Full name Leslie Melville Balfour
Born March 9, 1854, Bonnington, Edinburgh, Midlothian
Died July 16, 1937, Westgate, North Berwick (aged 83 years 129 days)
Major teams Scotland, I Zingari, Marylebone Cricket Club
Also known as changed name to Leslie Melville Balfour-Melville in 1893
Batting style Right-hand bat
Fielding position Wicketkeeper
Education Edinburgh Academy
Relation Son - JE Balfour-Melville
|First-class span||1888 - 1910|
Leslie Melville Balfour-Melville was a remarkable allround sportsman. He was cricket captain at Edinburgh Academy when 15 and, playing for XXII of Edinburgh against George Parr's All-England XI, he stayed in for an hour against J. C. Shaw and Tom Emmett, making 17, the top, score of the innings. When 18 he scored 150 at Raeburn Place in the first match between Edinburgh and Glasgow. In 1882 when W. L. Murdoch's Australian team were beaten by 45 runs in a one-day match, Balfour-Melville's share of Scotland's 167 for seven wickets was 73 against F. R. Spofforth, H. F. Boyle and G. E. Palmer. For Grange against M.C.C. at Lord's in 1894 he hit up 107 before lunch. Admirable in style he drove brilliantly, and maintained his form until 1913, when, nearly sixty, he scored 145 for Grange v. Peebles, 149 for I Zingari against Aldershot Command and 150 for I Zingari at Stirling. An excellent wicketkeeper or slip fieldsman, he was a sound captain. In fact, during some 40 years he was the greatest cricketer in Scotland.
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack
Balfour-Melville was the first president of the reformed Scottish Cricket Union in 1909, and in the same year he played for Scotland in a first-class game for the first time since 1893, making 91 on his comeback in an innings defeat of Ireland. His final appearance in 1910, aged 55, was a game too far. He made 0 and 1 as Ireland avenged their defeat.
He also excelled in other sports. He played rugby for Scotland against England in 1872, aged 18, and later became the president of the Scottish board; he was a national champion at billiards, tennis and the long jump; at golf he won the Scottish amateur championship in 1895 and seven years later played for Scotland against England.