Ashes Tests: 8
Off the Mark
Henry “Tup” Scott was a naturally gifted Victorian batsman whose career was probably cut short by the pressures of an unwanted captaincy. After being plucked from virtual obscurity, Scott was one of Australia’s best on his first tour in 1884. After making 75 at Lord’s, he added 102 at the Oval in a record 207 run partnership with the then captain Billy Murdoch.
Scott’s 359 runs at an average of 27.61 would have been better had he not been burdened by the weight of leadership during the failed 1886 tour.
A number of players secretly resented the fact Scott was named captain, with the batsman clearly stating cricket was a hobby behind his true passion; medicine. Unfortunately for Scott, a number of his star players were either injured or simply didn’t perform during the tour.
Scott scored a valuable 47 in the first Test at Old Trafford, in the only match that Australia was truly competitive. After going down by just four wickets, the team would go on to suffer innings defeats in each of the next two matches. Scott’s 110 runs for the series might sound poor, but when you consider only one batsman passed 50, the stand-in captain had actually faired very well.
Scott was a victim of circumstance. As a player in 1884, he had shown that he was one of the nation’s best talents with dominant displays at Lord’s and the Oval. However, captaincy didn’t sit well with him, and it showed. His placid approach was a far cry from the demanding style of Billy Murdoch, who many believed would have earned his side more money. Sadly, in those days, nice guys finished last.
Played and Missed
Scott didn’t share his teammates’ love of late night mayhem. Instead, he preferred quiet nights aboard London buses that just so happened to cost twopence; hence the nickname “Tup”.
Against Yorkshire, Scott hit 22 runs off a four ball over to win Australia the game on the final delivery.
Scott and Billy Murdoch shared the first ever double century partnership when they added 207 at the Oval in 1884.
The failed experiment of Scott as captain heralded a change in direction. From that point on, only cricketing professionals would be considered for the top job.
Scott became a successful practitioner of medicine in Bathurst and Scone following his retirement from cricket.