|Batting style||Right-handed batsman|
|Bowling style||Right-arm off-break|
|Source: Cricket Archive|
Robert James Hamilton "Bob" Lambert (1874–1956) was an Irish cricketer. A right-handed batsman and a right-arm off spin bowler, he played 51 times for the Ireland cricket team between 1893 and 1930, including 23 first-class matches, captaining them on thirteen occasions. He also played first-class cricket for London County and Woodbrook Club and Ground. On his death, the Wisden Cricketer's Almanack described him as the best all-rounder produced by Ireland.
Education and career
Born 18 July 1874 in Dublin, Ireland, Lambert was educated at Rathmines School and Wesley College in Dublin and at St John's College in Preston before attended the Edinburgh University Veterinary School, where he trained to become a veterinary surgeon, which was to become his profession when not playing cricket.
Lambert made his debut for Ireland against I Zingari in August 1893, scoring 51 in the only Irish innings. He played three more times that year, against the Combined Services, Surrey and WH Laverton's XI, against whom he scored 115, which was the first of 101 centuries he scored in all cricket throughout his career. He played just twice for Ireland the following year, against I Zingari and South Africa.
In 1895, he played against WH Laverton's XI and twice against the MCC, including once at Lord's. This year, he also scored his first double century, an unbeaten innings of 248 for Leinster against Fitzwilliam. He played against the MCC and I Zingari in 1896 before spending three years out of the Irish team.
He returned to the Irish side in 1899, playing against I Zingari, but then spent a further three years out of the Irish side, returning in 1902 for his first first-class match, against London County in May 1902, playing three further first-class matches for Ireland that month, against the MCC, Oxford University and Cambridge University. In June 1903, he played for Ireland against London County on 15 June in Mardyke, Cork, and then travelled across the Irish sea with London County to play a first-class match for them against Lancashire at Old Trafford starting on 18 June. He scored 46 not out and 38 in the match, with W. G. Grace describing his play as perfection.
In 1904, he played for Ireland against South Africa and twice against Cambridge University. He played seven more times for Ireland in the remainder of the decade, including matches against Philadelphia, Scotland, South Africa and Yorkshire. This time period also saw his highest score in all cricket, an innings of 256 for Leinster against County Kildare in 1906. He played just five times for Ireland in the following decade, four times against Scotland and once against South Africa. In 1912, he played a first-class match for Woodbrook Club and Ground against South Africa.
The 1920s saw the bulk of his international cricket career for Ireland, playing several matches, mainly against Scotland and the MCC, with matches also being played against the Irish military and Wales. His final first-class match was for Ireland against the MCC in August 1928. His last match for Ireland was also against the MCC, in August 1930. For a batsman who scored over 37,000 runs in all cricket in his career, it was a rather embarrassing last match, as he was dismissed for a duck in both innings of the match.
He continued playing club cricket for another four years, scoring his hundredth hundred for Leinster against Halverstown, during which an opposing bowler was overheard to say to his team mates, "This bloody Lambert just won't quit". After his playing career ended, he served as president of the Irish Cricket Union three times, in 1931, 1932 and 1947. He also served as an Irish selector for a number of years. He died 24 March 1956 in Dublin.
In all matches for Ireland, Lambert scored 1954 runs at an average of 27.91, with a top score of 116 not out against Philadelphia in August 1908. He scored eight half-centuries, and four centuries. He took 173 wickets at an average of 18.65, with best innings bowling figures of 7/11 against Scotland in July 1910, also his best first-class bowling performance. He took five wickets in an innings twelve times and ten in match four times. In first-class cricket, his top score was 103 not out for Ireland against Scotland.
- Cricket Archive profile
- CricketEurope Stats Zone profile
- First-class matches played by Bob Lambert at Cricket Archive
- Wisden Cricketers' Almanack 1958, Obituaries for 1956
- CricketEurope Stats Zone biography
- First-class batting for each team by Bob Lambert at Cricket Archive
- First-class batting against each opponent by Bob Lambert at Cricket Archive