Bodyline Series / Players / Eddie Gilbert

Eddie Gilbert      

Full name Eddie Gilbert

Born August 1, 1905, Woodford, Queensland

Died January 9, 1978, Wacol, Queensland (aged 72 years 161 days)

Major teams Queensland

Batting style Left-hand bat

Bowling style Right-arm fast

Eddie Gilbert
Batting and fielding averages
Mat Inns NO Runs HS Ave 100 50 Ct St
First-class 23 41 10 224 34* 7.22 0 0 4 0
Bowling averages
Mat Balls Runs Wkts BBI Ave Econ SR 5w 10
First-class 23 4920 2521 87 6/64 28.97 3.07 56.5 6 0
Career statistics
First-class span 1930-1936
Profile

Eddie Gilbert, who was the best remembered aboriginal cricketer to play first- class cricket in Australia, had been long absent from the scene of his sometimes sensational fast bowling feats of the 1930s and in ill health for many years before his death in the Wolston Park Hospital near Brisbane on January 9, 1978, aged 69. Nevertheless, this notably quiet but well spoken product of Queensland's Cherbourg Aboriginal Settlement has remained a legend down through the years. After successfully graduating through the Queensland Colts XI in 1930, Eddie Gilbert quickly reached the headlines in the 1931 Sheffield Shield match against NSW in Brisbane by his first over dismissals of Wendell Bill and Bradman without scoring. Both were caught by wicketkeeper Len Waterman within seven deliveries, but not before one ball rising from a green top had flicked off Sir Donald's cap and another knocked the bat from his hands! Sir Donald has since recalled that the six deliveries he faced on this occasion were the fastest experienced during his career. Lightly built and only a little over 5ft. 7in. in height, Gilbert possessed exceptionally long arms and could bowl at great pace off a run sometimes no longer than four paces. It was this, allied with a somewhat whippy forearm action, which led to suggestions that his right arm bent on occasions during a pronounced arc action which finished with his hand almost touching the ground and his head at knee level. Strong advocacy for Gilbert's Test selection was nullified by the suspect action, a view several times shared and acted on by senior umpires. Nevertheless, the same officials completely accepted his delivery on most other occasions. Several films were taken without conclusive decision and controversy continued throughout Gilbert's career which was undoubtedly affected by the publicity. He faded out of the game in 1936 after showing fine form while taking six wickets in his final match - against Victoria at the Brisbane Cricket Ground in 1936. In 19 Shield matches, he took 73 wickets at an average of 29.75, while a further 14 wickets were gained in Queensland matches against touring MCC, West Indies and South African sides.
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack

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Nov 16, 2008

Wayne Coolwell and Larry Budd unveil a statue of Aboriginal cricketer Eddie Gilbert, Allan Border Field, Brisbane, November 16, 2008

Wayne Coolwell and Larry Budd unveil a statue of Eddie Gilbert

© Getty Images

Nov 16, 2008

Judy Spence, Valda Coolwell, Matthew Hayden and Larry Budd pose after the unveiling of a statue of Eddie Gilbert, Allan Border Field, Brisbane, November 16, 2008

Judy Spence, Valda Coolwell, Matthew Hayden and Larry Budd pose after the unveiling of a statue of Eddie Gilbert

© Getty Images

1978

Eddie Gilbert

Eddie Gilbert

© The Cricketer International

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