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2 corrections, most recently by anonymous - Show corrections

Lord Harris and the Sydney

Cricketers!

The S. M. Herald has been at the trouble of compiling the following history-and commenting pro et con.-of the cricketing row in that colony when tho Harris team tried conclusions with an Australian Hlovon ou their own ground. In our opinion all tho lotters are prejudiced and not at all impartial, and those who want the truth must " road between tho Hues." The correspoudonco is, howevor, worth reading, and will amuse even those who have never wielded the willow : -

The following correspondence appears in the Baily Telegraph :

"Sir,-I havo received a letter from Lord Harris, which ho requests mo to forward to you for publication. I do so without further com- ment than to remark th it all cricketers will read with groat regret tho account which Loi d Harris gives. Ho tolls mo tho eleven they beat was ad- mittedly tho strongest in New South Wales, if not ia Australia.-I nm, Sir, yours faithfully,

" V. Emv.um W.m.kkk,

" Aino'a Qrovo, Southgate, March 31, 1879."

" Sydney, February 11.

" My dear E.,-I am not certain whether you will bo astonished or not at what I have to tell you, but I know you will be distressed that your friends-a party of gentlemen travelling through these colonies for the purpose of playing a few friendly games of cricket- should have been in- sulted and subjected to iudiguities it distresses us all to look back upon. We bogan the return match with tho New South Walos Eleven on Fridny, February 7, scored 267, aud got our oppononts out for 177 by 3.30 on the Saturday afternoon. Murdoch (who had carried his bat in tho first innings) and A. Bannerman com- menced their second innings. At 19 on the telegraph the former was run out. Before ho got back to the pavilion I heard shouts of ' Not out,' ' Go back,' etc., arise from that quarter, aud saw the occupants of it rise almost cn masse. I at once saw what was the matter, aud instead of waiting for D. Gre- gory, the captain, to come out to mo, I, perhaps unwisely, walked to tho pavilion to meet him at tho gate. He, I found, in the name of the N.S.W. Eleven, objected to Coultliaid, the um- pire I must now diverge to explain certain facts connected with umpires in the colonies, which are not known or understood at home Contrary to our custom, it is here the exception to employ professional umpires. This I was not told uutil after the disturbance. As you know, we brought no umpire, and on our arrival at adelaide I asked the representativos of the Mel- bourne C.C. if thoy could recommend anyone to us whom we could take with us throughout our tour. Tho mentioned Coulthard, a professional on their ground, whom they had constantly tried and found compotoiit, and added that if wo on trial found him competent the M.C.C would bo very glad to givo him leavu of absonco so long iib

