Sunday, October 28, 2012

Cricket Society Journal reviews Out of It

Michael O’Leary whose cricket novel I edited earlier in the year got a brief but good review in the Cricket Society’s Journal. Out of It was re-released as a 25th anniversary edition through my company HeadworX:


Review of Out of It by Michael O'Leary (HeadworX Wellington,
New Zealand

If there has ever been a stranger book on cricket, I've yet to see it. I always thought that Willie Rushton's W G. Grace's Last Case was the strangest but this one .........................
Well, it's a reprint of a 1987 book which is apparently a 'cult classic.' The main story (?) is of a one-day match between a proper New Zealand side led by Jeremy Coney and a team named Out Of It. The latter team is skippered by the Maori chief Te Rauparaha with Bob Marley as Vice-Captain and the likes of Janis Joplin, Oscar Wilde, Jimi Hendrix and Hermann Goring playing (look, I'm not making this up!) with a running radio commentary from standard and made-up broadcasters.
It reads not unlike one of the earliest Dadaist offerings, written under the influence of hallucinogenics and although that almost certainly isn't the case, it may have been the author's intention to read as if it was. Perhaps it's about dislocation in society - perhaps it isn't. Maybe it's about a suburban man becoming unsettled in real life and entering the surreal world of the imagination - and maybe it isn't. It's unclassifiable (and occasionally, in parts, unreadable) but if you suspend disbelief, a kind of logic can be found.
It's not a spoiler to let prospective readers know that, unlike the song, Goring lasts for three overs and not the obligatory two balls, however small.
If you can find an inexpensive copy, you will have something in your collection that will be unique.

(From Journal of the Cricket Society, Volume 26, No. 3, Autumn 2012, UK)

Cricket Society Journal reviews A Tingling Catch

A brief review of A Tingling Catch appeared in the Journal of the Cricket Society in London. It's nice to be among 'the better offerings' in the collection of nearly 200 pages.


Review of A Tingling Catch - A Century of New Zealand Cricket Poems 1864-2009, Mark Pirie, Editor (HeadworX Wellington, New Zealand)
This is a reprint of the book originally published in 2010 and it's fair to say that the content is a little uneven, with a too-large number of parodies of other songs and poems, most of which seem to have been gathered by Sir Richard Hadlee in an earlier book, Hadlee's Humour, which certainly sounds like a contradiction in terms.
The poems are generally in blank verse (or as we used to say at school - "Sir - Sir - it doesn't rhyme Sir") although the works from earlier times are much more conventional. Poetry is perhaps one of the most subjective of all literary forms and, with the emphasis on things New Zealand; it's hard to know if there will be a widespread appeal for this selection.
The editor, Mark Pirie, contributes a number and they are among the better offerings, but the standout poem is from Jenny Powell, with ‘Under Cover’ which evokes memories of cricket and a relationship shared at the Carisbrook ground with an underlying feeling that the relationship was becoming as sterile as some of the play. Dispassionate with a slight air of wistfulness, this is an unsettling piece and I will look to read more from Jenny Powell. Bonus points to David McGill for attempting a limerick that gets lines to rhyme with Adam Parore.

(From Journal of the Cricket Society, Volume 26, No. 3, Autumn 2012, UK)

New selection of cricketer Robert J Pope’s poetry

This is my first post for a while. The new cricket season has opened in New Zealand.
Over the past three months I’ve been putting in the hard hours on a new selection of Wellington club cricketer Robert J Pope’s poetry to be published in November 2012. The selection also contains his club cricket essay on his days as a cricketer for the Star Club from 1884/85 till 1888.
Pope played in the Senior Pearce Cup competition as an opening batsman. This was the leading club competition in his day. Star Club won the cup twice: 1883/84 and 1884/85 seasons. Pope later played for the Wellington Cricket Club and the Wairarapa Cricket Club and learnt his school boy cricket under J P Firth at Wellington College.
Members of Pope’s Star Club team included Wellington slow bowler Charlie Dryden as well as Harry Roberts and Sid Nicholls, the fathers of future All Black footballers (i.e. Teddie Roberts and the three Nicholls brothers, most notably Mark Nicholls of the Invincibles 1924/25 team).
The book is 192 pages in total.
I will post more details on the book’s release.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Anonymous 1932 NZ Test cricket epigram

A brief but interesting epigram I found while searching The Evening Post digital collection in Papers Past relates to a 1932 Test between New Zealand and South Africa. The 1931/32 South African team were playing their first ever Test series in New Zealand.
The epigram wittily notes Mr Vivian ‘consigning’ his teammates to ‘oblivion’. Indeed, in this Test, the very promising Giff Vivian was the star and perhaps the villain of the match.
Earlier Vivian had toured England in the 1931 season and exceeded 1000 runs on the tour, looking to be an exceptional all-round find for New Zealand in the future. Don Neely’s Men in White notes Vivian’s ‘132 against Yorkshire the best innings of the tour’ which is no mean compliment considering the batting included Stewie Dempster, Roger Blunt, Jack Mills and Tom Lowry.
In the 1932 Second Test against South Africa played at the Basin Reserve, Giff Vivian made his return to the New Zealand team after missing the first match and scored a century in the first innings adding a century partnership with Ted Badcock after New Zealand looked to be on the rails at 158-5.
Eventually New Zealand closed its innings at 364, Vivian top scoring with 100, Badcock making 53 and Dempster a solid 64 with 10 boundaries.
In the South African reply, Vivian was again the important cog for New Zealand’s bowling taking 4-58 and restricting the visitors to a 46-run lead. Vivian didn’t stop there, making 73 in New Zealand’s disappointing second innings of 193. However, after Vivian lost his wicket, New Zealand found no resistance and South Africa finished off the tail before knocking off the winning runs with ease ending 150-2.
Perhaps the epigram is noting the loss of Vivian’s wicket, the player who could have seen New Zealand home for a draw:


Test cricket

In a relative sense, Auckland's young Mr. Vivian
Consigned all his teammates to utter oblivion.

