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George Giffen

George Giffen
INTL CAREER: 1881 - 1896
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Full Name

George Giffen


March 27, 1859, Norwood, Adelaide, South Australia


November 29, 1927, Parkside, Adelaide, South Australia, (aged 68y 247d)

Batting Style

Right hand Bat

Bowling Style

Right arm Medium

Wisden obituary
George Giffen, born in Adelaide on March 27, 1859, died in a private hospital at his native place, after a long illness, on November 29, aged 68, thus surviving his old comrade, J. J. Lyons, a few months only. As a batsman Giffen possessed a wonderfully fine defence. He stooped a little but had a great variety of strokes with great freedom in his use of the bat, and was exceptionally strong in driving. He bowled right-hand, rather below medium-pace, with considerable spin and well-concealed change of flight and pace. He used to send down with much effect a slow ball, very high-tossed, which, seeming to be coming well up to the batsman, pitched short, and resulted in many a caught and bowled. It was expected that Giffen would have charge of the Australian team which toured England in 1886, but his merits as a leader were not commensurate with his merits as a player. Giffen first visited England in 1882 as a member of the team which beat England at the Oval by 7 runs. As the side included Spofforth, Boyle, Garrett, and Palmer--four of the finest bowlers of the time-- Giffen was overshadowed, and while they averaged l50 wickets at a cost of less than 13 runs each, he had to be content with taking thirty-two wickets for 22 runs each. Still, he had a brilliant success against the Gentlemen of England at the Oval, where he took eleven wickets for less than 10 runs each--eight in the first innings for 49 runs--and contributed largely to a memorable triumph. Nor had his batting powers at that period fully developed, but his record of 873 runs with an average of 18 was a vastly bigger thing than it would be regarded on the easy wickets of to-day. He showed a marked advance in 1884, and two years later, headed both batting and bowling averages, scoring 1,454 runs, for an average of 25, and taking 162 wickets for 16 runs each. Giffen declined invitation to join the Australian teams of 1888 and 1890, but was a member of the side captained by Blackham in 1893, and also of that led by Harry Trott in 1896. In these years, however, though he came out with a fair record for the whole of each tour, he accomplished little in the representative games. Giffen, indeed, in England scarcely reproduced his Australian form, which was of so high a class that he used to be referred to as the W. G. Grace of Australia. As a member of the five teams mentioned he visited the United States three times, New Zealand twice, and Canada once, besides taking part in two small games in Ceylon.

His eighteen three-figure scores in first-class cricket--six in England and a dozen in his own country--were:

113 Australians v. Lancashire, at Manchester, 1884. (Also the hat-trick).
119 Australians v. Cambridge University Past and Present, at Leyton, 1886.
203 South Australia v. G. F. Vernon's England XI, at Adelaide, 1887-8.
166 South Australia v. Victoria, at Adelaide, 1887-8. (And 14 for 125).
135 South Australia v. Victoria, at Melbourne, 1888-9. (And 13 for 159).
237 South Australia v. Victoria, at, Melbourne, 1890-1. (And 12 for 192).
271 South Australia v. Victoria, at Adelaide, 1891-2. (And 16 for 166).
120 South Australia v. New South Wales, at Sydney, 1891-2. (And 12 for 150).
181 South Australia v. Victoria, at Adelaide, 1892-3. (And 11 for 235).
180 Australians v. Gloucestershire, at Bristol, 1893. (And 7 for 11).
171 Australians v. Yorkshire, at Bradford, 1893.
205 South Australia v. New South Wales, at Adelaide, 1893-4.
103 South Australia v. Victoria, at Melbourne, 1893-4.
161 Australia v. England, at Sydney, 1894-5.
115 Australians v. South, at Eastbourne, 1896.
130 Australians v. Hampshire, at Southampton, 1896.
104* South Australia v. New South Wales, at Sydney, 1896-7.
115 South Australia v. Queensland, at Brisbane, 1898-9.
* Signifies not out.

On three other occasions he obtained over 100 runs and more than ten wickets in a match, each time for South Australia:

20 & 82 and 17 for 201 v. Victoria, at Adelaide 1885-6
64 & 58* and 11 for 224 v. England, at Adelaide 1894-5
81 & 97* and 15 for 185 v. Victoria, at Adelaide 1902-3

He trained specially for the last mentioned game, being then within a week or two of completing his forty-fourth year. Most remarkable of all, perhaps, was his all-round performance in scoring 161 out of a total of 586, and 41 in a total of 166 for Australia v. Stoddart's team at Sydney in December, 1894, as in that match he also took eight wickets, and yet was on the losing side. The bowling of Peel and Briggs on a ruined pitch won the match for England by 10 runs. In the winter of 1883, at Sydney, for the fourth Australian team against the Rest of Australia, Giffen took all ten wickets in an innings for 66 runs. He had his greatest success as a bowler in England during the season of 1886, when sixteen Derbyshire wickets fell to him for 101 runs, and in five consecutive innings he dismissed forty batsmen at a cost of 222 runs. He did the hat trick three times--for South Australia, against G. F. Vernon's team, at Adelaide, in 1887-88 against Lancashire, at Manchester, in 1884; and against an England eleven, at Wembley Park, in 1896. Altogether in first-class matches, Giffen scored 12,501 runs, at an average of 29, and took 1,109 wickets, at a cost of 21 runs each. In matches between Australia and England he made 1,238 runs, and took 103 wickets, In 1922-3 the match at Adelaide between South Australia and Victoria was played for his benefit, and the resulting sum, £2,020, was vested in trustees. After being a Civil Servant in the General Post Office at Adelaide for 43 years, he retired on pension in March, 1925, thereafter finding the chief delight of his life, whilst health permitted, in coaching young boys in a purely honorary capacity.
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack

George Giffen Career Stats

Batting & Fielding



George Giffen

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Recent Matches of George Giffen

South Aust vs NSW1 & 50/13419-Dec-1903AdelaideFC
South Aust vs M.C.C.22 & 181/12907-Nov-1903AdelaideFC
South Aust vs Victoria81 & 97*7/75 & 8/11027-Feb-1903AdelaideFC
South Aust vs NSW27 & 190/38 & 1/5219-Dec-1902AdelaideFC
South Aust vs NSW50 & 221/11210-Jan-1902AdelaideFC

Debut/Last Matches of George Giffen

Photos of George Giffen

The Australian team in England, 1893
George Giffen