Private Arthur Dolphin 15/1252

Private Arthur Dolphin Born. 24 December 1885, Wilsden, Yorkshire, England. Died. 23 October 1942, Lilycroft, Heaton, Yorkshire, England. The worthy successor to David Hunter as Yorkshire's wicket keeper. Arthur Dolphin was destined to give loyal service to the county for 22 years. His ability behind the stumps was considered almost equal to that of his contemporary Surrey's Herbert Strudwick and in his long career he was an internal part of eight Championship winning Yorkshire sides. The first Bradford League player chosen to represent Yorkshire. Dolphin was 14 when he first played for Wilsden Britannia and 19 when he made his county debut. He eventually took over from Hunter as Yorkshire's first choice wicket keeper in 1910. A short lively cricketer, few wicket keepers of his time had to deal with the variety of bowling that confronted Dolphin. Amongst the left-handed bowlers he kept to were Hirst, Rhodes, Waddington, Drake and Kilner and with them came differing challenges of pace, swerve, spin and swing. Allied to that, Schofield Haigh and Macauley with their medium paced off breaks. With a minimum of fuss and effort he dealt with them all. Herbert Sutcliffe observed Dolphin's true skill and wrote: "His quick brain and exceptionally keen eyesight were responsible for disposing of large numbers of batsmen from chances which many keepers would have missed without even affecting their reputations" His speed standing up to the wicket is underlined by the high proportion of stumpings he made for Yorkshire (31 per cent). Another example, which serves to illustrate his talent, came against Hampshire at Leeds in 1921, When Hampshire made 456 for two in a day. Dolphin retained his concentration throughout and conceded just two byes in the innings.

He served alongside his county colleagues, Roy Kilner and Major Booth, with the Leeds Pals during World War one and was part of the recruiting party that toured Leeds in June 1915,a Leeds Tram decked out with flags and posters was their transport. After the war he returned to Yorkshire's ranks in 1919 and enjoyed his most successful season with the gloves claiming 82 dismissals in the first post-war summer An obstinate lower order batsman, two of his best performances came against Essex at Leyton. In 1914, going into bat as the night watchman. He added 124 for the second wicket with B. B. Wilson and in 1919 contributed 62 not out in a last-wicket stand of 103 with E. Smith, which averted the follow-on. His one and only Test Cap came at Melbourne against Australia in the Fourth Test of England's catastrophic 1920/21 tour although in retirement he stood in six tests as an umpire. His benefit season in 1922 brought him £1,891. At various times during his career he suffered from sciatica and he played his last match for Yorkshire in 1927. During his decade as a popular first-class umpire he was renowned for never wearing a hat even on the hottest day.

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