surrey, he had to undergo a two-year residence qualification before he could play first-class cricket for the club. He was paid £1-50 a week in summer and £1 a week in winter while he qualified.

In 1904, Hobbs played for Cambridgeshire again and made 696 runs in 13 innings including 195 "in brilliant style" against Hertfordshire.

1905: debut season


Having completed his residence qualification, Hobbs made his first-class debut in the opening game of the 1905 season, playing for Surrey at The Oval
The Oval
The Kia Oval, still commonly referred to by its original name of The Oval, is an international cricket ground in Kennington, in the London Borough of Lambeth. In the past it was also sometimes called the Kennington Oval...

 against the Gentleman of England, who were captained by W G Grace. Hobbs scored 18 and 88, the latter in only two hours and sharing an opening partnership of 100 with Hayward.

Hobbs was awarded his county cap by Surrey captain Lord Dalmeny
Harry Primrose, 6th Earl of Rosebery
Albert Edward Harry Meyer Archibald Primrose, 6th Earl of Rosebery and 2nd Earl of Midlothian , known by his third name of Harry, was a UK politician who briefly served as Secretary of State for Scotland in 1945...

 after his first County Championship
County Championship
The County Championship is the domestic first-class cricket competition in England and Wales...

 match, against Essex at The Oval, in which he scored 155.

Having scored 289 runs in his first two matches, Hobbs lost form as the hard work of continuous cricket took its toll, a problem encountered by young players, and Surrey moved him down the batting order. However, Wisden Cricketers' Almanack in its 1906 edition commented that "(Hobbs) may fairly be regarded as the best professional batsman Surrey have brought forward in recent years" but went on to advise Hobbs to "brighten up his fielding".

Hobbs had difficulties against the best bowlers and the best teams. Colin Blythe
Colin Blythe
Colin Blythe , also known as Charlie Blythe, was a Kent and England left arm spinner who is regarded as one of the finest bowlers of the period between 1900 and 1914 - sometimes referred to as the "Golden Age" of cricket.-Career:Blythe first played...

 dismissed him four times in four innings for a total of only 48 runs and, in four innings against the very strong Yorkshire
Yorkshire County Cricket Club
Yorkshire County Cricket Club represents the historic county of Yorkshire as one of the 18 major county clubs which make up the English and Welsh domestic cricket structure....

 attack, he managed only seven runs.

Hobbs' 1905 season aggregate was 1,317 runs at 25.82 with a highest score of 155 against Essex at The Oval. He scored 2 centuries and 4 half-centuries and held 21 catches, a seasonal total he exceeded only once: in 1911. He took 4 wickets with his occasional medium pace, his best analysis being 1–12.

1906 to 1914


Hobbs established a famous opening partnership for Surrey with Tom Hayward and, as an England opener, another with Wilfred Rhodes
Wilfred Rhodes
Wilfred Rhodes was an English professional cricketer who played 58 Test matches for England between 1899 and 1930. In Tests, Rhodes took 127 wickets in and scored 2,325 runs, becoming the first Englishman to complete the double of 1,000 runs and 100 wickets in Test matches...

.

1906 English cricket season


Hobbs improved on his first season and his average in 1906 was nearly 15 runs higher than in 1905. Wisden in 1907 said he was "one of the best professional bats of the year" and acknowledged a significant improvement in his fielding. But Hobbs began the season facing a challenge as he had to "demonstrate to himself, to the Surrey committee and to the general cricket world that his falling off in 1905 was not fundamental". He received much encouragement from his team mates, especially Hayward who was "an immense help and reassurance" even though neither of them were great talkers, in Hobbs' case because he was shy while Hayward was generally too busy "getting on with the job". But, together, they became, "those two Cambridge men, the finest opening pair cricket had yet known".

Hobbs "put his head down" and treated pre-season nets and the trial matches with "absolute seriousness". Arlott says this was a "characteristic" response to his problems. He began with a couple of useful scores and then, with 79 and 69 against Hampshire, scored fifty-plus twice in the same match for the first time in his career. He shared a partnership of 208 with Hayward against Leicestershire
Leicestershire County Cricket Club
Leicestershire County Cricket Club is one of the 18 major county clubs which make up the English and Welsh national cricket structure, representing the historic county of Leicestershire. It has also been representative of the county of Rutland....

, scored 80 against Essex and then, in two matches against Worcestershire
Worcestershire County Cricket Club
Worcestershire County Cricket Club is one of the 18 major county clubs which make up the English and Welsh domestic cricket structure, representing the historic county of Worcestershire...

, scored 125 in less than two hours at Worcester and 162 not out at The Oval.

Hobbs was overshadowed by his partner in 1906 as Hayward scored a record aggregate of 3,246 runs at 72.13 with 13 centuries, this equalling the record set by C B Fry. Hobbs' 1906 season aggregate was 1,913 at 40.70 with a highest score of 162 not out against Worcestershire at The Oval. He scored 4 centuries and 10 half-centuries and held 9 catches. He took 4 wickets with a best analysis of 3–6.

Wisden commented that "in batting, Hayward stood out by himself as the great player of the year" and that "Hobbs and Hayes
Ernie Hayes
Ernest George Hayes MBE was a cricketer who played for Surrey, Leicestershire and England....

 played splendidly and would have been far more talked about if they had been in any other eleven". Wisden added that Hobbs was "one of the finest professional bats of the year".

1907 English cricket season


Hobbs continued to develop and finished a creditable eighth in the national batting averages. He may have been considered for a place in the England team against South Africa that season but, realistically, his best hope was to be chosen in the squad to tour Australia the following winter.

In May, Hobbs was dismissed for 0 and 1 by Nottinghamshire
Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club
Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club is one of the 18 major county clubs which make up the English and Welsh domestic cricket structure, representing the historic county of Nottinghamshire, and the current county champions. Its limited overs team is called the Nottinghamshire Outlaws...

 and this was the nearest he ever came to "bagging a pair" (i.e., being dismissed for nought/zero in both innings of a match).

In one week in June, playing in successive matches against Cambridge University and Middlesex
Middlesex County Cricket Club
Middlesex County Cricket Club is one of the 18 major county clubs which make up the English and Welsh domestic cricket structure, representing the historic county of Middlesex. It was announced in February 2009 that Middlesex changed their limited overs name from the Middlesex Crusaders, to the...

, Hayward and Hobbs achieved first-wicket partnerships of 108, 125, 147 and 105 in the consecutive innings. This remains a unique feat.

Hobbs made his debut for the Players in the Gentlemen v Players
Gentlemen v Players
The Gentlemen v Players game was a first-class cricket match that was generally played on an annual basis between one team consisting of amateurs and one of professionals . The first two games took place in 1806 but the fixture was not revived until 1819. It was more or less annual thereafter...

 fixture, taking part in the two matches played in July at Lord's
Lord's Cricket Ground
Lord's Cricket Ground is a cricket venue in St John's Wood, London. Named after its founder, Thomas Lord, it is owned by Marylebone Cricket Club and is the home of Middlesex County Cricket Club, the England and Wales Cricket Board , the European Cricket Council and, until August 2005, the...

 and The Oval. Despite the great success he had in this fixture through his career, he began with minimal success, scoring 2, 9, 5 and 19.

Hobbs' 1907 season aggregate was 2,135 at 37.45 with a highest score of 166 not out against Worcestershire at The Oval. He scored 4 centuries and 15 half-centuries and held 12 catches. He took 16 wickets with a best analysis of 5–22 against Cambridge University at Fenner's, the first of three five wicket hauls that he would achieve in his career.

1907–08 tour of Australia


In 1907–08, Hobbs was chosen by Marylebone Cricket Club
Marylebone Cricket Club
Marylebone Cricket Club is a cricket club in London founded in 1787. Its influence and longevity now witness it as a private members' club dedicated to the development of cricket. It owns, and is based at, Lord's Cricket Ground in St John's Wood, London NW8. MCC was formerly the governing body of...

 (MCC) to tour Australia. He always suffered from sea-sickness
Sea-sickness
Seasickness is a form of motion sickness characterized by a feeling of nausea and, in extreme cases, vertigo, experienced after spending time on a craft on water. It is typically brought on by the rocking motion of the craft. Some people are particularly vulnerable to the condition with minor...

 and was incapacitated on arrival so that he was unavailable for the First Test against Australia. He made his Test debut in the Second Test at Melbourne
Melbourne Cricket Ground
The Melbourne Cricket Ground is an Australian sports stadium located in Yarra Park, Melbourne and is home to the Melbourne Cricket Club. It is the tenth largest stadium in the world, the largest in Australia, the largest stadium for playing cricket, and holds the world record for the highest light...

