MURDOCH, William Lloyd (1855-1911)


MURDOCH, William Lloyd (1855-1911)
cricketer
was born at Bendigo, Victoria, on 18 October 1855. He removed to New South Wales in his youth and qualified as a solicitor at Sydney. He represented New South Wales in inter-colonial matches from 1875 and became well known as an excellent Wicketkeeper and batsman. Going to England with the first Australian eleven in 1878 he was a comparative failure, finishing sixth in the batting averages. The second tour, however, showed him to be a much improved batsman, his 153 not out in the only test match played in 1880 being almost faultless. He headed the averages for the tour and repeated this feat with the 1882 team. Soon after his return to Australia he made 321 for New South Wales against Victoria at Sydney; for a long while this was the highest score made in a first-class match in Australia. He again headed the averages of the 1884 tour and made a great score of 211 against England; but after his marriage in that year to Miss Watson, daughter of a well-known Victorian mining man, he dropped out of regular cricket for several years. He again visited England in 1890, but though he was top in the averages he had not had time to regain his true form. He then settled in England, qualified for Sussex, and captained it for several seasons. His style of play did not favour him in wet seasons, but he made many good scores over a period of about 15 years. Among these may be mentioned 155 for London county against Lancashire in 1903, and in the following year 140 for gentlemen versus players, though he was then in his forty-ninth year. He visited Australia on business at the end of 1910, and died suddenly at Melbourne on 18 February 1911 while watching a match between South Africa and Australia. He was survived by his wife, sons and daughters. In 1893 he published a manual on Cricket in the "Oval" series of games.
Murdoch was a man of fine physique and had a beautiful batting style, his cuts and drives were perfectly timed, and he had no rival in Australia until Trumper (q.v.) came. In Australia he played 61 innings in first-class cricket for an average of 43.25. In England he played over 600 innings for an average of just over 26. He was an excellent captain, cheery and optimistic, a shrewd judge of the game, and one of the greatest cricketers of his time.
Sydney Morning Herald, 20 February 1911; The Times, 20 February 1911; Wisden, 1912; E. E. Bean, Test Cricket in England and Australia.

Dictionary of Australian Biography by PERCIVAL SERLE. . 1949.

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