Cricket 1894

MAY 3, 1894 OElClcETs A WEEKLY RECOED OP THE GAM!. 105 has a1w8ys and wisely been the policy of the M.C.C., and in this instance the views of the leading cricketers have shown such a wide divergence of opinion that it is best to leave the question open for fuller consideration. The difference of “ may be required ” and “ shall” in a rule, would hardly seem likely of itself to necessitate a reference to the experts of the cricket world. Yet the substitution of these words might, under certain conditions, produce effects which the law- makers of the game do well to fully weigh and discuss. T hough the majority of the South African team do not propose to com­ mence practice till Monday next, some of them have been doing their best to get rid of the effects of the sea voyage by gentle work. E. A. Halliwell was at the Oval “ prospecting ” on Tuesday by watching the form of the Surrey men. He meditated a little practice there yester­ day afternoon, but I am inclined to think that other urgent affairs, perhaps the match at Lord's, may have interfered to change his intention. As far as 1 have seen, the members of the team are in excellent condition, and as they are fallv alive to the quality of the programme which has been arranged for them they will set to work in serious earnest next week. From a purely cricket point of view it would seem as if the exclusion of Hendricks, the coloured, was hardly wise policy. Lohmann, Pank Hearne, and Mills were all, so my information goes, strongly in favour of his accompanying the party. As a fast bowler Mills declares him to be considerably above the average, and as all the bowling at the disposal of the captain is of the slower kind, he would in all pro­ bability have been a great acquisition to the team. H . D. Cadwallader, who conducted the negotiations which led to the first visit of a South African team to England, it may interest C ricket readers to know, is after all to join the party in his capacity as a cricket correspondent. He is now on his way “ home ” in the “ Scot,” and should be due in England during next week. E nglish players who have had the op­ portunity of appreciating, and to the full extent, the hospitality of the leaders of American cricket, will be interested to learn of a pleasing function in which Captain J. P. Green was the honoured guest. The incident was tl^ presentation of a handsome silver lovmg cup, ap­ propriately inscribed, together with an illuminated souvenir, in recognition of the good work the Captain has done in furtherance of the game in the States. C apta in G re en , who has been a promi­ nent figure in American cricket for some years, has been a moving spirit of the Belmont C lu b, of Philadelphia, and in this capacity has been instrumental in con­ cluding arrangements for the visit of another team of Irish Amateurs to America this autumn, under the captaincy of J. N. Meldon, the well-known Irish cricketer.According to theAmerican papers, the Irishmen, who are to leave Ireland the last week in August, are to play only five matches, two in Philadelphia, one in New York, one in Boston, and one in Balti­ more. It is expected that the tour will be completed before the end of September. Mention of Capt. Green reminds me that he has contributed an article on the Development of American Cricket to the American Cricket Annual for 1894, which has just been published. R eferen ce has been made in more than one paper of the extent to which cricket was represented in the Amateur Golf Championship meeting last week. But why limit the names to such well-known performers as S. M. Crosfield, A. C. M. Croome, L. M. Balfour, and Melville, with Horace Hutchinson, J. E. Laidlay, not to mention others, in the competi­ tion ? And what has S. Mure Ferguson, who made such a good fight with J. Ball, Junr., in the final, done to be ignored? For S. M. F. is not unknown as a cricketer. For many years, unless I am mistaken, he has been, or was,prominently connected with at least one club, the Crystal Palace to wit. At all events, he has been, and I believe still is, a keen supporter of the game. To the uninitiated it may have appeared that I had made a slip of the pen in referring to Mr. B. T. Reid as Mr. Attorney, when his appointment, which, by the way, was officially announced in yesterday morn­ ing’s papers, was only to the office of Solicitor-General. But the fact is I was only a little too previous. Already, in­ deed, rumour has been busy with the pro­ bable elevation of Sir John Rigby to a higher court at an early date. In this case, in the ordinary course of events, the new Solicitor-General would succeed Sir John as Attorney General. Which shows that all is for the best in this best of all possible worlds. T he following story of “ A Singular Conversion,” taken from Pearson's W eekly of last night, may be a cricket chestnut for all I know. Still, it may be new to the bulk, at least, of C ric k e t readers, as it is to me :— “ Aparson, who frequently played cricket with bis parishioners, was surprised and grieved to notice that one of those who joined in the game had a manifest dislike of his pre­ sence. The cause, whether some anti-clerical feeling, evoked by those agitators who tell workingmen they are robbed and priest-ridden, or from other prejudices, he never knew, but the aversion was obvious, and on one occasion was conspicuously displayed by the proprietor, who placed himself at the beginning of an over by the side and within a few feet of the ecclesiastic, who was beginning to bat, and contemptuously replied to a remonstrance and warning of danger: “ I’m not afraid of nothing as the likes of you oan do to me.” There was a loose half-volley to leg, and the batsman hit with all his strength. His malignant adversary, anticipating results, fell just in time to the ground, or he would in all probability hive been stretched there in woeful plight, He was a miner, and shortly after this escape he was badly hurt by an accident in the mine. Then the clergyman, to his surprise, received an invitation to go and see him, and after several visits he had the curiosity to inquire the motives which had dispelled his antipathy. “ Oh,” said the miner, *■that hit o’ yourn to square leg for six converted me.” T he sensational commencement of the season at Lord’s yesterday recals a very similar match on the sameground in the very early part, if not at quite the outset, of the season of 1872. In that case it was Surrey, not Sussex, who were opposing M.C.C. and Ground. The parallel was close in another respect, for M.C.C. had on that occasion, too, a pretty strong side. W .G., who was in both matches, moreover, is not likely even by this time to have entirely forgotten the details. In any case, it will no doubt be readily brought back to his recollection by the small— small if only in the matter of scoring—detail that his was one of the seven wickets in the first innings of the M.C.C. and Ground which fell without a run. Slight incidents serve to keep certain events fresh in the memory. In my case what recals this particular match vividly is the insignificant detail that it was the first fixture played during the present Secretaryship of the Surrey County C.C. I f I remember rightly, though, yester­ day’s match presents one feature at least which could not be claimed by the memorable contest of 1872 to which I have referred. It is very rare, indeed, that a match is completed without a change of bowling during any one of the innings. This was certainly not so in the contest of 1872, as on each side there was a third bowler, in Surrey’s case a fourth. A remarkable feature of this particular contest was that the first innings of M.C.C. lasted only forty-four minutes, not very far from the shortest on record, I should fancy. In 1872 W .G ., it is curious to add, was bowled by the fourth ball he had, j ester- day it was the third. In the former, as rain prevented any play on the first day, the match was completed on the second. Yesterday the match did not get beyond the first day. I f for no other reason than that it shows a desire to recognise in some form or other the merits of counties which, as it were, represent the thin line dividing what are known as the first from the second class counties, the requisition unanimously signed by the captains of the Glou­ cestershire, Kent, Lancashire, Middle­ sex, Notts, Somersetshire, Surrey, Sussex, andYorkshire elevens to M.C.C. to accept the averages made in theirmatches against Derbyshire, Essex, L-.icestershire, and Warwickshire, as first-class averages, will commend itself to the approval of all real well-wishers of county cricket. It gives the players of tbe four counties named at least a chance of profiting by certain matches to the same degree as those of the side against which they are competing.