Sydney Edward Gregory
April 14, 1870, Moore Park, Randwick, Sydney, New South Wales
August 01, 1929, Moore Park, Randwick, Sydney, New South Wales, (aged 59y 109d)
Also Known As
birth registered as Edward Sydney Gregory
Right hand Bat
Right arm Bowler
Born on the present site of the Sydney Cricket ground, Syd Gregory, one of three famous brothers, to England on eight different tours, and in all played 58 Tests between 1890 and 1912, a record 52 of them against England. He was a wristy right-hander, with exquisite footwork which compensated for his lack of inches (he was 5'5") and a New South Wales boy who marked Sydney's inaugural Test - when England were the visitors in 1894-95 - with a memorable 201, although the match is best remembered for England winning despite being forced to follow on. Gregory eventually led a depleted Australia in the Triangular Tournament in England in 1912, his last bow as a Test player.
Sydney Edward Gregory, born on the site of the present cricket ground at Sydney, on April 14, 1870, died at Randwick, Sydney, on August 1, 1929, aged 59. It is given to few men to enjoy such a long and successful career in international cricket as that which fell to his lot, but he had cricket in his blood, for what the Graces and the Walkers were to the game in England, the Gregory family, it could be urged, was to that in Australia. Twelve years after his uncle Dave had come to England, as captain of the pioneer side of 1878, S. E. Gregory paid his first visit here as a member of the 1890 team under W. L. Murdoch, and he was chosen for every side up to and including that of 1912. On his first two visits here he did not quite realize expectations as a batsman -- he completed his twentieth year on his way here in 1890 -- but he jumped to the top in the Australian season of 1894-95, and when in England in 1896 he batted brilliantly, scoring over 1,400 runs in all matches and coming out at the head of the averages. Altogether he played in fifty-two Test Matches for Australia, a larger number than any other Australian cricketer. In the course of these he made four three-figure scores and obtained 2,193 runs with an average of 25.80. He captained the Australian team of 1912 -- the year of the Triangular Tournament -- but had a somewhat thankless task in filling that office. Dissatisfied with the financial terms offered, several of the leading Australian cricketers refused to make the trip and the side, as finally constituted, included, in the regrettable circumstances, several players who had little claim to figure as representatives of the best in Australian cricket. He himself scored over a thousand runs but the team, although beating South Africa twice, had only a moderate record.
Pronounced and numerous as were his triumphs in batting, Sydney Gregory will probably be remembered more for what he accomplished as a fieldsman for, while several men have equalled and some have beaten his achievements as a run-getter, the cricket field has seen no more brilliant cover-point. Clever in anticipation and quick to move, he got to and stopped the hardest of hits, gathered the ball cleanly and returned it with deadly accuracy. His work, indeed, was always an inspiration to his colleagues and a joy to the spectators. Small of stature -- he was little more than 5 feet in height -- Gregory overcame this disadvantage in a batsman by splendid footwork. He possessed a very finished style, strong wrists and a keen eye. Particularly attractive in his strokes on the offside, he also, thanks to his quickness of movement, used to take balls off the middle stump with remarkable facility. The latter stroke, no doubt, cost him his wicket on many occasions but it brought him a lot of runs and, when successful, had a demoralising effect upon the bowler. He could stonewall when the situation called for those methods but his natural tendency was always to attack and, even when the ball turned a lot, his dashing game often knocked a bowler off his length. In short his cricket, both as batsman and fieldsman, suggested the bright and happy temperament which Sydney Gregory possessed in such full measure.
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack
Batting & Fielding