County Championship – 2nd (W 17, L 5, D 6)
Captain – A W Carr
Notts had a successful 1922 winning 17 of their championship matches to finish second to Yorkshire in the final standings. Notts increased their County Championship matches to 28 for the first time – the rules of the competition allowed counties to play a minimum of 11 home and 11 away games and in 1922 four counties (Derbyshire, Glamorgan, Middlesex and Northants) played the minimum. Yorkshire, Lancashire and Sussex played 30 matches each. The competition was worked on a percentage system of points obtained to points possible. Players’ match payments were increased for the season, with £9 for a home game and £11 away, the basic wage being £3 per week for 20 weeks and £2 per week winter pay. Notts had five ever-presents in their line up namely George Gunn, Joe Hardstaff senior, Wilf Payton, Len Richmond and Dodge Whysall.
Notts made a marvellous start with six wins from the first six games, but this was somewhat deceptive since they were all against the weaker counties, except the Sussex victory. Notts opened up at Aylestone Road in Leicester winning by nine wickets. Richmond took 8-43 as Leicester were bowled out for 150 and followed it up with 4-68 and with Hardstaff scoring 117 in Notts first innings, Notts won by nine wickets. Richmond had matches figures of 8-35 as Glamorgan were bowled out for 89 and 93 at Trent Bridge, Notts winning by an innings and 205 runs. Richmond made it 32 wickets in three matches as he had match figures of 13-107 as Notts beat Essex by eight wickets at Leyton.
Following the success of the 1921 march at Worksop, Central Avenue was once again given the Derbyshire fixture. Newark CC had applied for a county game on their Kelham Road ground, this application was turned down and it was 44 years before County cricket was to come to Newark. Notts piled up 421 runs after winning the toss and batting. Derbyshire followed on and were defeated by an innings and 130 runs as Richmond took another eight wickets, including 6-54 in the second innings. The next game versus Warwick at Trent Bridge followed a similar pattern, Notts declaring at 421-7 having won the toss, John Gunn (150) and skipper Arthur Carr (110) adding 233 for the third wicket. Sam Staples with match figures of 11-128 ensured Notts only needed 53 for victory which they achieved by nine wickets. It was déjà vu once more as Notts scored 385 batting first at Trent Bridge, Hardstaff 117. Sussex made 222 and 169; Richmond taking nine wickets (including 8-65 in the second innings) and Staples seven wickets in the match. Notts won by 10 wickets.
In June, when the weather became unsettled, Notts suffered three successive defeats. Firstly losing at Lord’s by 85 runs, despite match figures of 12-158 for Richmond. Then in the Whitsun game with Surrey at Trent Bridge, the visitors won by eight wickets. Over 14,000 came on the Bank Holiday, which for the first time was the second day of the match. At Monday’s close the game was very evenly poised. Notts made 202 and 260 and Surrey 246, so that it appeared there would be an interesting finish. Jack Hobbs however hit a sparkling 151 not out allowing Surrey to reach the 217 required with ridiculous ease. Notts then fell to an innings and 108 run defeat at Old Trafford in two days. Notts bowled out for 62 second time round with Lawrence Cook taking 7-23.
These three defeats however did not depress Carr and his men. Northants were defeated by nine wickets in two days at Trent Bridge, Richmond 9-79 in the match. They then went to Bramall Lane, Sheffield on 17 June and in another two-day affair confounded the pundits by crushing Yorkshire by an innings and 75 runs. Barratt (6-50) and Richmond (4-47), who took three wickets in four balls, tore into Yorkshire who collapsed to 140 all out; then George Gunn (74) and Whysall (93) overtook the Yorkshire total without being separated, hitting 158 in 165 minutes - Notts 353 all out. Yorkshire put up another poor batting display in their second innings, totalling 138 – it was one of only two reverses suffered by the Tykes during the summer.
