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The Australian Eleven: Australia's first captain

The Australian Eleven: Australia's first Test captain

New South Welshman Dave Gregory captained the 1878 Australian Test cricket team on its tour of England. 
Photographs of a postcard showing members of the Gregory family who played for Australia. The left photo shows the card in its entirety. It features four men, each in an egg-shaped photograph. The photos are arranged with two at the top and two at the bottom. Under each is the name of that man and information regarding his cricket career. In the middle between the photos is a plaque shape that has this written on it: 'The Gregorys in the Test Matches Of The World. 1877 to 1921.' Under the lower two photos is written 'Australia. England. South Africa.' The right photo shows a close up of the top right image from the postcard. It shows a man from about chest height up; he wears a suit and has a full beard. Under the image is written 'David W Gregory. Capt. 1st Test 1877.'


Right: This postcard shows four members of the Gregory family who together played 69 Test matches for Australia between 1877 and 1921. Courtesy: Australian War Memorial, Negative Number H11860.

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David William Gregory was born in Fairy Meadow, New South Wales, in 1854. A middle-order right-handed batsman, he was the Australian captain for the first three Test matches between England and Australia in March and April 1877 and January 1879.

Gregory belonged to an illustrious cricketing family. Four of his brothers and three nephews represented New South Wales at first-class level. His family venerated his memory, keeping his collage of the1878 Australian XI squad until the National Museum of Australia acquired it in 2006.

A two column newspaper article from 1879. The article's headline reads 'The Outrage On The Sydney Cricket Ground'. The article describes how a cricket match between the Australian and British teams was interrupted by spectators and how betting rings had lowered the tone of the match.

Right: Dave Gregory led the New South Wales team against the English XI at the Sydney Cricket Ground in February 1879. The match ended in a riot after a controversial umpiring decision. The English cancelled the rest of the tour and refused to play a touring Australian team the following year. It seemed for a while that a fourth Test match would never be played. Courtesy: The Times.

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