CRICKETER OF THE YEAR - 1925

Robert Catterall

ROBERT HECTOR CATTERALL was born at Port Elizabeth on the 10th of July, 1900. The latest star among the South African cricketers he, like Taylor, owes a good deal to English teaching, having been coached at the Jeppe High School, Johannesburg, by the old Gloucestershire professional, Atfield. For his general knowledge of the game he is much indebted to Mr. A. H. Childs, one of the Jeppe masters. While still at school he hit up a score of 200, and after having had some little experience of good cricket in the Currie Cup he sprang into fame in the matches against the M.C.C.'s England team in 1922-23. With 76 as his highest score, he averaged 30 in the Test Matches, and for the Transvaal he played an innings of 128, altogether doing so well that the Englishmen, when they came home, predicted that he would be only second to Taylor among the South African batsmen. Last summer, as everyone knows, he had a curious experience. His record for the season was nothing out of the common, but inasmuch as he made scores in the Test Matches of 120 at Birmingham, 120 at Lord's, and 95 at the Oval, he was the outstanding figure of the South African team. He says himself his most unhappy moment during the tour was when--wanting only five runs for his third 100--he cut a ball into Roy Kilner's hands at the Oval. In meeting with such success on the big occasions he had more than a fair share of luck--nothing could have been less suggestive of a hundred than his early play at Birmingham, and no one will forget his palpable chance to the wicket-keeper, standing back, when he had made five at Lord's--but in all three matches his batting, when he had settled down, was attractive to a degree. In these days when so many batsmen concentrate on on-side play it was refreshing indeed to see such splendid off driving. In his play there was always the spirit of adventure. He treated cricket as a game, not a business. Outdistancing all his colleagues Catterall had an average of 67 in the Test Matches with an aggregate of 471 runs. Over and above his batting he was the fastest and best outfield among the South Africans.

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