ALL-ROUND CRICKETER OF THE YEAR - 1894

Edward Wainwright

EDWARD WAINWRIGHT, a native of Tinsley, near Sheffield, was born on April 8th, 1865, and first found a place in the Yorkshire eleven in the season of 1888. His reputation, therefore, has reached its present point in half a dozen summers. He did not score very heavily in his first year, but an innings of 105 against the Australians at Bradford showed that he had plenty of batting in him, and as a bowler he had the satisfaction of standing second for Yorkshire in the first-class county matches. In the following year he improved as a batsman, but went back as a bowler, and it cannot be said that, speaking generally, he much advanced his position. In 1890, curiously enough, his cricket was of a diametrically opposite character. As a batsman he did so little for his county that in twenty-eight matches he only scored 514 runs, but as a bowler he took ninety-seven wickets at an average cost of 13.71. In 1891, a season of great disaster for Yorkshire, he made a still further improvement as a bowler, taking sixty-seven wickets in the first-class county matches, and in all engagements for the county obtaining the fine record of 107 wickets with an average of 13.20. His batting, however, was still ineffective, and in the course of twenty-five matches for Yorkshire his highest score was only 68. So far he had proved himself a useful member of a county team, but bad not been thought of in connection with representative elevens. Promotion, however, came in 1892, when he fairly established his position among the leading professionals of the day. His advance upon anything he had ever done before was, indeed, remarkable. In Yorkshire's first-class county matches he stood second in batting and first in bowling, while in the first-class averages for the year he could point to the splendid record of 890 runs with an average of 25.15, and 104 wickets at a cost of 16.31. He was chosen for the Players against the Gentlemen both at Lord's and the Oval, and at the former ground met with remarkable success, scoring 56 not out, and taking, in the Gentlemen's second innings, five wickets for 37 runs. He did not, last season, prove so successful in batting, but as a bowler he did great things, taking in first-class matches 119 wickets for something over 14 runs each. He had the honour of playing for England against Australia at Lord's, and would also have played at the Oval if the Yorkshire Committee had been willing to let him off from a county match. Wainwright is emphatically an all-round cricketer, his fielding being quite as good as his batting and bowling. As a bowler he only misses greatness by reason of the fact that his accuracy of pitch is not commensurate with his break and spin.

© John Wisden & Co