Robert Carpenter (cricketer)

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The first English touring team pictured on board ship at Liverpool: standing at left Robert Carpenter, William Caffyn, Tom Lockyer; middle row John Wisden, HH Stephenson, George Parr, James Grundy, Julius Caesar, Thomas Hayward, John Jackson; front row Alfred Diver, John Lillywhite.

Robert Pearson Carpenter (18 November 1830 in Mill Road, Cambridge – 14 July 1901 in Cambridge) was an English first-class cricketer active 1855–76, generally acknowledged to be one of the outstanding batsmen of the 1850s and 1860s. He was a right-handed batsman, usually opening the innings, and an occasional wicketkeeper. He played mostly for Cambridge Town Club (aka Cambridgeshire) and the United All-England Eleven (UEE). In 1859, Carpenter went to North America as a member of the first-ever overseas tour undertaken by the England team and, in 1862–63, was in the England team to Australia and New Zealand. He umpired in two Test matches between England and Australia in the 1880s. His son Herbert played for Essex.

Carpenter's known first-class career spanned the 1855 to 1876 seasons. He scored 5,220 runs in 141 matches @ 24.39, making four centuries with a highest score of 134. A noted fielder, he held 190 catches and made two stumpings.

At the end of the 1859 English cricket season, Carpenter was one of the twelve players who took part in cricket's first-ever overseas tour when an England cricket team led by George Parr visited North America. He also toured Australia with Parr in 1863. In the early 1860s, Carpenter and his Cambridgeshire contemporary Thomas Hayward were rated the finest batsmen in England. Richard Daft was among those ranking them as equal first, but George Parr reckoned Carpenter the better of the two.[1] W. G. Grace said of Carpenter that "he may be safely placed as one of the finest of our great batsmen".[2]

Carpenter played in the Gentlemen v Players fixture for the Players on many occasions, scoring centuries in the 1860 and 1861 fixtures at The Oval. In the 1860 match, he hit a ball clean out of The Oval.[3]

Carpenter pictured 1st left (back row) with the 1893 Australia national cricket team

References[edit]

  1. ^ Number One: The World's Best Batsmen and Bowlers, Simon Wilde, pub. Victor Gollancz, 1998, ISBN 978-0-575-06453-9, p. 49.
  2. ^ Cricket (1891) by W. G. Grace
  3. ^ Giants of the Game (1900) by Lyttleton, Ford, Fry, Giffen

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