Ashes / Players / Arthur Carr

Arthur Carr      

Full name Arthur William Carr

Born May 21, 1893, Mickleham, Surrey

Died February 7, 1963, West Witton, Yorkshire (aged 69 years 262 days)

Major teams England, Nottinghamshire

Batting style Right-hand bat

Bowling style Right-arm medium

Arthur William Carr
Batting and fielding averages
Mat Inns NO Runs HS Ave 100 50 6s Ct St
Tests 11 13 1 237 63 19.75 0 1 0 3 0
First-class 468 709 42 21051 206 31.56 45 98 395 1
Bowling averages
Mat Inns Balls Runs Wkts BBI BBM Ave Econ SR 4w 5w 10
Tests 11 - - - - - - - - - - - -
First-class 468 1816 1150 31 3/14 37.09 3.79 58.5 0 0
Career statistics
Test debut South Africa v England at Johannesburg, Dec 23-28, 1922 scorecard
Last Test England v South Africa at The Oval, Aug 17-20, 1929 scorecard
Test statistics
First-class span 1910-1934
Profile

Arthur Carr, who died at Leyburn, Yorkshire, on February 7, personified the South countryman's idea of a Northern cricket captain. This, however, was a matter of character rather than heredity, for he was the son of a London stockbroker, was born in Surrey and went to school at Sherborne. Tall, wide-shouldered, with a high forehead, eyes constantly narrowed - as if in appraisal - strong mouth and firm jaw, he took his cricket grimly, as though it satisfied some hugely combative streak in him. Unwavering once he had taken a decision, he was never one to suffer fools gladly, nor a believer in the soft answer to turn away wrath. He went out of first-class cricket rather than change his opinion. Arthur Carr was one of the three finest batsmen ever produced by Sherborne: oddly enough, he was captain of every game there except cricket; but he was good enough batsman to be given a match for Nottinghamshire in 1910, a year before he left school. He scored his first county century in 1913, but his effective first-class cricketing career began when he became captain of Nottinghamshire in 1919. His captaincy had the firm foundation of playing ability. He was a fierce straight driver, at his most spectacular against pace bowling. He would step down the wicket to hit men as fast as J. M. Gregory and Maurice Tate back over their heads: indeed, Maurice Tate once said that Arthur Carr hit him consistently harder than any other batsman he ever met. But, unlike many who excel against pace, Carr was sound against flight and spin, and regularly made good scores against the best spin attacks of his day. He had, moreover, a sound defence, for he played very straight and used his feet well. In a career spread over twenty-five years, he scored 21,100 runs with 45 centuries, made a thousand runs in each of eleven seasons and averaged, overall, 31.58. Fielding with hostile concentration near the wicket - slip, gully or short-leg - he took 316 catches. But it is as a captain that Arthur Carr is most memorable. Decisive, relentless, compelling respect from his own players and from his opponents. During the sixteen years of his captaincy, Nottinghamshire won the Championship for only the second time since 1886, were nine times in the first four and never held a double-figure position. They have not approached that standard since Carr went. Wisden once referred to his Notts team as `Mr. Carr and the professionals who support him so well'. For years the only amateur in the side, he had either to remain aloof, in the manner of Lord Hawke, or, cutting across the etiquette of the time, mix in completely with his professionals. Carr took the latter course, proved as hard, and as hard a drinker, as any of them, but never lost a scrap of his authority. He was an aggressive captain. He was fortunate that, throughout his career, he had invariably had three fast bowlers - of Matthews, Barratt, Larwood, Voce, Butler and Flint - in the side. He used them in short spells, flat out, to attacking fields, with immense effect. Carr played for England throughout the series in South Africa, 1922-23 and, in 1926, captained England in the first four Tests against Australia. At Leeds, where the selectors - not Carr - left out Charles Parker on a wet wicket, he won the toss and put Australia in to bat. Bardsley was caught at slip, off Tate, from the first ball of the match: off the fifth ball of the same over, Carr dropped Macartney, or Australia would have been 2 for 2 wickets. In the event, Macartney scored a century before lunch and the second wicket put on 235. During the fourth - Old Trafford - Test, Carr became ill with tonsilitis: although he had recovered in time for the final Test - in which England recovered The Ashes - the captaincy was given to Percy Chapman. Carr was bitterly disappointed at being deposed and, although he was made a Test selector in 1928 and captained England in two Tests with South Africa in 1929, he threw his main energies into driving Nottinghamshire up the Championship table. Neither Douglas Jardine nor Arthur Carr are alive to relate precisely the genesis of the tactic variously described as `fast leg-theory', `direct attack' or, as it is now remembered, 'bodyline'. But certainly it was a product of a discussion between those two, for, under Arthur Carr's direction, Voce and Larwood employed - and perfected - the method in English county cricket during 1932, before the controversial tour which effectively ended the career of more than one of the participants. In 1934, a section of the crowd at Trent Bridge demonstrated against the Australians, on behalf of their two local bowlers, whom they believed to have been ill-treated. Arthur Carr stood, uncompromisingly, with Larwood, Voce and their supporters. Bitter dissention within the club led to the captaincy being taken from him. He accepted membership of the committee and declared himself available for the county in 1935: but he never played for Nottinghamshire again. Instead, he moved to Yorkshire and turned to his other major interest, horse-racing: for some years he had horses in training at Middleham. Arthur Carr virtually cut himself off from the cricket world until recent years, when the old bitterness had grown less sharp, and he would turn up at Trent Bridge, as a welcome guest, at Test Match time. There is little doubt that he enjoyed himself, but he maintained a public front of tight-lipped and cold-eyed withdrawal: he never believed in showing sentiment.
John Arlott, The Cricketer

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1936

Arthur Carr (Nottinghamshire)

Arthur Carr (Nottinghamshire)

© The Cricketer International

May 23, 1930

Arthur Carr bowls with his fielders all wearing suits after the match resumed with Hampshire requiring one run to win, Hampshire v Nottinghamshire, Southampton, May 23, 1930

Arthur Carr bowls with his fielders all wearing suits

© The Cricketer International

1923

Arthur Carr

Arthur Carr

© Wisden

Notes

Wisden Cricketer of the Year 1923

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