CRICKETER OF THE YEAR - 1905

James Hallows

JAMES HALLOWS.-To no professional, except Humphreys and James Seymour of Kent, and Dennett, the Gloucestershire slow bowler, did the cricket season of 1904 bring such an increase of reputation as to Hallows. It is true that he nominally headed the bowling averages in the previous year, but inasmuch as he only took twenty-six wickets the position was not one of any great distinction. Last summer he jumped right into the front rank, doing more than anyone else to win the County Championship for Lancashire. Indeed, on his records as batsman and bowler-he scored 1,058 and took 108 wickets in county matches alone-he could as an all-round man be fairly classed with the best players of the day. Never was success more opportune. Barnes's defection had too all appearance left Lancashire without a first-rate bowler, and but for Hallows' astonishing improvement the general result of county cricket during the season must have been very different. From the time that Hallows first had a trial for Lancashire it was felt that he was a cricketer of more than ordinary ability but mainly by reason of uncertain health he had not till last season quite borne out his early promise. Happily stronger than he had ever been before, he made the most of an unexpected opportunity, his advance as a bowler taking even MacLaren by surprise. The heavy work told upon him at the end of three months, and in August one of his knees troubled him so much that it was necessary to let him have a rest. All through May, June, and July he bowled in most consistent form, combining plenty of spin with remarkable accuracy of length. Born at Little lever, near Bolton on the 14th of November, 1875, he played cricket from his early boyhood. He did so well that at the age of seventeen he was asked to join the Little Lever club, an organization which owed a great deal to the munificence of the late Mr. M. Fletcher, a colliery proprietor. Speedily promoted from the second to the first eleven of Little Lever, Hallows was invited to play in a Colts' match at Manchester, in 1896, and created quite a sensation by scoring 133 and not out 77. On the strength of this performance he was in the following year give and engagement on the ground staff at Old Trafford. Up to this time he had been a fast bowler but he gradually modified his style and adopted the medium pace that he has kept to ever since. He played his first match for Lancashire against the M.C.C. in 1898, but during that year and the two following seasons his appearances were somewhat infrequent. In 1901, he had for the first time an exhaustive trial, taking part in twenty-five matches. As a batsman he met with marked success, playing an innings of 130 against Essex, at Leyton, and scoring in, 1,132 runs. His position seemed established, but in 1902 he fell back a little as a batsman and did not improve much in his bowling. He played little in 1903 and was much depressed by illness. As a batsman he has a strong defence and is a brilliant hitter on the off side, his square cut being an especially fine stroke, and as a bowler he commands a good variety of pace and makes the ball do something both ways. Though somewhat uneven, his fielding is as a rule both safe and smart. His future in the cricket world depends entirely on his health-still a source of some anxiety. He is left-handed both as batsman and bowler.

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