BATSMAN OF THE YEAR - 1920

Andrew Ducat

ANDREW DUCAT, who played the highest innings of the season in first class cricket--306 not out against Oxford University at the Oval--was born in Brixton on February 16th, 1886, and thus belongs by the strongest of cricket qualifications to the county with which he has been associated all through his career. As a boy of ten he went to Southend to live and there he learnt his cricket. He played for the Prittlewell Club in the Southend and District League for several seasons, joining the staff at the Oval in 1906. Even in his first season he was given one trial in the eleven, and he did not fail, scoring 18 in his only innings. He also played once in the following season. But it was not until 1908 that he came into prominence, scoring for Surrey in that season, in all matches, 487 runs, with a highly creditable average of 30. He showed great promise and in 1909 he had a regular place in the team, taking part in twenty-six out of thirty county matches. Against Somerset at the Oval he made his first hundred, and with an aggregate of 1,080 runs, his average was 27. His general form in the following year was about the same, and he had one great triumph, playing a splendid innings of 153 at the Oval against Yorkshire. In 1911 he began in great form, but a damaged knee kept him out of the field for several weeks. When allowed to play again he hit up a hundred against Somerset, and his record for the season was again very good. His position was now well established, but a bad knee restricted his cricket in 1912, and he then suffered a severe set back, breaking his leg at the start of the football season and being kept out of the field altogether in 1913. However he made a complete recovery, and in the year of the war he put all his previous efforts in the shade, getting four hundreds in county matches, and with an average of 42, coming out second in the Surrey batting. Ducat is a first rate bat, excellent in style with great power both in driving and pulling, and more than that he is painstaking to a degree. It is likely enough that for any other county than Surrey he would have earned an even bigger reputation than he now enjoys. In the nature of things he could not play on the same side as Hayward and Hobbs without being overshadowed. Ducat is hardly less distinguished at Association football than at cricket. He is a member of the Aston Villa team and has won his International cap. The two games, of course, keep him very busy all the year round. Hard work seems to agree with him, however, as he always looks a model of physical fitness.

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