Giffen, Trott, Jackson, Hearne, Wainwright, 1894

Five all-round cricketers

SINCE the plan has been adopted of publishing a photograph in WISDEN, portraits of batsmen, bowlers, and wicket-keepers have at different times appeared, and in preparing the present edition of the Annual it was thought desirable, by way of change, to select players who had excelled in various departments of the game. In choosing all-round cricketers a very wide range was open. There were many men, both among amateurs and professionals, who, on the strength of their doings in 1893, had undeniable claims, but after some deliberation it was decided to give portraits of George Giffen, G. H. S. Trott, Mr. F. S. Jackson, Alec Hearne, and Wainwright. It being desired that the picture might in some way be connected with the presence in England of the Australian eleven, Giffen and Trott were naturally chosen as the most typical all-round players in the Colonial team. Mr. Jackson, though his superb batting overshadowed his other qualities, was indispensable in a picture dealing with cricket in 1893, and there were no professionals who had a better right to be included than Wainwright and Alec Hearne, the former of whom was the most successful bowler for the champion county of the year. The photographs, prepared as before by Messrs. Hawkins, of Brighton, must be left to speak for themselves; but following our regular custom we give some biographical details of the five players.

GEORGE GIFFEN, who by general consent has for some time past been regarded as the greatest all-round cricketer yet produced by the Australian Colonies, was born in Adelaide on the 27th of November, 1859, and first came to England as a member of W. L. Murdoch's great eleven in 1882. He was then a young player of comparatively little experience in first class cricket; but though his doings during that memorable tour were by no means of an exceptional character, good judges of the game were almost unanimous in predicting for him a brilliant career. In 52 innings he scored 873 runs, with an average of just over 18, while the thirty-two wickets he took cost rather more than 22 runs each. In an eleven which included Spofforth, Palmer, Garrett, and Boyle, he was only regarded as a change bowler, but his future fame with the ball was foreshadowed by an extraordinary performance against the Gentlemen of England at the Oval. He came again to England in 1884, and it was clear that his powers had considerably developed. He scored 1,052 runs with an average of 21, and, his bowling being far more frequently used than before, he took 82 wickets with an average of something worse than 19. Then on his third visit to this country, with the disappointing team that came over in 1886 under the auspices of the Melbourne Club, he met with brilliant success, coming out at the top of the averages both in batting and bowling. Considering the immense amount of work he had to do, this was indeed a record to be proud of. He scored 1,454 runs and took 162 wickets, his batting average being 25, and his bowling average 16. The tour of 1886 left Giffen with an unquestioned position as the best all-round player in Australia, and his absence from this country in 1888 and 1890 prevented the teams that toured here in those years from being fully representative of Colonial cricket. Meanwhile his performances in Australia were more remarkable than ever, and each succeeding winter we read of his making phenomenal scores for South Australia, and in the same matches taking a very large proportion of the wickets. He did not as a batsman do very much against Lord Sheffield's eleven in the Australian season of 1891-92, but so enormous was his reputation, that when it became known that he was coming to this country for the fourth time in 1893, the English public naturally expected great things of him. It would be flattery to pretend, however, that his play came up to anticipation. He bowled very well indeed-better on hard wickets than any other member of the side-but apart from a couple of long innings against Gloucestershire and Yorkshire his batting fell far below his Australian standard. Indeed, in the matches generally regarded as representative in character, his average was only 12. It cannot be said, therefore, that his fourth visit to England added to his reputation. Of course he did a lot of good work, but he did not prove the tower of strength on the side that his friends in South Australia had expected. Still, whatever his shortcomings in England in 1893, his record during the last ten years in Australia is sufficient to stamp him one of the world's greatest all-round players.

