Arthur Mold

Arthur Mold , who certainly ranks as the most destructive fast bowler of recent times, was born at a village just within the borders of Northamptonshire on the 30th of May, 1865, and was already fulfilling an engagement with the Lancashire County Club at Manchester when, in 1887, he was first asked to represent his native county. During the season he did two or three remarkable things for Northamptonshire-taking ten wickets against the Surrey Club and Ground at the Oval for 28 runs, and seven in one innings against Staffordshire for 22 runs. Even as early as 1888 it was understood that he was qualifying by residence to play for Lancashire, and in 1889 he found a regular place in the northern eleven. His first season was a brilliantly successful one, for in first-class county matches he obtained for Lancashire eighty wickets at a cost of 11.69 runs each, while in all the engagements of the county his record was ninety-eight wickets with an average of 12.66 runs. In 1890 he was just as successful in taking wickets, but his averages for the county did not come out quite so well, being respectively eighty wickets for 14.49 runs each and 102 for 15.6. It may be of interest to state that in the first-class bowling averages for 1889 he came out third with 102 wickets for 11.85 runs each, and that in 1890 he was eleventh on the list with 118 wickets for 14.85 runs apiece. The season of 1891 brought him a great increase of reputation, and all through the summer he was uniformly successful. In Lancashire's first-class county matches he took 112 wickets at a cost of 12.42 runs each, and in first-class cricket his full record was 138 wickets with an average of 12.68 runs. Mold's claims to celebrity rest almost exclusively upon his bowling, which is so formidable as to make him worth his place in any eleven. Bowling with a high action, he has tremendous speed, and, considering his pace, the amount of work he can get on the ball is astonishing. On anything like a rough or bumpy wicket he is, beyond all question, the most difficult and dangerous bowler of the day, the ball getting up from the pitch so high and so fast as to intimidate all but the very pluckiest of batsmen.

© John Wisden & Co