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Stanley Jackson: An all-rounder of great ability – Almanack

Stanley Jackson
by Almanack Archive 5 minute read

Stanley Jackson showed extraordinary development as a batsman during the 1893 first-class season. He was named a Wisden Cricketer of the Year the following spring.

Stanley Jackson, whose batting in 1893 was one of the best features of an extraordinary season, was born on the 21st of November, 1870. Appearing for Harrow against Eton at Lord’s in 1887, he did not in his first match do anything remarkable, but in the following year he gave abundant evidence of the ability that has since made him famous.

Indeed, to his all-round cricket and to a fine innings of 108 by RB Hoare, Harrow chiefly owed their decisive victory by 156 runs. On that occasion Jackson did brilliant work both as batsman and bowler, scoring 21 and 59, and taking in all eleven wickets for 68 runs – six for 40, and five for 28. In 1889, he was captain of the Harrow eleven, and again had the satisfaction of being on the winning side in the big match, Harrow being victorious by nine wickets, with only a quarter of an hour to spare. He did not repeat his success of the previous year as a bowler, taking only five wickets for 81 runs, but he headed the score with a vigorously hit 68.

In the autumn of 1889 Jackson went up to Cambridge, and in the following spring he quickly made himself certain of his Blue. His first season’s work for the University was highly creditable without being in any way out of the common. In a very strong batting side an average of 18 only secured him the seventh place, but in bowling he was second on the list, thirty wickets falling to him at a cost of just over 17½ runs each. In 1891, he did not show any improvement upon his previous performances for the University, standing eighth in batting, with an average of 16, and taking thirty-two wickets at a cost of just over 20 runs each. So far, though it was clear he was an all-round cricketer of more than ordinary ability, he had done nothing in first-class company to foreshadow what he has since accomplished.

However, in 1892 he made a great advance. He was captain at Cambridge, and though he found himself on the losing side against Oxford at Lord’s, the University season was a great personal success for him. He was top of the averages both in batting and bowling, scoring 466 runs with an average of 29.2, and securing fifty-seven wickets with an average of 14.31. In the general first-class averages of the year his batting figures were 751 runs with an average of 24.7, while among the amateur bowlers of the year he stood third with eighty wickets, obtained at an average cost of 18.55. He was chosen for the Gentlemen against the Players at the Oval and took four wickets, but Lockwood’s bowling proved too much for him, and he was out for 0 and 4. The end of the season of 1892 certainly left him in a far higher position than he had occupied before, but had it then been necessary to put the full strength of England into the field, no one would have thought of giving him a place.

All the more remarkable, therefore, was his extraordinary development last season as a batsman. His performances are so fully described further on in this Annual that there is no necessity to discuss them in detail, but a few points must be dwelt upon. His first big match at Cambridge, where he was again captain, showed he was in splendid form, and he went on playing with such conspicuous success that when it became known that the MCC Committee had chosen him for England in the first of the three representative matches against Australia, satisfaction was expressed on all hands.

How abundantly he justified his selection need not here be stated. No one who was so fortunate as to be at Lord’s on the 17th of July will ever forget the batting shown by him and Arthur Shrewsbury. Taking into account the importance of the occasion and the condition of the ground, it was some of the most wonderful cricket of the year. His innings of 91 at Lord’s, Mr. Jackson followed up by scoring 103 for England in Maurice Read’s benefit match at the Oval, and when the season was drawing to a close he played a marvellous innings for Yorkshire against the MCC on a very fiery and difficult wicket at Scarborough, making 111 not out in rather less than two hours, and gaining for his county a victory by seven wickets.

Altogether, in first-class matches during the season he scored 1,328 runs, with an average of 41.16, only Gunn and Mr. Stoddart being in front of him. As was only natural, his bowling suffered while he was doing such great things as a batsman, but he managed to take fifty-seven wickets at an average cost of 20.32. Mr. Jackson has great confidence and splendid hitting power, and on his form of last season is perhaps the best forcing player on the on side now before the public. His career at Cambridge is over, but it is to be hoped that Yorkshire may for some time to come enjoy the advantage of his services.

Stanley Jackson went on to play 20 Tests for England and scored 1,415 runs at 48.79, and lead the team to an Ashes win in 1905. During his 17-year-long first-class career, he scored 15,901 runs and picked up 774 wickets.

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