Edward Lambert a'Beckett
August 11, 1907, East St Kilda, Melbourne, Victoria
June 02, 1989, Terang, Victoria, (aged 81y 295d)
Right hand Bat
Right arm Fast medium
Ted a'Beckett, one of only three surviving members of the Australian side which toured England in 1930 ( Bradman and Ponsford are the others), died on June 2. He was 81. Born in East St. Kilda, Melbourne on Aug. 11, 1907, Edward Lambert a' Beckett, 6 ft tall, came from a distijnguished legal and sporting line, and the needs of his profession (law) restricted his cricket at toplevel. At 21, after only six first-class matches, he was drafted into the Australian XI soon after Jack Gregory's breakdown against England in 1928-29, and distinguished himself on the second day of his Melbourne debut by scoring a confident 41 and adding 86 for the seventh wicket with 20-year-old Bradman (79) and then dismissing 45-year-old Hobbs, who snicked a widish ball, before close of play. It was a'Beckett's only wicket, and he took only Sutcliffe's at Adelaide, where England went four-up after four. His two Tests brought him 2 for 216 and 104 runs (some of them `crude', according to P. G. H. Fender) in four innings, though his catches to remove Hendren and Hammond (200) at Melbourne were brilliant, the first at mid-wicket from a full-blooded pull, the second at mid-on, flinging himself to his left as Hammond rounded a ball from offspinner Blackie. He lost his place for the fifth Test, won by a resurgent Australia, but secured a berth to England with Woodfull's youngsters in 1930, having been first in the national bowling averages in 1929-30, not only alphabetically but statistically: 28 wickets at 14.71. He was also 15th in the batting, helped by an innings of 152 for Victoria at Adelaide. He played in only one Test in England, the third, at Headingley, while Bradman scored in 334: A'Beckett was at the wicket when The Don was caught behind to make Australia 508 for 6, and went on to 29. But his fast-medium bowling, if hard to get away, was unpenetrative. He managed only Duckworth's wicket for 66 off 39 overs in the match, but again attracted praise for his fielding, catching Hobbs at silly mid-on. On the entire tour he scored 454 runs (25.22) and took 23 wickets (28.96) having missed a month through illness. He played in one more Test, against South Africa at Melbourne in 1931-32, before his legal pursuits took the Melbourne University graduate away from big cricket. He made no mark on that much, and finished with figures of 143 runs (20.43) in his four Tests, his three wickets costing 317 runs. In all first-class cricket he scored 1636 runs at 29.21 and took 105 wickets at 29.16 (6 for 119, v NSW, Sydney, 1927-28, his best return). A'Beckett's weightiest batting performance, 113 and 95, was somewhat overshadowed by the world-record 10th-wicket stand of 307 by New South Wales batsmen Kippax and Hooker over Christmas 1928. Not only did he come within a stroke of making twin centuries in that extraordinary Melbourne match, but he ended the amazing last-wicket resistance by having Hooker, the No. 11 caught for 62. Having won his colours at cricket, athletics and Australian Rules football at Melbourne Grammar School, Ted a'Beckett pursued the winter sport as well, until a serious head injury forced him to abandon football.
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack
Batting & Fielding