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
|First-class span||1930/31 - 1935/36|
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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