Obituary

Arthur Chipperfield

CHIPPERFIELD, ARTHUR GORDON, who died in Sydney on July 29, 1987, aged 81, played fourteen times for Australia in the 1930s and toured England twice and South Africa once. His selection for the 1934 team to England came as something of a surprise, following only three first-class innings. He was then 28, but 152 for Northern Districts at Newcastle against Jardine's 1932-33 MCC side had given notice of his ability. and with 84 against Queensland on his debut for New South Wales he furthered the good impression already made. In England, he did not enjoy the best of health, but he finished the tour with 899 runs and an average of 40.86, having shown himself as a batsman who, while essentially a front-foot player, possessing a sound defensive technique, could when the occasion demanded hit hard and score at a good pace. He was an uncommonly good slip fielder and a useful bowler of leg-breaks.

A career-best 175 against Essex, in his first match in England, and 116 not out the following week against Hampshire, led to his inclusion for the First Test at Trent Bridge, where, having reached 99 by lunch on the second day, he was out without addition to the third ball afterwards, caught behind off Farnes. He was the first to be dismissed for 99 in his first Test, and had batted for three hours twenty minutes, his runs coming in the main from his square cutting. At Lord's, where Verity took fifteen wickets on a damp pitch, his unbeaten 37 was Australia's second-highest score of their first innings; his three for 91 in England's only innings were his best Test bowling figures. Chosen for the Manchester Test, despite suffering from an infection known colloquially as "Wimbledon Throat", he left hospital against medical advice to score 26, which helped Australia avoid the follow-on. He then returned to hospital, the instance being one of the few in test cricket (weather-related instances apart) of a player batting but never fielding. He played in the next two Tests, but on his second trip to England, in 1938, played only at Lord's, where he split his finger stopping a shot from Hammond in his innings of 240. Later in the tour he had to undergo an operation because of appendicitis, and so Lord's was the last of his Tests, in which he scored 552 runs, with an average of 32.47, took five wickets at 87.40, and held fifteen catches. His only Test hundred was 109 against South Africa in Durban in 1935-6. Altogether, in 96 first-class games, he scored 4,295 runs, average 38.34, took 65 wickets at 39.72, and held 92 catches. His best bowling was eight for 66 for an Australian XI against MCC at Sydney in 1936-37, when he ended the touring team's first innings with a spell of four for 9. Two second-innings wickets gave him ten in the match.

© John Wisden & Co