wo wanted his services. I considered him on trial a good and trustworthy utnpiro, and arranged that he should accompany us to Now South Wales. Had wo knowu on our ai rival that a fooling oxistod in those culonies against the employment of professional umpires, it, ii possible wo might hnve acted differently ; but understand, at the samo time, that I havo seen no roiiBnn as yet to chango my opinion of Coulthard'» qualities, or to rogrot his ongagomout, in which opinion I am supported by the whole team. To resutuu my account of the disturbance. On tho Saturday, I aHkod Grogoiy on what ground« the objection wnsriUBud, and ho said at first general ¡»competence, but aftenvnrda admitted that it waa un account of the decision in Murdoch's enso. I implored Gregory, as a friend, and for the sake of the N.S.W. Cricket Association, which I warned him would be the sufferer by it, not to raise the objection, but he refused to tako my view of tho ciso. Looking back in the midst of this conversation, I found tho ground had been 'ru-dicd' by tho mob, and our team was being surrounded. 1 at once returned to tho wiokots, and, in defending Coulthard from being attacked, was struck by some ' larrikin' witii ti stick. Hornby at once seized this fellow, aud in taking him to the pavilion waa struck in tho face by a would-be deliverer of thu ' larrikin,' and had his riiiit nearly torn oil'his back. Ho, howevor, convoyed his prisoner to tho pavilion in triumph. For somo thirty minutes or so I was surrounded by ii howling mob, rciiisting the en- treaties of partisans and friends to return to thu pavilion until the field was cleared, on the grounds that if our side loft tho field the other oleveu would claim the mutch, I don't suppose that they would have dono so, hut I deter- mined to ahoy tho laws of crickot, and may add that for one hour and n-half I never left tho ground, being surrounded during the wholo time, with two short intervals, by some hundreds of people About ö o'clock the crowd waB cleared off, hy whom I don't know, for thero were not a dozen policemen about. I thou took the opinion of tho Eleven as to changing tho umpire, and it was decided nan. con. thut there were no grounds for the objection and that wo »hould declino to chango him, I informed Gregory of thio decision, whorcupou ho Baid, 'Then tho game ia nt nu end.' On Coulthard appearing from tho pavilion groauB arose from the crowd, and at the same moment it began to break the ring again, Tho two batsmen who had been standing at the wicket returned to the pavilion, recalled, I afterwards found, by Gre- gory, but at tho timo I thought, possibly because of tho threatened irruption of the crowd. I turned to Mr. Barton, the New South Wales umpire, and asked if I could not claim thu mateh accorditig to the laws of cricket. 'J ho answer was, ' I shall givo it you in two minutos' time if the batsman do not return.' I said, ' I won't claim it yet ; I'll give the other side evory chanco of iecoiiBiduring a decision arrivod at, I beliovo, unadvisedly and in a moment of pasaion. Please aak Gregory what ho means to do.' On returning, Mr. Barton told me that Gregory would Bend two men to the wickets-a curiously sudden change of mind, I think, you will allow. However, beforo tho batsmen could appear, the crowd had covered the ground for the second time, After some twenty minutes it waa clenred, and A. Bannerman and Thomp- son then took their places at the wickets, but, boforo a ball could bo bowled, tho crowd broke in for the third time. I re- mained i on tho ground until the time for drawing the Btumps, surrounded as bofoiu. Beyond slyly kicking me ouco or twice, the mob behaved very woll, their one cry being, ' Chango your umpire,' Now for tho oauso of this dis- turbance, not unexpected, I may say, by us-for wo had heard accounts of former matches played by English teams-it was started and fomented by professional betting mon in the pavilion, members of the association. The disgraceful part of the business is that other members of the association, ono a member of the Legislative Assembly, aided and abetted the bookmakers in raising the cry. I blamo tho New South Wales Eleven for not objecting to Coulthard before the mutch began, if they had reason to suppose lum incompetent to fulfil his duties, I blame tho members of the association (many, of couise, must bo excopted) for their discourtesy nud uu cricketlike behavior to their guests, and I blamo the committeo and oflicera of tho association for ever permitting betting. But this lost does not of course only apply to our match. I am bound to say thoy did all in thoir power to quell the disturbance. I don't think anything would

have happened if A. Bannerman had been run I out instead of Murdoch ; but tho latter, besides being a great favorite, deservedly, I think, was the popular idol of the moment through having carried hia bat in the first innings. As a contrast to tho reception the Australian lilevon met with after beating the M.C.C. at Lord's, I may say that when we won the match on Monday hardly a cheer was given us by the ring ; the occupants of the pavilion, however, acknowledged our victory. I argue from this that, if we had had the worst oí the match on Saturday instead of the "»St of it, no outcry would have been tim Ksüit of a decision .idvcrto to us. They ao> Capital winners out here ; but I am afruid I lïjnuot apply the sime adjective to them as,losers. To conclude, I cannot describu to yoi! the horror we feel that such au insult should have been pacsed on ub, and that the game we love so well and wish to see honored, supported, and played in an honest and manly way everywhere, should have received such de- secration, I can use no milder word. Tho game was finished ou Monday without interrup- tion. Coulthard h.id made two mistakes in our inuings-one favoring uti, the other the oppo- nents. Murdoch's decision was considered by cover-point and point to be a good one, and I

repeat that tho Now South Wales eluven had na grounds whatever for raising an objection. Wo never expect to seo su oh a sceno of disorder again ; wo can never forgot this one.-I remain, yours sincerely, IIabris."