Carr’s men continued to play bright and attacking cricketing through the rest of the season. Middlesex were defeated by 93 runs at Trent Bridge. A rain-affected draw at Northampton followed. Notts returned to Trent Bridge to defeat Worcester, who were bowled out for 53 on the first morning, by seven wickets, Frank Matthews 5-22. Rain was the only winner down in Southampton and in the home fixture versus Kent. George Gunn’s 180 not out v Hampshire was the highest individual score by a Notts batsman in 1922. Notts went to Cardiff Arms Park defeating Glamorgan by an innings and 125 runs in two days, bowling them out for 134 and 47, Barratt 2-25 and 8-26. Hastings was the next port of call, Notts winning by five wickets, Richmond 11-75 in the match. Notts drew with Essex at Trent Bridge and then lost the return to Yorkshire by five wickets. Notts had a first innings lead of 35, but Emmott Robinson (5-20) and Roy Kilner (5-14) bowled them for 74. Notts won at New Road by an innings and 138 runs with a day to spare. Worcester, 117 and 69, were bowled out twice in 65 overs. At end of July, Notts had yet another two-day triumph as Derbyshire were beaten by seven wickets at Chesterfield
The county were among the first four in the table all season and during August were consistently in second place. Notts opened up the month beating visiting Lancashire by 117 runs, Richmond 9-128 in the match. The last day was washed out at The Oval with Notts taking first innings points. Next day, the first day at Edgbaston also fell victim of the weather as Notts had to settle for a first innings lead against Warwick. Notts suffered an innings defeat at the Crabble Ground in Dover. George Collins the right-arm medium-fast bowler taking all 10 wickets in the second innings for 65 to finish with match figures of 16-83. Notts completed the programme with two more victories at Trent Bridge. A two-day win versus Leicester by an innings and 28 runs; the highlight being the third wicket stand of 247 between Whysall (143) and Carr (124). Hampshire went down to nine wicket defeat scoring 157 and 73. At the same time, Yorkshire match were playing Essex at Leyton – if Yorkshire conceded first innings points, then Notts would win the title. Rain ruined Notts chances, the match being abandoned after only 27 balls bowled in the match, all on the last day. Yorkshire had achieved 73.8% of the total points available, Notts 71.5%.
This was the best year Notts had enjoyed since winning the Championship in 1907 and by achieving success with virtually the same team as in 1921, Carr had surprised even the most sanguine of his supporters. There had been wry remarks about the “middle-aged” Notts players in 1921, yet here they all were another year older and apparently brighter than ever. Tom Oates was now in his forty-seventh year and John Gunn not too far behind. Hardstaff (1,306 runs @45.03) actually topped the batting, albeit with the aid of 10 not outs. Carr (1,331 runs @38.02) had an outstanding year with the bat and as a consequence gained a place on the MCC winter tour to South Africa. He hit 88 in the Gentleman v Players game at Lord’s and it was remarked that straight driving of the class shown during the innings had not been seen at headquarters for many years. Whysall (1,140 runs @27.14) and Payton (1,078 runs @34.77) performed usefully, but the brothers of Gunn were not so successful and John Gunn was now beginning to show his age in the field. George scored 1,392 runs @33.95 and John 923 runs @26.37. Oates took 65 dismissals including 22 stumpings in his 25 appearances.
The bowling was mainly in the hands of Richmond. His leg breaks and googlies were extraordinarily effective. He created a new Notts record by taking 169 championship wickets @13.48 and, of the regular players, finished in fourth place in the first-class averages. His best performance was 9-21 against Hampshire in the final match of the season. Barratt also picked up 109 wickets @16.33 and Sam Staples proved that his bowling was more difficult than it appeared with 94 wickets @20.38. Matthews (37 wickets @18.02) showed some improvement whilst John Gunn (38 wickets @18.60) could still send down a useful delivery.
Two old faces reappeared in the side, Robert Turner, the old Reptonian who had been in the Notts Championship-winning team in 1907, stood in when Carr was absent in the home encounter versus Essex. Willis Walker, who had appeared a few times before the war, was given five matches and the result was that he was invited to rejoin the staff for 1923. Garnet Lee (219 runs @21.90) only appeared in nine games and in view of this it was rather odd that he asked the Committee for a Benefit and a regular first-team place. His requests were refused and he resigned. He was to play successfully for Derbyshire between 1925 and 1933. Bill Flint (207 runs @15.92 and seven wickets @31.85 in 10 appearances) was given his county cap – the system of awarding county caps had been very vague, but in 1921 it was decided that in future county caps would only be awarded by the Committee on the recommendation of the captain; Flint was the first to receive his cap under the new plan. Wilf Payton’s brother, Albert, was played in one match versus Lancashire at Old Trafford, having joined the staff in 1921; at the end of the season however he took an engagement with Ind Coope at Burton-on-Trent. Geoffrey Huskinson, the amateur from Langar Hall, played in the opening two games as a batsman.
John Gunn’s benefit raised £989.19s.1d – he had been given the Yorkshire match, and with fine weather some 9,000 attended on the first day. There was no Test cricket played in England in 1922.