Vic Trumper’s death centenary celebrated in Sydney

Victor Trumper

Victor Trumper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recognised internationally as the greatest batsman of all time, Victor Trumper had died in Sydney on 28 June 1915 aged only 37.

In 48 Tests from 1899 to 1911 he had scored 3163 runs at an average of 39.04. It may be recalled that Sir Don Bradman had a batting average of 99.94, more than 2.5 times higher than Trumper’s.

But then averages do not tell the whole story. The way Trumper batted was like poetry in motion. He scored fast and in grand style. He is recognised as a legend among legends, a genius no less.

To commemorate his life, the Australian Cricket Society (NSW) and the Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust came together to organise a mega event in Sydney on 26, 27 and 28 June. The highlight was an eight hour seminar in Sydney on the 27th.

Among the speakers were former Test cricketers Ashley Mallet and Paul Sheahan, historians Warwick Franks, Ronald Cardwell, Bernard Whimpress, Rodney Cavalier, Alf James and Geoff Armstrong, collectors Michael Fahey and Roger Page and journalists Mike Coward and Bill Francis.

Professor David Tiller explained the kidney disease which ended Trumper’s life at an early age.

There was a lively presentation by David Wells of treasures on Trumper held by the Bradman Museum in Bowral, followed by a series of newsreels and other footage.

Also present were Test greats Neil Harvey, Alan Davidson, Brian Booth and Brian Taber.

I was privileged to go on a self-guided tour where Trumper was born, where he attended his school, played his first game of cricket, his residence in Paddington from 1902 to 1909, the Trumper Park Oval, St Vincent’s Hospital where he passed away and at the Waverly Cemetery.

It may be added that the first person to write / edit a book on Trumper was an Indian, Vasant Raiji. He is still alive aged 90 plus.

Ronald Cardwell and Rodney Cavaliar are to be congratulated for organising this event with flair and perfection. Mike Coward was the MC who introduced each speaker with finesse.

Let me end with a tribute quoting the late AG ‘Johnnie’ Moyes who had seen Trumper bat:

“When he [Trumper] came he opened the windows of the mind to a new vision of what batting could be. He lifted it to heights never before known, gave us thrills we never before experienced. He was the originating genius of a new outlook in batsmanship, and those of us who saw him in his most gracious days can never forget.”

RIP, Victor Trumper.

 

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