Billy Murdoch

Billy Murdoch

Infobox cricketer biography
playername = Billy Murdoch

country = Australia
fullname = William Lloyd Murdoch
dayofbirth = 18
monthofbirth = 10
yearofbirth = 1854
placeofbirth = Sandhurst, Victoria
countryofbirth = Australia
dayofdeath = 18
monthofdeath = 2
yearofdeath = 1911
placeofdeath = Melbourne, Victoria
countryofdeath = Australia
batting = Right-hand
role = Batsman & occasional wicket-keeper
international = true
testdebutdate = 31 March
testdebutyear = 1877
testdebutagainst = England

lasttestdate = 22 March
lasttestyear = 1892
lasttestagainst = South Africa
club1 = New South Wales
year1 = 1875–1890
club2 = Sussex
year2 = 1893–1899
club3 = London County
year3 = 1900–1904
deliveries = balls
columns = 2
column1 = Tests
matches1 = 18
runs1 = 896
bat avg1 = 32.00
100s/50s1 = 2/1
top score1 = 211
deliveries1 = 0
wickets1 = –
bowl avg1 = –
fivefor1 = –
tenfor1 = –
best bowling1 = –
catches/stumpings1 = 13/1
column2 = FC
matches2 = 391
runs2 = 16953
bat avg2 = 26.86
100s/50s2 = 19/85
top score2 = 321
deliveries2 = 764
wickets2 = 10
bowl avg2 = 43.00
fivefor2 = 0
tenfor2 = 0
best bowling2 = 2/11
catches/stumpings2 = 218/25
date = 26 February
year = 2008
source = CricketArchive

William (Billy) Lloyd Murdoch (18 October 185418 February 1911) was an Australian cricketer, who captained the Australian team on tours to England in 1880, 1882 (when the Ashes legend was born), 1884 and 1890. Murdoch was born in Sandhurst (now Bendigo), Victoria to Gilbert Murdoch and his wife Susanna (née Fleigge). Early in the 1860s, the Murdochs moved to New South Wales, and Billy played for the Albert Club with Fred Spofforth. He made his first-class entry in 1875, at the time regarded as the finest wicketkeeper in Australia, and a highly-rated right-handed batsman. He played in the second Test match ever played, the 1877 clash against England at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). Later that year, he qualified as a solicitor and opened up a practice, "Murdoch & Murdoch", with his brother Gilbert.

Murdoch established himself as one of the era's greatest batsmen over the next few years, leading Australia in several Test series against England. In 1881-82 he became the first man other than W. G. Grace to score a first-class triple century when, as captain, he made 321 for New South Wales against Victoria at the SCG. [cite web | url= | title=Individual Scores of 300 and More in an Innings in First-Class Cricket in Chronological Order | accessdate=2007-09-22 | publisher=CricketArchive] The innings comprised 38 fours, nine threes, 41 twos and sixty singles from all of ten Victorian bowlers. It was this knock which established him in the public reckoning as Australia's finest batsman. So unvanquishable was he that Tom Horan (with whom Murdoch would share many a fine batting stand in the years to come) was reduced to bowling leg-theory, the first known instance of that controversial tactic.

Murdoch was never far from controversy. His omission as wicketkeeper in the very first Test resulted in Australia’s premier fast bowler, Fred Spofforth, boycotting the match. In 1884 as captain of Australia he was involved in the players' strike, where the Australian players refused to play unless they received a greater share of the gate takings. He was also the batsman whose contentious runout caused friction between New South Wales and a visiting English team led by Lord Harris which also caused a spectator riot.

His best Test performances more often occurred in England where both his Test hundreds were scored, 153 not out in the first Test in the old country in 1880 at The Oval and 211 at the same ground four years later. On the 1880 and 1884 tours he led the Australian batting averages. In England, he was regarded as a superb captain and enough of a gentleman to be invited to captain Sussex, which he did for several seasons. He was widely regarded the finest Australian batsman of his day, being bettered only by the English champion WG Grace.

Murdoch was more of an off side player whose drives and cuts were regarded as among the best of his day but his leg side play as well as his ability against good spin was not apparently as good. Also, he was believed to be lacking against top-class pace bowling on difficult wickets; if conditions, were perfect, however, his batting often followed suit.

Later in life Murdoch settled in England, and he and John Ferris became the first cricketers to represent two nations at Test level when the two former Australian team-mates represented England against South Africa in Cape Town in March 1892.

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 the county 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.

Murdoch's standing as one of the greatest first-class batsmen of his era were strengthened by his statistics; 16,953 runs scored in 391 matches at the average of 26.86 at a time when batting averages were much lower than in modern times.

He died in Melbourne, Australia in 18 February 1911; present at the Test match between Australia and South Africa, he was seized with apoplexy during the lunch interval and died later in the afternoon. His body was embalmed and brought back to England for burial at Bethnal Green in the east end of London. Murdoch's best Test batting score of 211 was made for Australia against England, The Oval, 1884. It was the first double hundred in Test cricket. His Test captaincy record for Australia was: 16 matches, 5 wins, 7 losses, 4 draws



* [ Cricinfo Player Profile : Billy Murdoch]
* [ HowSTAT! statistical profile of Billy Murdoch]
* [ CricketArchive page on Billy Murdoch]
*Dictionary of Australian Biography|First=William Lloyd|Last=Murdoch|Link=

NAME=Murdoch, William Lloyd
DATE OF BIRTH=18 October 1854
PLACE OF BIRTH=Bendigo, Victoria
DATE OF DEATH=18 February 1911
PLACE OF DEATH=Melbourne, Victoria

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