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George Lohmann | Statistically the most successful bowler in the history of Test Cricket

George Lohman took 112 wickets from 18 test matches with an average of 10.75 and a strike rate of 34 balls per wicket. He is Statistically the most successful bowler in history of test cricket.

Last updated: 02.06.2020
George Lohmann | Sports Social Blog

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112 wickets from 18 test matches with an average of 10.75 and a strike rate of 34 balls per wicket. These astonishing statistics belong to the English bowler George Lohmann, statistically the most successful bowler in the history of the game with at least 15 wicket cut-offs. He could only play 18 test matches between 1886 and 1896 and it was very unfortunate that he suffered from tuberculosis, a relatively simpler disease now but was a tough one in those days.

On 2nd June 1865, Lohmann was born in Kensington, London. Lohmann was considered to be a very difficult bowler to face by batsmen all over the English county circuit. He bowled slightly above the medium pace but could seam the ball both ways with constant variations with respect to angle, flight, and pace. In 293 first-class matches, primarily for Surrey and Western Province in South Africa, he took 1,841 wickets with an average below 14.

Lohmann took only one wicket in his first two tests, but in his 3rd test in The Oval, he took 7/36 and 5/68 against Australia and never looked back. He played all his first 14 test matches against Australia taking 74 wickets. Once he was diagnosed with tuberculosis in 1892 he relocated to South Africa for better health. Although he was not a complete fit man, he still started playing in South African domestic cricket for Western Province and was even more dangerous in those matting wickets, which was the norm in South Africa those days.


When Sir Tim O’Brien led a relatively weak England side to South Africa in 1896, Lohmann joined his countrymen and played three test matches against South Africa.  He finished the series with 35 wickets with an average of 5.80 including 15 in Port Elizabeth, 12 in Johannesburg, and 8 in Cape Town. His 15 for 45 in the first test included 8 for 7, an astonishing bowling performance which even included a hat-trick.

George Lohmann could play only one more test match for England after this. His health was getting worse day by day and he migrated to South Africa permanently in 1896. In 1901 he was back to his homeland as a manager of a touring South African team but he succumbed to death on 1st December 1901, aged just 36.

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