I have always been bemused by the lack of credit granted by the general public towards Ken Barrington in terms of being one of the all time great English players. I sought out the following statistics;
- Ken Barrington; 82 matches - 6806 runs at 58.67 (highest score 256)
- Herbert Sutcliffe; 54 matches - 4555 runs at 60.73 (highest score 194)
- Peter May; 66 matches - 4537 runs at 46.77 (highest score 285*)
- Wally Hammond; 85 matches - 7249 runs at 58.45 (highest score 336*)
- Jack Hobbs; 61 matches - 5410 runs at 56.94 (highest score 211)
- Len Hutton; 79 matches - 6971 runs at 56.67 (highest score 364)
- Dennis Compton; 78 matches - 5807 runs at 50.06 (highest score 278)
All of these guys tower over later day players like Gooch, Boycott, Gower and so on. The interesting comparison is when you throw in Sachin Tendulkar after an equivalent 82 matches.
- Sachin Tendulkar; 82 matches - 6720 runs at 56.94 with a highest score of 217
As you can see, Barrington certainly stacks up against most other greats from England, and compares beautifully against Tendulkar. The reason I have thrown Sachin in, is that Barrington was in a similar situation to Tendulkar, with his performance often being the difference between a loss / draw / win for England. Wally Grout commented that he could see the Union Jack following Barrington as he walked out to bat.
The only reason that I can think of for Barrington's lack of recognition is the fact that he was more of a defensive batsman, rather than an attacking Compton style player (but the same argument could be put with respect to Sutcliffe, Hutton and Hobbs I guess).