Mr. Hadow writes to tho Baity TclcararJi of April 2:- J l

" Sir,-Everyone who has read the letter from Lord Harris which appears in your columns this morning must sharo the aame feelings, indigna lion-that gentlemen, who havo travelled several thousand miles out of a pure love of Rport, should be met by insult aud actually assaulted-itul disgust, at tho return thus modo for the recep- tion which the Australian Eleven icceived while in this country.

"Not that this disturbance is altogether un- expected ; for though Lord Harria moat generously attributes the blame to professional betting men, from personal experience I cannot doubt that Gregory and his eleven noeded little prompting.

" Gentlemen and professionals nliko can hear witness that constant wrangling and open dispute of the umpire's decision was the rule r.itber than the exception while they wero here, and their behavior at Scarborough" in the match against Loid Londesborough'a eleven, follón ed by their scandalous refusal to abide by the umpire's docision at Philadelphia, fuicshidowud clearly onough what was to be expected of them in their own couutry. This treatment which our fi iends have received in Australia presents a painful con- trast to that oxpeiionced by the last eleven of gentlemen who left theso shores in 1872 to play through Canada and the United States. There a dispute was uuhoard of, and, though the keenest intorest and rivalry was everywheiu shown, not an incidout occurred to disturb tho friendly feel- ing which existed wherever wo went. Our oppo- nents could recognise, what they seem unable to do in Australia-vin., that \vu pla}ed from love of tho game, aud in that spirit only.

"Everyone must feel the wai meit sympathy with Lord Harria an 1 his eleven in tho outrageous insult offered to thom, and it is sincerely to be hoped that wo havu now seen and hoard the last of Australian crickot aud cricketer«-at any rate until thoy havo learned the true spirit iu which the giune should bo pl.iyod. They havo nothing to complain of their reception hero. They wore treated right well, nor wore their successes grudged thom by anyone. Trim, wo made an absurd fuss with them ; but that is a national failing of ours. A grout deni wm written about their pluck in coming so far to test their skill with that of tho mother-country, but this spirit of sport was Boon found to bo not superior to the attractions of the gate-monoy. They wore ex- ceedingly anxious to be considered as gentlemen crickotors, as opposed to professionals ; but it was a distinction without u difference, for they ono mid all loft this couutry having ln.ulo very considerable suma out of what waa just as much a pecuniary venturo ai it was n sporting trip.

" Apologising fur the louglh of this letter, I romain yours faithfully,

"April 1. Wai/ieu II. IIadow."

An English cricketer writes to tha Ball Mall

Gazette, April 2, a lottor containing the following

commente : -

" Wo only havo the story of tha nggrievod party; but nftor the exceptionilly cordial and generous manner in which the Aii-ti'nlinns were leccivcd ou their visit to thin country the greatest pains should certainly have been taken to protect our players, who derived no profit from their matches, against out rugo and insult. If the idea of the 'boltiug tuen,' who are stated to havo boon foremost in tin's unseemly row, was that the professional umpire, in common lan- guage, had been ' squared,' Mr. On gory, at any rate, must_ havo known how utterly moiiBtrous Buch a notion would appear to thu Euglithinon ; and ho ought at ouco to have used his influence and that of the ie»t of thu eleven to calm the oxciteil mob. No such stopi Boem to have boen taken ; and if this was so the Australians were very much to blame. At the samo timo, one does not seo what good purpose is sorvcel by a letter written by n wt.ll known ciiokutor, uud printed in tho Baily Tdcgraph yesioiday. I lo one object scorns to be to iibiicu tho Australian eleven who carno to England lust year. That they may havo mudo mistakes is quito possible, though little waB hoard of thom at the time; that Ihey were lucky enough lo tniku money ia cer- tain. But in tho main they behaved well ; lind had Ihoy not bcon so successful alfhatthey certainly would not have piid tlioir expulses, At any rate, those inatluiB have nothing to do with tho dis- turbance atSydiuy, A Sydney mob has here- ditary qualifications for blaokgu-irdiim ; and it is very unlikely that tho ' larrikins ' who so shame- ful ly misbolinved thennelves would have shown bettor fooling if the eleven whoso success they desired to prevent had como fiuin a neighboring colony instead of from England. The grave point in the adair ia tho notion of the Australian ¡¡levon and tho respectable peoplo on the giouml. Crickot would censo to bo a gamo at which any but trained pugilists could play if a possiblo faulty decision could bo mude thu excuso for an OBsault on tho fioldmen by the bystanders. And In making these remarks I have not forgotten

