Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Sydney Francis Barnes was one of the finest bowlers in cricket history. In 27 test matches he took a phenomenal 189 wickets at an average of 16.43 runs per wicket. He bowled at varying speeds, between Fast and Slow Medium and could impart Leg spin or Off spin on the cricket ball to achieve a prodigious amount of turn off the pitch at any pace. He is also the only cricketer to be selected to play for England while playing league cricket.
Sydney Francis Barnes was born on April 19 1873 in Smethwick, Staffordshire. He was the second of five children and worked for the same company in Birmingham for 63 years. He briefly played county cricket for Lancashire in 1902 and 1903, meeting with only moderate success by his own standards despite severeal superb performances. However, after a contractual dispute near the end of 1903, Barnes played the rest of his cricket for Staffordshire in the Minor Counties Championship and the Lancashire League. His record for Staffordshire was 1441 wickets at a cost of 8.15 runs per wicket, and his average in the Lancashire League was even lower.
His 49 wickets against South Africa in 1913-4 is still the record for any bowler in a Test series, although he only played in four Tests. In all, he took 189 test wickets; his average of 16.43 and strike rate of 41.65 are the second lowest (after the incredible 10.75 and 34.11 of George Lohmann) of any bowler who has taken at least 75 Test wickets.
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