A thread on cricket's early era batsman (pre 1910) could be interesting.
I have a specific question, and I wonder if anyone could answer it for me:
It seems from about the 1920s on, an average of around 50 became a pretty decent indication of a top notch batsman. But before then, it was different.
All the great early era batsmen have quite low averages compared to the great batsman from about the 1920s on. WG Grace, Trumper, Hill, Darling, Shewsbury and Giffen all have sub 40 averages (some low 30s), yet they are considered the very best of their era. Is there a specific reason/reasons for this? Were wickets more difficult? Were bowlers better? Was it a case of the competitive attitude of the time?
Quite interested in opinions, and if anyone knows of anyone whose looked in to this extensively, I'd love a link or a reference. Thanks!