22/2 or 2/22?

For those who didn’t know it (me), here’s why Australia bucked the trend of reporting scores the wrong way round (2/22 instead of 22/2). Which all becomes confusing when the score is 9 or less (i.e. this year, if an English commentator says “It’s 9 for one” the Aussies are gonna get all excited, much as the English would when an Aussie commentator says “It’s one for nine!”). Via the SMH (registration required so am posting it in full below)


How was Australia allowed to buck the system and call a cricket score two wickets for 22, when the rest of the world says 22 for two wickets?

Cricket scoreboards in England, were (and in many cases still are) minimalist in the information given. The names of players did not appear on the scoreboard, only the order at which the batsman batted.

The scoreboards looked as follows:

No.1 Total No.3
24 89 17
Wickets 1

Commentators would give the score (top line) first, followed by the number of wickets lost, hence 89 for 1 wicket.

When Ned Gregory built his first scoreboard at the Sydney Cricket Ground in 1896, his board listed the batsmen by name with the details of wickets under their names, but before the total score. Thus:

Bradman 100
Miller 63
2 for 188

Gregory’s scoreboard became the model for similar scoreboards in Australia, and it is still possible to see such a board at the Adelaide Oval.

Ralph Sadler, Lane Cove

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