Frank Henry Farrands had a long career with the MCC, playing around 150 matches for them whilst employed on the staff at Lord’s. He was there from 1868 until 1908, retiring as the senior member of staff. His First-Class debut came in 1868 for MCC v Cambridge University at Fenner’s; his last such fixture was for MCC Club & Ground against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge in 1876.
His commitments to Lord’s and the MCC limited his availability elsewhere and he played only two First-Class games for his native county – he was born in Sutton-in-Ashfield – both against Yorkshire in 1871. He was primarily a bowler, round-arm and fast right-handed, and returned excellent figures of 6-76 in his first match and 2-55 in the return game. Despite this, he was not to appear again for the Notts first team.
Farrands was playing in the Sutton XI as early as 1855 but did not appear in a Notts Colts trial match until 1867. The previous year he had given notice of his potential, bowling unchanged, in partnership with Jem Shaw, for the XXII of Sutton-in-Ashfield v the United England Eleven, taking 7-50. He continued that good form with the ball, having match figures of 12-82 for the Colts of England v MCC and 5-55 for Nottinghamshire v the Next XV. Appearing as a substitute for the Players v Gentlemen at Lord’s in 1870 he took ten wickets in the match, one of four occasions when he had a ten wicket haul. In minor cricket, he went even better, twice taking all 10 wickets in an innings and had one hat-trick, for MCC against Cambridge University in 1872.
His First-Class figures were 30 matches, 128 wickets at 15.15 with a best return of 6-23 and 12 five-wicket hauls to go with the four ‘ten-fers’; reckoned to be an excellent fielder, he took 13 catches in those games. His batting was less notable – Farrands scored 212 First-Class runs at an average of 6.23 and a top score of 41, made against – who else – Cambridge University. In June 1881 a match, Over Thirty v Under Thirty, was staged at Lord’s for his benefit.
Farrands became an umpire and stood in seven Ashes Test matches and in First-Class cricket, beginning in 1868 and officiated for the last time in 1907, a match between the MCC and the Household Brigade.
Originally a framework knitter, he eventually became the landlord of a pub called the ‘Staff of Life’. Frank Farrands died in Sutton in Ashfield on 22 September 1916. His cousin William Farrands was a professional cricketer, mainly for teams in Yorkshire.
Nottinghamshire First-Class Number: 129