YOUNG BATSMAN OF THE YEAR 1895

AC MacLaren

MR. A. C. MACLAREN, who was born on the 1st of December, 1871, came prominently before the public while still very young, appearing for the Harrow eleven against Eton at Lord's in 1887. He was at that time, of course, less than sixteen years of age. So great was his natural aptitude, however, and so carefully had he been coached, that even then he was, as far as his physical means permitted, a finished batsman. In his first match Harrow lost by five wickets, but for Mr. MacLaren the game was a great personal triumph. With 55 and 67, he headed Harrow's score in each innings, his performance leaving little doubt in the minds of competent judges that, if he continued the game, he would have a distinguished career. Against Eton in 1888, when Harrow won by 156 runs, he was far from repeating his previous success, being dismissed for 0 and 4, and in 1889, when again Harrow gained an easy victory, he only scored 17 and 16. In 1890, however-his year of captaincy-he played a superb innings of 76 against Eton, going in first and being the seventh man out. On the strength of his fine batting for Harrow, he was tried for Lancashire, and in his first county match-against Sussex at Brighton, on the 14th of August-he played a splendid innings of 108. Other players within our experience have got into three figures in their first county engagement, but we question if the feat had ever been done before by a batsman coming straight from a public school eleven. From that day to the present time Mr. MacLaren has been closely associated with Lancashire cricket, and during the past season he succeeded Mr. Hornby and Mr. Crosfield as captain of the county team. Since he left school his powers have ripened less quickly than might have been expected, but he is now unquestionably in the front rank of English batsmen. His style is perhaps not quite so pretty to look at as in his school days, but he has great resources, being able to play with almost equal success, according to circumstances, a cautious or a brilliant game. Over and above his batting, he is an exceptionally good field, standing generally in the slips or at mid-off.

© John Wisden & Co