Francis Anthony Ward
February 23, 1906, Sydney, New South Wales
March 25, 1974, Brooklyn, Sydney, New South Wales, (aged 68y 30d)
Right hand bat
Frank Ward was an accomplished legspinner who had the misfortune to be in action at the same time as two of Australia's best exponents of the art, Clarrie Grimmett and Bill O'Reilly. Consequently, his Test appearances were limited to four matches, all against England, three in Australia in 1936 and one on the 1938 tour. He took 92 wickets at an average of 19.27 on that trip, but with O'Reilly on hand gained a place in only the first Test, at Nottingham. He failed to take a wicket in a total of 658 for 8 declared which included a double hundred by Paynter and single centuries from Barnett, Compton and Hutton.
Ward did best on his first Test appearance, taking 6 for 102 in 46 overs during England's second innings at Brisbane. Then he served his country well in the third game at Melbourne with dogged work as a nightwatchman which preceded a partnership of 346 by Bradman and Fingleton. This was the beginning of a recovery which took Australia from two games down to win the series three-two.
Beginning his career in similar fashion to Bradman by playing for the St. George Club in Sydney before moving to Adelaide, Ward took 120 wickets for South Australia in 28 Shield matches, and 187 wickets in all matches for the State side. Oldfield described him as a unique bowler who flighted the ball with great skill. It was sheer delight to keep wicket to him was the tribute paid by Australia's greatest stumper.
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack
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