Hunter Scott Thomas Laurie Hendry
May 24, 1895, Double Bay, Sydney, New South Wales
December 16, 1988, Rose Bay, Sydney, New South Wales, (aged 93y 207d)
Right hand bat
Right arm fast medium
Hunter Scott Thomas Laurie Hendry, known as Stork on account of his height, who died on December 16, 1988, aged 93, was at the time of his death the oldest surviving Test and Sheffield Shield cricketer. He first played for Australia at Trent Bridge in 1921, several days after his 26th birthday, and between then and 1928-29 he played in eleven Tests without ever doing full justice to his natural all-round ability. He scored 335 runs with an average of 20.93 and took sixteen wickets at 40.00, but it needs saying that, given the strength of some of the Australian sides in which he appeared, he was almost surplus to requirements. Circumstances as much as any personal failing led to his disappointing Test match figures.
A 6ft 2in tall right-hand bat and fast-medium swing bowler, he went straight from Sydney Grammar School into first grade cricket, where his gangling build, especially his long legs, quickly earned him the sobriquet Stork from M. A. Noble, who as a young man had not been of such a different physique himself. Hendry made full use of his height, reaching into the drive or powerfully cutting and hooking the rising ball. His long arms made him an awkward bowler to judge, and he was an outstanding fielder. His combination with Gregory in the slips on the 1921 tour of England was described as beyond praise.
When Sheffield Shield cricket resumed in 1919-20, Hendry had already established a place in the New South Wales side and he played 38 times and hit three hundreds for the state before moving to Melbourne and taking up a position at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, succeeding Warwick Armstrong as pavilion clerk (ground secretary) of the Melbourne Cricket Club. In 1925-26, his second season for Victoria, he hit 325 not out in 323 minutes against the visiting New Zealanders, sharing partnerships of 204 in 118 minutes for the sixth wicket with Lansdown (51) and 110 in 63 minutes for the seventh with Liddicut (47) in a total of 592 for seven declared. This was easily the highest of his fourteen hundreds, ten of which were scored in Shield matches, and by way of coincidence it meant that his best batting and bowling performances were against New Zealand representative sides. In Wellington in 1923-24, he had taken eight for 33 for New South Wales as New Zealand were bowled out for 89 on a soft wicket.
Hendry's single hundred for Australia, 112, came at the end of his Test career, at Sydney in the Second Test of the 1928-29 series against England. He and Woodfull put on 215 for the second wicket and it is of interest perhaps that he was batting first wicket down, his preferred place in the order. So often for Australia he had to bat much lower. However, he did little at No. 3 in the next two Tests, when he also opened the bowling, and he was omitted from the side for the final Test. He had been unfortunate when he toured England a second time in 1926 to contract scarlet fever and miss all the Test matches, for his scores suggested good form. He began the tour with 71 against Essex and 68 against Surrey, and after his return to the team in August, having been ill since May, he hit 81 in 80 minutes against an England XI at Folkestone. His first-class career finished on a tour to India with Ryder's team for the Maharajah of Patiala in 1935-36. In his 140 matches between 1918-19 and then, he scored 6,799 runs at 37.56, took 229 wickets at 29.02 and held 151 catches.
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