September 05, 1909, Rutherglen, Lanarkshire, Scotland
February 16, 1933, Clayfields, Brisbane, Queensland, (aged 23y 164d)
Also Known As
Archibald Alexander Jackson
Right hand bat
Right arm offbreak
There are those who argue to this day that had he lived, Archie Jackson would have rivaled Don Bradman as the greatest batsman of all time. Jackson's death from tuberculosis at the tragically young age of 23 meant that he gave only glimpses of what might have been. Jackson was a graceful batsman, his innings punctuated by delicate leg-glances, wristy flicks through the covers and exquisite footwork. He made his debut for New South Wales at the age of 17, and within a year was touring New Zealand with Australia, although he had to wait until the fourth Ashes Test of 1928-29 to make his Test debut. In it he hit 164 and a remarkable career beckoned. He struggled for form on the 1930 tour of England, his courageous 73 at The Oval when he added 243 for the fourth wicket with Bradman a rare highlight. But his successes were made against the backdrop of his failing health, and his appearances grew rarer. He died on February 16, 1933, the day that England regained the Ashes in the Bodyline series.
JACKSON, MR. ARCHIBALD, the New South Wales and Australian Test cricketer, died at Brisbane on February 16, the day that England defeated Australia and regained the Ashes, at the early age of 23. His passing was not only a very sad loss to Australian cricket in particular but to the cricket world in general. A native of Scotland, where he was born on September 5, 1909, he was hailed as a second Victor Trumper--a comparison made alike for his youthful success, elegant style and superb stroke play. Well set up, very active on his feet, and not afraid to jump in to the slow bowlers and hit the ball hard, he accomplished far more in big cricket than Trumper had done at his age. He first attracted attention when at school at Balmain, Sydney, and later at the Roselle School. So quickly did he mature that, at the age of seventeen, he gained an assured place in the New South Wales team. In his first season of Sheffield Shield cricket he scored 464 runs at an average of 58; next year he achieved a feat no other batsman of his age had performed, by making two centuries in a match--131 and 122 against South Australia. For a time Jackson had something of a reputation of being a second innings batsman, for often he failed at his first attempt and then made a good score in the second innings. This weakness, however, he overcame and he soon established himself as an opening batsman for New South Wales. Given his place in the Australian team when the M.C.C. side, under the captaincy of Mr. A. P. F. Chapman, toured Australia in 1928-29, Jackson, on his first appearance in Test cricket against England, made a hundred--the youngest player to do so. This was at Adelaide where in the Fourth Test Match, which England won by 12 runs, he scored 164. For sheer brilliance of execution his strokes during this delightful display could scarcely have been exceeded. He reached three figures with a glorious square drive off Larwood in the first over after lunch and was one of the very few Australian batsmen who during that tour could successfully jump in and drive J. C. White. An innings of 182 in the Australian Test Trial--regarded as the finest he ever played--made certain of his inclusion in the team which visited England in 1930. Unfortunately, English cricket lovers did not in that tour see Jackson at his best, for although he scored over 1,000 runs he failed to reveal his true form until towards the end of the summer. Then, in the final Test Match at the Oval, he put together a score of 73 and helped Bradman in a partnership of 243 for the fourth wicket which still stands as a record in a Test Match between Australia and England. Jackson, of course, never saw Trumper play, but Kippax, in style and stance and in some strokes, was not unlike Trumper; and Jackson, consciously or unconsciously, and while giving full play to his natural tendencies, took Kippax as his model. He had a splendid return from the deep field and, if not so fast a runner as Bradman, covered ground very quickly. His later years were marred by continued ill-health and his untimely end was not unexpected. While lying in hospital on what was to prove his death-bed he was married*.
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack
* This is incorrect - he got engaged while in hospital.
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