(From C A Marris’s “Postscripts” column, The Evening Post, 8 March 1932)

Article © Mark Pirie 2012

(Sources: Men in White by D O Neely, R P King and F K Payne, Moa Publications, Auckland, 1986; and Papers Past, the National Library of New Zealand’s digital newspaper archive)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Māori cricket in New Zealand: Further Notes

In an earlier blog post, I talked about Māori participation in cricket being a mystery to cricket historians. It remains part known; also the number of Māori First Class players.
Historian and university teacher Greg Ryan’s The Making of New Zealand Cricket 1832-1914 (2004) provides a brief historical piece on 19th century Māori cricket and names some early First Class Māori players, however, Ryan does note: ‘At present we know far too little about early Maori sporting interactions with Europeans.’ I’ve not found much else about Māori cricket in specific searches of the National Library of New Zealand catalogue but there may be more in Papers Past newspaper searches.
Adam Parore remains the best-known Māori cricketer, and the first to score a century at Test level for New Zealand. Although I know Te Aute College, Hawke’s Bay, has had a cricket first XI dating back to the 19th century and Sir Paul Reeves, the former Governor-General of New Zealand, played for the Wellington College First XI in the late 1940s. In local literature, Michael O’Leary (of Te Arawa descent) has written of Parore’s feat in poetry and also used Te Rauparaha as the unlikely cricket hero in his novel Out of It (1987, 2012). In Cook Islands literature, Lino Nelisi has written children’s cricket fiction in Cook Islands Māori and Alistair Te Ariki Campbell, a well-known New Zealand/Cook Islands Māori poet, has a cricket poem about his brother Stuart Campbell, a cricketer, in A Tingling Catch (2010). O’Leary further emailed me a reference to the first game played between Māori and Pākehā in F.W.G. Dickeson’s Ngapuhi Land: A Survey in Picture and Story of the Historic Mid Northland (1948):

Near the bay’s northern end is the site of [William] Colenso’s first printing press, set up in 1835. On the second beach, Horotutu [Paihia], was played the first cricket match between Maori and Pakeha.

Ryan, however, considers there could’ve been earlier involvement before this match and notes further 19th century references to Māori players in the area and possible participation by them. Aside from what Ryan has discovered, there are surely more players and teams (school or club) yet to be traced and found.
I once filled in for my friend’s dad’s Levin Club against Waikanae when I was a teenager. I made two not out with a swirling skier over mid off from the last ball of the final over and facing just two balls. It raised the 250 on the scoreboard and being a one-day game, brought the club extra points my friend told me afterwards. The Waikanae bowler was Māori who asked me walking back to the pavilion if I was Māori too. My surname is pronounced ‘Piri’ like Piri Weepu, one of my favourite rugby players. It was not the first time I'd been asked by Māori. I told him, however, I was not Māori but Scots-French descent.
Recently, I started doing a search of the magazine Te Ao Hou (The New World), published by the Maori Affairs Department, which the National Library of New Zealand has now digitized. In issue 39, June 1962, Kara Puketapu discusses in his article ‘Maoris and Summer Sports’ the keen participation by Māori in winter sports like rugby and rugby league, and gives his reasons for the lesser participation in summer sports like cricket:

Perhaps the reason for this is that for most summer sports, a player must adopt an individualistic approach and spend hours of practice by himself. Myself, I think I would find this uninteresting, and I am sure many other Maoris would too. To spend an evening or Sunday morning hitting a tennis ball against a volley-board or bowling a cricket ball at a stick or fence, or sprinting down a track against imaginary opponents does not seem to appeal to the Maori. The actual game might be enticing but the individual practice demanded for competitive play seems to kill any keenness.
The fact that there are Maoris playing summer sports and that they are not reaching the top-line consistently, if at all, is I think due to some of these reasons. One other point that can be added is that in most summer sports, unlike winter sports, bodily contact between players is absent.
I am confident that we can excel in every sport, including summer ones; but so far, apart from the fact that most of us live in the country and have not had the opportunity to participate regularly, we have not yet developed the inclination.

Similarly, Paul Potiki, in No. 3, Summer 1953, discusses the issue of cricket:

Not many Maoris have shown interest or ability at cricket, but since the war the number playing has noticeably increased. My knowledge is confined mainly to Wellington, but I can recall only Jimmy Ell as a first class cricketer. It is of note also that Jimmy still holds the Wellington record for highest score. Last year the Auckland Plunket Shield team included a highly promising Maori colt in Doug Hemi, and it is most significant that there are at least two Maori girls playing representative women's cricket.

However, a closer key word search on ‘cricket’ brings up many examples of Māori involvement and participation in the game. Mr Rangiataahua Royal, O.B.E., M.C. and bar, who ‘was selected for the 1922 All Black team in New Zealand, but was unable to play because of an injury’ later organized ‘the first Māori team to play in first class matches’, and was ‘a Rotorua and South Auckland representative (No. 52 (September 1965) p. 63).’ (I’m yet to find a record of the team that Royal organised. Was it rugby or cricket?)
Jock Taua, in No. 27, Summer 1959, notes a rare Māori cricket team competing in an Auckland competition:

Cricket was played at the Domain, where it was interesting to see one of the few Maori teams to ever compete in a cricket competition.

Lieut.-Colonel Poananga, an officer who served in Malaya in 1959-1961, has ‘a fine sporting record, including the heavyweight boxing championship, 2nd N.Z.E.F. (Japan) in 1946. He also captained the 2nd N.Z.E.F. (Japan) cricket team during the same period. (No. 53 (December 1965), p. 29).’
An obituary for Miss Te Kiato Riwai, a Senior Welfare Officer and a recipient of an MBE for her services to her people, in No. 61 (December 1967), states that she was a cricketer in her younger days:

Kia was a keen sportswoman and during her younger days played basketball for the Otautahi Maori Club and cricket for Mai Moa.

An article on Mamae Wikiriwhi, in No. 76 (June 1975), p. 23, one of New Zealand’s first students at United World College, states that ‘Mamae’s interests are in indoor basketball, netball, cricket and tennis. She has represented North Shore in junior tennis.’
Elsewhere, an article on Whatarangi Winiata, a Rotary Foundation Fellow and Ngarimu V.C. Post-Graduate Scholar, states that he ‘held a Horowhenua College Cap in cricket. (No. 31 (June 1960), p. 58.’ Mr S. W. Maioha, O.B.E.’s obituary (No. 43 (June 1963), p. 63), notes that he was ‘a former Northland representative at rugby, cricket and tennis’.
A further full length article in the 1950s by Paul Potiki on ‘Maoris and Sport’ in the early 1950s, however, gives us the best evidence that their participation in cricket was wider still, and names First Class and representative players. Although Jimmy Ell’s record score of 291 must’ve been in club cricket when he was leading club run scorer in the 1938/39 season for Wellington. He never produced the same form at First Class level and only managed nine 50s in his First Class innings with a high score of 89 not out. His sister Agnes Ell represented New Zealand women at Test level in 1934/35.

