Home > Features > Moments in history >

Tom Groube: First New Zealand-born cricketer to play a Test

Tom-Grou-11
Despite being highy spoken about through the decades, Tom Groube recorded very average numbers as a player © Getty Images

Tom Groube, born September 2, 1857, had one of the most unimpressive First-Class careers for a Test cricketer. Abhishek Mukherjee looks at the first New Zealand-born Test cricketer.

Thomas Underwood Groube had one of the most intriguing Test careers: he scored 179 runs (which included a fifty) at a mere 8.52 from 13 First-Class matches, did not bowl a single ball, did not keep wickets, though Wisden called him “a steady batsman, a medium-paced bowler, and a very good field at cover-point and long-on”. Despite the ordinary (the word perhaps flatters him) numbers Groube went on to play a Test — only the fourth in the history of the sport.

Born in New Plymouth, Groube played his first recorded match for an 18-member Victoria against an 11-member Australians at Melbourne. The Victorians did not stand a chance against the round-arm left-hand seam of Frank Allan, who routed them with seven for 68 and 11 for 57. Groube scored two and 13. He did a decent job against the same opposition (it was 15 on 11 this time) at MCG, scoring 26 and 29.

Lord Harris’ team visited Australia in 1878-79. They played the third Test ever along with a handful of First-Class matches. Groube made their First-Class debut for Victoria against them, opening in each innings and scoring two and 12. He scored 96 for Colony XV against Victoria XI.

He joined East Melbourne Cricket Club (EMCC) around this time and averaged 155.33 in 1879-80. It was probably the reason for his earning a place in Australia’s tour of England in 1880.

Test cricket

Groube played nine matches on the England tour, scoring 129 runs at 9.92 — a Herculean effort by his standards. His only performance of note came against Yorkshire at Huddlefield: after Fred Spofforth and Eugene Palmer bowled unchanged to rout the hosts for 78, Groube walked out to bat after Billy Murdoch fell for a duck. He eventually top-scored with 61, and rain washed out the rest of the match after Australians reached 229 for six.

It was perhaps this innings that got Groube a Test cap in the fourth Test in history and first Test on English soil. There were 15 debutants (including the three Grace brothers) in the Test. As Lord Harris decided to bat, Groube became the first New Zealand-born cricketer to play a Test.

After WG Grace scored 152 to drive England to 420, Fred Morley, with figures of five for 56, routed the tourists for 149. Groube walked out to bat at 28 for one (once again, after the fall of Murdoch), hung around for 44 balls, hit a four, and was bowled by Allan Steel for 11.

Groube was caught by Alfred Shaw off Morley for a golden duck, but Murdoch’s 153 not out helped salvage some pride for the Englishmen (he added 140 for the last two stands with George Alexander and William Moule). England were given a tough time by Harry Boyle and Joey Palmer, but the target of 57 was easily reached with five wickets in hand.

Groube never played another Test, and had no reason to, either. He finished the tour with seven runs in his last six innings (which included four ducks).

Later days

Groube continued to play for EMCC on his return. He played two matches for Australian XI against a combined team of New South Wales and Victoria, but with no success. When Alfred Shaw’s team toured Australia in 1881-82, Groube played his last First-Class match against them for Victoria. He scored three and one in the encounter at MCG.

In 1884 Groube scored 101 and 98 for EMCC against South Melbourne at their den; the last wicket stand in the second innings with a certain G Gordon yielded 174. The rest of his career remains shrouded in mystery. Groube passed away at Glenferrie, Melbourne on August 5, 1927 — a month before his 70th birthday.

(Abhishek Mukherjee is the Deputy Editor and Cricket Historian at CricketCountry. He blogs here and can be followed on Twitter here.)

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 20, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Kolkata

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Dubai

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (19:00 IST)   at Cuttack

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 24, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Mount Maunganui

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014 (09:30 IST)   at Dhaka

More

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 21, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 6 wkts

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 17, 2014  at Dharamsala

India won by 59 runs

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 14, 2014  at Visakhapatnam

Match cancelled

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 12, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Australia won by 1 run

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 11, 2014  at Delhi

India won by 48 runs

Photos

Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test at Dubai

Videos

AB de Villiers praises team after win in 1st ODI

Live Cricket Score Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test at Dubai Day 2: Sarfaraz Khan dismissed for 109

Live Cricket Score Duleep Trophy East Zone vs South Zone, 2nd semi-final at Rohtak Day 2: Stuart Binny snares top order

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Mitchell Johnson shows signs of effectiveness on unhelpful surfaces

Live Cricket Score Duleep Trophy Central Zone vs North Zone,1st semi-final at Mohali Day 2: Gautam Gambhir holds innings together

Younis Khan: First Pakistani and 12th overall to score a century against all 9 Test nations

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 India New Zealand New Zealand vs South Africa New Zealand vs South Africa 2014 Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Africa South Africa tour of New Zealand 2014 South Africa vs New Zealand South Africa vs New Zealand 2014

Sarfaraz Ahmed’s century helps Pakistan reach 454/8 agaist Australia at Tea on Day 2 of 1st Test

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Younis Khan pround to score tons against all Test playing nations

Duleep Trophy: South Zone bundle out East Zone for 84

Andrew Flintoff to play for Brisbane Heat in BBL 2014/15

Duleep Trophy 2014-15 2nd semi-final East Zone vs South Zone at Rohtak Day 2: East Zone are tottering at 69 for 7 at Tea

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Mitchell Johnson shows signs of effectiveness on unhelpful surfaces

Joginder Sharma: When an over eclipses a career

South Africa vs New Zealand 2014: Vital for Brendon McCullum to find form quickly

Younis Khan: First Pakistani and 12th overall to score a century against all 9 Test nations

Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test, Day 1 highlights: Younis Khan’s ton, Mitchell Johnson’s riveting spell

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

642 Posts | 9 Fans

Virat Kohli's Family Meets Anushka Sharma

Diwali special: Check out what gifts Deepika Padukone, Sonakshi Sinha, Hrithik Roshan should exchange this Diwali!

Lenovo RocStar music-focused Android KitKat smartphone with Dolby Digital Plus audio launched in India, priced at Rs 6,499

Narendra Modi to celebrate Diwali with soldiers at Siachen Glacier

Google’s new Inbox app is the Google Now of Gmail

इबोला : अंतर्राष्ट्रीय लड़ाई में क्यूबा का साथ देगा अमेरिका

इबोला से संक्रमित अमेरिकी फोटोग्राफर विषाणु मुक्त घोषित

How are Deepika Padukone, Katrina Kaif, Priyanka Chopra and Alia Bhatt celebrating Diwali?

Diwali 2014 Special: Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Sunny Leone – Top 7 Bollywood patakas we love!

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here