ALL-ROUND CRICKETER OF THE YEAR - 1894

Harry Trott

GEORGE HENRY STEVEN TROTT was born in Collingwood, a suburb of Melbourne, on the 5th of August, 1866, and paid his first visit to England with the team of 1888. Previous to that English cricketers had heard something about him, he having appeared on many occasions against the Elevens taken out to the Colonies in the winter of 1887-88 by Mr. G. F. Vernon and Shaw and Shrewsbury. At that time, however, his reputation in the Colonies rested very largely on his slow leg-break bowling. His fame as a batsman practically dates from his first tour in England. The season of 1888, as cricketers will readily remember, was perhaps the wettest on record, and batsmen in match after match found themselves placed under the greatest disadvantages. Trott, however, played consistently well, and as a result of sixty-five innings scored 1,212 runs, with an average of 19. Taking everything into consideration this was a very good performance, and in all the matches of the tour he stood third in the batting table, only Percy M'Donnell and Bonnor being in front of him. The slow grounds, however, did not by any means suit his bowling, and the forty-eight wickets he obtained cost more than 23 runs each. Over and above what he did in batting and bowling he showed a far greater capacity for fielding at point than had been displayed in England by any previous Australian cricketer, and taking his play all round he was unquestionably one of the most valuable members of the 1888 team-a team which began with a series of triumphs, but wound up with 14 defeats as against 19 victories. Trott came to England again in 1890, and perhaps the best criticism that could be passed on his doings would be to say that his reputation remained stationary. His bowling was even less effective than before, and though he scored 1,273 runs during the tour he did not show the improvement as a batsman that had been expected. The tour of 1893 revealed him in a far more favourable light. The fine weather and the hard wickets clearly suited him both as batsman and bowler, and he made a distinct advance upon anything he had previously done in England. With an average of nearly 26 runs an innings he only fell four short of 1,500 runs, and his sixty wickets cost little more than 19 runs each. Even had he done nothing else, his superb innings of 92 against England at the Oval would have caused his share in the tour to be remembered. Among contemporary Australian batsmen, Trott is certainly one of the soundest, combining as he does vigorous hitting with a strong, watchful defence. As a bowler he is very effective against moderate batsmen, but there is always a sense of exhilaration amongst the spectators when he is tried against first-rates. Experience has proved that though he may now and then get a wicket, runs are sure to come at the rate of six or eight an over. Judged by the best English standards we should not consider Trott a great field at point, but he is very good.

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