England have won the Summer Test series with former no.1 side India 4-0, and with that England also claimed the world no.1 spot in Test cricket. So, right now it’s a good time to be a cricket fan in England; the England side are the current World Twenty20 champions; current holders of The Ashes.
Along with rivals Australia, England were the first side to be granted Test status in 1877, and then gained full membership to the ICC in 1909. The first One Day International (ODI) was played between England and Australia in 1971, and they also played Australia in their first Twenty20 match as weel, back in 2005.
But we’re here today to talk a little about the names of the England Test Side who have been playing against India this summer. Since the parents of these cricketeers went for classic picks, this marks a great time for this name blog to talk popular names. Or, at least, names that were popular back when these guys were named, so we’ll throw in some the 1974/84 data as well. As a name blogging community, it’s not often one gives much coverage of classic names. Time to change that, by looking at the names of the current three captains of the side in the various formats (Twenty20;ODI;Test):
Alastair Cook is the captain of the ODI side and was born in Gloucestershire in 1984. The name Alexander ranked down at #25 that year, whilst Alastair didn’t make the Top 100. It’s also worth noting that Christopher was #1 that year, a name which fell out of the Top 100 in 2010.
Cook made his England début at the age of 21, and followed that up by becoming the youngest Englishman to reach 1000 through to 5000 Test runs. That also makes him the only Englishman to score seven Test centuries before his 23rd birthday. He was critical in the 2009 clash against Australia at Lord’s, helping them seal their first victory against them at that ground since 1934. His seven catches in the 2009 Ashes series and scoring the second highest number of runs in a Test series by an Englishman in the 2010/2011 Ashes series helped England win both.
Cook became the ODI captain in 2011 following the resignation of Strauss after a slightly disastrous World Cup campaign.
Since Alastair is the Scottish form of Alexander, it seems apt to now mention some data from the northern part of this fair isle. Scotland release their name data separately to England&Wales, and usually earlier as well; they recorded a handful of variations of the name Alastair in their 2010 data:
- Alasdair, 29 births
- Alastair, 17 births
- Alistair, 44 births
- Alister, 6 births
Compare that data, which says the spellings in order of popularity are Alistair;Alasdair;Alastair;Alister, then with how they ranked in England&Wales, which has a higher birth rate:
- Alasdair, 19 births (#1289)
- Alastair, 37 births (#792)
- Alistair, 92 births (#413)
- Alister, 14 births (#1620)
So, Alistair is consistently the more popular spelling, with Alastair and Alasdair coming second depending on where you live.
Strauss is the captain of the Test side and was born in South Africa in 1977, but moved to England at the age of 6. His name ranked at a peak of #4 in 1974 and at #7 in 1984. The name Andrew now ranks even lower at #133 with 448 births in 2010 in England&Wales. The name derives from Greek and means man.
He made his début in ODI in 2003 against Sri Lanka, followed by a Test match début at Lords in 2004 against New Zealand as a replacement for injured Michael Vaughan. It was in that match he become the fourth batsman to score a century at Lord’s, which ain’t half bad a début. He almost scored centuries in his other innings, which would’ve made him the first Englishman to score centuries in both innings of his début. His drop in form in 2007 saw him dropped from the Test squad, but was recalled for the 2008 tour of New Zealand.
When Kevin Pieterson resigned the captaincy in 2008, Strauss was promoted to captain status in his place.
Stuart Broad and I share the hometown of Nottingham, but he was born a few years earlier than me in 1986. In 1984 the name Stuart ranked at #31 and was at #89 a decade later in 1994. It’s had a huge fall since then, as it’s now outside of the Top 500 at #668 with 47 births. The alternate spelling of Stewart ranks even lower at #1620 with 14 births. Stuart comes from Old English and means horseguard.
Broad made his début in 2006 against Pakistan, but really hit the headlines during the 2009 Ashes victory, where he was a vital figure in the win. Known best for his bowling, which was instrumental in helping England win the World Twenty20 in 2010. In addition to Cook’s promotion, Stuart Broad was named captain of the Twenty20 side and England.