Almanac Cricket: Arthur Morris, one of the greatest



It’s January 19th and Arthur Morris, one of our best ever openers and greatest ‘lefties’, would have turned 99 today.


A schoolboy sports prodigy, having played Second XI for NSW while still at school, Morris made an immediate impact in First Class cricket. At age 18 he became the first player ever to score a century in each innings of his debut match (against Queensland in the 1940-41 season: 148 and 111). Consistent form led to his Test debut in the 1946-7 season against Wally Hammond’s MCC team. He scored a modest 2, 5 and 21 in his first three innings before reeling off 155 in the Third Test and then twin centuries in the Fourth Test (122 and 124*). By series’ end, Morris was second only to Bradman with an aggregate of 503 runs. From that point he became a fixture in the Australian team for years to come, becoming Vice-Captain under Lindsay Hassett from 1949 and also captaining his country twice.


The 1948 Invincibles tour of England saw Morris at the peak of his powers. The enormity of his contribution to the tour as a whole and the Tests in particular make for mesmerising reading – read the details here. Two stories from the Fourth and Fifth Tests almost defined Bradman’s dominance of the cricket scene and relegated Morris to second fiddle. In the famous fourth innings chase in the Fourth Test, often remembered for Bradman’s 173*, Morris, at the other end,  contributed 182. The Fifth Test, Bradman’s finale, goes down in history for The Don’s second ball duck. Meanwhile, in Australia’s only innings, Morris made 196 out of Australia’s 389!


Morris continued to give excellent service until his retirement in 1955. A popular player, fellow team members, opponents and commentators all spoke well of Morris, praising his undoubted abilities, selflessness, modesty, sense of humour and friendliness. In later life, Morris worked as a cricket reporter, in public relations and served on the Sydney Cricket Ground Trust. He was awarded an MBE in 1974. Morris enjoyed a lifelong friendship with his English nemesis Alec Bedser who dismissed him 18 times in Test matches. In return, Morris dismissed Bedser once! Morris passed away in August 2015 at the ripe old age of 93.


Arthur Morris was selected in the Australian Cricket Board’s Team of the Century. To see the full team click HERE. In 1992, in due recognition for his decades of service to the game, Morris was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame and, later, into the ICC Hall of Fame.


For a detailed biography of Morris’ life and cricket career click HERE.


Two read The Guardian’s considered obituary for Morris click HERE.


To see a statistical summary of Morris’ career click HERE.




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  1. When you read the detail of Morris’ achievements, it seems a bit of a pity that he is not better and more widely acclaimed in the present era. Those of his time certainly rated him ‘way up there’.

  2. Liam Hauser says

    I wonder how Morris felt each time he was asked about Bradman’s famous duck in the final Ashes Test of 1948? Evidently it was (unfairly) not very well known that Morris was the non-striker, let alone the fact that he was on his way to 196.

  3. Citrus Bob’s Greatest Hits XI.
    Morris opening. Harvey at 4. Lindwall opening the bowling with Lillee. Miller the first change batting allrounder (just ahead of Mitch Marsh and Gus Gilmour).

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