John Atkinson Pendlington presents WG Grace with linear scoring method

September 6, 1893. As the penultimate engagement of the Ashes tour drew to an end, John Atkinson Pendlington, a diehard cricket enthusiast, presented WG Grace with a radical scoring sheet — which became the revolutionary Linear Scoring Method. Arunabha Sengupta revisits the day this technique made its first appearance and how it was refined by legendary scorers Bill Ferguson and Bill Frindall.

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Peter Wynne Thomas - the man behind Trent Bridge Library and chronicler of Nottinghamshire Cricket

Peter Wynne-Thomas is the man behind the Trent Bridge Library and as much of an institution. He is a historian, writer and statistician, the force without whom most of Nottinghamshire’s cricketing deeds would have gone undocumented. He has compiled the history of Nottinghamshire cricket, written the biographies of the local heroes from Arthur Shrewsbury to Harold Larwood to Derek Randall. He has even travelled around the county to discover unknown cricket grounds, sketching the diagrams of the fields in meticulous detail. Arunabha Sengupta caught up with him at the Trent Bridge Library during the first Test match.

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Ray Markham - the scorer who went from loft to Lord's

Ray Markham is an ever present face in the press boxes during the Test matches and One Day Internationals held in England. Whenever an incident of note takes place in the field of play, the voice of this assiduous scorer is heard providing all the associated facts and figures for the assembly of journalists. He cannot afford to miss one single ball, and somehow manages to cater to every query while making scrupulous notes about the on-going action. Arunabha Sengupta caught up with the press-box scorer at Ageas Bowl during the third Test match between India and England.

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Alan Gibson - Of Genius and Other Demons

Alan Gibson was perhaps the most learned man ever to hold the microphone as a cricket broadcaster, someone who brought classical knowledge into his reporting. Arunabha Sengupta looks back at the life and career of this man in whom flair and erudition forever battled with whimsy and the bottle.

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Jim Swanton - The Old Reliable

A man who got the 1939 Wisden stamped as “Not Subversive” by the Japanese at a Prisoner of War camp, EW Swanton was one of the pioneering commentators and a regular member of the Test Match Special team. Arunabha Sengupta looks back at the life and career of this often liked, often disliked, always admired man.

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John Arlott - the master

Policeman, poet, wine-connoisseur, author, part time politician, anti-apartheid spokesperson and word renowned host of dinner parties – John Arlott was also the soul of cricket commentary for over three decades. In the fourth part of the series on cricket commentators, Arunabha Sengupta covers the career of the Basingstoke legend.

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Rex Alston - always on the ball

With his scholastic background, Rex Alston was clear, accurate and very much ‘on the ball’ during his many years of covering Test matches. Arunabha Sengupta recalls the commentator whose calm sanity balanced the idiosyncrasies of the likes of John Arlott and Brian Johnston.

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Howard Marshall - the pioneer of BBC cricket commentary

Howard Marshall, along with BBC director Seymour de Lotbinière, formed the equivalent of Jack Hobbs and Herbert Sutcliffe in the art of cricket commentary, setting the tone and benchmarks that would be followed by BBC and Test Match Special for years to come. In the second part of the series on broadcasters, Arunabha Sengupta replays the first popular English voice of ball by ball commentary.

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