From Maoris and Sport


Why do so few Maoris play cricket? I play, myself, and have often been asked this question. Quite frankly I have never been able to find a complete or satisfying answer, because on the face of it so many Maoris have all the physical attributes which help to make the good cricketer.
A good eye, innate sense of balance and timing, a flair for ball-games, and an almost uncanny gift of ‘style’ seem to be the lot of most Maoris. These characteristics, together with team spirit, patience and self-discipline, are the main requirements of the good cricketer.
I do not like to think that it is because of the last two that the Maori has little interest in the game, but it must be said that his natural tendency is often towards the spectacular. He prefers the sudden blaze of action with slim chance of success to the more cautious digging-in tactics, which leave honours even and delay a decision to another day. These tactics to-day are all too common in big cricket, but sometimes, for the team’s sake, cricket demands this cautious, self-effacing technique. Our friends from Fiji who toured New Zealand this summer, play a completely uninhibited game with great success, and I believe the Maoris would also.
Most Maoris who do play, and even those who have reached the top grades, have a most cavalier approach. Although they may not win the regard of the purist, they delight the spectator.
Few people in Wellington would deny that Jimmy Ell was, in his day, the most fluent and attractive stroke producer in the country.
Jimmy made his share of ‘ducks’, but he also got his share of centuries, including the Wellington record score of 291. I understand that John Smith, of Kaikohe, is a competent cricketer as well as a fine rugby player, as was his brother Peter, the news of whose death saddened us in January last.
Most of our people live in rural districts, where the good pitch is unknown. Most who do play in the country have to depend on coir matting over uneven turf, or over concrete, often with a rough outfield.
With more of our youth now attending Pakeha district high schools and city colleges, however, the number of Maoris playing cricket is increasing. A few are breaking into representative cricket, and among these are the Sciascia brothers from Levin, Hemi, from Waikato and Auckland, and Taiaroa in this season’s Otago Brabin Shield team. I would like to hear of any others.

(From Te Ao Hou (The New World), No. 7, Summer 1954, p. 50)

Of these names breaking in to representative cricket: Hemi from Waikato must be the All Black Ron Hemi who played for Auckland in the early 1950s. The Sciascia brothers and Taiaroa didn’t make it to First Class level.
Greg Ryan’s The Making of New Zealand Cricket 1832-1914, Joseph Romanos' 100 Māori Sports Heroes and the online New Zealand Cricket Archive lists a few more Māori cricketers who did. Ryan notes that six Māori cricketers ‘who were all very much a part of urban European society’ played at First Class level between the early 1880s and 1920: John Taiaroa (Hawke’s Bay, 1890s), Tabby Wynyard (Wellington, Auckland, 1882/83-1907/08), Wiri Baker (Wellington, New Zealand), George Baker (Wellington), Thomas Grace (Wellington), and fast bowler Wharukiti Uru (Canterbury, 1890s). More recently, Brandon Hiini (Canterbury and Northern Districts), Dave Houpapa (Auckland), Michael Taiaroa (Central Districts), Tane Topia (Auckland), Tipene Friday (Wellington), Daryl Tuffey (Auckland, Northern Districts and New Zealand), Heath Davis (Wellington, Auckland and New Zealand), Kieran Noema-Barnett (Central Districts), Shane Bond (Canterbury, New Zealand), Jesse Ryder (Central Districts, Wellington, New Zealand), Ronald Karaitiana (Wellington), Jeremy Kuru (Central Districts), Adam Parore (Auckland and New Zealand) and Anaru Kitchen (Auckland) have contributed to or played a few matches in New Zealand First Class cricket but only Parore, Bond, Ryder, Davis and Tuffey have gone on to achieve at international Test level. Of the women players listed: Yvonne Kainuku (New Zealand Women), Rebecca Rolls (New Zealand Women), Suzie Bates (New Zealand Women), Lea-Marie Tahuhu (New Zealand Women) and Kelly Rangi (Central Districts Women) played at international or domestic level. There are probably more players who are part-Māori, and those I've listed here are a guess.
These examples found in Te Ao Hou, 100 Māori Sports Heroes, Ryan’s early history of New Zealand cricket and the New Zealand Cricket Archive suggest that the history of Māori participation in cricket could be a valuable story worth tracing in the future, particularly with the advent of the National Library of New Zealand’s Papers Past digital newspaper archive.

Article © Mark Pirie, 2012

(Sources: Ngapuhi Land: A Survey in Picture and Story of the Historic Mid Northland (F W G Dickeson, Kaikohe, 1948); 100 Summers: The History of Wellington Cricket by D. O. Neely (Moa Publishers, Wellington, 1975); 100 Maori Sports Heroes by Joseph Romanos (Trio Books, Wellington, 2012); The Making of New Zealand Cricket 1832-1914 by Greg Ryan (Frank Cass, London, 2004); New Zealand Cricket’s online Archive; email from Michael O’Leary; and Te Ao Hou (The New World) 1952-76 (Wellington, Maori Affairs Dept.) online archive at the National Library of New Zealand's digital collections)

Sunday, May 27, 2012

W H Winsor’s 1902 NZ cricket poem

Early this year, a contact and researcher in Australia, Graeme Lindsay, emailed me a poem that he came across in the Emu Bay Times, a Tasmanian newspaper in 1902.
The author is William Hinnels (Billy) Winsor (1876?-1936), builder, city councillor, Tasmania, Otago and Canterbury cricketer and later a cricket administrator with the New Zealand Cricket Council. Winsor was born in London and educated first in London and then possibly Melbourne.
At some point, Winsor moved with his family out to Melbourne and then Tasmania where he began to make an impact as a local sportsman in football and cricket (1898?-1901 [age 21-24]). The Launceston Examiner notes a ‘Winsor’ as playing football (Launceston 1899 and St Kilda 1900) and cricket (Meander 1898, Dalebrook 1898/99 and an appearance for Social Circle 1900 and next Burnie 1900/01).
The cricket Winsor is “W Winsor”, but there is also an “H Winsor” playing cricket with him for Dalebrook - a brother? For Dalebrook, ‘W Winsor’ performed some heroics. In one match against Chudleigh in April 1899, he took 7-27 with the ball and scored 34 not out with the bat; in another match for Dalebrook in December 1898, ‘W Winsor’ made 73 and took 3-37; ‘H Winsor’ scored 18.
His later club Burnie is on the northwestern coast of Tasmania. Burnie was formerly Emu Bay.
Winsor’s poem-elegy ‘A Cricketer’s Lament: The Late Trooper Cowell’ (about his playing days in Tasmania) is a rare find, especially as it is a New Zealand poem published overseas. There may possibly be more New Zealand cricket poems published in Australian papers like The Bulletin in Sydney. I have not found further poems by Winsor. Is it a one-off poem? His only other publication seems to be a building survey on the uses of imported timber: ‘Uses of timber: Government inquiry - problem of importation’, NZ Architectural and Building Review, 31 August 1927; vol.1 no.14: p.33-34.
The poem by Winsor written in an Elizabethan poetic form (according to Niel Wright) is on the death of a trooper, F G (Bertie) Cowell, and fellow cricketer in the Boer War, 1899-1902. In a search of historical Tasmanian newspapers, Cowell appears to be a local club cricketer who played for East Wellington, Cam and Free Yeoman from the late 1890s-1901. He could open the batting and bowling so was an all-rounder; his brother L H Cowell was also a noted club cricketer. In one match in November 1898, the two brothers combined to take 9 out of 10 Cam wickets for their Free Yeoman team; F G is “Bertie” in the match report.
Here is the poem by Winsor:


