Cricket 1894

178 ©BICKER § A WEEKLY BECOBD OF TH® 0AMJL, JUNE 7 1894 of Yorkshire football and is the one Ilot on modern cric’ctt. I l ave already said my piece on this matter, and so v.i'l quote one par graph from the Cape Aryiis. “ I remem­ ber, too talking to one of the <n'repreneurs of a cricket combination whioh visited Aus­ tralia some few years a^o. I remarked that the team would not be so expensive, as there vai a fair proportion of amax.turs. It was suggested tbat such an ob-ervation was the result of my gu'l les 3 in ocrnce. A pro­ fessional agree 1 to accept a certain sum for such a tour and them was an end of the matter. The manager knew the extent of bis liability. But in the case of an amateur it was eutirely differ* nt. It w^s not merely all openscsof t avelling aud Jiving, but in some case*, said the entrepreneur, we had actually to supply the gentleman with pocket money .” And yet in t; e face of such facts, cur piesent-dwy professional issues from a different do ;r cut of the pavilion from that used by such men ; and the score cardi don’t ahvays give bim his distinguishing initials, though •‘ Juq.” appears ag.inst the name of every amateur, real or spurious. Per onally, I recognize no class distinctions, iv'iere they actually exi t, on a cricket ground. Every cricketer I speak to I address as Mr.,” un­ less he happens to be an intimate. Oily bst week up in .these par s-Yorkshire, of all places under the sun— I came across an f.m tteur who refused to play for his club be­ cause tl e team would be captained in a cer­ tain mate * by an oil and worthy profe£- s'on-l. He mentioned the matter to me. c -unting on my support. For answer he bad a lecture which Thackeray forgot to insert in his immortal work on “ Tne Snob as Cricket r.” My soul loaches the creature. So Alfred Shaw has played again. Eight glad are we all to d scover tbat like the Hampshire lads cf old he “ can still bowl a bit.” But why make him out to be years older than he actually is.” 1 have not seen his age accura‘e’y stated once; tbe nearest approximation to fact gives him as 52 ; 55 is the common statement, whilst in conversa­ tion one is informe 1 that “ he must be CO at least.” Well, he’s 51, having seen the light first on August 29, 1842. But few p r: ons are accu-ate in c icket stattments. Some­ body make 3 a remark in p-in*, and forthwith everybody repeats it without examina­ tion Thus, ojly ten days since there was a letter in ih Manchester Guardian which stated that by hi< innings at Cam­ bridge W .G. had scored the century a hundred times in first cl<ss cricl.efc. Forth­ with all the Northern papers copied it. Last week, I gave the number at 95 ; it should be 94, f.s Somersetshire was not first-class in 1879. It is not a ma'ter of vital moment, but nevertheless, facts are fac's. I refer to his batting iu England only. Speaking of Alfred Shaw, one is reminded of the age of many old cricketers before the/ gave up. Don’t be alarmed my young friends, I am not going— fogey-lik«- to bore you with the earliest heroes of the cricket field. Lumpy, Beldham, Walker and Co. we will nob di turb. But to come down almost to our own time Take old Lilly- white, who died in 1854. and Clarke, the founder of tbe All England Eleven, who died in 1856. Not only did they play up to the last, but they were strangers to Lord’s until they had reached au age when our modern cricket*r is for the mos; part plaved out. Clarke was thirty-seven when he firs-, appeared at headquarters, and he did not play there apain for sev.n yeirs. He was forty-seven before he played in the Gentle­ men v. Players match. Yet he had been a great bowler for some th;rty years And he was great up to his last year. Withinamonth cf his death he was playing for the A.E.E., and, singularly enough, he got a wicket with the last ball he ever bowled. Lillywhite—a Southerner, and so better known in London 1 — had a parallel exp rlence. Thirty-five I years old at the time of his debut at Lord's; i th-n for more than twenty yc-ars the b st bowler in England. When fifty-seven, he played for England v. Kent— ‘he great match of those days— and had five wickets in the first innings, though Wisden, Dean, and Clarke we e on the same side; and a year later, for Old v. Young, he t jok six wickets in the first innings, though Mynn and Billyer were on as w« 11 . lc cannot be saidtlen of these men that they pla; ed when past their p ime, aud only because the public liked to see th^m in flannels. They never lost their form, and probably because tiny never gave up active cricket. Daft is ejuite light in urging old cricleters to play in club matches as Jong as they can see a ball. The doyen of cricketers— C. Abso’on, the terror to-day of London batsmen and bowlers—is a young man still, as vigorous as I remember him when he was 40 3 ears old, and not, as now, within three years of his eightieth anni­ versary. But I am yarning, though when “ at the first I t ok my pen in haid, thus for to wri(e I did not understand.” Jt all comes from tbe vice of early rising: it is fatal to moraMty. Yorkshire are running off with all the honours, Surrey resting awhile. It is no trifle losing the toss twice in one week in such weather as we are having now. A margin by three wickets was the verdict iu Yorkshire’s favour, both against Notts and Middlesex; and oddly enough, in both matches Wainwright and Mounsey were in at the death. Only two innings of 50 runs were scored in these eight innings, by Flowers (61) and Painter (51'. The latter needed to wipe out the disgrace of three succes­ sive “ ducks.” Both matches showed some extraordinary c diapses; thus, on Tuesday of