, scoring 83 and 28. England, captained by Arthur Jones
Arthur Jones (cricketer)
Arthur Owen Jones , was a cricketer, noted as an all-rounder.He was born in Shelton, Nottinghamshire, and educated at Bedford Modern School and Jesus College, Cambridge. He played for Cambridge University, Nottinghamshire, London County and England...

 won the match by 1 wicket but it was their sole success. Having been described as "a third team" before leaving England, Jones' side were beaten four-one in the series. But Hobbs did enough to establish himself as an England player as, until he retired from Test cricket in 1930, he was always selected by England if he was available.

Hobbs' tour aggregate was 876 at 41.71 with a highest score of 115 against Victoria at Melbourne. He scored 2 centuries and 6 half-centuries and held 9 catches. He took 4 wickets with a best analysis of 2–14.

1908 English cricket season


In the opening match of the season, when Surrey met the Gentlemen of England at The Oval in April, Hobbs played against W G Grace for the fourth and last time. It was Grace's final first-class match.

When Surrey played Kent
Kent County Cricket Club
Kent County Cricket Club is one of the 18 first class county county cricket clubs which make up the English and Welsh national cricket structure, representing the county of Kent...

 at Rectory Field, Blackheath, Hobbs produced an innings of 106 that was acclaimed "a masterpiece". He stayed for 210 minutes and hit 15 boundaries although his team were dismissed for only 183 to lose the match by 206 runs. His team mate Bill Hitch
Bill Hitch
John William "Bill" Hitch, born Radcliffe, Greater Manchester, on 7 May 1886, and died at Cardiff on 7 July 1965, was a cricketer who played for Surrey and England....

 said of that innings: "To be at the opposite end to Jack that day was blinding; you realised your batting wasn't even the same job. The depressing thing was, he made it look so easy". The next highest score was 16 not out by the number 10 batsman.

Hobbs' 1908 season aggregate was 1,904 at 37.33 with a highest score of 161 against Hampshire
Hampshire County Cricket Club
Hampshire County Cricket Club represents the historic county of Hampshire in cricket's County Championship. The club was founded in 1863 as a successor to the Hampshire county cricket teams and has played at the Antelope Ground from then until 1885, before moving to the County Ground where it...

 at The Oval. He scored 6 centuries and 7 half-centuries and held 13 catches. He took 6 wickets with a best analysis of 3–18.

For his achievements in 1908, Hobbs was selected by Wisden as one of its "Five Cricketers of the Year" in its 1909 edition. Wisden said that "at the present time there is perhaps no better professional batsman in England except Hayward and Tyldesley
Johnny Tyldesley
Johnny Tyldesley was a Lancashire and England cricketer and for many years the finest professional batsman in county cricket.-Life and career:...

".

1909 English cricket season


In 1909, Hobbs scored 919 runs in the month of May, missing the thousand in a month target by only 81 runs. He had scores of 12, 33, 205, 41, 159, 44, 4, 160, 100 (two centuries in the same match), 99, 0, 62 and 12. But, from mid-June, his season turned sour on him and he struggled against both injury and loss of form.

Hobbs played in the first three Tests, his first in England, against Australia but missed the last two due to injury. Overall, he was disappointing in the series except for the second innings of the First test at Edgbaston
Edgbaston Cricket Ground
Edgbaston Cricket Ground, also known as the County Ground or Edgbaston Stadium, is a cricket ground in the Edgbaston area of Birmingham, England...

 when, with England needing 105 to win a low-scoring match, he and C B Fry
C B Fry
Charles Burgess Fry, known as C. B. Fry was an English polymath; an outstanding sportsman, politician, diplomat, academic, teacher, writer, editor and publisher, who is best remembered for his career as a cricketer...

 went in first and secured a ten wicket victory. Hobbs scored 62 not out in what was described as "a brilliant innings".

Having scored 162 against Hampshire at Bournemouth
Dean Park Cricket Ground
Dean Park is a cricket ground in Bournemouth, England, currently used by Bournemouth University Cricket Club, as well as by and Suttoners Cricket Club....

 in June, Hobbs went eleven innings without reaching 50. Then, in early July, he injured a finger in Surrey's match against Lancashire
Lancashire County Cricket Club
Lancashire County Cricket Club represents the historic county of Lancashire in cricket's County Championship. The club was founded in 1864 as a successor to Manchester Cricket Club and has played at Old Trafford since then...

 at Old Trafford and was out of action for nearly a month. When he returned at the beginning of August, he had another six innings without a good score before scoring 133 and 59 for Surrey against Gloucestershire
Gloucestershire County Cricket Club
Gloucestershire County Cricket Club is one of the 18 major county clubs which make up the English and Welsh national cricket structure, representing the historic county of Gloucestershire. Its limited overs team is called the Gloucestershire Gladiators....

 at Bristol
County Cricket Ground, Bristol
The County Cricket Ground is a cricket venue in Bristol, England. It is in the district of Ashley Down. The ground is home to the Gloucestershire County Cricket Club....

. But he then endured another lean period of six innings before his next half-century. His highest score in the remaining matches was 84 against Leicestershire
Leicestershire County Cricket Club
Leicestershire County Cricket Club is one of the 18 major county clubs which make up the English and Welsh national cricket structure, representing the historic county of Leicestershire. It has also been representative of the county of Rutland....

 at The Oval.

Hobbs' 1909 season aggregate was 2,114 at 40.65 with a highest score of 205 against Hampshire at The Oval, this being his first double-century. He scored 6 centuries and 7 half-centuries and held 10 catches. He took 2 wickets with a best analysis of 1–17.

1909–10 tour of South Africa


In 1909–10, Hobbs played for England against South Africa and, although his team lost the series 3–2, he personally was highly successful against their "battery of spin bowlers" by going down the pitch and playing the googly
Googly
In cricket, a googly is a type of delivery bowled by a right-arm leg spin bowler. It is occasionally referred to as a Bosie , an eponym in honour of its inventor Bernard Bosanquet.- Explanation :...

 off his front foot.

It was on this tour that Hobbs established himself as England's leading batsman, a position he retained for the next 20 years. He began his successful association with Wilfred Rhodes and they shared opening partnerships of 159, 94 and 221 in the Test series.

MCC played a match against a team called The Reef and, for many years, it was considered a first-class fixture but subsequently it was discounted as such by the South African authorities. Hobbs scored 39 and 31 in the game and CricketArchive has removed these 70 runs from his first-class record, although Wisden and Playfair have not accepted the official SABC ruling and continue to recognise the game. See also: Variations in first-class cricket statistics
Variations in first-class cricket statistics
Variations in first-class cricket statistics have come about because there is no official view of the status of cricket matches played before 1947. As a result, historians and statisticians have compiled differing lists of matches that they recognise as first-class. The problem is significant where...

.

Hobbs' tour aggregate was 1,124 at 66.11 with a highest score of 187 against South Africa in the Fifth Test at Newlands, Cape Town
Newlands Cricket Ground
Newlands Cricket Ground in Cape Town is a South African cricket ground. It's the home of the Cape Cobras, who play in the SuperSport Series, MTN Domestic Championship and Standard Bank Pro20 competitions. It is also a venue for Test matches. Newlands is regarded as one of the most beautiful cricket...

. He scored 3 centuries and 7 half-centuries and held 4 catches. He took 7 wickets with a best analysis of 2–31.

1910 English cricket season


In a wet summer, Hobbs' figures were slightly disappointing but only Johnny Tyldesley
Johnny Tyldesley
Johnny Tyldesley was a Lancashire and England cricketer and for many years the finest professional batsman in county cricket.-Life and career:...

 scored more runs. Hobbs made a very poor start to the season scoring 68 runs in his first six innings and then, from from 14 July to 9 August, only 166 runs in twelve innings. That sequence ended when he scored his first half-century against Yorkshire: 62 at The Oval. Prior to it, he was averaging just 14.61 against the northern county.

Hobbs' 1910 season aggregate was 1,982 at 33.03 with a highest score of 133 against Derbyshire
Derbyshire County Cricket Club
Derbyshire County Cricket Club is one of the 18 major county clubs which make up the England and Wales domestic cricket structure, representing the historic county of Derbyshire...

 at Derby
County Cricket Ground, Derby
The County Cricket Ground, usually shortened to County Ground and also known as the Racecourse Ground, is a cricket ground in Derby and has been the home of Derbyshire County Cricket Club since at least 1871. As the name implies it originally hosted horse racing.It also held the games of Derby...

. He scored 3 centuries and 14 half-centuries and held 19 catches. He took 3 wickets with a best analysis of 1–11.