A Cricketer’s Lament
[The Late Trooper Cowell]

Written on reading a report of the death and burial of Trooper F. G.
Cowell, T.I.B., at the
Dunedin Athenaeum, February 14, 1902.

And so he too has gone,
  A victim of the war,
From this dark scene to that far bourne
  Where battles cease to roar.

I read the news, alas!
  Why sinks my heart with pain?
I see that form before me pass,
  I hear that well known name.

Enteric claims its own,
  And far on Afric’s sands,
Away from his loved Tassie home
  Are snapped life’s feeble strands.

I see him as of yore,
  When on the cricket field
He stayed the Burnie batsmen’s score,
  And taught us how to yield.

I see his nimble form,
  The pride of Yeomanland:
And then behold him - weak and worn
  And dying on the Rand.

Old England’s foes are braved
  By many a gallant man,
Who died not, where the pennon waved,
  And battle fiercely ran.

So Bertie’s toils are o’er;
  His last life link is rent:
And may he on a peaceful shore
  Find rest, and calm content.

Dunedin, N. Z.

(From North Western Advocate and Emu Bay Times (Tasmania) Saturday 1 March 1902)

Poem © W H Winsor 1902

Winsor’s poem refers to memories of the match played between Winsor’s team Burnie and Cowell’s team Free Yeoman (Emu Bay Times, 26 November 1900) resulting in a victory to Winsor’s team on first innings points by 23 runs. Burnie made 71 all out and Free Yeoman 48 and 92.
Winsor top scored for Burnie with 24 despite Cowell ripping apart the batting with a devastating spell of 6-18. Winsor was not ‘taught to yield’ by Cowell, however, and was out ‘hit wicket b. H. Gale’. Winsor also clean bowled Cowell for 9 in the second innings. The two must’ve been well known cricketers in their State and tough competitors as well as friends.
In March 1901, Cowell is in the news once more after being summoned to war:

CAM. Mr F. G. Cowell left here on Friday morning on his way to Hobart. He was summoned by wire with a view to his inclusion in the sixth contingent. Should he be chosen Yeomanland will be well represented at the front, as his brother Harry is already fighting with the New Zealanders.
(Emu Bay Times, 9 March 1901)

Later in the year, Cowell is confirmed dead:


Hobart, Thursday. — The Premier has received an advice to the effect that Trooper F. G. Cowell, of No. 2 Company of the last contingent, which left this State on March 27, died of enteric at Delfontein on Nov. 18. It will be remembered that Trooper Cowell was reported dangerously ill a few days ago. He is a son of Mr A. H. Cowell, of Somerset, and well-known as a cricketing enthusiast.
(Emu Bay Times, 29 November 1901)

Winsor must’ve learned of his friend’s death and penned his poem at the Dunedin Athenaeum, which in those days was moving from becoming an educational facility to a private subscription library. Winsor wrote his poem in February 1902 so news of Cowell’s death would’ve taken a few months to reach him. The troops of No.2 Company returned to Hobart on 16 June 1902 and war soon ended; the unlucky Cowell was one of just six casualties of a 253 strong contingent.
In January 1901 near to the war summons of Cowell, a player named Winsor turns out for the Emu Bay Times office staff in a friendly game and takes four stumpings but does not bat at No. 11. H Winsor, or W H Winsor? It certainly explains why his poem found publication in the Emu Bay Times, if he had a relation working there. It could’ve been W H playing but he is not known for keeping wickets or batting at No. 11 and four stumpings is a good effort for a fill-in. He did not sail for Bluff, New Zealand, till 24 March, where he was aboard the Westralia, s.s., 2,884 tons vessel (25 March 1901 in The Mercury, Tasmania).
I’ve researched Winsor’s name in the National Library of New Zealand’s Papers Past and discovered he was playing Dunedin club cricket for Albion at the time his poem for “Bertie” Cowell was written/published. (Albion later boasted the legendary New Zealand cricketer Bert Sutcliffe in its ranks.)When he eventually arrived in Otago [at age 24], Winsor’s name created a pre-season buzz in local cricketing circles:

Some prominent members of the Albion Club were to be seen preparing the pitches last Saturday afternoon. The drains which were put in last year have greatly improved the ground, which is in a better condition now than it has been for some years past. There is every prospect of the club having a successful season, several new members having already joined, among the number being Mr E. [sic] Winsor, of North Tasmania. All the old members appear eager for practice.
(Otago Witness, 11 September 1901)

This is the first mention of Winsor in New Zealand.
A few weeks later, his name is again touted with interest, suggesting he was a batsman:

Winsor, the young Tasmanian, reported in a recent issue as about to join Albion, had an average of 22 in Tasmania, including one innings of 124. Winsor was third in the averages for senior elevens.
(Otago Witness, 2 October 1901)

A check of the Burnie season averages in the Emu Bay Times (September 1901) states Winsor was in fact fourth on the batting averages. The club compliments Winsor’s performance for Burnie, where in 11 innings he scored 247 runs at an average of 22.46 with a High Score of 124 [retired, against Emu Bay, in a record club score of 302]. His bowling average was in fact better: 246 runs for 26 wickets at 9.42 and 3rd on the list.
The most memorable match Winsor played for Albion was undoubtedly the game against Grange in January 1902 where a ‘crowd of enthusiasts watched the falling of Grange wickets like Autumn leaves’. There is a lively description of Winsor’s lasting impact on the game in a regular column by Long Slip - Grange needing 96 for victory:

