Sydney Barnes: Cricket

Sydney Francis Barnes (April 19, 1873 – December 26, 1967) was an English professional cricketer considered as one of the greatest ever bowlers of the sport. His career started in 1888 when he was only fifteen years old and played for a small club behind the Galton Hotel in Smethwick. He acquired his First Class status in 1894 and made his debut for Warwickshire. He spent two seasons in first-class cricket and represented Warwickshire and Lancashire. Barnes played for other several clubs from Lancashire, North Staffordshire, Bradford and Central Lancashire.

Greatest Sporting Achievements

He was named by Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack as one of its “Six Giants of the Wisden Century” in 1963 during their hundredth edition. In 2008, he had the highest rating among bowlers in the ICC Best-Ever Test Championship Ratings and in 2009; he was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame.
Barnes took 189 wickets in 27 Tests at an average of 16.43.

Why Was He So Good?

Sydney Barnes was described as “perfectly built to be a bowler” because of his straight posture with wide shoulders, deep chest, long arms and strong legs. His remarkable figures were simply testament to a top-class bowler from olden age. While he played in just 10 home Tests, the remainder 13 were played in Australia and the other 4 in South Africa. Barnes was always clever at hiding his pace in the pitch and could produce deliveries that were both faster and slower than his ordinary fast-medium pace. He lacked the personal charm that might have enabled his less striking character traits to be overlooked but he was treated with respect and he would give back by working hard and being loyal.

What You May Not Know

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