CRICKETER OF THE YEAR 1929

George Duckworth

GEORGE DUCKWORTH, the Lancashire wicket-keeper, was born at Warrington on May 9, 1901, educated at Warrington Grammar School and, after the war, went in 1922 to Birmingham on trial. However, in the following season he not only found himself at Old Trafford but in the month of June was playing for Lancashire against Gloucestershire at Gloucester. He has been in the county eleven ever since and, in addition, prior to being selected to go to Australia, he had kept for England against South Africa at Old Trafford in 1924 and for the Players against the Gentlemen at Lord's in 1924 and 1927. Last summer he not only again appeared for the Players against the Gentlemen at Lord's but was England's wicket-keeper against West Indies at the Oval. From the time he first assisted Lancashire he was recognised as a wicket-keeper of great possibilities. There can be no doubt that he was--to all bowling--the best wicket-keeper in England last year. Fortunate enough to have MacDonald to take for several seasons, he has learned to stand back to fast bowling and can take his changes without interfering with short slip and also move so quickly that the catch on the leg side has become almost easy to him. He has been described as the legitimate successor to Strudwick and has some of the actions of that great player. Both of course, are short men and broadly made.

Duckworth has good hands and takes the ball with that give which saves them from injury. He has done extraordinarily well in Australia where the taking of Tate on the lightning wickets is a tremendous test; to Larwood, of course, he is quite comfortable. As a batsman, Duckworth can keep up an end and even do more than that in an emergency, but at present, fortunately, his mind is on wickets-keeping and on wickets-keeping only until he has to bat in a fourth innings. But for Ames' total of 121, Duckworth in securing 107 wickets--thirty stumped and seventy-seven caught--would have established a wicket-keeping record.

© John Wisden & Co