With three wickets down for 69, the task seemed hopeless but after Baker, Downes, and Johnston were dismissed, then Albion played with renewed vigour, and chiefly through the instrumentality of Winsor, the last wickets added very few runs to the score.
Dawes, usually a very cool player, must have had his nerves tested to the full when he walked to the crease and 11 runs were still wanted. The Grange supporters still pinned their faith to him but Dawes made one of his famous wind cuts, and Winsor made no mistake, shattering his stumps the first ball with a beauty. The enthusiasm of the Albion supporters was unbounded, and many were the congratulations showered on the various members of the team. Winsor, in particular, was called out of the pavilion by the spectators, who gave him three ringing cheers.
(Otago Witness, 22 January 1902)

In a match-winning performance, living up to his hype, Winsor made his highest score of 16 not out and took 3-4 and 4-12 to finish with bowling figures of 7-16.
By the end of the season it was clear Winsor was a bowler who could bat anywhere from No. 3 to No. 9 and his name appears regularly in the Otago Witness newspaper from 1901-1903 and in the season averages for his club. In 1901/02 season he topped Albion’s bowling averages with 14 wickets for 150 runs at 10.71.
The following season he was appointed to the Albion club committee (the first signs of his administrative vent) and became one of two practice captains (Otago Witness, 17 September 1902). That same season he also had his most significant batting partnership against Dunedin No. 2, batting at No. 9, and adding 51 runs in quick time for the eighth wicket; Winsor scored 26.
An article in the Otago Witness in July 1903 announces that the late Otago Cricket Association secretary D H Thomson ‘intends joining Lancaster Park with another ex-Albion player W H Winsor’.
Winsor must’ve moved on to Christchurch where he established Winsor and Maynard Builders at Spreydon and where he contributed much to Canterbury and New Zealand cricket as the Secretary of the New Zealand Cricket Council (1920s/1930s).
After his death, his friend and colleague Sir Arthur Donnelly, chairman of the cricket council, elected to honour his service by naming the Winsor Cup after him.


Winsor’s birth date is unclear: The England Census 1881 lists Winsor as ‘b. January 1877’. The Press [Christchurch] Obituary [for Winsor], 29 December 1936, gives his lifeline as b. 28 Dec 1876, d. 29 Dec 1936, a day after his 60th birthday. His New Zealand death certificate records him as ‘d. 1936, aged 60 years’. Was he 59?

Article © Mark Pirie 2012

This article is an extract from a work in progress W H Winsor 1876-1936 a cricket monograph by Mark Pirie

(Sources: 100 Years of Cricket: A History of the Canterbury Cricket Association, 1877-1977 by R.T. Brittenden (Christchurch, N.Z. : Canterbury Cricket Association, 1977); Albion, 1862-1962 (Dunedin, N.Z.: Albion Cricket Club, 1962); Cricket Archive; England Census 1881 online []; Index New Zealand and Papers Past [National Library of NZ’s digital archive]; Launceston Examiner [Tasmania, Australia]; New Zealand Historic Places Trust website; North Western Advocate and Emu Bay Times [Tasmania, Australia]; Te Ara online encyclopedia of New Zealand; Australian Trove [National Library of Australia’s digital archive]; Otago Witness; The Mercury [Tasmania, Australia]; The Summer Game: An Illustrated History of New Zealand Cricket by D.O. Neely and P.W. Neely; and emails from Graeme Lindsay and Niel Wright)

Sunday, May 6, 2012

J H Haslam’s 1926 cricket sonnet on Jack Hobbs

A very good cricket poem I came across recently is by Rev. J H (Harry) Haslam (1874-1969) of the Methodist Church in New Zealand, a completely forgotten poet in New Zealand.
Haslam is also the surname of former Black Caps spinner Mark Haslam. I don’t know whether they were related as Mark Haslam was born in England.
Harry Haslam was born in Christchurch on 13 July 1874. His father was Charles Haslam, an old Nelsonian. Early in his life, the family moved to Wellington where his father found work as a supervisor in the Hannah and Company’s boot factory. He was educated at Mt Cook Boys’ School and later Newtown School before beginning his training into the Wesleyan Church ministry. He became a member of the Wesleyan Literary and Debating Society in the early-mid 1890s, did acting for them and edited their journal, which also printed some of his early poems. He moved to Auckland to continue his training for the ministry and attended Auckland University College graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1900. He served out his probationary years in Wellington until stationed to Christchurch. In 1903, his poem ‘A Bike Race’ appeared in the Canterbury College Review while he was living there.
Haslam married Florence Elizabeth Hurlstone in 1904 and had two children: Eric Haslam and Gladys Hayman (née Haslam). He worked as a Methodist Church minister stationed in different areas of New Zealand (including Bunnythorpe 1913-17 and Waimate 1926-1929) rising to distinction in the Methodist Church as secretary and later president of Conference. Haslam was also a Methodist marriage celebrant.
He was also a member of the Savage Club and the Masonic Lodge and played music. His obituary notes: ‘He was for many years a member of the St Paul’s Choir and entertained at concerts with violin solos.’ He could play the piano in his later years for hymn singing.
One book of his poetry, Scenes in Southland, appeared in London in 1926 that includes his cricket sonnet ‘Ambition’. He must’ve been in Southland before moving to Waimate. He is chiefly a sonneteer working over spiritual themes and the universal subjects of love and death. Other topics include war, and literature, and there is a section of lighter verse possibly written in his younger years. Some poems certainly date back to his student years in Auckland. The strongest of his sonnets relate to the death of a close friend before 1926.
His other publications include contributing Westland Methodist Church history material by the Rev. G S Harper (1840-1911) to the Wesley Church History Society as well as editing Harper’s Gold Diggings and the Gospel: The Westland Diary of the Rev. G. S. Harper, 1865-66.
Haslam retired to Waimate in 1940 where he lived out the remaining years of his long life. His wife Florence died in 1958. Towards the end of his life, his eyesight went and his obituary notes: ‘it was his deep regret that he became divorced from his books’.
It’s certain that Haslam known as Harry to his friends played cricket as a young man for the Wesley Cricket Club in Wellington and enjoyed other sports such as tennis. He continued to play at cricket matches organised by delegates to Methodist conferences. One of these matches between a Wednesday Association and a Clergyman’s Eleven (that included Haslam) was played at the Basin Reserve (Evening Post, 15 February 1913). Newspaper match reports indicate that he could bat and bowl and obviously studied and kept up with the game. His cricket sonnet shows a sense of wide reading and knowledge.
It’s a very interesting piece as it discusses Sir Jack Hobbs whose batting ambition surpassed W G Grace’s records. For years W G known as The Champion and The Great Cricketer seemed an unsurpassable magician with his willow wand on uncovered pitches overshadowing his elder brother E M Grace, himself a significant English batsman. Hobbs became The Master.
A very good biography by Simon Rae discusses W G Grace’s life in depth, including his double-life as a doctor and cricketer and his awe-inspiring records made on poor pitch surfaces in 19th century England. Hobbs and others like the Australian Victor Trumper were also great players on uncovered pitches. Sir Don Bradman of course eclipsed them all but by the start of his era pitches were beginning to be covered and a majority of Bradman’s scoring records were on good pitches. This next leads to the question of how good and quick were the bowling attacks between the 19th and 20th centuries. I'd say bowlers like Larwood were faster in Bradman's era.
Here is Haslam’s sonnet; the opening line is from Shakespeare’s Henry VIII, Act III, Scene 2:



