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TROTT, MR. GEORGE HENRY ('HARRY') STEVENS, born August 5, 1866; died at Melbourne, November 12. Came to England in 1888, 1890, 1893, and 1896.
Australia has produced greater cricketers than Harry Trott, but in his day he held a place in the front rank of the world's famous players. He was a first-rate bat, a fine field at point, and his leg breaks made him a very effective change bowler. Four times he came to England--first in 1888, again in 1890 and 1893, and, finally, in 1896, when he had the honour of captaining the team. As a leader in the field he perhaps gained even more distinction than as an all-round player. Ranjitsinhji considered him a better captain than Darling, and beyond that praise could hardly go. The personal popularity that Harry Trott enjoyed in 1896 wherever he went was remarkable. One is inclined to think that no Australian captain before or since, was liked so much by his opponents. By sheer force of character he overcame the disadvantages involved in lack of education, and won the warm regard of men with whom, apart from the comradeship of the cricket field, he had nothing in common. In managing his team he owed much to his equable temper and innate tact. Knowing all the little weaknesses and vanities of the men under his command, he believed in a policy of kindly encouragement. Never outwardly disturbed by the state of the game, he could inspire even the most despondent with something of his own cheerfulness. He played cricket in the best possible spirit, taking victory and defeat with the same calm philosophy.
No better loser was ever seen that Harry Trott at the end of the Test match at the Oval in 1896. It was the disappointment of his life, as the result decided the rubber in England's favour, but he was full of praise for the way in which Peel and J. T. Hearne had made the most of a horribly difficult wicket. In the England match at Lord's the same season Trott played his finest innings, he and Sydney Gregory enabling Australia to make a most creditable fight in face of overwhelming odds. Against Tom Richardson's bowling on a wicket of lightning pace Trott trusted to the strength of his back play and was justified by success. His method recalled the way in which Daft and Bob Carpenter used to withstand the fastest bowling at Lord's on the much rougher wickets of the early'60's. Trott made 143 and Gregory 103, the two batsmen putting on 221 runs for the fourth wicket in Australia's second innings. Trott's play was almost flawless, but the Englishmen felt certain that Hayward caught him in the slips with his score at 61. Perhaps next to this 143 the best innings Trott ever played in this country was his 92 against England at the Oval in 1893. Trott, who had been in ill-health for some time before his death, was the elder brother of the late Albert Trott, who for many years played so brilliantly for Middlesex.
Serious illness practically ended Trott's career after the Australian season of 1897-8.