1911 English cricket season


Hobbs' 1911 season aggregate was 2,376 at 41.68 with a highest score of 154 not out for the Players against the Gentlemen at Lord's. That was his maiden century in the fixture and he would go on to score a record 16, beating W G Grace who had scored 15. He scored 4 centuries and 13 half-centuries and held a career-high 34 catches. Hobbs assumed a greater share of the bowling in 1911 than in any other season of his career, bowling 973 deliveries. He took 28 wickets at the good average of 18.67 including a career-best analysis of 7–56 against Oxford University
Oxford University Cricket Club
Oxford University Cricket Club is a first-class cricket team, representing the University of Oxford. It plays its home games at the University Parks in Oxford, England...

 at The Parks.

1911–12 tour of Australia


On the 1911–12 MCC tour of Australia, England was captained by Johnny Douglas
Johnny Douglas
John "Johnny" William Henry Tyler Douglas was a cricketer who was captain of the England team and an Olympic boxer.-Early life:...

 and won the series 4–1 after losing the First Test. Hobbs scored three Test centuries and shared a record partnership of 323 with Wilfred Rhodes at Melbourne. He returned with the now firmly established reputation of being "the best batsman in the world". His series aggregate of 662 was a then record for an England v Australia series and the second-best in all series after Aubrey Faulkner
Aubrey Faulkner
George Aubrey Faulkner was a leading cricketer for South Africa for two decades.-Early life:...

 had amassed 732 against Australia twelve months previously.

Australia won the First Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground
Sydney Cricket Ground
The Sydney Cricket Ground is a sports stadium in Sydney in Australia. It is used for Australian football, Test cricket, One Day International cricket, some rugby league and rugby union matches and is the home ground for the New South Wales Blues cricket team and the Sydney Swans of the Australian...

 by 146 runs after some fine bowling by their leg-break and googly bowler Ranji Hordern
Ranji Hordern
Dr. Herbert Vivian "Ranji" Hordern was an Australian cricketer who played in 7 Tests from 1911 to 1912. He was the first major leg-spin and googly bowler to play for Australia...

 who had match figures of 12–175. Hobbs scored 63 and 22, completing 1,000 Test runs in the process. England won the Second Test at Melbourne (a timeless match) by 8 wickets. Australia were dismissed for 184, Sydney Barnes
Sydney Barnes
Sydney Francis Barnes was an English professional cricketer who is generally regarded as one of the greatest bowlers in the sport's history...

 taking 5–44 and England replied with 265 ("Young Jack" Hearne 114, Rhodes 61, Hobbs 6). Australia scored 299 to set England a target of 219. England lost Rhodes and George Gunn
George Gunn
George Gunn was an English cricketer who played in 15 Tests from 1907 to 1930. Along with other notable batsmen such as Jack Hobbs, Frank Woolley and Phil Mead, he was one of a group who, beginning their first-class careers in the Edwardian Era, seemed to go on for ever...

 but both gave solid support to Hobbs who scored 126 not out. Hobbs was "at his very best, especially in his square and late-cutting, and his mastery over Hordern was a great example and encouragement to his comrades".

In the Third Test at the Adelaide Oval
Adelaide Oval
The Adelaide Oval is a sports ground in Adelaide, South Australia, located in the parklands between the Central Business District and North Adelaide...

, Australian captain Clem Hill
Clem Hill
Clement "Clem" Hill was an Australian cricketer who played 49 Test matches as a specialist batsman between 1896 and 1912. He captained the Australian team in ten Tests, winning five and losing five...

 won the toss and batted first on a good wicket but his team collapsed and were all out on the first day for only 133, Frank Foster taking 5–36. Hobbs and Rhodes reached close of play with England on 49–0 and secured first innings lead next day before Rhodes was out for 59 at 147–1. Hobbs went on until he was caught for 187 (equalling his highest Test score) at 323–4 and England eventually reached 501 all out. Australia fought back and scored 476 (Hill 98) but it was not enough and, although Hobbs went for only 3 in the second innings, England scored 112–3 (Rhodes 57 not out) to win by 7 wickets. Hobbs "made no mistake of any kind till he was well past his century" and "showed as complete a mastery over the bowling as at Melbourne a fortnight before".

Douglas won the toss ahead of the Fourth Test at Melbourne and asked Australia to bat on a damp wicket. They were duly dismissed by Barnes and Foster for 191. Hobbs and Rhodes stayed together till close of play on the first day when the score was 54–0. On the second day, they built the first-wicket partnership to a then record 323 before Hobbs was out for 178. Rhodes went on to score 179 in England's total of 589, a first innings lead of just under 400. Australia had no answer to the situation and were bowled out for 173 (Douglas 5–46) as England regained The Ashes by an innings and 225 runs. The stand between Hobbs and Rhodes was achieved "by perfect cricket and wonderful running between the wickets".

Hobbs was a great success in the field too, running out fifteen batsmen in all matches on the tour. The performances of Rhodes and himself were described as "phenomenal" and it was on this tour that Hobbs "joined the ranks of the unquestionable immortals".

Hobbs' tour aggregate was 943 at 55.47 with a highest score of 187 in the Third Test at the Adelaide Oval. He scored 3 centuries and 2 half-centuries and held 8 catches. He took 5 wickets with a best analysis of 4–25.

1912 English cricket season


One of the wettest seasons on record with 114 complete days' play lost in all matches. Hobbs was one of only four players (the others being David Denton
David Denton
David Denton was an English first-class cricketer. An attacking batsman, he had a long career with Yorkshire and played eleven Tests for England. His nickname of 'Lucky' came from his habit of surviving the numerous chances, that his attacking batting style naturally created for the opposition...

, Warren Bardsley
Warren Bardsley
Warren "Curly" Bardsley was an Australian Test cricketer. An opening batsman, Bardsley played 41 Tests between 1909 and 1926 and over 200 first-class games for New South Wales...

 and Charlie Macartney) who managed to score 2,000 runs.

Hobbs' 1912 season aggregate was 2,042 at 37.81 with a highest score of 111 against Lancashire at Old Trafford. He scored 3 centuries and 14 half-centuries and held 14 catches. He took 6 wickets with a best analysis of 2–10.

1913 English cricket season


Hobbs' 1913 season aggregate was 2,605 at 50.09 with a highest score of 184 against Worcestershire at New Road, Worcester
. He scored 9 centuries and 12 half-centuries and held 16 catches. He bowled only 90 deliveries (i.e., 15 overs) all season and, for the first time, took no wickets.

1913–14 tour of South Africa


On England's 1913–14 tour of South Africa, Hobbs scored 1,489 runs, nearly twice as many as anyone else.

His highest score on the tour was 170 against Cape Province
Eastern Province cricket team
Eastern Province cricket team is the team representing the Eastern Province in domestic first-class cricket in South Africa.-Honours:* Currie Cup - 1988–89, 1991–92; shared - 1989–90* Standard Bank Cup - 1989–90, 1991–92...

 at St George's Oval, Port Elizabeth. He averaged a very high 74.45 and scored 5 centuries and 8 half-centuries. He held 13 catches. His bowling was limited to a single over in which he took 0–4.

1914 English cricket season


In 1914, Surrey won the County Championship for the only time in Hobbs' career.

Hobbs' 1914 season aggregate was 2,697 at 58.63 with a highest score of 226 against Nottinghamshire at The Oval. He scored 11 centuries (including 3 double-centuries) and 6 half-centuries and held 15 catches. He took 3 wickets with a best analysis of 3–13.

Hobbs in 1914 was "unchallenged as the leading batsman in the world" and had the reputation of being "the supreme technician on any sort of wicket". Statistically, he had scored 25,587 runs with 65 centuries to this point, when cricket was terminated for four years, but both of those figures would be more than doubled after his career resumed in 1919. Of his eventual tally of 199 centuries, Hobbs scored 100 of them after his fortieth birthday.

First World War


The outbreak of the First World War
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 disrupted the final weeks of the 1914 season and the match between Surrey and Kent on 10–11 August had to be switched from The Oval to Lord's. This should have been Jack Hobbs' benefit match. In all the confusion, the game was poorly attended and the takings did not meet expectations. Surrey offered to keep the gate money on this occasion so that Hobbs could have another benefit after the war ended. Hobbs agreed to this, although he had no way of knowing if or when it could ever happen.

He served his country by working in a munitions factory until 1916 when he joined the Royal Flying Corps
Royal Flying Corps
The Royal Flying Corps was the over-land air arm of the British military during most of the First World War. During the early part of the war, the RFC's responsibilities were centred on support of the British Army, via artillery co-operation and photographic reconnaissance...

 as an air mechanic. Meanwhile he was able to play some cricket in the Bradford League
Bradford League
The Bradford League was a football competition based in England. It sat at level 14 of the English football league system. The league was a feeder to the West Riding County Amateur Football League - in 2006 Dudley Hill Athletic made the step up to the higher level. It was sponsored by the local...

 until 1916 and once batted against Sydney Barnes
Sydney Barnes
Sydney Francis Barnes was an English professional cricketer who is generally regarded as one of the greatest bowlers in the sport's history...

