Arthur Webb Mold
May 27, 1863, Middleton Cheney, Northamptonshire
April 29, 1921, Middleton Cheney, Northamptonshire, (aged 57y 337d)
Right hand bat
Right arm fast
Arthur Mold was one of the most controversial figures of an era when throwing became an increasing problem. Although his action was considered suspect for many years, there was no doubting his speed, and that allied to the movement he got off the pitch, made him the foremast quick bowler of his generation. At the time of his retirement he had taken more wickets than any other fast bowler.
He made an immediate impact in his first season (1889) taking 100 wickets at 11.80, and in the next 12 summers he passed a hundred wickets on nine occasions, and two hundred twice (207 in 1894, 213 in 1895).
But murmurings over his action meant that he made only three Test appearances, all in 1893. In 1900 he was no-balled by umpire Jim Phillips, and a meeting of county captains at the end of that season voted 11 to 1 that his action was unacceptable. The authorities decided - unofficially - to act and in 1901 he was no-balled 16 times in one match, again by Phillips. Although no other umpire called Mold, the writing was on the wall and he drifted out of first-class cricket. He finished his playing days in the Northamptonshire leagues. He spent his retirement shooting, running a pub, and looking after his mother.
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