David William Gregory
April 15, 1845, Fairy Meadow, New South Wales
August 04, 1919, Turramurra, Sydney, New South Wales, (aged 74y 111d)
Right hand Bat
Dave Gregory, a bearded, gritty, middle-order batsman, was Australia's first captain, at the helm for their first three Tests. He didn't achieve much with the bat, making only one score of note - 43 in defeat at Melbourne in the second Test of 1876-77. He led Australia in England in 1878 where he failed to cope with wet wickets, averaging 11. In his five Test innings, Gregory batted at Nos 2, 4, 9, 10 and 11. He played for New South Wales, a distinction shared with four of his brothers and three of his nephews, and was latterly honorary secretary of the state side.
Martin Williamson (April 2004)
David William Gregory, who died at Sydney on the 4th of August, will be for ever famous in cricket history as the captain in 1878 of the first Australian team that came to England. The victory of that team in one afternoon at Lord's over a very powerful M. C. C. eleven marked the beginning of a new era. English cricketers realised that day that their supremacy was no longer unchallenged. It was a rude shock, but the game received a tremendous impetus. One of a family of cricketers, David Gregory in 1878 was only thirty-three, though with his full beard he looked considerably older. He was born at Woolloongong, New South Wales, on April 15, 1845. Except as a tactful leader, who readily accommodated himself to strange conditions, Gregory did not earn much distinction on English cricket grounds. It was a dreadfully wet summer, and no doubt the slow, treacherous wickets were too much for him. His best score in the eleven-aside matches was 57 against the Players at Prince's towards the end of the tour, and his average only 11. Like many Australian batsmen in those early days he had no grace of style to recommend him, but his defence was stubborn and he lacked neither pluck nor patience. When for once -- against Middlesex at Lord's -- he found himself on a good wicket he got on very well, making 42 in each innings. Both before and after his visit to England Gregory was a regular member of the New South Wales eleven. In the Inter-Colonial matches with Victoria he scored 445 runs in 28 innings, three times not out, with an average of 17.80. His best innings were 85 at Melbourne and 74 at Sydney. In his time, be it remembered, Australian wickets did not approach their present perfection. It was Gregory's privilege to play for Australia at Melbourne in March, 1877, when Australia beat James Lilly-white's team--the first victory over England on even terms--and also in the return match, when the Englishmen were successful. He had no share in the victory, but in the second match he scored 1 not out and 43. For some years he was honorary secretary of the New South Wales Cricket Association.
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