Full name Percival Mitchell Hornibrook
Born July 27, 1899, Obi Obi, Queensland
Died August 25, 1976, Spring Hill, Brisbane, Queensland (aged 77 years 29 days)
Major teams Australia, Queensland
Batting style Left-hand bat
|Test debut||Australia v England at Melbourne, Mar 8-16, 1929 scorecard|
|Last Test||England v Australia at The Oval, Aug 16-22, 1930 scorecard|
|First-class span||1919/20 - 1933/34|
Percival Mitchell Hornibrook, who died at Brisbane on August 23, aged 77, was a bowler of whom Australia probably ought to have made more use in the 1920's. Possibly the fact that his State, Queensland, was not admitted to the Sheffield Shield until 1926 made it harder for him to gain recognition. A tall slow-medium left-hander with a loose arm and a good action, he was prepared to open the bowling with swingers and then after a few overs would reduce his pace and begin to spin and flight the ball. He first attracted attention by taking 81 wickets at an average of 9, on a tour of New Zealand in 1920 and many thought he should have been included in the 1921 side to England, which was distinctly weak in slow-wicket bowling, though in the event it not require it.
There was far greater surprise when he was omitted from the 1926 side, and no less a judge than M. A. Noble advocated his inclusion. He would at least have saved Macartney from being bowled to death in the early weeks of the tour and in the vital last Test on a rain-affected pitch he might easily have tipped the scales in Australia's favour. It was not until he was thirty in 1929 that he got a place in the fifth Test against A. P. F. Chapman's side: he was given the new ball and bowled well without spectacular success.
Chosen at last to go to England in 1930, he came second in the bowling averages with 96 wickets at 18.77, but did nothing in the Tests until the last one. Then in the second innings on a turning wicket, his analysis read 31.2-9-92-7 and he had much to do with England losing the match and the Ashes after making 405 in the first innings. But his figures suggest, what good critics confirm, that he bowled far too many bad balls: one indeed said that bogey for a good slow left-hander on that wicket would have been seven for 30. Perhaps had he had longer experience of English conditions he would have been better. At any rate by then he was past his peak--his arm had dropped and he was more full-chested. At the end of the tour he retired from first-class cricket.
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack
Steven Smith defied those who didn't give him a chance as a batsman. Now his team is doing the same on a tour no one thought they could compete in
By learning how to subtly change the pace of his deliveries
Pick your two allrounders for our all-time IPL XI and help put together the team with our panel of experts
Bat sizes, eating at the movies, and constructing a shed: let it never be said that our Twitter round-up was shy of tackling the big topics
Nathan Lyon's performance in the Bengaluru Test underscored his tendency to perform well in the first innings in Asia, but fade away in the second
The team's evolution over the decades has led to today's formidable and combative unit that has reached the upper echelons of the sport
Despite statistics that seem to suggest otherwise, Delhi Daredevils have continued to bat Angelo Mathews above Chris Morris
We often hear fans cry out for them as batsmen rack up the runs in T20, but there are reasons for why they aren't as effective as they once were
Also, what's the record for most matches without scoring a run?
Aakash Chopra analyses the Delhi Daredevils batting order, and offers insight into some of the more curious events during their game against Kolkata Knight Riders