last week, nine Yorkshiremen fell for 31 runs, after 68 for one wicket had been regis­ tered the previous evening. That was at Nottingham. Up at Lord’s, 21 wickets fell on Friday for 197 runs, Middlesex’ first nine men being g od for only 32 Middlesex can’t ; rumble at their luck; they have not once lost the toss so far, just as Surrey have not once won it. Winning th j toss on the mud at Lord’s ought to have meant winning the match, as they have just thd very men who can force the game when correct cricket is of no avail. They mustloo’i to the extras co’umn. In innings of 81 and 75—156 in all — 27 is far too large a proportion to go to the credit of this invisible scorer, especially when their bawling is only medium paced. Hearne’s 11 for 73 deserved a better issue. But bowlers were making merry all the week ; witness Peel (19 wickets for 177 runs), and Wainwright (14 for 95) Hearne’s week’s summary reads—19 for 107, whilst against Gloucestershire Rawbn’s 12 for 60 make a capital show. Yorkshire must thank Brown (36) and Peel (24) for their s and of 52 in the last innings at Nottingham ; whilst in both matches Wainwright and Mounsey kept up their ends whilst 34 and 27 runs were got respectively. Mounsey ought certainly to be a fixture in the County team. His lordship’s failure i< very disappointing, weather not­ withstanding. It is pleasing to record that the “ Mitchell fever ’’ has somewhat abated ; it was getting dangerous. It may break out again, I fear. Forty runs in four innings was a heavy blow to the crazy Yorkshire partisans. But as I have been telling my friends—if you want a batsman to fail, inform him that you expect him to score a century in every other innings. 1 hat’s the way in which I had my revenge of a young upstait iu local cri.ket: I praised him sky- high before his face; he took it as a compli­ ment and an encouragement. I meant it eiuite otherwise. And results confirmed my tactics Next Monday’s match ^ur.ey at Sheffield is setting us all agog. My choice is Surrey, but to keep a souud ski 1 ‘ go” Yorkshire iu public. Neither has been beaten ytt by theo der counties, though 1 shall not cease to extol Warwickshhe’s process in lick ng them bo:h. The position of Notts is most regrettable. They can win the tosj, but not a single match. Their vice-captain may be now doubtful of the soundness of the tactics he idopted at Gloucester, when he put the Wester« eis in. Iam certain he blundered. The Middlesex captain might,with <qual show of r- ason, bave put Yorkshire in. Wickets of mud in both cases, and a crdckin the weather thal; was certain to last. At such times the first knock means a lot. The defeat by Yorkshire could be borne ; but the Gloat r- sbire victory is surely the last straw. The absence of one man, great as he is, won’t cover all tbe ground. Must we confess, tboug’i with sorrow, that Notts have lost their form, for the present at 1*ast ? None regrets the fa c t more than myself. Nothing turns out we 1 for tLem just now. “ The stais are tgbting against them." Here’s Sba’pe, gotten back from Suriey, at a heavy figure it’s said, not W vrth h is place, litre s A t t e A t ll, till jec.-ntly one of our test a l- rounders, has only once scored double figures, and only in one inning- bowled even respect­ ably — 6 wickets for 35 runs v. Glosterai ire. And here’s Uardstiff in his first County •match—v. Yorkshire—takes 10 wic'aets for 94 runs—fastened to a Lancashire club v\hicli won't release him from Saturday matches. And lastly, aud crowning disaster—heies the apathy of their o*n supporters, who show their sympathy with their County by ab ent- ing themselves from the matches 1 erson- ally I cannot understand the conscience of such folks. I kuow that success is popul r ; but then non-succe;s ciemands loyalty. Of course one doesn’t relish the discomfiture of our heroes, but then one must help them to do be.ter. Living til my earber life in London, a mau t ets cosmopolitan in tastes and sympithy. Ele\en years in Lancashire, and four in Yorkshire confirm this disposition. I admire, but cannot reproduce, these clannish crazes For the life of me I could not lose my h°ad over Yorkshire. 1 like them to win, but were they as un­ fortunate as Notts, I should tuin up just the same, The result of a match is of comparative unimportance to me, as over against the quality of the cricket played. I will go any­ where to see the best cricket, though 1 don’t care a toss which side wins I sometimes wonder wheth r all this enthusiasm in sport is genuine. Has betting l o part therein ? Iu foolball it has : is county cricket free from this blot ? One devoutly hopes so. No space for other matches, though the Sussex oefeat at Manchester desrrves a line. All things considered, £»ewham’s innings (110 not out) may be aajudged the best of the season : his second century v. Lancashire (128 in 1888). Touching the three matches played last week-end, notice that, iu such a crowd ef sma 1 scores, no b tsman scored spectacles. But, for curiosity sake, add up the single-figure innings; note how many baismen only scored one ruu in their double venture ; an I how many failed to score 10 in their two inuings. P S.— If E M. Grace will only tell us by what test he decides that many of our modern fast bowlers throw, tome of us will be 1 elieved to leara thit he was not talking nonsense in the in erviewreporled in this morning’s paper. I don’t know one of them. T h re e D ozkn O rd er o f G oing-in Cards with latest improvement*, togethtr with Wooden Case for hanging up in Pavilion or tent, sent on receipt of 2/9 hy the vlaaager uf this Paper, 41, St. Andrew’s Hill, Doctors’ Commons, E.C.