Remembering Albert Trott, the only man to clear the Lord’s stadium

February 6th marks the birthday of England/Australian cricketer Albert Trott. Born in 1873, he was one of the finest cricketers of his day. He debuted with #Australia after just three first-class matches. He picked up 8 wickets in the first Test, scored 38* and 72* in the second followed by another 80+ score batting at number ten. Though he averaged over 100, he wasn’t picked up for the next series.

#Trott decided to switch teams, sailed to England. He started his career with MCC, then Middlesex where he grabbed a lot of wickets.

He was and is the only player to clear the Lord’s cricket stadium. He used a three-pound bat to hit the six where the ball said to have travelled over 120 metres.

–“The ball hit a chimney and fell into the garden outside the house of Philip Need, the Lord’s dressing room attendant.”–

He is also one of the two players to pick two hattricks in the same first-class match. Somerset was needing 264 to win the match and was doing well at 77/2. Trott then picked up four wickets in four balls then followed it up with another hattrick.

He is known for the following incident. Though there is no proof in support or against the incident, it is to be “believed”.

Once before the match, a local player announced that Trott was the worst bowler ever to attain the reputation. When heard the news everybody thought that he would do something to the player considering his short temper but Trott didn’t do anything but smiled and wrote him a note.

Trott asked the player not to open the note until he gets out. The player also agreed. While the crowd was around them, Trott went on to bowl the first one. The ball hit the batsman’s body, and the crowd started to laugh. In anger, the player decided to go for a wild slog but he misses it, and the ball beats the batsman. While the crowd was enjoying the contest, the player made a desperate attempt to hit the ball but misses it completely this time, and the ball goes on to hit the stumps.

The player walked back with a down face, and he opens the note which read: “Trott wins £5 if he hits you with the first ball, makes you miss the second, and bowls you the first over. Is he a good bowler?”

Despite being one of the greatest all-rounders of his time, Trott battled depression and loneliness, became sick, his wife had to leave him, he became alcoholic, and finally, he shot himself when he was just 41. He died almost penniless, and the MCC took care of his entire funeral expenses. The bat with which he scored the six which cleared the Lord’s stadium is preserved at the ground’s museum.

Image courtesy: CricInfo
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