1883 – 1915
Who was Alan Marshal?
Marshal had played just eleven games for Queensland – at that time not part of the Sheffield Shield competition – when he arrived in England in 1905. He proceeded to make more than 2,700 runs in club cricket, principally for W. G. Grace's London County Cricket Club, and also played a few first-class matches for amateur teams. In 1906, he did even better: in all cricket, he scored more than 4,300 runs in the season. Qualified by residence to play Championship cricket for Surrey in 1907, he passed 1,000 runs at a respectable average of almost 25 runs per innings.
But in 1908 his career took off: he scored 1,931 runs at an average of more than 40 runs per innings, and his clean hitting – he was particularly strong at driving – made him the sensation of the county cricket season. He was duly named as a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1909.
Marshal was unable to repeat the success of 1908, however. He scored 1,000 runs again for Surrey in 1909, but at a much reduced average. He was suspended for some games by the club committee following an incident when Surrey were playing Derbyshire at Chesterfield. The committee did not publicly give the reason for their decision but, according to Jack Hobbs' autobiography published in 1935, Marshal and some teammates had been heading and kicking a ball about in the street on their way to their hotel. A police constable asked Marshal for his name. However he refused to give it, so was taken to the police station. The case was sent to the Chief Constable, but he dismissed it and it did not reach court. Hobbs himself was not in Chesterfield, as he was playing for England at the time.
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- Jun 12, 1883
- Jul 23, 1915
on July 23, 2013
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