CRICKETER OF THE YEAR 1910

Arthur Day

ARTHUR PERCIVAL DAY was born at Newton House, Blackheath, on August 10th, 1885, and thus plays for Kent by right of the qualification that can never be open to question. Before going to Malvern, Mr. Day was at Shirley House School, Blackheath, where he was coached by Mr. C. J. T. Robertson. The value of these early lessons in the game was seen when in 1903 the young cricketer gained a place in the Malvern team. For a first year man he got on astonishingly well, coming out second to G. N. Foster with an average of 44. In fifteen innings he made 537 runs, his highest score being 104 not out. His best performance, however, was in a drawn match against Uppingham in which he made 59 and not out 95. In 1904 he finished up his Malvern cricket in brilliant style, going right in front of Foster, and heading the Malvern batting with an average of 67. The bowling of J. N. Crawford and E. A. Gressvell proved too much for him in the match with Repton, but against Uppingham he played an innings of 147. Fresh from school cricket, Mr. Day was given a thorough trial for Kent in 1905, and splendidly he played, scoring 1,050 runs in county matches alone and averaging 35. Many public school batsmen have done great things in their first season in county cricket, but considering that Mr. Day took part in nineteen matches it would be difficult to recall a better record. He made a hundred in each match against Gloucestershire, but his finest cricket was shown in winning Kent's match against Yorkshire at Hull. With Rhodes, Haigh, and Hirst bowling at him on a slow wicket he scored 54 and not out 58. This performance settled all doubts as to his class and proved that he was far more than a fast wicket batsman. Great things were expected of him in 1906-the year in which Kent first carried off the Championship-but strangely enough that season brought with it a pronounced check in his career. He did not find his form in the early part of the summer and, Kent being tremendously strong in batting, he failed to keep his place in the eleven, only playing in nine county matches. In 1907 he appeared in eight county fixtures, his best score being 68. Then in 1908 he to a large extent recovered his ground. He played in fifteen of Kent's twenty-five matches and was fifth in the averages. Still it would be idle to say that up to the end of 1908 he had fulfilled the hopes of his first season for Kent. Last summer, however, he was quite at his best again, and might well have been given a place in the Gentlemen's eleven at the Oval and Lord's. He was in form all through the season and finished up with a particularly fine innings at the Oval against England. As it is understood that circumstances will admit of his keeping up the game he is one of the chief hopes of England's batting in the near future. He has a fine commanding style with plenty of hitting, but his sovereign merit is the watchful defence which enables him to do well on all sorts of wickets. In view of what may be in store for him one could wish that he had specialized a little more in fielding.

© John Wisden & Co