CRICKETER OF THE YEAR - 1897

Hugh Trumble

HUGH TRUMBLE was born on May 12th, 1867, and, after making no small reputation as a bowler in the Victorian eleven, paid his first visit to England with the team of 1890. It can scarcely be said that during that tour--the least successful the Australians have ever had--he made any very deep impression. His high delivery medium pace bowling, struck English batsmen as lacking both sting and variety, and at the end of the trip he could only point to a modest record, taking in all matches fifty-three wickets for about 21½ runs each, and in the eleven representative fixtures only five wickets at the very heavy cost of 63 runs each. In excuse for his lack of success, however, it could be urged that he was completely overshadowed by Turner and Ferris, both of whom were quite at their best in 1890. In the whole tour Trumble only bowled 497 overs as against 1651 by Turner and 1685 by Ferris. As a batsman Trumble did very little, scoring only 310 runs in thirty-three matches with an average of eight. If, however, his first visit was a failure, Trumble made ample amends when he came here again in 1893. In every respect he was a vastly better man than he had been three years before. Dividing the bowling pretty equally with Turner and Giffen, he took in all matches 123 wickets with an average of 16.48, and in a dozen representative fixtures his record was almost identical with Turner's. As a batsman his advance was just as remarkable, his average in all matches being 21 with an aggregate of 874 runs. Still it was not until his third visit, during the past season, that Trumble convinced Englishmen he was entitled to rank among the great bowlers of Australia. On paper he did not do very much better than in 1893, but there can be no doubt that he proved himself a far finer bowler. During the continuous fine weather of May, June, and July, he kept up his form surprisingly well--his good days being many and his bad ones very few--and when the rain came in August his bowling was deadly, a fact of which the England eleven at the Oval, and Gloucestershire at Cheltenham, had especially convincing evidence. As we have had occasion to say in another portion of the Almanack, his strength lay in the combination of spin and extreme accuracy of pitch. His great success in England was hardly anticipated by his friends in the Colonies, as during the Australian season of 1895-96, he did not do much with the ball, and indeed his right to a place in the team was seriously questioned. It is probable that his fine fielding at slip went far towards determining his selection. Always the same, whether on the winning or the losing side, Hugh Trumble is at the present day one of the most popular of Australian cricketers.

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