Ted McDonald

McDONALD, EDGAR ARTHUR, famous with Australia and Lancashire, was killed on the road near Bolton after being concerned in a motor car collision early in the morning of July 22.

Born in Tasmania on January 6, 1892, McDonald went to Melbourne in his youth and became a good fast bowler in Pennant matches. He played once for Victoria against the M.C.C. team captained by P. F. Warner in February 1912 but not until 1919 did he become prominent by taking eight wickets, six bowled, for 42 runs at Sydney under conditions favourable to batsmen, in the first innings of New South Wales.

McDonald did Australia splendid service in Test Matches. He played in three against the M.C.C. team that went to Australia in the winter of 1920 with J. W. H. T. Douglas as captain. Mailey, Gregory and Kelleway were the bowlers mainly responsible for the five defeats then inflicted on England. McDonald's six wickets cost 65 runs apiece, but he was picked for the ensuing visit to England and in the Tests he took twenty-seven wickets for 24 runs apiece.

In the Test at Nottingham McDonald took eight wickets for 74 and at Lord's and Leeds he was mainly responsible for the fall of England's first three wickets so cheaply that defeat became inevitable. The Australians thus won the rubber and so beat England eight times in consecutive engagements.

At the end of the tour McDonald decided to accept an engagement as professional with the Nelson club and in due course became qualified for Lancashire. Naturally enough, a bowler capable of such devastating work against the flower of England's batting accomplished remarkable things in county cricket and from 1924, when he was available only in mid-week matches, until 1931, when his ability suddenly declined, he took 1,040 wickets for Lancashire. In his best season, 1925, he dismissed in all matches 205 batsmen at an average cost of 18.67. During this period Lancashire won the County Championship four times. One of his best performances was at Dover in 1926 when Kent, wanting 426 to win, got within 65 of victory for the loss of five wickets. McDonald then performed the hat-trick and Lancashire triumphed by 33 runs. In the match he took twelve wickets for 187 runs.

Of good height and loosely built, McDonald ran with easy grace to the crease and his rhythmical action with accurate length and off-break surprised every batsman when first facing him and often afterwards. In these particulars he was very different from Gregory with a longer, faster run and leaping delivery; but in Australian cricket the names of these two fast bowlers must be coupled as the terrific force which humiliated England in the first years of Test cricket after the War. Ordinarily of small account as a batsman, McDonald hit up a not out century in a hundred minutes against Middlesex at Old Trafford in 1926. His benefit match with Middlesex at Old Trafford in 1929 brought him nearly £2,000.

After giving up County cricket, McDonald returned to the Lancashire League with the Bacup club as successor to Arthur Richardson, another Australian. McDonald played for Victoria at both Rugby and Association football.

© John Wisden & Co