ALL-ROUND CRICKETER OF THE YEAR - 1894

Alec Hearne

ALEC HEARNE, the youngest of the three brothers who have been so closely identified with the Kent eleven, was born on July the 22nd, 1863, and has now been playing in public for ten seasons. He first appeared for Kent in 1884, and has ever since been a regular member of the county team. When he first came out he had none of the ability as a batsman that he has since developed, but he was a capital leg-break bowler, and even in his opening season he headed the averages, taking forty-one wickets in the Kent matches at a cost of about 16½ runs each. Decidedly his best performance was against the Australians at Canterbury, his efforts largely helping Kent to gain a memorable victory over one of the strongest teams that Australia ever sent to this country. In 1885 he did still better, obtaining sixty-four wickets for less than 15 runs each, but, like many other leg-break bowlers before his time, he did not improve as he went on, and neither the season of 1886 nor that of 1887 found him so successful as he had been at the outset of his career. However, he revived wonderfully in 1888, taking forty-one wickets for Kent at an average cost of just under 11 runs each. His improvement was far from being maintained in 1889, but in that year he, for the first time, showed what he was capable of as a batsman, an average of 17 for his county marking a great advance upon his previous efforts. Since then he has gone steadily on, and though it cannot be said that he has quite borne out his early promise as a bowler, he stands at the present day in a higher position as an English professional cricketer than he has ever held before. In first-class matches in 1892 he was sixth among the professionals, scoring 810 runs with an average of 27, and last season with an aggregate of 906 runs he averaged something over 22. As a bowler, too, he enjoyed a large measure of success in 1893, taking eighty-six wickets at an average cost of less than 18 runs. On his form for the year he certainly had strong claims to play for England against Australia, but in not one of the three matches was he among the players finally chosen. Against the Australians, however, he did some particularly good work, scoring 266 runs with an average of 38, and taking seventeen wickets for just over 12 runs each. He scored 120 for the South of England at the Oval, and had, as a bowler, a prominent share in Kent's sensational victory at Canterbury. He is now probably at the height of his powers, and is good enough for any eleven. The weak point in his cricket is that he is rather apt to drop catches.

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