BANNERMAN, Charles (1851-1930)

BANNERMAN, Charles (1851-1930)
was born at Woolwich, Kent, England, on 3 July 1851. He was taken to Australia in his early youth, became well-known as a cricketer at Sydney, and in March 1877 made history by scoring the first hundred ever made by an Australian against an English eleven. His score was 165 when he retired hurt, the remainder of the team making only 80 runs between them. Australia eventually won the match by 45 runs. He went with the first Australian team to England and was top of the averages in a low-scoring year with 24.2. After his return to Australia he played with moderate success for a few years, one of his last scores of note being 60 not out against an English team captained by Lord Harris. Falling into ill-health he gave up playing first-class cricket, but acted at times as a coach at Sydney, Melbourne, and Christchurch, New Zealand, and was well-known as an efficient umpire. He kept up a keen interest in the game, had a regular seat in the pavilion at Sydney at all first-class matches, and there met all the great cricketers of his time. Everyone who saw Bannerman play agreed that he was a great batsman, a master of strokes, skilful and polished, and though his career was so short he was for many years a legend in Australian cricket. He died suddenly at Sydney on 20 August 1930 leaving a widow, two sons and three daughters. His brother, Alexander Chalmers Bannerman (1857-1924), always known as Alec, was also a good cricketer of quite a different type. He had a long career in first-class cricket as an opening batsman, and was a valuable foil to great hitters like Bonner, McDonnell and Lyons. His patience was inexhaustible, but his slowness did not help the game as a spectacle. It is recorded that in an innings of 91 spread over three days, he scored from only five balls out of 204 bowled to him by one of the bowlers. He was a magnificent field, and in later days a good coach.
The Sydney Morning Herald, 21 August 1930, 20 September 1924; Wisden, 1879, 1882, 1925, 1931.

Dictionary of Australian Biography by PERCIVAL SERLE. . 1949.

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