, the only time they were ever in opposition. Hobbs scored what Barnes himself called a "chanceless century".

1919 to 1924


Hobbs established another great partnership at Surrey with Andrew Sandham. In Test cricket, he and Herbert Sutcliffe
Herbert Sutcliffe
Herbert Sutcliffe was an English professional cricketer who represented Yorkshire and England as an opening batsman. Apart from one match in 1945, his first-class career spanned the period between the two World Wars...

 formed what is generally regarded as the greatest opening partnership ever.

1919 English cricket season


Surrey kept their promise and granted Hobbs a postponed benefit in 1919. He used the proceeds to open a sporting goods shop on Fleet Street
Fleet Street
Fleet Street is a street in central London, United Kingdom, named after the River Fleet, a stream that now flows underground. It was the home of the British press until the 1980s...

.

He made a remarkable start to the season, scoring 651 runs in his first nine innings. His season aggregate was 2,594 at 60.32 with a highest score of 205 not out against the Australian Imperial Forces XI
Australian Imperial Forces cricket team
The Australian Imperial Forces cricket team toured England between May and September 1919, playing 28 first-class matches after the First World War. Its overall record was 12 wins, 4 losses and 12 draws...

 at The Oval. He and Jack Crawford
Jack Crawford (cricketer)
John Neville Crawford was an English first-class cricketer who played mainly for Surrey. An amateur, he played as an all-rounder and was highly regarded from an unusually early age before a disagreement with his county curtailed his career. A right-handed batsman, Crawford had a reputation for...

 inflicted Kent's only defeat of the County Championship season at The Oval in a match which finished in pouring rain, in what was his benefit match. Surrey needed 96 to win with just 45 minutes of the match remaining, and Crawford and Hobbs got the runs in 32 minutes off 12.1 overs, Hobbs' share being 47 not out. The crowd carried Hobbs shoulder-high into the pavilion when victory was achieved. Hobbs scored 8 centuries and 14 half-centuries including a unique three centuries in one season for the Players against the Gentlemen. He held 10 catches and took 1 wicket with a best analysis of 1–11.

1920 English cricket season


Hobbs' 1920 season aggregate was 2,827 at 58.89 with a highest score of 215 against Essex at Leyton
Leyton Cricket Ground
Leyton Cricket Ground is a cricket ground in Leyton, London.-Cricket ground:...

. He scored 11 centuries and 13 half-centuries and held 10 catches. He considerably increased his share of the bowling and took 17 wickets at the outstanding average of 11.82 with a best analysis of 5–21.

1920–21 tour of Australia


Hobbs' tour aggregate was 924 at 51.33 with a highest score of 131 against Victoria at Melbourne. He scored 4 centuries and 1 half-century and held 6 catches. He took no wickets from 84 deliveries and conceded 35 runs.

1921 English cricket season


Hobbs faced a life-threatening situation in 1921 when he developed an ulcerated appendix
Vermiform appendix
The appendix is a blind-ended tube connected to the cecum , from which it develops embryologically. The cecum is a pouchlike structure of the colon...

. He had already missed several matches due to a thigh injury and he played only six innings in the whole of that season.

Hobbs' 1921 season aggregate was 312 at 78.00 with a highest score of 172 not out against Yorkshire
Yorkshire County Cricket Club
Yorkshire County Cricket Club represents the historic county of Yorkshire as one of the 18 major county clubs which make up the English and Welsh domestic cricket structure....

 at Headingley
Headingley Stadium
Headingley Stadium is a sporting complex in the Leeds suburb of Headingley in West Yorkshire, England. It is the home of Yorkshire County Cricket Club, rugby league team Leeds Rhinos and rugby union team Leeds Carnegie ....

. He scored 1 century and 1 half-century and held 1 catch. He did not bowl.

After he recovered from his illness and operation, Hobbs found that he had a tendency to tire much sooner than previously and he never had the same levels of energy or stamina again. He adapted his style to play a less adventurous game and, having formerly been noted for his front foot batting, "he now dominated the bowlers off the back foot".

1922 English cricket season


Hobbs' 1922 season aggregate was 2,552 at 62.24 with a highest score of 168 against Warwickshire
Warwickshire County Cricket Club
Warwickshire County Cricket Club is one of the 18 major county clubs which make up the English and Welsh domestic cricket structure, representing the historic county of Warwickshire. Its limited overs team is called the Warwickshire Bears. Their kit colours are black and gold and the shirt sponsor...

 at Edgbaston. He scored 10 centuries and 9 half-centuries and held 11 catches. He bowled only 6 overs and took 0–11.

1923 English cricket season


In 1923, Hobbs completed his one hundredth first-class century when he scored 116 not out against Somerset
Somerset County Cricket Club
Somerset County Cricket Club is one of the 18 major county clubs which make up the English and Welsh domestic cricket structure, representing the historic county of Somerset...

 at Bath.

Hobbs' 1923 season aggregate was 2,087 at 37.95 with a highest score of 136 against Middlesex at The Oval. He scored 5 centuries and 8 half-centuries and held 11 catches. He did not bowl in 1923.

1924 English cricket season


Hobbs' 1924 season aggregate was 2,094 at 58.16 with a highest score of 211 for England against South Africa in the Second test at Lord's. He scored 6 centuries and 10 half-centuries and held 16 catches. He bowled 8 overs for 1 wicket and had a best analysis of 1–13.

1924–25 tour of Australia



Hobbs' tour aggregate was 865 at 54.06 with a highest score of 154 in the Second Test at Melbourne. He scored 3 centuries and 5 half-centuries but, although he played in 10 matches, he held no catches. He took no wickets from 64 deliveries (i.e., 8 eight-ball overs) and conceded 37 runs.

1925 English cricket season


The 1925 season
1925 English cricket season
The 1925 English cricket season did not have a Test series and the focus was ostensibly upon the County Championship, except that proceedings were dominated by Jack Hobbs who scored a then-record 16 centuries and 3024 runs. Along the way, Hobbs equalled and then surpassed the career record for...

 was, statistically, the most significant of Hobbs' career. He exceeded 3,000 runs for the first time by scoring 3,024 and he completed 16 centuries, the latter an English season record until it was beaten by Denis Compton
Denis Compton
Denis Charles Scott Compton CBE was an English cricketer who played in 78 Test matches, and a footballer...

 in 1947, with a highest score of 266 not out for the Players against the Gentlemen at North Marine Road Ground, Scarborough. Hobbs topped the national batting averages for the first time with 70.32. He also scored 5 half-centuries and held 8 catches. He took no wickets from 36 deliveries (i.e., 6 six-ball overs) and conceded 24 runs.

When he made 109 against Glamorgan
Glamorgan County Cricket Club
Glamorgan County Cricket Club is one of the 18 major county clubs which make up the English and Welsh national cricket structure, representing the historic county of Glamorgan aka Glamorganshire . Glamorgan CCC is the only Welsh first-class cricket club. Glamorgan CCC have won the English County...

 at The Oval in May, he became the first batsman to score a century against each of 16 other County Championship teams.

In the Gentlemen v Players match at Scarborough in September, Hobbs captained the Players and carried his bat to score 266 not out, the highest score achieved in the history of the fixture.

But the most famous achievement by Hobbs in 1925 was the establishment of a new world record for the most centuries in a first-class career. The media had been following him for much of the season as his total approached W G Grace's record of 126. Hobbs came within one of the record when he scored 105 for Surrey against Kent at Rectory Field
Rectory Field
Rectory Field is a playing field in Blackheath, London. It was developed in the 1880s by Blackheath Cricket, Football and Lawn Tennis Company and became the home of Kent County Cricket Club and rugby union team Blackheath F.C....

, Blackheath
Blackheath, London
Blackheath is a district of South London, England. It is named from the large open public grassland which separates it from Greenwich to the north and Lewisham to the west...

 in July. A large crowd gathered at Hove
County Cricket Ground, Hove
The County Cricket Ground, also known as the Probiz County Ground for sponsorship reasons, is a cricket venue in Hove, England. It is home to Sussex County Cricket Club. It is one of the few county grounds to have deckchairs for spectators - which are in the colours of Sussex CCC - blue and white....

 for Surrey's next match against Sussex
Sussex County Cricket Club
Sussex County Cricket Club is the oldest of the 18 major county clubs which make up the English and Welsh domestic cricket structure, representing the historic county of Sussex. The club was founded as a successor to Brighton Cricket Club which was a representative of the county of Sussex as a...

