Septimus P Kinneir

SEPTIMUS P. KINNEIR was born at Corsham, in Wiltshire, on the 13th May, 1873. Recognition outside county cricket has come to him rather late in his career. For years he has been one of the mainstays of the Warwickshire eleven, often dividing honours with W.G. Quaife, but not till last summer was he thought of in connection with representative matches. His chance of distinction was due in a sense to accident. The Gentlemen and Players match at the Oval being treated as one of the Test Trial series, the Selection Committee - Lord Hawke, G. L. Jessop, and P. F. Warner - in picking the Players side, decided to leave out Hayward and George Hirst. Kinneir was given a place in the eleven, and made the most of his opportunity, scoring 158 and not out 53. His play made a great impression. It was thought that with his strong defence and extreme steadiness, he would be just the man for the Sydney and Melbourne wickets, and he soon received an invitation to join the M.C.C.'s team for Australia. The compliment was well deserved at the time, but I doubt whether Kinneir would have been asked if Mead had in the first half of the season obtained the big scores that he afterwards made. To take to Australia for the first time a man of 38 was obviously something of an experiment. Whatever the result of his Australian trip, however, there can be no question as to Kinneir's class as a county player. Of all our left-handed batsmen, he has since he came out for Warwickshire in 1898 been the soundest and most consistent, knowing no serious rival till Woolley and Mead appeared on the scene. All one can urge against him is that he is inclined at times to carry caution to an extreme. Like some other players one could name, he loves batting for its own sake, and is quite content to go on playing the same stern, watchful game for hours together. It is said of him that when he has made a hundred runs he starts quite undisturbed on the second hundred, seldom or never feeling tempted by success to take liberties with the bowling. He would have perhaps become a more popular figure on the cricket field if he had been less seriously careful and given freer play to his naturally fine powers as a hitter. I remember an innings of 98 not out against Surrey at the Oval in 1900 that up to a certain point was more brilliant than anything he has done in recent years. Joe Darling himself - the most powerful of Australian left-handers - could not have played a bolder game against Richardson and Lockwood. However, Kinneir has no need to apologise for his careful methods. His position year after year in the Warwickshire averages has amply justified the style into which he has schooled himself. In his early days for the county, serious illness threatened to spoil his cricket, but happily the check in his career was only temporary.

© John Wisden & Co