William Attewell

William Attewell, who may fairly be regarded as the successor of Alfred Shaw in the Notts County eleven, was born at Keyworth, a village about seven miles from Nottingham, on the 1st of June, 1861. Like most famous cricketers, he took to the game in early youth, and he was only seventeen years of age when his services were secured by the Nottingham Commercial Club, this being his first professional engagement. He appeared for the Notts Colts against the County Eleven in the annual trial match in 1880, and did fairly well, scoring 15 not out in his second innings, and taking one wicket for one run. About this time Notts, had an immensely powerful side, and it is likely enough that, under ordinary circumstances, Attewell would have had to wait some little time for a chance of distinction. In 1881, however, as all cricketers are aware, there was a lamentable schism among the Notts professionals, and the committee, to carry out their programme, had of necessity to bring forward a number of young players. This incident, unfortunate in every other respect, gave Attewell his chance, and against Middlesex at Lord's, on the 9th and 10th of June-just after the completion of his twentieth year-he made his first appearance in the Notts eleven. On that occasion he scored 10 and 21, and took one wicket. Before long, however, he made a far more decided mark, taking against Sussex at Brighton no fewer than thirteen wickets. It was this performance which, perhaps, gave the first strong indication of the ability he afterwards developed. His bowling record during his first season for Notts showed thirty-four wickets for less than 19 runs each, and his batting average was 12.10. The quarrel between the leading professionals and the Notts committee was made up before the end of the season of 1881, and in the following year Attewell only had three opportunities of assisting the county. In 1883, however, the illness of Fred Morley gave him a permanent place in the eleven, and since then he has been one of the main-stays of the Notts team. His claim to rank among the great bowlers of the day was first established in 1884, and from that time he had consistently held his place with the best. Attewell went out to Australia during the season of 1884-85 as a member of Shaw and Shrewsbury's second team, and again at the end of 1887 with Mr. Vernon's team, during which tour he met with extraordinary success, taking in eleven-a-side matches fifty-three wickets for just over eleven runs each, and at the time these lines are being written he is paying his third visit to the Colonies as a member of Lord Sheffield's powerful combination. Attewell's right-handed medium pace bowling is so well known that it would be almost superfluous to describe it. Since Alfred Shaw there has probably been no bowler with such a uniformly accurate pitch, and perhaps for this reason there is no one from whom it is so hard to get runs. Moreover, whenever the ground helps him, he is able to get plenty of work on the ball. Like his present colleagues in Australia- Lohmann, Briggs, and Peel- Attewell, apart from his bowling, is a capital cricketer, fielding splendidly at cover point or extra mid off, and being likely at any time to make his thirty or forty runs.

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