GEORGE HENRY STEVEN TROTT was born in Collingwood, a suburb of Melbourne, on the 5th of August, 1866, and paid his first visit to England with the team of 1888. Previous to that English cricketers had heard something about him, he having appeared on many occasions against the Elevens taken out to the Colonies in the winter of 1887-88 by Mr. G. F. Vernon and Shaw and Shrewsbury. At that time, however, his reputation in the Colonies rested very largely on his slow leg-break bowling. His fame as a batsman practically dates from his first tour in England. The season of 1888, as cricketers will readily remember, was perhaps the wettest on record, and batsmen in match after match found themselves placed under the greatest disadvantages. Trott, however, played consistently well, and as a result of sixty-five innings scored 1,212 runs, with an average of 19. Taking everything into consideration this was a very good performance, and in all the matches of the tour he stood third in the batting table, only Percy M'Donnell and Bonnor being in front of him. The slow grounds, however, did not by any means suit his bowling, and the forty-eight wickets he obtained cost more than 23 runs each. Over and above what he did in batting and bowling he showed a far greater capacity for fielding at point than had been displayed in England by any previous Australian cricketer, and taking his play all round he was unquestionably one of the most valuable members of the 1888 team-a team which began with a series of triumphs, but wound up with 14 defeats as against 19 victories. Trott came to England again in 1890, and perhaps the best criticism that could be passed on his doings would be to say that his reputation remained stationary. His bowling was even less effective than before, and though he scored 1,273 runs during the tour he did not show the improvement as a batsman that had been expected. The tour of 1893 revealed him in a far more favourable light. The fine weather and the hard wickets clearly suited him both as batsman and bowler, and he made a distinct advance upon anything he had previously done in England. With an average of nearly 26 runs an innings he only fell four short of 1,500 runs, and his sixty wickets cost little more than 19 runs each. Even had he done nothing else, his superb innings of 92 against England at the Oval would have caused his share in the tour to be remembered. Among contemporary Australian batsmen, Trott is certainly one of the soundest, combining as he does vigorous hitting with a strong, watchful defence. As a bowler he is very effective against moderate batsmen, but there is always a sense of exhilaration amongst the spectators when he is tried against first-rates. Experience has proved that though he may now and then get a wicket, runs are sure to come at the rate of six or eight an over. Judged by the best English standards we should not consider Trott a great field at point, but he is very good.

F. STANLEY JACKSON, whose batting in 1893 was one of the best features of an extraordinary season, was born on the 21st of November, 1870. Appearing for Harrow against Eton at Lord's in 1887, he did not in his first match do anything remarkable, but in the following year he gave abundant evidence of the ability that has since made him famous. Indeed, to his all-round cricket and to a fine innings of 108 by R. B. Hoare, Harrow chiefly owed their decisive victory by 156 runs. On that occasion Jackson did brilliant work both as batsman and bowler, scoring 21 and 59, and taking in all eleven wickets for 68 runs-six for 40, and five for 28. In 1889 he was captain of the Harrow eleven, and again had the satisfaction of being on the winning side in the big match, Harrow being victorious by nine wickets, with only a quarter of an hour to spare. He did not repeat his success of the previous year as a bowler, taking only five wickets for 81 runs, but he headed the score with a vigorously hit 68. In the autumn of 1889 Jackson went up to Cambridge, and in the following spring he quickly made himself certain of his Blue. His first season's work for the University was highly creditable without being in any way out of the common. In a very strong batting side an average of 18 only secured him the seventh place, but in bowling he was second on the list, thirty wickets falling to him at a cost of just over 17½ runs each. In 1891 he did not show any improvement upon his previous performances for the University, standing eighth in batting, with an average of 16, and taking thirty-two wickets at a cost of just over 20 runs each. So far, though it was clear he was an all-round cricketer of more than ordinary ability, he had done nothing in first-class company to foreshadow what he has since accomplished. However, in 1892 he made a great advance. He was captain at Cambridge, and though he found himself on the losing side against Oxford at Lord's, the University season was a great personal success for him. He was top of the averages both in batting and bowling, scoring 466 runs with an average of 29.2, and securing fifty-seven wickets with an average of 14.31. In the general first-class averages of the year his batting figures were 751 runs with an average of 24.7, while among the amateur bowlers of the year he stood third with eighty wickets, obtained at an average cost of 18.55. He was chosen for the Gentlemen against the Players at the Oval and took four wickets, but Lockwood's bowling proved too much for him, and he was out for 0 and 4. The end of the season of 1892 certainly left him in a far higher position than he had occupied before, but had it then been necessary to put the full strength of England into the field, no one would have thought of giving him a place. All the more remarkable, therefore, was his extraordinary development last season as a batsman. His performances are so fully described further on in this Annual that there is no necessity to discuss them in detail, but a few points must be dwelt upon. His first big match at Cambridge, where he was again captain, showed he was in splendid form, and he went on playing with such conspicuous success that when it became known that the M.C.C. Committee had chosen him for England in the first of the three representative matches against Australia, satisfaction was expressed on all hands. How abundantly he justified his selection need not here be stated. No one who was so fortunate as to be at Lord's on the 17th of July will ever forget the batting shown by him and Arthur Shresbury. Taking into account the importance of the occasion and the condition of the ground, it was some of the most wonderful cricket of the year. His innings of 91 at Lord's, Mr. Jackson followed up by scoring 103 for England in Maurice Read's benefit match at the Oval, and when the season was drawing to a close he played a marvellous innings for Yorkshire against the M.C.C. on a very fiery and difficult wicket at Scarborough, making 111 not out in rather less than two hours, and gaining for his county a victory by seven wickets. Altogether, in first-class matches during the season he scored 1,328 runs, with an average of 41.16, only Gunn and Mr. Stoddart being in front of him. As was only natural, his bowling suffered while he was doing such great things as a batsman, but he managed to take fifty-seven wickets at an average cost of 20.32. Mr. Jackson has great confidence and splendid hitting power, and on his form of last season is perhaps the best forcing player on the on side now before the public. His career at Cambridge is over, but it is to be hoped that Yorkshire may for some time to come enjoy the advantage of his services.

