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MCC Premier Cricket History

Andrew KentMelbourne has been a most successful member of the Cricket Victoria Premier Cricket competition, winning a record 20 First XI premierships.

Among many interstate representatives and Test players from the MCC, perhaps the most renowned are Hugh Trumble, Warwick Armstrong, Bill Ponsford, Jack Blackham, Fred Spofforth, Vernon Ransford, Max Walker and Dean Jones.

Blackham, Spofforth and Ponsford are three of the 10 inaugural inductees to the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame. Trumble captured the most wickets (141) in Anglo-Australian Tests to that time and a record two hat tricks.

Bill Ponsford twice scored more than 400 runs in a first class innings, while Armstrong topped the batting and bowling averages on the 1905 tour of England and later captained the famous 1921 side.

Armstrong has the unique distinction of having bowled two successive overs in a Test – before and after successfully challenging an illegal declaration (too late in the day) by the England captain.

Former MCC wicketkeeper Robert TempletonBlackham, known as the prince of wicketkeepers, was the first man to dispose of the long stop (hitherto a specialist position). His career tally of 455 catches and stumpings was highlighted by the 1890 tour of England when he effected a still-standing record 65 dismissals in first class matches.

Spofforth’s sobriquet “the demon bowler" speaks for itself. He took 14/90 in the 1882 “Ashes Test" at the Oval.

More recently, Dean Jones was a fine Test cricketer and one of the best one-day players the world has seen. His superb 210 in the tied Test at Madras in 1986 is regarded by many as one of the bravest and best of any Australian batsman.

In 2005, Brad Hodge was rewarded for consistent performances at Pura Cup level for Victoria with his Test debut against the West Indies in Hobart. He made a stylish 60 in his only innings and proceeded to belt an unbeaten 203 against South Africa in Perth a month later.

However, after five Tests Hodge was axed - despite scoring 409 Test runs at an envious average of 58.42 - and spent two years in  the wilderness before being temporarily recalled in May, 2008 against the West Indies in place of the unavailable Michael Clarke. He scored 67 and 27 to help steer Australia to victory.

In January 2009, all-rounder Andrew McDonald made his Test debut against South Africa at the Sydney Cricket Ground. He also played all three Tests in the return series in South Africa two months later, including a highest score of 68 and a career total of nine wicket at 33.33.