the extraordinary scene which took placo at ' Lord's a fow years ago, when Hearu gave a doubtful docision in the Harrow and Eton match. In that hubbub tho lookorb-on were at loaat good enough to confine their a«s.iulta to one auother. Had tho Sydnoy ' letting men ' and 'larrikins' pursued the sam« course the English Eloven might havo been prevented from winning tho match, but thoy would not, ns now, have had to complain o£ grievous personal hurt and indignity."

The following latter appeurs in Hal's Life : " Sir,-No doubt you will receivu many com- munications with respect to tho letter which haa appeared in several newspapers as having been written by Lord Harris during his residence in Sydney, giving Mr. V. E. Walker power to make uso of it for the information of the cricketing community as to tho treatment the eleven have receivod when playing tho abovo match. Being an Australian, proud of my native country, and formerly ono of the Eleven of New South Wales, who played against the first two teams that visited Australia under the captaincy of H. H. Stephenson and Q. Parr, mid also a

member of tho New South Wales Cricketing ' Association, I think it is incumbont upon me as a player to say a few words in reply to tbe very Btrong aud vindictivo epistle that is put forward against our body. In thu first place, cricket is cricket ; an umpire's decision is final, right or wrong ; but, on the other hand, in a diepiit« which ocourB, and is seen by ovoiyone to be un- fair, and the umpire being partial, I have seen the captain make Ina objection for incoinpetoncy, and ho has been removed. It ii nil very well to

hear and liston to the talk and onversation that '. is now spoken of, but I baveno dutibtby the next mail many of my Sydnoy friends will reply to Lord Harria'lottor, and give us a true', fair,'and im- partial account of what actually did occur. As

from my" past experienco in Now South Wales" and Victoria, as to our conduct in the treatment of the English players, nothing will ?lter the

same-the continued kindnesB as shown to them ' by the residents of Sydney and Melbourne will always be spoken of by those who played against us prior to tho visit of Lord HarrW team. As to tho New South Wales Cricketing Association, it ia composed of a body of gentlemen, and tup ported by all lovers of the uoblu game, and not the class that Lord Harris wislien bia leaders to believe. If the insult that has been given to the eleven ia truo, I suppose the Now South Wales Eleven had no control over tho excitable specta

tors, and as the New South Wales team had threo - of their players who havo only recently left the ahorca of Old Euglaud, they would not forget the kindness which was bestowed upon them during their cricketini' tour, Lord Harris' letter will be eagerly read"by thousands ¡U Austr.du, a:td I havo no doubt that (' Ha a body") the New South Wales Cricketing Association will openly contra diet that nirt which bear« upon the couduct »nil character oE tho« who are allowed to misconduct themselves in the pavilion. A body of gentlemen Who ruppoit the noble g une in Australia, ana hav« shown the same spirit to all former elevcM Who have visited our shores, will not allow the letter to pass unuoticed ; and I for one, as a player and a working uiembor on the commutée

when in Sydney, can testify tis to our treatment J to all our visitois. Trusting you wul bo plowed. to give the abovo insertion in your next l'suc,- ( being 18,000 miles away from those with whim I am acquainted, I beg to subscribe my-i-lf,

" W. J. CúULTLit, au Austr dian Cricketer. " Walme '. Kent, April 4, 1S79."

CoüDfROY velvet is oi.ewi tlu u-ivtlti« of the

season.

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