‘I charge thee, fling away Ambition.’ Thus
The puling Cardinal at Fortune’s end,
To Cromwell, daring still to be his friend,
Gave counsel futile. Nay, calamitous,
If men unwisely heeded. Dolorous
And flat this life of ours, could we not bend
Our energies with honour, and contend
For pride of place with those ahead of us.

Had Hobbs in mid career cried, ‘Hold enough;
The Doctor’s record cannot be o’erpassed,’
‘Ambition should be made of sterner stuff,’
Had well been said. Stand cricketers aghast
At this new record? Fie, I cry you, Shame!
Come, take your centre, bid for greater fame!

Poem © Rev. J H Haslam 1926

(From Scenes in Southland, The Epworth Press, London, 1926)

Sir Jack Hobbs at the end of his career amassed 61,760 runs to W G Grace’s 54,211 runs.

Article © Mark Pirie 2012

(Sources: Cricinfo; Obituary for Rev. J H Haslam in the Waimate Daily Advertiser, 20 October 1969; Births Deaths and Marriages (NZ) website; website; Email from Rowan Gibbs; Papers Past and the National Library of New Zealand catalogue; and Scenes in Southland by Rev. J H Haslam (London: The Epworth Press, 1926))

J H Haslam’s book Scenes in Southland is now available for download on Apple itunes:

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Mark Pirie's new cricket poem Norwood Room

Here's another new poem I wrote recently after visiting the Norwood Room at the Basin Reserve for the NZ Cricket Museum's Christmas party. It was inspiring to be in the room and be able to look closely at the pictures expertly hung on the wall.
The poem is again in the form of a French triolet with repeated verse lines.


Norwood Room

In the Norwood Room, pictures hang;
  Great deeds of art captured.
Cricketers in their prime – well hung.

In the Norwood Room, pictures hang.
  Azhar’s ‘silky elegance’ captured;
Lara, Hadlee, Cairns, Sobers all hung…

In the Norwood Room, pictures hang.
  Great deeds of art captured.

Basin Reserve, Sunday 18 December 2011

Poem © Mark Pirie 2012

Thanks to Joseph Romanos for printing it in The Wellingtonian, 22 March 2012, to coincide with the Black Caps' Test against South Africa.

Cricket Poetry Award 2012 opens

The following press release was emailed to me about the Cricket Poetry Award 2012. You can download entry forms for the Cricket Poetry Award at their website. I'll post here the information on entering it, feel free to circulate the press release:

Entries will be accepted in 2012 from any poet, writer or author who completes their poem in the 12 months leading up to the closing date – 31st August 2012.
The organisers invite poets to write and submit a poem that depicts life in and around the game and sport of cricket, in settings of backyard, street, beach, park, village green or social-cricket. The genre may be narrative, epic, dramatic, satirical, lyrical, elegy or verse fable.
The Cricket Poetry Award will be run in conjunction with the Cricket Art Prize, and the winner will be announced at the Cricket Art Prize opening event – Members Pavilion - Sydney Cricket Ground, 4th Oct 2012.
Please check the particulars supplied on the entry form and ensure that your entry is in accordance with the conditions below.
(1) Each competitor may enter ONE work only. The entry must be the original work of the competitor;
(2) Entries should be posted and e-mailed together with a completed entry form and a non-refundable $20.00 (including GST) handling fee to the Publishers’ Cup Inc by 2012.
Any work not accompanied by payment of $20.00 will not be eligible for the competition. Payment may be made by cheque, money order, postal note to the Publishers’ Cup Inc or Electronic Funds Transfer details: ANZ Bank BSB 012235 A/C 1105 99931 or can be paid using PayPal to the email address: derekz [at] cricketartprize [dot] org
(3) The statutory declaration on the entry form must be completed by the competitor;
(4) The size of the poem must NOT EXCEED 150 words;
(5) Entries must be clearly marked with the artist’s name and address and the title of the work;
(6) Entries will not be accepted unless free of charges. No payment will be made by the organisers for couriers, bank transfer fees or other charges incurred in the delivery of any entry;
(7) Competitors hereby consent to their work being reproduced by the Exhibition Venues and the media in all advertising and publicity inclusive of all electronic / digital or print media for the future promotion of the Cricket Poetry Award;
(8) Sponsors and charities associated with the Publishers’ Cup Inc reserve the right to reproduce the winning entry and all finalists in all Publishers’ Cup Inc publications and publicity inclusive of all electronic/digital or print media;
(9) The Judges’ decision is final and no correspondence shall be entered into.
A $20.00 (incl. GST) fee is payable for the poem entered.
Cricket Poetry Award
Suite 23/53 O’Brien Street

Bondi Beach NSW 2026
To contact us:
E-mail: derekz [at] cricketartprize [dot] org
Phone inside Australia: 0411 572 100
Overseas callers dial: +61 411 572 100 

NZ Cricket Museum’s interactive touch screen opens

The latest issue of the NZ Cricket Museum’s Newsletter for Summer/Autumn 2011/12 is out and contains more information on the opening of the new interactive touch screen sound display.
Curator David Mealing has spent many hours researching old archives for photos of players and broadcasters as well as finding sound recordings and cricket music from YouTube. The project is a testament to his commitment for bringing fresh and innovative displays to the museum. I heartily congratulate him for his fine work over the past year.
There are two photos of me (under Poets) in the mural display printed in the summer newsletter: one (bottom row on the far right) shows me fielding for Wellington Collegians’ Axemen one-day side in the 2007/08 season. These pics are also in the interactive. An article on Glenn Turner’s world record highest percentage of his team’s runs in a first class innings features in the newsletter.
I provided assistance for the museum project by helping contact poets for David. A large number of poems from A Tingling Catch (including my own) have been included and recorded for the touch screen display.
I’m looking forward to testing out the display very soon.