, along with increased media interest but Hobbs was out for just one in his only innings and the record continued to elude him in his next five matches against Kent, Gloucestershire, Nottinghamshire, Middlesex and Leicestershire.

This phase of Hobbs' career engendered "virtually the first instance of media pressure on cricket". It would become common in a few years with Don Bradman and bodyline
Bodyline
Bodyline, also known as fast leg theory bowling, was a cricketing tactic devised by the English cricket team for their 1932–33 Ashes tour of Australia, specifically to combat the extraordinary batting skill of Australia's Don Bradman...

 but "for the moment it was new". Hobbs found himself the focus of interest of "a whole caravan of reporters, cameramen, photographers and feature writers" who "fell in behind him". Even Hobbs, a very placid man, was affected by it and he later told John Arlott
John Arlott
Leslie Thomas John Arlott OBE was an English journalist, author and cricket commentator for the BBC's Test Match Special. He was also a poet, wine connoisseur and former police officer in Hampshire...

 that it "frayed his nerves". An example of the pressure was a national newspaper carrying the headline "Hobbs Fails Again" after he had scored 54 against the very strong Nottinghamshire attack.

Somerset v Surrey, 1925


Finally, when Surrey played against Somerset at Taunton, Hobbs equalled and then beat Grace's record by scoring two centuries in the match. Somerset won the toss and batted first, on Saturday, 14 August, but were all out for 167 by tea. Hobbs survived an early chance of dismissal and batted solidly through to the close with 91 not out, Surrey reaching 151–3 with Douglas Jardine
Douglas Jardine
Douglas Robert Jardine was an English cricketer and captain of the England cricket team from 1931 to 1933–34.When describing cricket seasons, the convention used is that a single year represents an English cricket season, while two years represent a southern hemisphere cricket season because it...

 the other not out batsman. Due to the arrival of a large crowd, play resumed 25 minutes late on Monday, 16 August.

At 11:37, Hobbs clipped a ball from Jimmy Bridges
Jimmy Bridges
James John Bridges was an English cricketer who played for Somerset from 1911 to 1929.Bridges was a right-arm fast-medium bowler who batted right-handed....

 to leg and finally completed his record-equalling century. As the Somerset players shook his hand, the Surrey captain Percy Fender
Percy Fender
Percy George Herbert Fender was an English all-round cricketer who played 13 Tests for England. He was a middle order batsman and bowled mainly leg spin.-Biography:...

 brought out a glass of ginger ale
Ginger ale
Ginger ale is a carbonated soft drink flavored with ginger. Dr. Thomas Cantrell, an American apothecary and surgeon, claimed to have invented ginger ale and marketed it with beverage manufacturer Grattan and Company. Grattan embossed the slogan "The Original Makers of Ginger Ale" on its bottles...

, with which Hobbs toasted the crowd. The drink was initially thought to be champagne, but Hobbs was a teetotaller
Teetotalism
Teetotalism refers to either the practice of or the promotion of complete abstinence from alcoholic beverages. A person who practices teetotalism is called a teetotaler or is simply said to be teetotal...

.

Hobbs was out for 101 and Surrey scored 359, a first innings lead of 192. Somerset rallied in their second innings and reached 256–3 at close of play, largely due to a century by Jack MacBryan
Jack MacBryan
John "Jack" Crawford William MacBryan was an English cricketer who played for Cambridge University and Somerset and made one almost imperceptible appearance in a Test match for England...

, giving them a lead of 64 with seven wickets standing and one day left. It was expected that the game would be drawn and attendance on the final day was normal with only newspaper reporter present. However, Somerset were all out for 374 and so Surrey needed 183 to win in reasonable time. Free from the media pressure, Hobbs drove his first delivery for four and, despite a couple of scares, completed his second century of the match two hours and twenty minutes later to claim the record outright. He made 101 not out in the final total of 183–0, Surrey winning by 10 wickets with Andrew Sandham scoring 74 not out. Sandham had deliberately slowed his scoring to give Hobbs more of the strike. Only one reporter, Morley Richards, was on the scene to record this. After selling the story to almost every national newspaper, he and his wife used the proceeds for a two-week holiday in Torquay
Torquay
Torquay is a town in the unitary authority area of Torbay and ceremonial county of Devon, England. It lies south of Exeter along the A380 on the north of Torbay, north-east of Plymouth and adjoins the neighbouring town of Paignton on the west of the bay. Torquay’s population of 63,998 during the...

.

Cricketer of the Year


As a result of his outstanding achievements in 1925, Hobbs was elected sole Cricketer of the Year
Wisden Cricketers of the Year
The Wisden Cricketers of the Year are cricketers selected for the honour by the annual publication Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, based primarily on their "influence on the previous English season"...

 by Wisden Cricketer's Almanack in its 1926 edition. Having already received the award in 1909, he became only the second player to be selected a second time and the third sole recipient.

Commercial value


In recognition of his celebrity, Hobbs received offers of several sponsorships and endorsements. He was even offered the lead role in a silent film "with a suitable leading lady", but he "backed hastily away".

He did agree to the making of The Life of Jack Hobbs by New Era Films for Charles Barnett of the UIC production company. The film began by showing a typed letter from Jack Hobbs detailing his agreement that UIC could produce a film dealing with incidents in his life and showing his batting technique in slow motion. He stated that it was the "only authentic film" of his career. The film included footage of him completing his first century against Somerset but not the second one. It can currently be viewed at the British Pathe website in four reels.

1926 English cricket season


Hobbs was given a second benefit by Surrey in 1926.

Hobbs achieved the highest score of his career when he made 316 not out for Surrey against Middlesex at Lord's on 29 and 30 August. This innings beat the 315 not out scored by Percy Holmes
Percy Holmes
Percy Holmes was an English first-class cricketer, who played for Yorkshire and England.Holmes was born in Oakes, Huddersfield, Yorkshire, England...

 the previous season to set a Lord's ground record that stood for 64 years until it was overtaken by Graham Gooch
Graham Gooch
Graham Alan Gooch OBE DL is a former cricketer who captained Essex and England. He was one of the most successful international batsmen of his generation, and through a career spanning from 1973 until 2000, he became the most prolific run scorer of all time with 67,057 runs...

 in 1990. In all, Hobbs scored three double-centuries at Lord's.

Hobbs and Sutcliffe shared 11 century partnerships for the first wicket in Tests against Australia. One of the most famous of these occurred in the Fifth Test at The Oval in 1926. After four draws, the timeless Test
Timeless Test
A timeless Test is a match of Test cricket played under no limitation of time, which means the match is played until one side wins or the match is tied, with theoretically no possibility of a draw. The format means that it is not possible to play defensively for a draw when the allotted time runs...

 would decide whether England would regain The Ashes
The Ashes
The Ashes is a Test cricket series played between England and Australia. It is one of the most celebrated rivalries in international cricket and dates back to 1882. It is currently played biennially, alternately in the United Kingdom and Australia. Cricket being a summer sport, and the venues...

. Australia had a narrow first innings
Innings
An inning, or innings, is a fixed-length segment of a game in any of a variety of sports – most notably cricket and baseball during which one team attempts to score while the other team attempts to prevent the first from scoring. In cricket, the term innings is both singular and plural and is...

 lead of 22. Hobbs and Sutcliffe took the score to 49–0 at the end of the second day, a lead of 27. Heavy rain fell overnight and next day the pitch soon developed into a traditional sticky wicket
Sticky wicket
Sticky wicket is a metaphor used to describe a difficult circumstance; it originates from difficult circumstances in the sport of cricket.-Origins:...

. England seemed certain to be bowled out cheaply and lose the match. But, in spite of the very difficult batting conditions, Hobbs and Sutcliffe took their partnership to 172 before Hobbs was out for exactly 100. Sutcliffe went on to make 161 and in the end England won the game comfortably and regained The Ashes.

During this series, Hobbs passed the record for Test runs scored in Ashes contests, formerly held by Clem Hill
Clem Hill
Clement "Clem" Hill was an Australian cricketer who played 49 Test matches as a specialist batsman between 1896 and 1912. He captained the Australian team in ten Tests, winning five and losing five...

. He went on to total 3,636 runs and 12 centuries against Australia, both records, and only Don Bradman has exceeded his totals in Ashes Tests.

Hobbs' 1926 season aggregate was 2,949 at 77.60 with a highest score of 316 not out against Middlesex at Lord's. He scored 10 centuries and 12 half-centuries and held 13 catches. He did not bowl in 1926.

1927 English cricket season


Hobbs' 1927 season aggregate was 1,641 at 52.93 with a highest score of 150 against Yorkshire at The Oval. He scored 7 centuries and 5 half-centuries and held 4 catches. He did not bowl in 1927.

