County Championship 7th (W10, D3, L6, 1A)

Captain            Arthur Carr


The 1919 experiment of two-day fixtures was quickly abandoned and for 1920, three-day matches were played throughout.

Finishing seventh, Notts had a moderate season but with players coming back from WWI and three new players introduced, it was not an unsuccessful one.

The debutants were Lionel Kirk, Frank Matthews and Sam Staples.  Kirk played just 14 First Eleven games for Notts, spread over the 1920s, but had a better record with the Seconds, playing 29 times in the Minor Counties Championship with a top score of 96.

Matthews and Staples had longer and busier cricketing careers.  Sam Staples, brother of Arthur, played almost 400 games for Notts and three Test Matches, these all in the 1928 tour to South Africa. He took more than 1300 wickets, with a best return of 9-141 against Kent at Canterbury in 1927, and scored 6500 runs – with one century, 110 versus Surrey at The Oval in 1923 when he and Wilf Payton put on exactly 200 for the sixth wicket.

Matthews played almost 100 games for Notts, primarily as a right-arm quick bowler and took 300 wickets – including a remarkable game against Northants in 1923 when he took 8-39 and 9-50. His match figures of 17-89 remain the best yet by a Nottinghamshire bowler.

The once traditional season opener against the MCC at Lord’s was re-introduced but Notts, including Sam Staples, were well beaten, by five wickets.

In the first County match of the season, Len Richmond gave notice of what was to be a fine summer, taking thirteen wickets as Notts overcame Leicestershire by an innings and 154 runs.

Against Surrey at Trent Bridge, the home county struggled, making 200 and 190, leaving Surrey chasing 132 for the victory which Hobbs and Sandham managed without being parted.

Middlesex were easily despatched for a 151-run win before Notts went on their travels, to Headingley where they came up against the perennial Wilfred Rhodes.  Rhodes scored 167no as Yorkshire wrapped up a 10-wicket win.

An even heavier defeat followed when the Roses rival Lancashire came to Trent Bridge and trashed Notts by an innings and 63. Lawrence Cook took six wickets in each Notts innings and that, combined with Harry Makepeace’s 152, ensured victory.

Winning ways were restored at home to Sussex, with Richmond again to the fore, taking ten wickets in the match, including his fiftieth for the First-Class season.

Notts had to follow on against Leicestershire in their next match, being dismissed for just 105 in the first innings, replying to the home side’s 332. The visitors recovered to make 314 second time around but that left Leicester with the straightforward task of compiling 91 to win, which they did for loss of five wickets.

A century from Wilf Payton and twelve wickets for Len Richmond were more than enough to defeat Hampshire by six wickets at Trent Bridge.  Notts next visited Northamptonshire where they conceded first innings lead – 218 to 267 – but came good in the second innings, making 297-7 to win by three wickets.

The next scheduled match, against Derbyshire at Chesterfield was abandoned without a ball being bowled so Notts next played Northants in the return fixture, winning by an innings and 41 runs.

Fred Barratt and Len Richmond shared five wickets each as Northants were skittled for just 38, to which Notts replied with 179-6 declared; the visitors improved but only to the tune of making 100 to leave the home side easy winners.

Notts also won their next match, away to Hampshire, despite 137 from CB Fry, by four wickets. John Gunn made 100 exactly in Notts first innings and was 10no when Notts closed out victory.

Len Richmond passed 100 wickets for the season, for the first time in his career, in the match against Sussex at Eastbourne. John Gunn made another century (two in two games) as Notts forced the follow-on; Sussex set Notts a modest total but they made a bit of a hash of it – losing four wickets whilst making the 31 needed.

At home to Yorkshire, Notts faced a 236-run partnership by Herbert Sutcliffe and Roy Kilner and were 77-2 when rain brought match to halt after less than two day’s play.

Skipper Arthur Carr’s 105 was the difference in a low-scoring game at The Oval, enabling Notts to come away with a three-wicket win.

After a run of eight games without defeat, Notts were heavily beaten in the next two fixtures. At Aigburth, Liverpool, another low-scoring match ended with Lancashire triumphant by 95 runs.

Middlesex were even more emphatic winners at Lord’s, their first innings 465 – ‘Patsy’ Hendren making 232 – was sufficient to ensure a 9 wicket margin.

John Gunn’s third ton of the season – and his 1000th First-Class run – set up Notts for a close finish against Kent at the Crabble Ground, Dover.  Kent, needing 281, were 184-7 when stumps were drawn.

‘Dodge’ Whysall hit 142 to help Notts to 382 all out against Derbyshire and although the neighbouring county responded well, making 302, Notts made 252-7 declared, John Gunn adding a further ton to his season tally.  In their second innings, Derbyshire folded to 135 all out, leaving Notts victors by 197 runs.

Kent were the last opponents and gave a debut to Godfrey Bryan, who made his maiden First-Class century, 124, as the visitors followed on.  His heroics were enough to prevent Notts, who had posted 502 (their best tally of the year), based on tons from Payton and George Gunn, from forcing a win.

John Gunn had a very successful season and was at the head of the batting averages. George Gunn and Hardstaff both made over 1,000 runs and played well; the former being handicapped by indifferent health part of the season. Richmond had a most successful season as a bowler, getting no fewer than 148 wickets, and both Barratt and Staples bowled well.

The club suffered grievous loss when William Gunn, who had played in the first Test to be staged at Trent Bridge in 1899, died, having given twenty-years’ service to Nottinghamshire CCC.

Captain H A Brown was appointed Secretary to the club, taking over from Mr Ashley-Cooper who had only recently taken up the post but had to retire on health grounds.


Scorecards and stats can be seen here


February 2024