Home > Features > Moments in history >

Arthur Fielder — and the Bowlers, and Stumpers

Arthur Fielder was one of the early pace bowling legends ©
Arthur Fielder was one of the early pace bowling legends Photo Courtesy: Evening News, Sydney

Arthur Fielder, who passed away on August 30, 1949, was quite a useful fast bowler. He is also the most accomplished cricketer among those whose names corresponded to major roles in the game. Arunabha Sengupta briefly looks at his career before dwelling on the Fielders, Batters, Bowlers, Stumpers and others of this curious ilk to have played the game.

On August 30, 1949, the Kent and England fast bowler Arthur Fielder passed away at St Thomas’s Hospital in London. And along with him departed perhaps the most accomplished cricketer to boast a name corresponding to one of the main roles of the game.

Fielder, who bowled with searing pace, maintained his line outside the off-stump, broke them back into the batsman and got most of his wickets with the one that swung away. He was one of the first bowlers to operate with a distinguished and crowded slip cordon, with JR Mason, KL Hutchings, Frank Woolley and James Seymour standing alert for Kent. Fred Huish kept wickets and caught plenty off him with quiet assurance, little flourish and almost no blemish. So, Fielder did have a role to play in the development of this crucial aspect of fielding.

Before we move on to the other men of his curious ilk, it is worthwhile to mention a few of Fielder’s major achievements. In 1906 he took all ten wickets in an innings for the Players against the Gentlemen at Lord’s, the only instance this has been achieved in the traditional fixture. He went on to take 186 wickets in that season and Kent won their first County championship. Fielder was named one of the Wisden cricketers of 1907.

He also toured Australia twice and played all his six Test matches in that land. His six for 82 and three for 88 at Sydney in 1907 stood out as his most notable performance, even though the tourists lost the close Test by two wickets. In 1909, he came in to bat for Kent against Worcestershire with the score reading 320 for nine and added 235 with Woolley, his own share being 112 not out.

There are a few other ‘Fielders’ who made top grade in cricket, but did not really match his exploits. Another Kent man of a century earlier, Richard Fielder, played 20 First-Class games. He turned out for Kent, West Kent, Surrey and England between 1791 and 1801 and played ostensibly as a batsman while averaging 7.59.

Then there were the two Hampshire men; Albert Fielder played three matches in the days leading to the First World War as a medium pacer with limited success, while Walter Fielder turned out once against Leicestershire in 1923, batting at No 11 and sending down seven overs without a wicket.

Coming to the other roles on the cricket ground, one cannot find any Batsman to have played the game. Neither is there any Batter. The closest is another Kent man called Thomas Battersbee who played one First Class match in 1822 and scored an unbeaten 13.

Moving on to the Bowlers, we come across Peter Duncan Bowler who played 318 First Class matches and scored at an impressive average of 40.51 with 45 centuries. Starting as an Australian junior player, he turned out for Leicestershire, moved to Tasmania, spent seven summers for Derbyshire and the last ten for Somerset before bowing out in 2004. However, in spite of his name, his off-spinners got him just 34 wickets at an expensive 60 apiece. A passing mention must be made here of Nikki Bowler, who played six limited over matches for Derbyshire women between 2002 and 2003.

As for the other roles, we have to delve deeper into the archives to find one J Slipper who turned out for the Gentlemen of Middlesex in 1867 and William Gully who played for Quidnuncs in the 1850s. Neither of these gentlemen could make their ways into the pastures of First Class cricket.

It is admittedly asking for a bit too much to stumble upon Wicketkeepers. There is only one D Stumpers who played a game for the Wanneroo against Joondalup in Perth First Grade cricket in 2000. He picked up two wickets and a catch and scoring eight from the lower order. His teammates included the Hussey brothers David and Mike, but the side scored just 93 and had to follow on. Stumpers managed to get the illustrious ‘b Tyson’ against his name, although the ball was delivered by some obscure R Tyson.

Hence, we see  that none of the cast of curious characters can really be said to have fulfilled the roles as suggested by their names. Moving slightly away from the middle, honorary mention may be made of Reginald Scorer, who played 29 matches for Warwickshire as an all-rounder in the 1920s. Among this motley ensemble, Arthur Fielder remains the only Test cricketer — the others did not really come all that close.

(Arunabha Sengupta is a cricket historian and Chief Cricket Writer at CricketCountry. He writes about the history and the romance of the game, punctuated often by opinions about modern day cricket, while his post-graduate degree in statistics peeps through in occasional analytical pieces. The author of three novels, he can be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/senantix)

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 24, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Glenelg, Adelaide

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 24, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Sharjah

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Colombo

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (12:00 IST)   at Dhaka

More

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Chittagong

Bangladesh won by 68 runs

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Sydney

Australia won by 2 wickets (D/L method)

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 22, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Chittagong

Bangladesh won by 87 runs

Photos

Australia vs South Africa, 3rd ODI at Canberra

Videos

SL vs Eng: Buttler practices wicketkeeping in nets

Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014, 2nd ODI at Chittagong: Highlights

Australia vs South Africa 2014, 5th ODI at Sydney: Highlights

Quinton de Kock’s century in vain as Australia register two wicket win over South Africa

Saeed Ajmal: 99 per cent bowlers will fail 15 degree test

Tamim Iqbal, Anamul Haque register second-highest opening partnership for Bangladesh in ODIs

Australia Australia vs South Africa Australia vs South Africa 2014 Bangladesh Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014 India New Zealand Pakistan South Africa South Africa tour of Australia 2014 South Africa vs Australia South Africa vs Australia 2014 Zimbabwe Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh 2014 Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh 2014

Indians vs Cricket Australia XI, 1st Tour Game at Adelaide: Pacers ensure advantage at Lunch

Live Cricket Score: Indians vs Cricket Australia XI, 1st Practice Match at Adelaide

Live Scorecard: Indians vs Cricket Australia XI, 1st Practice Match at Adelaide

Michael Clarke, Shane Watson, Ryan Harris, Josh Hazlewood named in Australia’s squad for 1st Test against India

Sri Lanka vs England 2014: Moeen Ali, Alastair Cook’s form bodes well, says Mark Ramprakash

Myth Busting — did Sachin Tendulkar’s rate of scoring become slower in the second half of his career?

Single-wicket cricket match between John Grange and James Sadler lasts three days

Bill Ashdown and Bert Wensley beat a team of 11 all by themselves

Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina in interesting tussle ahead of India’s Test series against Australia

Vijay Hazare Trophy 2014-15: Robin Uthappa, Yuvraj Singh, Manish Pandey will get another chance to impress in final

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

681 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Virat Kohli vs Australian cricketers

Watch Free Live Streaming & Telecast of Indian Super League (ISL) 2014 Football 37th Match between Kerala Blasters FC vs Atletico de Kolkata

PK Tharki Chokro making: Rancho aka Aamir Khan and Munna Bhai aka Sanjay Dutt shake legs to this folk number

Simbu-Hansika’s Vaalu slated for Christmas release!

Yeh Hai Mohabbatein: Will Raman and Ishita help Mihika with her plans?

Alibaba to launch its Taobao marketplace in international markets: Reuters

8 reasons to add rosemary to your diet

eBay India ‘Black Friday’ sale kicks off today

How many calories do bananas have?

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here