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Hampden Love's stump: A great wicketkeeper

Hampden Love's stump: A great wicketkeeper

William (Bert) Oldfield nearly didn't play Test cricket. While serving with the Australian Imperial Force in France during the First World War, he narrowly escaped death during a bombardment at Polygon Wood. The war, however, also gave Oldfield a chance to show his skill as a cricketer, as he was selected for the Australian Imperial Force team in 1919.

He went on to represent Australia in 54 Test matches between 1920 and 1937. In all, Oldfield dismissed 130 batsmen, catching 78 and stumping 52 — a surviving international record for stumpings and their proportion to catches.

Oldfield was renowned for his sportsmanlike behaviour and quiet sense of humour. During the 1932/33 bodyline series, he was knocked unconscious by a ball from English paceman Harold Larwood. When Oldfield awoke, he simply commented, 'my own fault'. When Larwood later immigrated to Australia, the two became good friends.

Two black and white images of cricketers on a pitch. The left-hand image shows a batsman stepping back to his crease. Behind and to the right is a wicketkeeper who has just knocked the bails off the stumps. He appears to possibly be looking at the square leg umpire who is out of the picture to the right. In the background is one of the fielding team. In the front left foreground of the image is the other batsman. He has his back to the camera. The right-hand image shows four members of the fielding team and one of the batsmen from the batting team. The batsman is at the far left of the image. The wicket-keeper is at the far right, running to catch the ball. The other four fielders are spread out to the left of the wicketkeeper. In the background is part of the large crowd watching the game.

Oldfield's finest moments came during the 1925 Ashes series where he stumped English batsman Hobbs in the fourth Test, and dismissed him again in the fifth with a brilliant catch on the leg side. Photo: George Serras.

Australian Schoolboys Cricket Team tour, 1965/66

A still image taken from a black and white moving image material featuring the title words in white print on black background, 'The Australian Schoolboys Cricket Teams Tour to Ethiopa, Sudan, Kenya, India, Ceylon and Singapore 1965-1966.

In later years, Oldfield worked to promote cricket in Africa and Asia. In 1965/66 Oldfield was manager of an Australian Schoolboys Cricket Team's tour. This clip shows the team's send off from Sydney and parts of their match against an Ethiopian team.

View the clip (MP4 7.9mb) duration 3:56
Courtesy: Colorfilm Pty Ltd