Full name William James Whitty
Born August 15, 1886, Elizabeth Street, Sydney, New South Wales
Died January 30, 1974, Tantanoola, South Australia (aged 87 years 168 days)
Major teams Australia, New South Wales, South Australia
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Left-arm fast-medium
|Test debut||England v Australia at Birmingham, May 27-29, 1909 scorecard|
|Last Test||England v Australia at The Oval, Aug 19-22, 1912 scorecard|
|First-class span||1907 - 1925/26|
Australia's oldest living Test cricketer, William James Whitty, who died at Tantanoola, South Australia, on January 30, aged 87, was the last survivor of pre-First World War Australian Test players. Bill Whitty was a medium-fast left-hander whose sharp swerve made him something of an Australian version of George Hirst. Although he played 14 Test-taking 65 wickets at 21 apiece-in a first-class career from 1907 to 1926, Whitty never became a familiar name in cricket. Perhaps overshadowed by more glamorous players, he had an extraordinary record of success against the brightest star of his day, Victor Trumper. He bowled against Trumper in five SA v NSW Sheffield Shield matches three times Trumper was not out, and in every one of the other seven innings, Whitty dismissed the great batsman. It was ironic because Whitty had been introduced to big cricket by Trumper himself. Born in Sydney on August 15, 1886, Whitty played only junior cricket but was noticed by Trumper, and recommended for coaching and then to bowl against the State squad. At 21 he played his first match for NSW against Queensland at Sydney, took three wickets, and the following season was recruited by Clem Hill to move to Adelaide. In 1910 he bowled for the first time against Trumper, his hero, and dismissed him for 75 and a `duck'. In succeeding meetings he got Trumper for 47 and 37, then Trumper had two brief not-out innings, was dismissed by Whitty for a duck and eleven, made a brilliant 201 not out, and was finally bowled by Whitty for 25. His greatest Test success came in the home series of 1910-11 against South Africa when he took 37 wickets at an average of 17. The second Test at Melbourne saw the South Africans needing only 170 for victory-and Whitty wrecked them with an irresistible 6 for 17 off 16 overs. As well as touring England in 1909 and 1912, Whitty visited New Zealand and the U.S., Canada and Bermuda with Australian teams. He finished with 475 wickets in first-class cricket, continued playing in south-east South Australia after his retirement, and as a golf enthusiast at one stage played off scratch.
The Cricketer, May 1974
What makes this innocuous-seeming bowler so difficult to handle?