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INTRODUCING

Mervyn Harvey, of Fitzroy

By Percy Taylor

MERVYN HARVEY, eldest of

the famous Harvey brothers, is captain of Fitzroy, where four brothers have appeared in the first eleven at the one time, and two others have played in the seconds or

thirds.

Mervyn and Neil (now in South   Africa) are the only ones who have played in Test matches, but Ray and Clarence ("Mick") have played for Victoria in State games. Harold is the fifth to reach the first eleven, and Brian, now aged 17, seems certain to follow his distinguished brothers.

Naturally there is a family back- ground, and I discovered that the proud father had played lots of cricket. He started at Broken Hill, but fared best when he went on to New-

castle. There the grade was fairly high, and he still holds the record for highest score in that district-198. Then he came to Melbourne, and played in the North Suburban Asso- ciation. His daughter-the only girl in the family-is equally keen on the game, and she scored for her father's team for some years.

MERVYN was dis- covered by Arthur Liddicut - still a keen and enthusiastic club and

V.C.A. official after great service for Victoria - when he was playing at North Fitzroy central school. He was later chosen to play for the Victorian schoolboys. His first game for Fitzroy was with the seconds, and he made a "duck." As a result he was dropped to the club eleven. He soon climbed

up again, and was only 16 when he had a game for the first eleven.

After a few games he was called on to play with the Colts, under Bert Cohen, and stayed there for two years. In that period he represented

the City Colts again the Country

Colts and was also 12th man for Vic- toria against Tasmania. He regards his 46 and 92 against South Mel- bourne, when Laurie Nash was at his

top, as among his best performances,

for the Colts.

To Fitzroy's satisfaction Mervyn then returned to his club. Roy Gar- diner and Lester Wynne were open- ing batsmen, but, when that partner- ship was broken up, Mervyn became an opening batsman, and remained there until this season, when he tried

the experiment of going in later to

stiffen the middle section of the team.

MERVYN'S high-

est score for Fitzroy was 166 not out, but he has made quite a few three figure scores. When he inevitably reached the Victorian team he began by making 46 against Queensland in

Brisbane. His best score for Victoria was 163 in Adelaide. He also made

141 in Perth and 136 in Sydney. That last score was his share of a 270

partnership with Keith Miller, dur- ing which Keith hit three 6's.

Then came his entry into the Test

arena. That was in the fourth Test

against England in Adelaide. He opened with Arthur Morris and made 12 and 31. In both innings he batted well and looked comfortable, but Bed ser bowled him in the first innings and Yardley in the second. It is his- tory that Morris made 122 in the first innings and 124 not out in the second

- an uncommon feat that was

equalled by Denis Compton, who made 147 and 103 not out for Eng-

land in the same match.

Sid Barnes returned to the Aus-

tralian side for the next game, and Mervyn has had no further oppor- tunity. He is a most attractive bats

man, but he differs from many Test players in that he is always trying to make shots. If he stays in he makes runs quickly, and is worth watching, but he does not appear to have the

"killer" instinct.

Mervyn regards Bill Johnston (now in South Africa) and Lisle Nagel (Melbourne) as the two bowlers who have caused him most trouble.

Discussing Fitzroy players with whom he has been associated, Mervyn said that he had a high opinion of the batting of Jack Scaife. Keith Campbell was one of the best new ball bowlers he had ever seen; Joe Plant, who was captain for years, did a lot for the younger players and was a great inspiration; Arthur Liddicut, like Joe, was a sound coach, and both were full of enthusiasm and sound cricket knowledge; Roy Gardiner, who went to Brunswick when he was still

a grand batsman, was one of the best (and most unlucky), batsmen he had

seen.

In other clubs the batting of Bob Dempster (North Melbourne), George Newstead, and Len Junor (both of Richmond) had always im- pressed him. They were excellent

stroke makers.

DISCUSSING his

own team, Mervyn said that it was having a bad run. Every club seemed to have its turn. Lin Straw, who was most reliable last season, could not get going, but must "come good" soon. Ray Harvey, who was batting particularly well early in the season, was also having a lean period, but he was still the best slip fieldsman in Victoria. Bill Jacobs, the wicket keeper, had been a grand player. Harold Shillinglaw was the most im- proved all-rounder in the game at the moment. His century at Footscray was a grand effort, and he was also bowling well. Bernie Considine was as good a fast bowler as there was in the game. It was surprising how often

he beat the bat and the wicket too.

Mervyn, who is also a champion baseballer, is a clerk in an engineering firm, and lives in George st., Fitzroy. He has two sons, aged eight and five years respectively. "Both are left- handers, too, just like Neil, and they are keen on the game," said Mervyn.

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