NZ Cricket Museum Newsletter
Summer/Autumn 2011-12
See also my previous blog post: NZ Cricket Museum's Touch Screen Technology

Monday, April 16, 2012

Marie R Randle’s 1887 NZ cricket-related poem

This year a friend Rowan Gibbs produced an excellent bio-bibliography of the early New Zealand and Otago songstress Marie R Randle (1856-1947). Randle is not very well known, seemingly missed by anthologists, but proves to be a fascinating source for biography and for understanding the lives of our early 19th century poets and settlers.
Rowans booklet enticed me to look her up further and read her only published collection, Lilts and Lyrics of New Zealand (1893), introduced by Canterbury cricketer, poet and politician William Pember Reeves. The Poetry Archive of NZ Aotearoa had a copy of it.
Randle (like Reeves) seems to know about cricket. One of her comic poems An Awkard Manpublished in the Otago Witness, 24 June 1887, under the pseudonym of Witch Elmis a very good portrait of a man growing up in the colony who doesnt quite fit in with the society around him. Naturally, proficiency at cricket (and other sports) is a common forte for young men in the 19th century as much as it is today. The poem remains timeless. Readers can still enjoy it today as much as they did in the 19th century.
Ill share the poem with you here:


The Awkward Man

Ye soft and sympathising hearts, wherever you may be,
That deign to feel for trifling ills and petty misery –
(Compassion of the “tuneful Nine” I shall not dare invite;
My pinions are too feeble far to scar Olympus’ height), –
I pray you listen to my lay, and pity, if you can,
The sorrows of that wretched being styl’d an “awkward man!”

From earliest infancy my limbs were always in the way,
And how I ever learn’d to walk I know not to this day;
For sundry scars, the sight of which would wring a tender heart,
Still testify my sufferings in practising the art.
My nurse, in tears and trembling, would my clumsy movements scan,
And say. “The awkward child is father of the awkward Man!”

My boyhood was a hideous dream – a nightmare of disaster;
At school I always was in scrapes, alike with boys and master.
I smash’d the windows with my ball, I bruis’d my shins at cricket,
The football bounc’d into my face whene’er I tried to kick it.
An evil fate pursu’d me from the time my life began;
It haunts me still. I’m doom’d to live and die an awkward man!

My books were always dog-ear’d, and fam’d for soil and smutch –
The jugs and basins chipp’d and crack’d beneath my magic touch;
The boys, in racing, tripp’d me up and left me in the lurch;
I’d choking fits at dinner-time and sneezing fits in church,
I trod upon my master’s corn with weight of Pickford’s van;
He had no mercy on me; he was not an awkward man!

My riper years have brought me even greater ills than these:
My clumsiness gives dire offence whene’er I try to please;
The cats and dogs of maiden aunts view my approach with dread,
For on their inoffensive tails I’m pretty sure to tread,
’Tis perfect martyrdom to me to hold a lady’s fan;
Its fate is seal’d when in the hands of such an awkward man!

I went last Winter to a ball in pumps and palpitation,
And by my clumsy antics there created a sensation.
By supper-time I had become so nervous and so fluster’d,
I sat upon a pigeon pie and overturn’d the mustard
Into a lady’s satin lap. Imagine, if you can,
The with’ring look of wrath she turn’d upon the awkward man!

My friends are few and far between, and seem to be in fear
Of some explosion taking place whenever I appear.
I’m getting quite a human owl; but stay – ’twill not avail
To tire your patience any more with this lugubrious tale –
So let me make my shuffling bow, and end, as I began,
By asking you to pity – not condemn – the awkward man!

For those interested in finding out more on Randle and her publication history, Rowan has produced a limited edition of 50 copies for sale titled “A Bird of Our Clime”: Otago’s Songstress: Marie R Randle (“Wych Elm”): A Bio-bibliography. Cultural and Political Booklets in Wellington, New Zealand, published the 72-page booklet in A5 format. Price $NZ20.00. You can purchase copies direct from Rowan at

Article © Mark Pirie 2012

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Don Bradman’s 1932 New Zealand visit and poems

Last year, I was reading Alan Eason's A to Z of Bradman and found a humorous entry on Bradman’s disappointing visit to Wellington in 1932.
As the story goes, the Australian team was on their way back from a tour of Canada and the United States and stopped by Wellington where an exhibition match at the Basin Reserve was scheduled. Bad weather, “a wash out”, saw their game cancelled, and so the next morning Bradman was up early to go sightseeing in the Wairarapa with his wife. Rooming away from his team meant Bradman didn’t realise that their match had been hastily rescheduled for later that day () before their ship was due to sail.
Unable to contact Bradman or Fleetwood-Smith the Aussie “googly” bowler (no cell phones back then), thousands of fans turned up at the Basin to catch a glimpse of Bradman only to find their hopes cruelly dashed.
Wellington made 43/1 in their limited half hour’s play with Jack Lamason (who later toured England in 1937) getting most of their runs: 26 not out. The rest of the time was for a display of aggressive batting from the Australians (Nutt, Tolhurst, McCabe, Kippax, the stylist, Richardson and Rofe). All-rounder Stan McCabe prior to this match had already broken a woman spectator’s leg on tour with a powerful hit, so expectations must’ve been high for some big hitting.
The Australians certainly entertained the crowd despite Bradman’s non-appearance and they made 155/4 in their 78 minutes with McCabe carrying his bat for 78; Lambert taking 3-72 for Wellington (from The Evening Post report and scorecard, 20 September 1932).
Bradman returned later that day, miffed and most apologetic for missing the match. He later tried to make amends and made plans to bring a team of young Australian players for an exhibition match the following season but that idea seems to have been ruled out due to player restrictions by the Australian Board of Control. They advised Bradman to take medical rest at the close of the season, and so Bradman never did light up New Zealand cricket grounds or please his fans across the Tasman.1
A. Varney of the Wellington Cricket Association had expressed enthusiasm for Bradman’s idea of bringing a team of young players over and A. T. Donnelly of the New Zealand Cricket Council had made further approaches to the Australian Board of Control (The Evening Post 30 December 1932). Due to Bradman’s fatigue of “too much cricket”, however, the idea did not eventuate.2
I decided to look up Bradman’s unfortunate Wellington visit further in the National Library of New Zealand’s Papers Past digital archive. There I uncovered, in Percy Flage’s popular column “Postscripts” (The Evening Post, 17 & 21 September 1932), a barrage of remarks and verses in response to his visit and his perceived no show at the Basin.
On 17 September, Flage publishes a poem before the Bradman game (mentioning popular Wellington player Herb McGirr):


Would it please you, oh my brother, if, before he had a smack,
Don was skittled for a "blob" – or would you want your money back?

