Charlie MacArtney

CHARLES G MACARTNEY is by many degrees the most brilliant and individual Australian batsman of the present day. Not perhaps so dependable or consistent a run-getter as Warren Bardsley, he is the more striking personality. Though quite unlike the late Victor Trumper in style and method he has by reason, of his daring and supreme confidence, almost the same fascination for the crowd. He is to a greater extent than anyone else in Australia or this country a self-taught batsman. Owing little or nothing to coaching he made himself a batsman by watching the big matches in Australia, and, of course, by persistent practice. A law to himself - a triumph to individualism - he is not a model to be copied. Young batsmen who tried to imitate him at all would in nineteen cases out of twenty fail, his success being so largely dependent on extraordinary quickness of eye, hand and foot. When Macartney first came to England in 1909 his batting was a t a very modest stage of development, and few even among the keenest judges would have foreseen the future that was in store for him. He was then essentially an all-round cricketer, his value in Noble's team being due more to his left-handed slow bowling and always brilliant fielding that to his ability as a run-getter. Among the Australian batsmen in 1909 he held a very modest place, finishing eighth on the list with an average of 19. As a bowler he was more prominent, taking seventy-one wickets, and having a big share in the victory over England at Leeds. It was some time before his potential greatness as a batsman was recognised in Australia, and during the tour of the M.C.C's team in Australia in 1911-12 he only played in the last of the five Test matches. When he came here in 1912 for the Triangular Tournament he jumped to the top of the tree, dividing the batting honours with Bardsley, and scoring 2,207 runs during the tour, with an average of 45. He hit up half a dozen hundreds - two of them in the match with Sussex at Brighton - but his finest innings was a wonderful 99 in the drawn match with England at Lord's. On getting home again he did great things for New South Wales in Inter-State matches, and during the unofficial tour of the Australian team in America in 1913 - the programme consisted of over fifty games - he scored 2,390 runs and took 189 wickets, heading the averages in both batting and bowling. Last year, both at home and in this country, he was a better bat than ever, the long break in his career caused by the War having done him no harm. Macartney was born on June 27, 1886

© John Wisden & Co