Harold Thomas William Hardinge
February 25, 1886, Greenwich, London
May 08, 1965, Tenison Road, Cambridge, (aged 79y 72d)
Right hand Bat
Slow Left arm Orthodox
Wally Hardinge was a stylish opening batsman, a capable slow left-arm bowler and an athletic fielder. He made his debut for Kent at the age of 16, and played for them for the next 31 seasons, the only interruption being the Great War. An integral member of Kent's first four Championships (he passed 1,000 runs in a season on 18 occasions) in any other era Hardinge would have made far more than one Test appearance. But such were the numbers of talented openers - Jack Hobbs and Herbert Sutcliffe to name two - his chances were almost non existent. His one Test was at Leeds against the all-conquering Australians of 1921 when he made 25 and 5. On retiring he briefly coached Leicestershire. Hardinge was a double international, capped at centre-forward for England against Scotland in 1910 (coincidently his match for England at cricket was also the only appearance for another double international, Andy Ducat). He also played for Newcastle United, Sheffield United and Arsenal.
For a time, Hardinge worked as a sales rep for John Wisden & Co. but it was not a relationship which showed the company in a good light. In 1928 he asked them if they would pay half his expenses to travel to Australia at the same time as Percy Chapman's 1928-29 MCC team. Not only did the board reject his request; it voted that `no leave of absence be granted'. His services were dispensed with in 1934 when his first-class career ended.
Batting & Fielding