1928 English cricket season


Hobbs' 1928 season aggregate was 2,542 at 82.00 (the highest season average of his career) with a highest score of 200 not out against Warwickshire at Edgbaston. He scored 12 centuries and 10 half-centuries and held 10 catches. He bowled only 2 overs and took 0–12.

1928–29 tour of Australia


Hobbs' tour aggregate was 962 at 56.58 with a highest score of 142 in the Fifth Test at Melbourne. He scored 2 centuries and 7 half-centuries and held 2 catches. He did not bowled on this tour.

1929 English cricket season


Hobbs' 1929 season aggregate was 2,263 at 66.55 with a highest score of 204 against Somerset at The Oval. He scored 10 centuries and 8 half-centuries and held 9 catches. He bowled only 5 overs and took 0–18.

1930 English cricket season


Hobbs played his final Test match in 1930, having played in 61 Tests since 1908.

Hobbs' 1930 season aggregate was 2,103 at 51.29 with a highest score of 146 not out for Surrey against the Australians at The Oval. He scored 5 centuries and 14 half-centuries and held 7 catches. He bowled only one over, a maiden, and that was the last time he bowled in a first-class match in England.

1930–31 visit to India and Ceylon


During the winter of 1930–31, Hobbs and Sutcliffe went on a private tour of India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 and Ceylon that was organised by the Maharajkumar of Vizianagram
Maharajkumar of Vizianagram
Lieutenant Colonel Sir Vijayananda Gajapathi Raju , better known as the Maharajkumar of Vizianagram or Vizzy, was an Indian cricketer, cricket administrator and politician.- Childhood :...

 (popularly known as "Vizzy"). There is debate in some quarters about the status of matches played on this tour, which are not recognised as first-class by Wisden in contrast to certain other publications. The scores were printed in The Cricketer Spring Annual in 1932 and presented as first-class but escaped general notice at the time and were largely ignored until some statisticians took an interest in them in the 1970s. It is known that neither Hobbs nor Sutcliffe thought they were first-class matches; they regarded them as exhibition games arranged for Vizzy's personal entertainment. Nevertheless, Hobbs scored 571 runs and 2 centuries in the disputed matches, and additionally holding 5 catches and taking 1 wicket, and these figures have impacted his first-class statistical record with two versions in circulation.

1931 English cricket season


Hobbs' 1931 season aggregate was 2,418 at 56.23 with a highest score of 153 in a Scarborough Festival
Scarborough Festival
The Scarborough Festival is an end of season series of cricket matches featuring Yorkshire County Cricket Club which has been held in Scarborough, on the east coast of Yorkshire, since 1876. The ground, at North Marine Road, sees large crowds of holiday makers watching a mixture of first class...

 match for H D G Leveson Gower's XI against the touring New Zealanders. He scored 10 centuries and 7 half-centuries and held 8 catches.

1932 English cricket season


Hobbs scored his 16th hundred for the Players against the Gentlemen in 1932.

Against Essex at The Oval, he scored a hundred in each innings, for the sixth time in his career. In the second innings he and Bob Gregory
Bob Gregory (cricketer)
Robert James 'Bob' Gregory was an English cricketer.Born in Selsdon, Surrey, he was an all-rounder who played for Surrey from 1925 to 1947. He was an attractive right-handed batsman, a leg-break bowler and a fine fielder in the deep...

 had an unbroken partnership of 232 in 150 minutes to win the game by 9 wickets. This caused his captain, Douglas Jardine
Douglas Jardine
Douglas Robert Jardine was an English cricketer and captain of the England cricket team from 1931 to 1933–34.When describing cricket seasons, the convention used is that a single year represents an English cricket season, while two years represent a southern hemisphere cricket season because it...

, to dub him "The Master". The nickname became permanently attached to him.

Hobbs' 1932 season aggregate was 1,764 at 56.90 with a highest score of 161 not out for the Players against the Gentlemen at Lord's. He scored 5 centuries and 9 half-centuries and held 7 catches.

1933 English cricket season


Hobbs' 1933 season aggregate was 1,105 at 61.38 with a highest score of 221 for Surrey against the touring West Indians at The Oval. He scored 6 centuries and 3 half-centuries and held 5 catches.

1934 English cricket season


Hobbs retired after the 1934 season.

Hobbs' 1934 season aggregate was 624 at 36.70 with a highest score of 116 (his final first-class century) against Lancashire at Old Trafford. He scored 1 century and 4 half-centuries and held 2 catches.

Retirement


After retirement as a player, Hobbs continued to run his sports goods shop and also worked as a cricket journalist
Journalism
Journalism is the practice of investigation and reporting of events, issues and trends to a broad audience in a timely fashion. Though there are many variations of journalism, the ideal is to inform the intended audience. Along with covering organizations and institutions such as government and...

.

In 1953, Hobbs became the second professional cricketer, after Don Bradman, to receive a knighthood for his services to the sport as a player (two cricket administrators had also previously been knighted).

Hobbs published four books during or just after his career, between 1912 and 1935. See list in "Additional reading" below.

Approach to cricket


Hobbs was a paradox in terms of his character and personality vis-à-vis his status as a world-class professional sportsman. He was seen as "a gentle, kindly family man, without an enemy in the world", who just happened to play an extremely difficult game "rather better than anyone else around". In tributes to Hobbs, Herbert Sutcliffe said he was "a man of the highest integrity who believed in sportmanship in the highest sense: teamwork, fair-play and clean-living"; and Percy Fender said he was "the most charming and modest man that anyone could meet".

However, Hobbs was noted for his mischievous sense of humour. Andy Sandham referred to this in Hobbs' Wisden obituary when he said: "Despite all the fuss and adulation made of him, he was surprisingly modest and had a great sense of humour". George Duckworth
George Duckworth
George Duckworth was a professional cricketer who played first-class cricket for Lancashire and England....

 said that Hobbs was "always a boyish chap at heart (and) remained a great leg-puller". In 1934, when aged 51, Hobbs promised to come up to Old Trafford and play in Duckworth's benefit match. Duckworth recalled: "despite bitterly cold weather, he hit the last first-class century of his career and told me he got it to keep warm!" John Arlott recounted that Hobbs "had a great reputation as a practical joker". For example, Hobbs noticed that Percy Chapman
Percy Chapman
Arthur Percy Frank Chapman was an English cricketer who captained England to a then English-record-equalling seven consecutive Test match wins, a record that was not surpassed until Michael Vaughan's team won eight in a row in 2004...

 kept a ginger beer bottle in his kit bag which contained not water but gin and tonic, so he substituted water. Chapman started to drink this when he returned to the dressing room from a long session in the field and, after the initial surprise, immediately declared that Hobbs was the culprit while his team mates laughed.

Batting



As we were taking the field against the M.C.C.
Marylebone Cricket Club
Marylebone Cricket Club is a cricket club in London founded in 1787. Its influence and longevity now witness it as a private members' club dedicated to the development of cricket. It owns, and is based at, Lord's Cricket Ground in St John's Wood, London NW8. MCC was formerly the governing body of...

 our captain Herbie Collins
Herbie Collins
Herbert Leslie Collins was an Australian cricketer who played 19 Tests between 1921 and 1926. An all-rounder, he captained the Australian team in eleven Tests, winning five, losing two with another four finishing in draws...

 said "You must all be on your toes out here today. We'll be facing 'The Master'" I had no idea who "The Master" was so I asked Arthur Mailey
Arthur Mailey
Arthur Alfred Mailey was an Australian cricketer who played in 21 Test matches between 1920 and 1926....

. Arthur replied, "'The Master's' Jack Hobbs
Jack Hobbs
Sir John Berry "Jack" Hobbs was an English professional cricketer who played for Surrey from 1905 to 1934 and for England in 61 Test matches from 1908 to 1930....

 and you'll soon see why." I did. He tapped the ball here, there and everywhere and had us all running around in circles as if he were the ring-master
Ringmaster (circus)
The ringmaster is the most visible performer in the modern circus, and among the most important, since he stage-manages the performance, introduces the various acts, and guides the audience through the entertainment experience. In smaller circuses, the ringmaster is often the owner and artistic...

 of a circus
Circus
A circus is commonly a travelling company of performers that may include clowns, acrobats, trained animals, trapeze acts, musicians, hoopers, tightrope walkers, jugglers, unicyclists and other stunt-oriented artists...

 and we his obedient and bewildered slaves.'
Hal Hooker
Hal Hooker
John Edward Halford "Hal" Hooker was an Australian first class cricketer who played for New South Wales. A tall fast-medium bowler, he stood at 6ft and was capable of swinging the ball both ways....




Harry Altham
Harry Altham
Harry Surtees Altham, CBE, DSO, MC was an English cricketer who became an important figure in the game as an administrator, historian and coach. His Wisden obituary described him as "among the best known personalities in the world of cricket"...

