JL Bryan

MR. JL BRYAN, who among the many highly-successful left-handed batsmen of last season, had an average only inferior to those of Mead and Warren Bardsley, was born at Beckenham on May 26, 1896, and thus plays for Kent under the most genuine of qualifications. He learnt his cricket at Rugby, being captain of the eleven in 1914. In that year, though he was at the head of the batting, his average was only 27. He did far better in 1913, when he scored 592 runs with an average of 49, and with an innings of 118 had the chief share in a victory over Marlborough at Lord's by ten wickets. In 1914, when Rugby won by five wickets, he made 61 and 31. The War, of course, caused a long break in his cricket, and little was seen of him till he went up to Cambridge in 1919. One among many brilliant public school cricketers, he made 83 in the Freshmen's match, and afterwards hit up a score of 87 for Perambulators v. Etceteras, but with a wealth of talent available he had no chance of getting his Blue. However, he found his opportunity in Kent cricket, and without doing anything sensational had quite a good season for the county. In seventeen innings he scored 553 runs, with an average of 32, his best score being 125 against Worcestershire. Still, though he did well, only a few good judges, among them Lord Harris, were prepared for his remarkable advance last summer. Both for Cambridge and Kent he played splendidly, and in the season's batting he came out fifth among the English players, having an aggregate of 1,858 runs, and an average of 50. Of his five 100's - three for Cambridge and two for Kent - the biggest was 231 for Cambridge against Surrey at the Oval. He batted so finely for his 62 in the University match that he might certainly have been given a place in the Gentlemen's eleven against the Players at Lord's, but for some reason he was not chosen. Always sound in defence he can be solid as a rock when the occasion asks for caution, but he is a punishing batsman, and seldom lets off the over-pitched ball on the middle and leg stumps. Mr. Bryan says that since he began to play county cricket he has received much encouragement and help from the Kent professionals, Woolley in particular having given him very valuable hints. He also pays tribute to the excellent coaching of Willis Cuttell at Rugby.

© John Wisden & Co