Ranji Hordern

Ranji Hordern

Infobox Historic Cricketer

nationality = Australian
country = Australia
country abbrev = AUS
name = Ranji Hordern
picture = Cricket_no_pic.pngbatting style = Right-hand bat
bowling style = Legbreak googly
tests = 7
test runs = 254
test bat avg = 23.09
test 100s/50s = 0/1
test top score = 50
test balls = 2148
test wickets = 46
test bowl avg = 23.36
test 5s = 5
test 10s = 2
test best bowling = 7/90
test catches/stumpings = 6/0
FCs = 35
FC runs = 781
FC bat avg = 16.97
FC 100s/50s = 0/3
FC top score = 64
FC balls = 7215
FC wickets = 228
FC bowl avg = 16.36
FC 5s = 25
FC 10s = 9
FC best bowling = 8/31
FC catches/stumpings = 39/0
debut date = 17 February
debut year = 1911
last date = 23 February
last year = 1912
source = http://www.cricketarchive.com/Archive/Players/0/333/333.html CricketArchive

Dr. Herbert Vivian "Ranji" Hordern (10 February 1883 - 17 June 1938) was an Australian cricketer who played in 7 Tests from 1911 to 1912. He was the first major leg-spin and googly bowler to play for Australia. His nickname, "Ranji", came from his dark complexion, and is a reference to the famous Indian cricketer K S Ranjitsinhji. cite web|url=http://content-usa.cricinfo.com/ci/content/story/70173.html |title=Cricinfo - Return of the Aussie Leg-Spinner |accessdate=2007-02-16 |date=1 January 1985 |publisher=Cricinfo ]


Hordern was born in North Sydney, New South Wales and made his debut in first-class cricket by taking 8 for 81 for New South Wales—and 11 wickets in the match—against Queensland in December 1905. cite web|url=http://cricketarchive.co.uk/Archive/Scorecards/6/6914.html |title=New South Wales v Queensland in 1905/06 |accessdate=2007-02-16 |date=2003-2007 |publisher=CricketArchive ] He then moved to the United States to pursue his studies. While a student of dentistry at the University of Pennsylvania, he toured England in 1908 and Jamaica in 1908-09 with the Philadelphian cricket team. cite web|url=http://www.cricketarchive.co.uk/Archive/Players/0/333/f_Batting_by_Team.html |title=First-class Batting and Fielding For Each Team by Ranji Hordern |accessdate=2007-02-16 |date=2003-2007 |publisher=CricketArchive ] He played 17 first class matches for Philadelphians, and it was during his time in America that he perfected his googly.

Hordern returned to Australia in 1910. Owing to the foresight of Warren Bardsley, he found his way back into the state side immediately. After picking up 43 wickets in six matches in the 1910-11 season, he convinced the Australian selectors to follow Bardsley's lead. Chosen for the Fourth Test of the 1910/11 series against South Africa, he took fourteen wickets at an average of 21.07 in his two Tests in this series cite web|url=http://cricketarchive.co.uk/Archive/Seasons/AUS/1910-11_AUS_South_Africa_in_Australia_1910-11.html |title=South Africa in Australia 1910/11 |accessdate=2007-02-16 |date=2003-2007 |publisher=CricketArchive ] and 32 wickets at 24.37 against England in the following season. In the England series, he had match figures of 12 for 135 in the first Test at Sydney, assisting Australia to their only win of the series. In the final game, also at Sydney, he took 10 for 161. cite web|url=http://cricketarchive.co.uk/Archive/Seasons/AUS/1911-12_AUS_Marylebone_Cricket_Club_in_Australia_1911-12.html |title=Marylebone Cricket Club in Australia 1911/12 |accessdate=2007-02-16 |date=2003-2007 |publisher=CricketArchive ] By this time, he was being called the best bowler of his type in the world.cite book | last=Barker | first=Ralph | coauthors = Irving Rosenwater | title=England v Australia: A Compendium of Test Cricket Between the Countries 1877-1968 | publisher=Batsford | year=1969 | pages=121 | doi = | isbn=0-7134-0317-9 ]

Hordern's priority in life was his medical career. cite web|url=http://content-usa.cricinfo.com/ci/content/player/5706.html |title=Cricinfo - Players and Officials - Ranji Hordern |accessdate=2007-02-16 |last=Williamson |first=Martin |year=2007 |publisher=Cricinfo ] This, along with the controversy surrounding the selection of the team to tour England in 1912, restricted his career. He participated in only 35 first-class matches between 1905 and 1913. cite web|url=http://cricketarchive.co.uk/Archive/Players/0/333/First-Class_Matches.html |title=First-Class Matches played by Ranji Hordern (35) |accessdate=2007-02-16 |date=2003-2007 |publisher=CricketArchive ] He died at age 55 in Darlinghurst, New South Wales.


*"Googlies: Coals from a Test-Cricketer's Fireplace" (Angus & Robertson: Sydney, 1932).



* [http://content-uk.cricinfo.com/ci/content/player/5706.html Cricinfo profile]
* [http://content-uk.cricinfo.com/wisdenalmanack/content/story/233808.html Wisden obituary]
*The Oxford Companion to Australian Cricket, Cashman et. al (ed), Oxford University Press (1996), ISBN 0195535758

Further reading

*Rick Smith, "Googlyman: The Story of HV 'Ranji' Hordern", Apple Books, 2005, ISBN 0975779907.

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