Victor Trumper – The Greatest Batsman of Golden Age
Australian cricketer Victor Trumper was born on November 2, 1877, in Darlinghurst, Sydney, New South Wales. He was the most stylish and versatile batsman of the golden age of Australian cricket. Victor Thomas Trumper was recognized as a brilliant match-winning innings player on wet wickets. Victor Trumper was also a key figure in the foundation of the rugby league in Australia.
He was the first cricketer to score eight centuries in Test-match cricket. His son, VT Trumper junior, also played seven first-class matches for New South Wales in 1940–41. The brief career of his son was inevitably shadowed by comparisons that no mortal could have lived up to.
Victor Trumper was one of the dominant figures of the Golden Age and is the culmination of a fascination that started in childhood. He was a quick run-getter in those days when there was no ODI concept. In the 1906 season, one of his prime highlights was scoring the fastest century before lunch in just 58 minutes against Victoria.
He was the most consistent and brilliant batsman, with such remarkable power in all conditions and grounds. On his day, he can play an orthodox game at his own will to show his ability to make big scores.
Trumper’s breakthrough season was in 1898–99, when he scored 873 runs with a healthy average of 62.35 and a top score of 292 not out. Trumper was never afraid of any treacherous surface or the combined effects of rain and sunshine. He was capable of scoring runs on those surfaces by pulling good-length balls. Hence, due to his class act, he visited England in 1899, 1902, 1905, and 1909.
In the 1899–1900 Australian Season, Victor Trumper maintained his good form, scoring 721 first-class runs at 72.1 with a top score of 208. Therefore, on the 1902 tour of England, he was at his highest level, scoring 2,570 runs in 35 matches at an average of 48 with 11 hundred. However, he didn’t touch the same level in England. In 1905, he was 5th in batting average and was overshadowed by Bardsley and Ransford in 1909.
In an 1899 tour to England, Trumper played a splendid inning of 135* at Lord’s and 300* runs vs. Sussex at Brighton. This series demonstrates his class act. As Australian selectors had found a world-class batsman, nothing could have been better.
He touched another height of scoring runs against the visiting South African team in 1910–11. In the five-match series, Victor scored 662 runs with a healthy average of 94. Victor Trumper was also a capable rugby player and can lay claim to being the prime mover in the development of rugby league in Australia.
Victor Trumper was the most fascinating batsman to watch, with the peculiar grace to play good-length pull shots, hitting up big scores in quite an easy matter. In his era, the youngster wanted to be a batsman like Trumper. He was a popular Aussie cricketer with the highest point of excellence.
At that time, cricket matches couldn’t be telecast, so many haven’t seen Trumper bat, but the iconic image of him jumping out to drive is an inspiration. In 1903, he was named a Wisden Cricketer of the Year. In 2008, one of the SCG grandstands was named in Trump’s honor.
His health was bad for some time, and he could not survive Bright’s disease. Victor Trumper died on June 28, 1915, at Darlinghurst, Sydney, New South Wales, at just 37 years and 238 days. In 1913, a beneficial match was played between New South Wales and the Rest of Australia, which managed donations of nearly £3000.
Victor Trumper’s funeral procession was one of the largest to ever be seen in Sydney, as more than 250,000 mourners lined the route. He was buried in Waverley Cemetery and survived by his wife Sarah, his son Victor Junior, and his daughter Nancy Victor.
Victor Trumper played 48 test matches for Australia, scoring 3,163 runs at an average of 39.04, including eight hundred and thirteen fifties, with the best score of 214*. In his 255 first-class matches for Australia and New South Wales, he scored 16,939 runs at 44.57, including 42 hundred, with the best score of 300*. So, he will be forever remembered in Australian cricket history.