Saturday, August 22

Arthur Robert Morris (1922-2015) Test Cap No:171

© Australian Gallery of Sport and,
Olympic Museum collection
Full name Arthur Robert Morris
Born January 19, 1922, Bondi, Sydney, New South Wales
Died August 22, 2015 (aged 93 years 215 days)
Major teams Australia, New South Wales
Batting style Left-hand bat
Bowling style Slow left-arm chinaman

© Getty Images
Arthur Robert Morris MBE (born 19 January 1922) is a former Australian cricketer who played 46 Test matches between 1946 and 1955. An opener, Morris is regarded as one of Australia's greatest left-handed batsmen. He is best known for his key role in Don Bradman's Invincibles side, which made an undefeated tour of England in 1948. He was the leading scorer in the Tests on the tour, with three centuries. His efforts in the Fourth Test at Headingley helped Australia to reach a world record victory target of 404 on the final day. Morris was named in the Australian Cricket Board's Team of the Century in 2000 and was inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame in 2001.
© Rick Smith Collection
In his youth, Morris excelled at rugby league as well as cricket, being selected for the state schoolboys' team in both sports. Originally trained in spin bowling, Morris developed as a batsman during his teens and during the 1940–41 season became the first player in the world to score two centuries on his first-class debut. His career was interrupted by the Second World War, during which he served in the Australian Army and gained selection in its rugby league team. Upon the resumption of cricket in 1946, Morris made his Test debut against England and quickly made himself a core member of the team. He made a century in his third match and scored twin centuries in the following Test, becoming only the second Australian to do so in an Ashes Test. His rise was such that he was made a selector during the Invincibles tour after only 18 months in the team.
© The Cricketer International

After the 4–0 series win over England, which was Bradman's farewell series, Morris became Australia's vice-captain and was expected to be its leading batsman. He started well, scoring two centuries during Australia's first series in the post-Bradman era, a tour to South Africa that saw Australia win the Test series 4–0. By the end of the South African tour, Morris had amassed nine Test centuries and his batting average was over 65, but thereafter his form declined. Australia increasingly fell on hard times as the core of Bradman's team aged and retired. Morris was overlooked for the captaincy and then briefly dropped as his cricketing prowess waned. His career ended after his first wife became terminally ill. In later life Morris served as a trustee of the Sydney Cricket Ground for over twenty years.

The acme of elegance and the epitome of sportsmanship, Arthur Morris lost prime run-getting years to the war after the then unprecedented feat, as an 18-year-old, of scoring a hundred in each innings of his first-class debut in December 1940. By his first series against England in 1946-47, however, this calm and compact left-hander was close to the finished article, and scored three consecutive hundreds. He then outscored even Bradman in the Tests of 1948: only three Australians, in fact, have a better Ashes average. Once decoupled from his favourite partner Sid Barnes, Morris was a more spasmodic performer, although he ended a run of outs against England in January 1951 with his highest Test score, 206, and carried on molesting bowlers most civilly for another five years.

Test debut Australia v England at Brisbane, Nov 29-Dec 4, 1946
Last Test West Indies v Australia at Kingston, Jun 11-17, 1955
First-class span1940-1955