April 07, 1882, Pine Mountain, Queensland
May 31, 1971, St Kilda, Melbourne, Victoria, (aged 89y 54d)
Also Known As
Left hand bat
Slow left arm orthodox
Bert Ironmonger, who died in his sleep in Melbourne on May 31, 1971 was, at 45 years 237 days, the fourth oldest cricketer to make a Test debut when, against England at Brisbane in 1928-29, he made the first of 14 appearances for Australia. A slow-medium left-arm spin bowler, he achieved some remarkable performances during his brief Test career, chief among them being that in 1931-32 when he earned a match analysis of 11 wickets for 24 runs on an awkward pitch at Melbourne and was mainly responsible for the dismissal of South Africa for totals of 36 and 45. In four matches of that Test series, he took 31 wickets for 9.67 runs each.
He also achieved great things against GC Grant's West Indies team in 1930-31. For Victoria against the tourists, his figures were five wickets for 87 in the first innings and eight for 31 in the second, and in four Test matches he obtained 22 wickets at a cost of 14.68 runs each, heading the Australian averages. In the last Test at Melbourne, his analyses were seven wickets for 23 runs and four for 56. In the same season, he helped Victoria to carry off the Sheffield Shield, his main feats being seven wickets for 135 runs against Queensland and five for 60 against South Australia.
Though not meeting with such phenomenal success against England he dismissed in six meetings with Australia's oldest cricket rivals - including four in DR Jardine's Bodyline tour of 1932-33 - 21 batsmen for an average of 33.90. His figures for all Test matches were 74 wickets, average 17.97.
"Dainty" Ironmonger did the hat-trick once, against AER Gilligan's 1924-25 MCC team at Melbourne, where for Victoria he ended the innings by disposing of the last three batsmen with successive balls. In 42 Sheffield Shield matches for Victoria, his wickets numbered 215, average 24.74, and he also bowled with marked success for the Melbourne and St. Kilda clubs. His achievements were the more remarkable because he had lost the forefinger of his left hand.
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack
Batting & Fielding
Explore Statsguru Analysis
Debut/Last Matches - Player
News and Features