, who watched Hobbs' first-class debut on a "bitterly cold" day on Easter Monday 1905, asserted that Hobbs was, "except in experience, at his greatest" before the First World War. As he got older, Hobbs had "inevitably to forgo some of his early brilliance, but he never lost stature in the process, never became a mere technician, but remained a great artist". Altham believed that Hobbs, despite the statistical evidence to the contrary, "was never very much concerned with the mere amassing of runs but rather with the art of batsmanship and the challenge of a situation". That challenge might be a great occasion, a difficult wicket or a formidable bowler; or a combination of the three as when he and Sutcliffe faced Australia on those sticky wickets. The result was that Hobbs' "stature stood revealed beyond question as that of the greatest English batsman since W G Grace". Given that Altham wrote this in his 1962 edition, he effectively stated that Hobbs was a greater batsman than Sutcliffe, Hammond, Hutton
Len Hutton
Sir Leonard "Len" Hutton was an English Test cricketer, who played for Yorkshire County Cricket Club and England in the years around the Second World War as an opening batsman. He was described by Wisden Cricketer's Almanack as one of the greatest batsmen in the history of cricket...

, Compton, May
Peter May
-External links:* * at Cricket Archive*...

, Graveney
Tom Graveney
Thomas William Graveney in Riding Mill, Northumberland, is a former English cricketer and was the President of the Marylebone Cricket Club for 2004/5. He went to Bristol Grammar School...

, et al. Altham added that although Hobbs was "great in technical resource, of course", it was "in the ease and beauty of style" that his greatness was reflected and, above all, "in that serenity which was the reflection of the man himself".

In addition to his artistic stature and statistical achievements, Hobbs was noted for his consistency. For example, in Test cricket he was dismissed for a single-figure score only 12 times out of 95 total dismissals. This compares favourably with any other batsman including Bradman (14/70) and Walter Hammond (24/124).

It has often been remarked that Hobbs' career was "divided into two periods", delimited by the First World War, "each different from the other in style and tempo". Before the war, he was "Trumperesque
Victor Trumper
Victor Thomas Trumper was an Australian cricketer known as the most stylish and versatile batsman of the Golden Age of cricket, capable of playing match-winning innings on wet wickets his contemporaries found unplayable. Archie MacLaren said of him, "Compared to Victor I was a cab-horse to a Derby...

" with a style that was "quick to the attack on springing feet" with "strokes all over the field (that were especially) executed at the wrists". After the war, Hobbs was approaching his forties and considered a veteran in cricket terms, so he adapted his style to save his energy and thereby "ripened into a classic". His style became "as serenely poised as any ever witnessed on a cricket field". Hobbs once said that he "would wish to be remembered for the way he batted before 1914". Others protested that he "got bags of runs after 1919" to which Hobbs modestly replied that "they were nearly all made off the back foot".

Among tributes paid to Hobbs after his death in 1963, Wilfred Rhodes called him "the greatest batsman of my time". Rhodes said: "I learned a lot from him when we went in first together for England"; and, commenting on Hobbs' technique, "the position of his feet as he met the ball was always perfect". Herbert Sutcliffe said that Hobbs was "the most brilliant exponent of all time, and quite the best batsman of my generation on all types of wickets". Andy Sandham agreed with Sutcliffe's view by saying: "Jack was the finest batsman in my experience on all sorts of wickets, especially the bad ones". Percy Fender went further and summarised Hobbs as "the greatest batsman the world has ever known, not merely in his generation but any generation".

Bowling and fielding


Hobbs generally fielded at cover point and has been described as "brilliant, lurking at cover with deceptive casualness to trap the unwary". On the 1911–12 tour, he ran out 15 opponents.

Surrey and England wicket-keeper Herbert Strudwick
Herbert Strudwick
Herbert Strudwick was an English wicket-keeper...

 described Hobbs as "a first-class bowler if given the chance, and the finest cover point I ever saw".

Hayward and Hobbs


John Arlott's view was that Hayward and Hobbs had strength as a pair in "their dissimilar styles". Hayward personified the nineteenth century in his "upstanding style". He was tall and strong with "a long rosy face", a "slight stoop and sloping shoulders". Essentially unhurried and dealing phlegmatically with the fastest bowling, Hayward's attacking strength was seen in front-of-the-wicket strokes and driving with controlled power even on lively pitches. In contrast, Hobbs typified "the modern school" as a batsman who was quick footed, forward or back, and dealing with late swing, leg theory or the googly by fresh methods, involving, in particular, "sophisticated on-side techniques".

Hobbs and Sutcliffe


In September 1922, Hobbs played in a Scarborough Festival
Scarborough Festival
The Scarborough Festival is an end of season series of cricket matches featuring Yorkshire County Cricket Club which has been held in Scarborough, on the east coast of Yorkshire, since 1876. The ground, at North Marine Road, sees large crowds of holiday makers watching a mixture of first class...

 match for C I Thornton's XI
Charles Thornton (cricketer)
Charles Inglis Thornton , nicknamed "Buns", was an English cricketer who played more than 200 first-class matches in the later 19th century, for no fewer than 22 different teams....

 against MCC and, for the first time, was paired with Herbert Sutcliffe in an opening partnership. They put on 120 in their only innings until Hobbs was out for 45; Sutcliffe went on to make 111.
The partnership of Jack Hobbs and Herbert Sutcliffe, opening the innings together for England from 1924 to 1930, is the most famous in cricket history. With partnerships of 136 and 268 in their first two Test matches together, they were a success from the start and The Cricketer said:

Hobbs is undoubtedly the sauciest run-stealer in the world today. In Sutcliffe, he has found the ideal partner in the felony, for the Yorkshireman unhesitatingly responds to his calls, showing absolute confidence in Hobbs' judgement.


England wicket-keeper Les Ames
Les Ames
Leslie Ethelbert George Ames, CBE was an outstanding wicket-keeper and batsman for the England cricket team and Kent County Cricket Club. In his obituary, the Wisden of 1991 described him as the greatest wicket-keeper-batsman of all time...

, himself a top-class batsman, commented on their running together between the wickets by emphasising the placement of the stroke, which was so correct that they could "just play and run". Ames said they were not fast runners and that "Herbert only strolled".

Sutcliffe readily acknowledged his debt to his "influential guide" by naming his eldest son after him and writing, in a booklet published in 1927, that he doubted if Hobbs had an equal and that, as a batsman, "he stands alone (and is) the best I have ever seen". Sutcliffe expressed the view that if W G Grace was as good as Jack Hobbs, "then he must have been wonderful". He said that Hobbs' earliest advice to him had been simply: "Play your own game". Sutcliffe commented: "Four words – they counted for so much. They told me all I wanted to know".

Ian Peebles wrote that Hobbs' association with Sutcliffe "is judged, by results and all-round efficiency in all conditions", the greatest of all first-wicket partnerships and "will probably never be excelled". Peebles said that there lay between the two an "extraordinary understanding, manifested in their perfect and unhesitating judgment of the short single".

The last Test match in which Hobbs and Sutcliffe played together was the final one at The Oval, Hobbs' home ground, in the 1930 series against Australia. But the partnership was revived at the 1931 Scarborough Festival when they produced two double-century stands, first for the Players against the Gentlemen and then for H D G Leveson-Gower's XI against the New Zealand tourists. Their last partnership was for the Players at Lord's in 1932, an innings in which Hobbs carried his bat for 161 not out. Hobbs' biographer Ronald Mason summarised the association of Hobbs and Sutcliffe thus:
Behind them were nine years of wonderful attainment, 26 opening partnerships of 100 or more; a legendary technique and repute unequalled by any other pair; the lean, active quizzical Hobbs and the neat, wiry imperturbable Sutcliffe, who set a standard that can serve as a guide, but defied all attempts at emulation.

Hobbs and Sutcliffe made 15 century opening partnerships for England in Test matches, including 11 against Australia, and 11 in other first-class matches.

Personal and business life


Hobbs married Ada Ellen Gates of Cambridge in September 1906 and their first son, Jack junior, was born in July 1907. The couple had three more children: Leonard, Ivan and Vera.

Sir Jack Hobbs died at Hove in 1963. He is buried at Hove Cemetery.

Honours and legacy


Hobbs was voted one of the five Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 1909. He was also named as the sole winner in 1926, the third and last time that Wisden has given the award to a single recipient. Hobbs is one of only two cricketers named twice as a Cricketer of the Year, the other being Pelham Warner who was the sole recipient in 1921.

