Hunter Poon

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Hunter Poon
Hunter Poon.jpg
Personal information
Full name Hunter Robert George Poon
Born (1894-05-14)14 May 1894
Ballina, New South Wales, Australia
Died 25 January 1980(1980-01-25) (aged 85)
Greenslopes, Queensland, Australia
Batting style Right-handed
Role Right arm leg spin
Domestic team information
Years Team
1923 Queensland
First-class debut 21 December 1923 Queensland v Victoria
Last First-class 1923 Queensland v Victoria
Career statistics
Competition First-class
Matches 1
Runs scored 12
Batting average 6.00
100s/50s 0/0
Top score 10
Balls bowled 0
Wickets -
Bowling average -
5 wickets in innings -
10 wickets in match -
Best bowling -
Catches/stumpings 7/0
Source: CricketArchive, 21 September 2008

Hunter Robert George Poon (14 May 1894 – 25 January 1980) was the first player of Chinese descent to appear in Australian first-class cricket[1]

Hunter Robert George Poon was born near Ballina, New South Wales to a Cantonese man, William ("Lam") Poon, who had migrated to Australia to work on the north Queensland goldfields, and his half Chinese, half Anglo-Australian wife, Elizabeth (née Key). Hunter Poon's name appears on his birth certificate as "Ander Leppit" George Poon as the clerk registering his birth could not understand his father's accent.[2] Poon moved with his family to Toowoomba, Queensland and was educated at Toowoomba Grammar School, becoming a school teacher after graduation. A right arm leg spin bowler and right-handed batsman, Poon became a leading cricketer around Toowoomba.[1]

His career was interrupted by World War I, and Poon enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force on 5 September 1916, serving as a Lance Corporal with the 15th Battalion in France, where he was injured.[3]

Returning from the war, with shrapnel wounds in his right hand and lower back, Poon continued to star in Toowoomba cricket and was chosen to represent Queensland in a first-class match against Victoria at the Melbourne Cricket Ground starting 21 December 1923. While Poon was unable to take a wicket and scored only 10 and two, his selection caused international headlines.[4]

Although Poon never again played first-class cricket, he did play against the touring Marylebone Cricket Club twice. Representing Toowoomba, Poon played against MCC in December 1924, taking 0/19 and, batting at number four, scoring 11 and 0.[5] In February 1933, during the Bodyline series, Poon represented Queensland Country against MCC in Toowoomba, taking 2/123 and 0/23 and scoring one with the bat. Poon took the Wickets of Herbert Sutcliffe, stumped by future Test wicket keeper Don Tallon, and Gubby Allen.[6]

Poon died in Greenslopes, Brisbane in 1980, aged 85. The second cricketer of Chinese background to play first-class cricket in Australia, Richard Chee Quee, would not make his first-class debut until 1993.[7]


  1. ^ a b Cashman, R., Franks, W. et al. (1997) The A-Z of Australian Cricketers, Oxford University Press, Melbourne.
  2. ^ Original Birth Certificate.
  3. ^ "World War I Nominal Roll", File 42-077, Commonwealth of Australia, Accessed 1 March 2008.
  4. ^ The Evening Post "Chinaman picked for Queensland", 24 December 1923, Wellington, New Zealand.
  5. ^ Scorecard, Cricket Archive, Accessed 12 March 2008.
  6. ^ Scorecard, Cricinfo, Accessed 2 March 2008.
  7. ^ Scorecard, Cricinfo, Accessed 14 March 2008.

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