Frederick William Tate
July 24, 1867, Brighton, Sussex
February 04, 1943, Burgess Hill, Sussex, (aged 75y 195d)
Right hand bat
Right arm medium
Frederick William Tate, died at Burgess Hill, Sussex, on February 4, aged 75. He first played for Sussex in 1888, and not until 1905 did his career end. Subsequently he went to Derby as coach to the County Club and in 1921 to Trent College as professional coach. Two of his three sons played county cricket, Maurice, so well known with Sussex and England, and C. L. Tate, who played for Derbyshire and Warwickshire.
A slow to medium-paced right-hand bowler, with easy action and good command of length, Fred Tate took over 100 wickets in five different seasons. His great year came when he was 35, 180 wickets falling to him for less than 16 runs apiece in 1902. His full record in first-class cricket shows 1,324 wickets at an average cost of 21 runs apiece. He accomplished many good performances. When Hampshire were a second-class county he took nine wickets for 24 runs, and at Leicester in 1902 he again got nine wickets in an innings at a cost of 73 runs. Perhaps his best achievement was that year at Lord's when against Middlesex he dismissed fifteen men for 68 runs in a day. Other exceptional feats were five wickets for one run against Kent at Tonbridge in 1888 and seven for 17 against Gloucestershire at Bristol in 1891; and in 1901 he did the hat-trick against Surrey at the Oval. This was his benefit year and the match against Yorkshire at Hove brought him £1,051.
In his best season, 1902, Tate played against The Gentlemen at Lord's and for England in the fourth Test against Australia at Old Trafford--one of the most dramatic struggles in the history of cricket, Australia winning by three runs after astonishing changes of fortune and incidents that I still can see clearly. Rain-drenched ground influenced the last-minute preference of Tate over George Hirst, and to the last choice fell the lot of being the central figures in a fielding error and in the final scene. Quite recently Len Braund, whom I met by chance, told me that when Joe Darling, the Australian captain, a left-handed batsman, and S. E. Gregory changed ends during an over he wanted Lionel Palairet, fielding at square-leg, as customary when Braund bowled for Somerset, to cross the ground. A. C. MacLaren, the England captain, sent Tate to the position, although he invariably fielded slip or near the wicket for Sussex--never in the deep. At once Darling lifted a catch and Tate dropped it--an absolute disaster for England, 48 more runs coming before the fourth wicket fell at 64. Unquestionably this, the only stand of the innings, determined the issue of the tensely close struggle. In this second innings of Australia Tate bowled five overs and took two wickets for seven runs. Next day, on a very treacherous pitch, England, striving to hit off 124 runs before a threatening storm burst, lost their ninth wicket with eight wanted for victory. Rain then interrupted the game for three-quarters of an hour before Tate joined Rhodes and edged the next ball to the leg boundary: but the fourth ball he received from Saunders bowled him, and so finished the memorable match with a victory that gave Australia the rubber, no matter what might happen in the last encounter at the Oval. A few minutes later torrents of rain fell and washed us all back to Manchester.
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