Sir Jack Hobbs © Getty Images
Sir Jack Hobbs played First-Class cricket almost till the age of 52 © Getty Images

Born December 16, 1882, John Berry Hobbs was one of the greatest batsmen the game has seen. He continued playing First-Class cricket almost till the age of 52 and piled up several batting records. We present you with 10 Jack Hobbs’ records that stand the test of time.

1. Most First-Class runs

Jack Hobbs finished his First-Class career with 61,760 runs at 50.70. It has been over eight decades, but Hobbs’ record remains intact. The only others to score more than 50,000 runs are Frank Woolley (58,959), Patsy Hendren (57,611), Phil Mead (55,061), WG Grace (54,211), Herbert Sutcliffe (50,670), and Wally Hammond (50,511).

2. Most First-Class hundreds

Hobbs retired with 197 First-Class hundreds (as per Wisden), but most cricket statisticians include two more that came during his stint with Vizzy’s side in 1930-31. Both Hobbs and Sutcliffe were in the side, and the matches were given First-Class status in retrospect. Even without them, Hobbs is way ahead of Hendren (170), the next name on the list.

3. Most First-Class fifties

In addition to these 199 hundreds, Hobbs had also scored 273 fifties in First-Class cricket, which took his tally of fifty-plus scores to 472. Once again, this is a world record. Once again, Hendren (445) is the next name on the list.

4. The 2K-lead

Hobbs finished with Test numbers of 5,410 runs at 56.94 with 15 hundreds. These are phenomenal numbers, given that the run-feast in Test cricket started in the 1930s, almost after he retired. At the time of retirement he was almost 2,000 runs ahead of Clem Hill, the next name on the list.

5. Most runs after 40

Hobbs scored 2,440 runs after he turned forty, at an astonishing 58.09. The numbers suggest that if anything, he got better after 40. Hendren (1,901), Tom Graveney (1,243), and Misbah-ul-Haq (1,134) are the only others to score a thousand runs after 40.

6. Most hundreds after forty

In terms of hundreds after 40, too, Hobbs leads the way with 8. In fact, he is so ahead that he has scored double the next name on the list — Misbah (4). Hendren, Warwick Armstrong, Graveney, and Hendren have 3 each.

7. Most runs at an overseas venue

Hobbs was the first batsman to score a thousand runs at a venue away from home: his 1,178 runs at MCG came at 69.29. This is followed by Don Bradman’s 963 at Headingley. If one includes neutral venues, Younis Khan has 1,024 runs at Dubai.

9. Partners-in-crime, Candidate 1

It is well-known that Hobbs and Herbert Sutcliffe formed probably the greatest opening stands in history. The numbers tell the story: from 38 partnerships Hobbs and Sutcliffe had put up 3,249 runs at 87.81 — easily the record for any opening pair with over 3,000 runs between them. Their tally of 15 century stands is next to only 16 shared by Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Haynes, who averaged 47.31 per stand — a shade above just half of Hobbs and Sutcliffe. Greenidge and Haynes were also the second pair to put up 250-run stands twice — almost six decades after Hobbs and Sutcliffe.

10. Partners-in-crime, Candidate 2

While Hobbs and Sutcliffe occupy the top spot among openers, the second spot goes to Wilfred Rhodes and — Hobbs. In 36 stands Hobbs and Rhodes had added 2,146 runs at 61.31. The number, though substantially behind Hobbs and Sutcliffe, is still ahead of others. Hobbs and Rhodes had added fifty 13 times, of which there have been 8 century stands, which amounted to a conversion rate of 61.5% — the most among all opening pairs with 2,000 runs. When they added 323 in the Ashes Test of MCG in 1911-12, Hobbs and Rhodes also became the first pair to put on 250 (and 300) for any wicket.

11. The Wisden factor

Wisden has named its list of five cricketers for every year since 1892 (they also named 6 bowlers in 1889, 9 batsmen in 1890, and 5 wicketkeepers in 1891). There have been only three exceptions to this, when a single person was nominated as the Player of the Year: John Wisden (1913), Plum Warner (1921), and Hobbs (1926).

Wisden also never repeats its player of the year, but they made exceptions for Warner (1904 and 1921) and Hobbs (1909 and 1926).