NOBLE, Montague Alfred (1873-1940)


NOBLE, Montague Alfred (1873-1940)
cricketer
was born at Sydney on 28 January 1873. Coming first into notice as a junior cricketer playing against Stoddart's English team in the 1894-5 season, he was selected for the New South Wales team in 1895, for Australia in 1898, and became the greatest all-round Australian player of his time. He was in four successive teams visiting England from 1899 to 1909, and captained the team on the last of these tours. In test matches against England he scored 1905 runs, average 30.72, took 115 wickets, average 24.78, and in interstate matches scored 4996 runs for an average of 69.38 and took 158 wickets. He had an easy graceful style as a batsman and was especially strong on the leg side. When occasion demanded it he could play with the greatest deterinination and restraint; his most famous effort of this kind was at the Manchester test match in 1899, when he saved the Australians from defeat by staying in for over three hours in the first innings for a score of 60 not out, and for over five hours in the second innings for a score of 89. His bowling was medium-pace with plenty of spin and cleverly concealed change of pace, and he was one of the earliest Australian bowlers to be successful with the swerve. He was a remarkable judge of cricket and a great captain, possibly the greatest that ever played the game. A testimonial match was played in Sydney in 1908 and Noble received over £2000. In private life he was a dentist, and in his later years he became well known as a broadcaster and commentator on important matches. At the time of his death on 22 June 1940 he was a trustee of the Sydney cricket ground and president of the New South Wales Baseball Association. He wrote several good books on cricket including Gilligan's Men (1925), The Game's the Thing (1926), Those Ashes (1927), and The Fight for the Ashes (1929). Of these the second is particularly interesting.
The Times, 24 June 1940; The Sydney Morning Herald, 24 June 1940; Wisden, 1941; The Herald, Melbourne, 22 June 1940; E. L. Roberts, Test Cricket and Cricketers; personal knowledge.

Dictionary of Australian Biography by PERCIVAL SERLE. . 1949.

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