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Full name Ephraim Lockwood
Born April 4, 1845, Lascelles Hall, Huddersfield, Yorkshire
Died December 19, 1921, Tandem, Lascelles Hall, Huddersfield, Yorkshire (aged 76 years 259 days)
Major teams Yorkshire
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm slow-medium (roundarm)
Ephraim Lockwood was described as unassuming and uneducated, but he was one of the leading batsmen of his generation who was reckoned to have as many shots as any man other than WG Grace. His debut was memorable. Summoned at short notice, he was jeered by the crowd for his appearance - he wore a grebe, black and red checked shirt and short trousers - but he made 91 in an opening stand of 176 with John Thewlis, his uncle. He was soon a regular in the side, and was invited to tour Australia several times but always declined as he had no desire to travel. He made only one overseas trip, to the USA in 1879. In 1883, aged 38, he scored his only double hundred - 208 against Kent - and his form fell away marked thereafter, so much so that by mid 1884 he had lost his place after scoring 65 runs in nine matches.
Playing his last county match in 1884 Ephraim Lockwood was only a name to the present generation, but middle-aged people will remember him as the finest Yorkshire batsman of his day. He rose to fame at one bound, and for fifteen years he was in the front rank, never looking back. His career had a brilliant climax, followed almost immediately by eclipse. In August. 1883, against Kent at Gravesend, he scored 208--the highest, and in some respects, the best innings of his life - but in the following year he lost his form so completely that he had to be left out of the Yorkshire eleven, and, except for a match in Scotland in 1888, no more was seen of him.
Never in the history of Yorkshire cricket did a young batsman make a more remarkable first appearance for the county. It is an old story, but one that will bear retelling. When in August, 1868, Lockwood stepped on to the Oval to play against Surrey he was unknown to the general public. At the beginning of the season he had played at Lord's for the Colts of England, but as he made very few runs his doings attracted no attention. As the result of the Surrey match he suddenly found himself a celebrity. Trained in a stern school at Lascelles Hall he was not troubled by nerves. Rather late in the afternoon he was sent in with his uncle, John Thewlis, and when next day Yorkshire's first wicket fell the score stood at 176. Lockwood got 91, and the Oval critics could not say too much in his praise. Success did not in any way turn his head, and in the following season he took his place among the best batsmen in England, being chosen for the Players against the Gentlemen at Lord's. He failed in that match, but against Surrey at the Oval he confirmed his previous form, scoring 103 and not out 34. This time he and Joe Rowbotham sent up 166 for the first wicket. From 1869 to 1883 Lockwood was one of Yorkshire's mainstays, knowing no rival among the county batsmen till George Ulyett came to the front.
Looking up the statistics in Bat v. Ball I find that, including six hundreds, Lockwood made for Yorkshire thirty-seven scores of fifty or more. His average year by year would look small in comparison with the records of present-day batsmen, but run-getting in his time was not what it is now. The wickets were not so carefully prepared. Lockwood took part, between 1869 and 1883, in twenty-eight Gentlemen and Players matches, and enjoyed marked success, especially in the middle 70's, his highest innings being 97 at the Oval in 1877. In the old North and South matches of which we at one time had so many, he nearly always did well. Rather clumsily built Lockwood was not exactly a stylist, but he played with a perfectly straight bat, he had an ever-watchful defence, and his cutting was superb--a model combination of brilliancy and safety. The short ball he sent like a flash behind point and when he could trust the wicket he did not scruple to cut balls off the middle stump. His eye in his best days was unfailing. More than once Lockwood was asked to go to Australia, but he resolutely declined. The sea had no charm for him. When he went to America with Richard Daft's team in 1879 he was always wishing himself safely back at Lascelles Hall.
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack
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