Clarence Everard Pellew
September 21, 1893, Port Pirie, South Australia
May 09, 1981, Adelaide, South Australia, (aged 87y 230d)
Right hand bat
Right arm medium
Nip Pellew died in Adelaide on May 9, 1981, aged 87. The last survivor but one of Warwick Armstrong's great Australian side of 1921, which was perhaps the first to set the winning of the Tests above all other considerations, he stood out from the rest as having more the traditional approach of the English amateur. Flaxen-haired and seldom wearing a cap, he was an attacking batsman, a matter of some importance when Tests in England were confined to three days. He was a fine straight-driver and a great exponent of the off-drive played slightly late to send the ball between cover and third-man: he was also a competent player off his legs and a splendid runner between the wickets. But though he made two hundreds in the 1920-21 series and for his career in Sheffield Shield cricket had an average of 39.50, it is as an outfield that he is chiefly remembered. Credited with being able to run the 100 yards in 10.2 seconds and to throw a cricket ball over 100 yards, he might well, after sprinting 40 yards round the boundary save not one run but two or three, so swiftly did he get rid of the ball. In any discussion of the world's greatest outfields, he must be a candidate for a place.
After showing promise for South Australia in 1913-14 and making 97 against New South Wales in 1914-15, he went to the War and it was not until 1919, when he was a member of the AIF side in England, that he really became prominent. Starting with 105 not out against Cambridge University in his first match, he made 1,260 runs with an average of 38, including four centuries. Returning to Australia he made 271 in four and three-quarter hours against Victoria, equalling a record set up by George Giffen 30 years before. In 1920-21 he played in four of the five Tests, scoring 115 in just over three hours in the second and hitting brilliantly in the third to get 104 in two hours. After this he was a trifle disappointing as a batsman in England in 1921, failing to reach 1,000 runs, but even so he was never omitted from the Test side. That was the end of his regular first-class career but, reappearing for South Australia in a few matches in 1928-29, he showed what a loss his premature retirement had been. From 1930 to the War, and again from 1958 to 1970, he was South Australia's state coach. Several members of his family had played for South Australia, and it was from one of them, JH Pellew, a very useful performer, that he inherited the nickname of Nip.
Wisden Almanack 1982
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