Ernest Austin Halliwell
September 07, 1864, Drayton Green, Ealing, Middlesex, England
October 02, 1919, Hillbrow, Johannesburg, Transvaal, (aged 55y 25d)
Right hand Bat
Born in Ealing, 'Barberton' Halliwell was described by Wisden as the "first of the great South Afrcian wicketkeepers", standing up to the fastest bowlers. He explained that it was easier to take the ball up to the stumps on the matting wickets used in South Africa, although when he toured England he stood back. He was also the first keeper to put raw steak in his gloves to protect his hands. His first-class debut was against the 1891-92 England tourists, and he played seven further Tests over the next decade, captaining South Africa twice (both defeats) against Lord Hawke's England side in 1895-96. He toured England three times, and having a Middlesex qualification through birth he played for them once in 1901 as well as representing WG Grace's London County XI and Gentlemen against Players at Hastings.
Ernest Halliwell, the famous wicketkeeper, an Englishman by birth, who died at Johannesburg in October after an operation for gangrene of the leg, made his name as a cricketer in South Africa, and was associated almost exclusively with South African cricket. His reputation dated from 1894, when he returned to this country as a member of the first South African XI. The team as a whole did not attract any large amount of public attention, but it was generally agreed that Halliwell as a wicketkeeper ranked among the very best men of the day. When he came here again in 1901 with the second team from South Africa he was found to be even better than before. By that time the old plan of standing up to fast bowling had been to a large extent abandoned, but Halliwell stood up to Kotze, and the manner in which he took that bowler of tremendous pace aroused general admiration. Visiting England once again, in 1904, he stood up to Kotze for a few matches, but afterwards fell in with the prevailing fashion and went back. While of opinion that on the matting wickets of South Africa, on which the ball comes along at much the same height all through the day, standing up was preferable, he eventually came to the conclusion that on English wickets the plan of going back, resulting as it did in a greater number of catches, paid best. Still he retained a strong liking for the old method.
Having birth qualification for Middlesex - he was the son of R. Bissett Halliwell, who kept wicket for Middlesex in the old days at the Cattle Market ground at Islington - he made one appearance for that county towards the end of the season of 1901. He also appeared for Gentlemen v. Players at Hastings. His was a clear case of inherited talent. Making full allowance for the vastly better wickets on which he played, it is not unfair to say that he was a much finer wicket-keeper than his father, though the latter was good enough to be chosen for Gentlemen v. Players. In addition to being a superb wicketkeeper, E. A. Halliwell was more than useful as a batsman. In September, 1892, at Johannesburg, in a match between the Mother Country and Colonial Born, he and T. Routledge scored 289 together, this being for some years the first wicket record in South Africa. Halliwell made 139 not out and Routledge 147 not out. They were together only an hour and three-quarters, their side having been set the impossible task of getting 347 in that time.
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack
Batting & Fielding