Albert Edwin Trott, a name you must not be very familiar with or must be hearing for the first time was a remarkable cricketer with some extremely interesting achievements in his very short career. On this Day in 1873, he was born as one of the 8 children in Trott family in Melbourne, Australia. This article summarizes his intriguing but painful story.
Career for Australia
Trott got picked fot the Australian Team for the 1894-95 Ashes after playing just 3 First class match. At this moment, you might make an image of his in your mind as a very talented cricketer who was also very lucky. Well, he surely was talented to burst onto the scene so early in his career. he played the 3rd, 4th and 5th Tests of the Ashes which Australia went on to win 3-2 from being 2-0 down after losing first two Tests.
Trott was an All-rounder who shone on his debut by taking 8 wickets for only 43 runs. He then scored vital 38* and 72* with the bat coming at 10 in his first two innings. In his next inning with bat, he scored 85, again Not out. He finally got out in the 5th Test at the scores of 10 & 0 which meant he finished his Debut series with 205 runs at an average of 102.5 while batting at 10. Australia’s greatest cricketer Don Bradman averaged 99.94 with bat. Also, both of them got out on 0 in their last innings.
The twist in the plot
Albert’s brother Harry Trott also played cricket. He was made the captain of Australian side which had to tour England in 1896. Despite averaging 102.5 with bat and taking 8 wickets with ball in his debut match, Albert was mysteriously not picked for that tour. It is even more surprising considering it was his brother Harry, who was leading that side. A dejected Albert Trott decided to give up his career for Australia at that very moment and traveled on the same ship which was taking Australian team to England, but independently for obvious reasons. (The Aeroplanes were invented 7 years later. Before that, cricketers used to tour to different countries by ships)
Albert now, had to spend few years in England in order to be eligible to play first class cricket in a new country. He first started working as a ground staff at Lord’s and was finally eligible to play cricket for Middlesex cricket club 2 years later in 1898. He started his FC career in a different country on a positive note, with 102 wickets in his first season which earned him a call-up to England’s national side which was touring South Africa in 1899. His selection for the national side was again, very quick and so was his demise after being picked as he was an appropriate example of being star-crossed.
Career for England
He played 2 matches for England against South Africa and it made him one of the 14 players to have played Test cricket for two different countries. He was also the last cricketer to have played Test cricket for both Australia and England. Trott after getting dropped from English national side, went back to play first class cricket for Middlesex again and took 450 wickets along with scoring 2500 runs in next 2 years. He was also named as Wisden’s cricketer of the Year in 1899.
First Class Heriocs
450 wickets in only 2 years is as unbelievable as it sounds. 239 wickets in 1899 & 211 in 1900 but such was the amount of First class cricket being played at that time. Among his batting and bowling achievements, let’s not forget this unique record he made which is still with him even after his death.
On July 31, 1899 a cricket ball bounced off a chimney and dropped into a back garden in Marylebone. It had been hit, rather smashed, from the middle of Lord’s Cricket Ground, and sailed more than 120 metres over the dressing room balcony.
In clearing the famous pavilion at the mecca of cricket, Albert Trott wrote himself into the history books as the only player to this day to have achieved such a feat.
In 1900 at Taunton, he also took 10 wickets in an inning (10-42) against Somerset but his main wonder is yet to be mentioned. With time, his weight increased and effect decreased as they are inversely proportional to each other in sports. At his peak, Albert took over 200 wickets in a year. Now he was taking 100s which went down to only 65 in 1905. In a benefit match in 1907, he took 4 wickets in 4 balls in his first spell followed by another hattrick in the second spell. He was the first of the only 2 cricketers ever to have this unique record of taking 2 hattricks in the same inning. The other one is Joginder Rao from India ( we will talk about him in some other article).
1674 wickets and over 10000 runs in First class cricket, Batting average of 102.5 for Australia (which dropped down to 38 after he played 2 Tests for England) & an international bowling average of only 15 which is still the 8th best in the history of the game. While his Cricket career might sound very dreamy despite failing to achieve a lot of success at international level,his post cricket life was an equally tragic one.
The Final but lost battle
He retired in 1911 before losing his job because runs and wickets had dried up till that point. He lost his house because he couldn’t afford the rent and his wife & children returned to Australia for a better future leaving him to find his way alone. After 3 years of depression and physical sickness, Trott shot himself in the head leaving his wardrobe and 4 pounds he had for his landlady in his will. At the age of 41, he killed himself exactly a day before the 15th anniversary of his famous six at Lord’s. Life had always been so fickle.
Famous Modern day English cricketer Jonathan Trott, who retired from cricket just a while ago claims to be his relative.