Hobbs has often been included in "all-time teams" selected by individuals but his most notable honours in this sense have paid by Wisden Cricketers' Almanack and the International Cricket Council
International Cricket Council
The International Cricket Council is the international governing body of cricket. It was founded as the Imperial Cricket Conference in 1909 by representatives from England, Australia and South Africa, renamed the International Cricket Conference in 1965, and took up its current name in 1989.The...

. In the 1963 edition of Wisden Cricketers' Almanack
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack is a cricket reference book published annually in the United Kingdom...

, Hobbs was selected by Neville Cardus
Neville Cardus
Sir John Frederick Neville Cardus CBE was an English writer and critic, best known for his writing on music and cricket. For many years, he wrote for The Manchester Guardian. He was untrained in music, and his style of criticism was subjective, romantic and personal, in contrast with his critical...

 as one the Six Giants of the Wisden Century
Six Giants of the Wisden Century
The "Six Giants of the Wisden Century" are six cricketers who were judged by Sir Neville Cardus in 1963 to have been the most notable players of the previous 100 years...

. This was a special commemorative selection requested by Wisden for its 100th edition. The other five players chosen were Sydney Barnes
Sydney Barnes
Sydney Francis Barnes was an English professional cricketer who is generally regarded as one of the greatest bowlers in the sport's history...

, Don Bradman, W G Grace, Tom Richardson
Tom Richardson
Tom Richardson was an English cricketer. A fast bowler, Richardson relied to a great extent on the break-back , a relatively long run-up and high arm which allowed him to gain sharp lift on fast pitches even from the full, straight length he always bowled...

 and Victor Trumper
Victor Trumper
Victor Thomas Trumper was an Australian cricketer known as the most stylish and versatile batsman of the Golden Age of cricket, capable of playing match-winning innings on wet wickets his contemporaries found unplayable. Archie MacLaren said of him, "Compared to Victor I was a cab-horse to a Derby...

. Wisden paid a further honour to Hobbs in 2000 when its selection panel voted him the third of five Wisden Cricketers of the Century
Wisden Cricketers of the Century
The Wisden Cricketers of the Century are five cricketers who were judged to be the most prominent players of the 20th century, as selected by a 100-member panel of cricket experts appointed by Wisden Cricketers' Almanack in 2000...

. Hobbs received 30 out of 100 votes and was behind only Don Bradman (100 votes) and Gary Sobers (90), making him the top ranked opening batsman and leading Englishman. On 23 August 2009, Jack Hobbs was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame
ICC Cricket Hall of Fame
The ICC Cricket Hall of Fame "recognises the achievements of the legends of the game from cricket's long and illustrious history". A hall of fame, it was launched by the International Cricket Council on 2 January 2009, in association with the Federation of International Cricketers'...

.

In 1930, Hobbs opened the "Hobbs Pavilion" (now a restaurant) on Parker's Piece in his native Cambridge.

A commemorative gateway, named the "Hobbs Gates" in his honour, was erected at The Oval in 1934, his final season in first-class cricket. He formally retired the following winter and Surrey CCC responded by making him an honorary life member of the club.

In 1953, John Arlott
John Arlott
Leslie Thomas John Arlott OBE was an English journalist, author and cricket commentator for the BBC's Test Match Special. He was also a poet, wine connoisseur and former police officer in Hampshire...

 and others founded "The Master's Club", which grew out of the enjoyment that Hobbs had in sharing a bottle of champagne with his friends. As Arlott recounted, the club had "only one rule which was that Sir Jack Hobbs was its perpetual guest of honour". There was "no subscription, no officers, no speeches" and the only toast was to "The Master". Although lunches were occasionally held during Test matches being played in London, there was only one fixed occasion and that was on 16 December each year: Hobbs' birthday. The menu for the birthday lunch was invariably "Hobbs' favourite meal of soup, roast beef and baked potatoes, apple pie and cream, cheese and celery". Guests at these occasions have included many of the most famous names in cricket: e.g., Don Bradman, Learie Constantine
Learie Constantine
Learie Nicholas Constantine, Baron Constantine MBE was a West Indian cricketer who played 18 Test matches before the Second World War. He took West Indies' first wicket in Test cricket and was the team's leading all-rounder and opening bowler for the entirety of his career...

 and Herbert Sutcliffe.

Career statistics



There has been controversy in some quarters over the exact number of first-class hundreds scored by Hobbs, with totals of 197 and 199 both being quoted. The two disputed hundreds were scored on the 1930–31 visit to Ceylon by the Maharajkumar of Vizianagram's team, which also included Herbert Sutcliffe. Wisden and Playfair has never recognised these two extra centuries as first-class but other publications, such as CricketArchive
CricketArchive
CricketArchive is a website that aims to provide a comprehensive archive of records relating to the sport of cricket. It claims to be the most comprehensive cricket database on the internet, including scorecards for all matches of first-class cricket , List A cricket , Women's Test cricket and...

, have included them.

Regardless of which version is correct, Hobbs scored more first-class runs and centuries than any other batsman, the totals being 61,237 runs and 197 centuries according to Wisden and Playfair; or 61,760 runs and 199 centuries according to CricketArchive. This was despite a "late start" in that he was 22 when he made his first-class debut, a four-year interruption to his career due to the First World War and missing most of the 1921 season due to injury and appendicitis. It is reasonable to speculate that if he had not missed those five seasons and any overseas tours that were lost to the war, his career total would have exceeded 70,000 runs. The second highest runscorer is Frank Woolley
Frank Woolley
Frank Edward Woolley was an English cricketer, one of the finest all-rounders the game has seen. In a career lasting more than thirty years, he scored more first-class runs than anyone but Sir Jack Hobbs, and took over 2,000 wickets at an average of under 20...

 with 58,969 and the second highest total of centuries is 170 by Patsy Hendren
Patsy Hendren
Elias Henry Hendren better known as Patsy Hendren was an English cricketer. Patsy was one of the most prolific English batsmen of the period between the wars, averaging 47.63 in his 51 Test matches...

.

According to CricketArchive's records, Hobbs played in 881 matches and had 1,380 innings. A summary of each innings can be seen on the site.

Hobbs scored over 1,000 runs in an English season 24 times, which is the 5th highest total behind W G Grace and Frank Woolley (28 each), Phil Mead
Phil Mead
Charles Phillip Mead was a left-handed batsman for Hampshire and England between 1905 and 1936. He was born at 10 Ashton Buildings , second eldest of seven children...

 (27) and Willie Quaife
Willie Quaife
William Quaife, known as "Willie", born at Newhaven, Sussex on 17 March 1872 and died at Edgbaston, Birmingham, on 13 October 1951, was a cricketer who played for Sussex, Warwickshire and England....

 (25). He also scored 1,000 runs on the 1909–10 and 1913–14 tours of South Africa.

In his whole first-class career, Hobbs scored 0 (zero) 42 times, representing 3.17% of his total innings. This contrasts with his 199 centuries which represent 15.02% of his innings. The bowlers who dismissed Hobbs for 0 on the most occasions were Ernie Robson
Ernie Robson
Ernest Robson was an English cricketer who played over 400 first-class matches for Somerset County Cricket Club between 1895 and 1923.-Early county career with Cheshire:...

 and Thomas Wass
Thomas Wass
Thomas Wass was a Nottinghamshire bowler who is best remembered, along with Hallam, for bowling that gave Nottinghamshire a brilliant County Championship win in 1907...

 (three times each). Johnny Douglas
Johnny Douglas
John "Johnny" William Henry Tyler Douglas was a cricketer who was captain of the England team and an Olympic boxer.-Early life:...

 (25) and Colin Blythe
Colin Blythe
Colin Blythe , also known as Charlie Blythe, was a Kent and England left arm spinner who is regarded as one of the finest bowlers of the period between 1900 and 1914 - sometimes referred to as the "Golden Age" of cricket.-Career:Blythe first played...

 (17) took Hobbs' wicket the most times (all scores).

Footnotes



• a) Note that there are different versions of Hobbs' first-class career totals. See Variations in first-class cricket statistics
Variations in first-class cricket statistics
Variations in first-class cricket statistics have come about because there is no official view of the status of cricket matches played before 1947. As a result, historians and statisticians have compiled differing lists of matches that they recognise as first-class. The problem is significant where...

 for more information.

Additional reading

  • Jack Hobbs, Recovering The Ashes, Pitman, 1912
  • Jack Hobbs, My Cricket Memories, Heinemann, 1924
  • Jack Hobbs, Playing for England, Gollancz, 1931
  • Jack Hobbs, My Life Story, The Star, 1935


Note: According to David Lemmon (in The History of Surrey County Cricket Club, 1989, p127), Hobb's ghost writer for his 1935 autobiography "and for much else that he offered under his name was Jimmy Bolton, a most distinguished and experienced writer on cricket and soccer for a long period".

External links