And if Herb. McGirr clumped Mailey twice or thrice into the stand,
Would you take it hard, or would you shout and howl to beat the band?

Then on 21 September, Flage prints a vivid display of disappointment from local cricket fans after the match:


Miniature flood of metaphorical brick-bats for Bradman, who did not appear at the Basin yesterday. However, it is reported that it was no discourtesy on Don’s part; his absence was due to a misunderstanding.

Dear Percy,—Can you tell me a use for the ancient eggs I took down to the wharf for Don Bradman?

“Spy Glass”—

Enter cricket ground at .
Hero, Mr. Bradman.
Exit ground at ,
Zero d—n that Bad-man.

“Allured’s” comprehensive curse—

May the pangs of mal der mer disturb him right across the Tasman.
May his mother-in-law come to stay with him for three years.
Whence he puts his cricket boots on may his corns hurt so he becomes as slow as a tuatara with the sciatica.
When he misses one of Larwood’s fast ones, may the wind blow his bails off.
When he is waiting to catch a ball in the outfield may his trousers commence to fall down.
May he be as cold all through the summer, as I felt about to-day.

From L.D.A.—

Absent Bradman Certainly Debarred Enthusiasts From Going Home Infectiously Jovial; Keen Loyalty Made Nine-tenths Of People Querulous; Recriminative Spectators Think Unutterable Vituperation When ‘Xtirpating Yesterday’s Zest.
And I was one of ‘em, Percy.

“Rosie Neath” returns his gold brick—

We went to the Basin
Celebrity chasin’
Not fearin’ a trick.
We found we were “had,” man—
“No appearance of Bradman.”
Now we look for the bad man
Who sold that gold brick.

“Mac” passes on a note from: youthful “Flannelled Fool,” with this explanation:—Yesterday my boss’s son, called at the office and complained bitterly that he had been lured to the Basin under false pretences. Jokingly I suggested that he should write to “the papers” about it. This morning he brought the enclosed note to me with the request that I should see that it went to the right quarters.
And here’s “F.F.’s” wistful plaint— nearly all the boys of our school, that is Wellington College went to the Basin to see Mr. Bradman play, as we were granted time-off. I bought a new autograph book to get Mr. Bradman to sign. We were very disappointed when we found out Mr Bradman was not there, and it was in the paper he would be—I think the Cricket people might have told us so that we would not have been disappointed. Please, excuse my writing, but my autograph book cost 5s, and I am cross that I did not get Don’s name in it.

As can be seen in the responses above, Bradman’s visit seems to have unwittingly occasioned New Zealand cricket verse on the matter. “Rosie Neath” and “Spy Glass” as far as I can tell were regular contributors to the column in searches for their names on Papers Past. “L.D.A” is L. D. Austin.
Niel Wright informs me that Percy Flage was in fact journalist and editor, C. A. Marris, who edited among other things the Best New Zealand Poems series of the 1930s and ’40s. Ruth Gilbert (who had poems included in “Postscripts”) told Wright that Flage was Marris.

1 Bradman when interviewed for the ABC series, The Don Declares, said his not playing in New Zealand was ‘an extraordinary thing’. He wasn’t picked in 1928, did not play in 1932 (thought this visit isn’t mentioned), and did not tour in 1946 for health reasons. The 1946 visit was an attempt to get cricket started again after World War Two. He would've loved to have played in New Zealand and pleased his fans.
2 This would’ve been near the time of the Bodyline series 1932/33 in Australia so it’s understandable as he suffered ill health for a year or two after this.


As a postscript to the Bradman visit, I’ve uncovered a further poem on Bradman also in the “Postscripts” column (The Evening Post, 3 February 1932) in relation to his status prior to the Wellington visit. It’s a celebration of popular Wellington cricketer and all-rounder Herb McGirr:


This rhyme is Isidore McFlage’s way of protesting against the continual adulation bestowed on Don Bradman while that bane of bowlers has yet to meet Herb. McGirr. Precisely. Gangway for Izzy.

This chap Bradman must we all
Toss our derbies up, and bawl
Every time he lands a score
Of three figures, say, or more?
No doubt he is pretty good
When he’s laying on the wood,
But I want to warn you, sir,
Wait until he meets McGirr!

Don has slammed the Springboks well—
Quinn, McMillan, Vincent, Bell;
Pasted Larwood, Voce, and Tate
At a most prodigious rate.
While his critics bowed the head,
And would not be comforted.
Still … I think there’ll be a stir
When he takes on Herb McGirr!

If one man his dash can curb
You can bet your life it’s Herb.
He is game to take all on—
Hobbs and Duleep, Woodfull, Don.
Let them play the rock, or hit,
Mc. just doesn’t care a bit.
“Wizard with the willow”… brrr!
Wait until he meets McGirr!

I’m unable to find out who Isidore McFlage is. He was a regular contributor to “Postscripts”, had an interest in politics, verse, sport and gardening, and lived in “the Glen, Kelburn”. Flage also refers to him as his “cousin McFlage” but that is no more helpful. Marris did live in Ngaio Road, Kelburn, in the Glen so it could be him writing under another pseudonym.
A further cricket poem by McFlage (also in “Postscripts”, The Evening Post, 14 September 1932) pokes fun at the Australian Ashes team, naming 12 players of the period, and includes Bradman:


Isidore McFlage, in dear dead day beyond recall our sister Camou’s “steady,” spins this “wrong un” of his at those terrifying English cricket critics.

Bradman’s trembling at the hocks,
Woodfull’s far from cheerful,
Grimmett, the unorthodox,
Grows a trifle fearful,
Stan McCabe is thinking hard,
Fleetwood-Smith moans pensively
Kippax in his own back yard
Practises intensively,
Darkling doubts assail Ken Rigg,
Also Ironmonger,
Richardson feels not so big,
Wishing he were younger,
Oldfield’s lost his savoir faire,
Ponsford’s got the “willies,”
Wall is nearly in despair—
Aren’t they all sillies?

Article © Mark Pirie 2011

(Sources: The Evening Post [1932] from Papers Past, National Library of New Zealand digital archive; and the A to Z of Bradman by Alan Eason; foreword by Gideon Haigh (Scribe, Melbourne, 2008))

This article was first published in Poetry Notes (Poetry Archive of New Zealand Aotearoa Newsletter), Vol. 2, No. 4, Summer 2012; and republished as a booklet by Cultural and Political Booklets, Wellington, New Zealand, 2012.