ALEC HEARNE, the youngest of the three brothers who have been so closely identified with the Kent eleven, was born on July the 22nd, 1863, and has now been playing in public for ten seasons. He first appeared for Kent in 1884, and has ever since been a regular member of the county team. When he first came out he had none of the ability as a batsman that he has since developed, but he was a capital leg-break bowler, and even in his opening season he headed the averages, taking forty-one wickets in the Kent matches at a cost of about 16½ runs each. Decidedly his best performance was against the Australians at Canterbury, his efforts largely helping Kent to gain a memorable victory over one of the strongest teams that Australia ever sent to this country. In 1885 he did still better, obtaining sixty-four wickets for less than 15 runs each, but, like many other leg-break bowlers before his time, he did not improve as he went on, and neither the season of 1886 nor that of 1887 found him so successful as he had been at the outset of his career. However, he revived wonderfully in 1888, taking forty-one wickets for Kent at an average cost of just under 11 runs each. His improvement was far from being maintained in 1889, but in that year he, for the first time, showed what he was capable of as a batsman, an average of 17 for his county marking a great advance upon his previous efforts. Since then he has gone steadily on, and though it cannot be said that he has quite borne out his early promise as a bowler, he stands at the present day in a higher position as an English professional cricketer than he has ever held before. In first-class matches in 1892 he was sixth among the professionals, scoring 810 runs with an average of 27, and last season with an aggregate of 906 runs he averaged something over 22. As a bowler, too, he enjoyed a large measure of success in 1893, taking eighty-six wickets at an average cost of less than 18 runs. On his form for the year he certainly had strong claims to play for England against Australia, but in not one of the three matches was he among the players finally chosen. Against the Australians, however, he did some particularly good work, scoring 266 runs with an average of 38, and taking seventeen wickets for just over 12 runs each. He scored 120 for the South of England at the Oval, and had, as a bowler, a prominent share in Kent's sensational victory at Canterbury. He is now probably at the height of his powers, and is good enough for any eleven. The weak point in his cricket is that he is rather apt to drop catches.

EDWARD WAINWRIGHT, a native of Tinsley, near Sheffield, was born on April 8th, 1865, and first found a place in the Yorkshire eleven in the season of 1888. His reputation, therefore, has reached its present point in half a dozen summers. He did not score very heavily in his first year, but an innings of 105 against the Australians at Bradford showed that he had plenty of batting in him, and as a bowler he had the satisfaction of standing second for Yorkshire in the first-class county matches. In the following year he improved as a batsman, but went back as a bowler, and it cannot be said that, speaking generally, he much advanced his position. In 1890, curiously enough, his cricket was of a diametrically opposite character. As a batsman he did so little for his county that in twenty-eight matches he only scored 514 runs, but as a bowler he took ninety-seven wickets at an average cost of 13.71. In 1891, a season of great disaster for Yorkshire, he made a still further improvement as a bowler, taking sixty-seven wickets in the first-class county matches, and in all engagements for the county obtaining the fine record of 107 wickets with an average of 13.20. His batting, however, was still ineffective, and in the course of twenty-five matches for Yorkshire his highest score was only 68. So far he had proved himself a useful member of a county team, but bad not been thought of in connection with representative elevens. Promotion, however, came in 1892, when he fairly established his position among the leading professionals of the day. His advance upon anything he had ever done before was, indeed, remarkable. In Yorkshire's first-class county matches he stood second in batting and first in bowling, while in the first-class averages for the year he could point to the splendid record of 890 runs with an average of 25.15, and 104 wickets at a cost of 16.31. He was chosen for the Players against the Gentlemen both at Lord's and the Oval, and at the former ground met with remarkable success, scoring 56 not out, and taking, in the Gentlemen's second innings, five wickets for 37 runs. He did not, last season, prove so successful in batting, but as a bowler he did great things, taking in first-class matches 119 wickets for something over 14 runs each. He had the honour of playing for England against Australia at Lord's, and would also have played at the Oval if the Yorkshire Committee had been willing to let him off from a county match. Wainwright is emphatically an all-round cricketer, his fielding being quite as good as his batting and bowling. As a bowler he only misses greatness by reason of the fact that his accuracy of pitch is not commensurate with his break and spin.

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