Edwin Diver


DIVER, EDWIN JAMES, born at Cambridge, March 20, 1861, died at Pontardawe, near Swansea, on December 27. Edwin Diver who, without realising all the bright promise of his early days, played a prominent part in the cricket field for many years, was found dead in his bed. He will always be best remembered on account of his short but brilliant connection with Surrey. He became qualified for the county by residence through holding a mastership at Wimbledon School, and made his first appearance in the eleven in 1883. A most attractive batsman in point of style, with splendid hitting power on the off side, his success was immediate. Indeed, he created such an impression that in the following year he was given a place in the Gentlemen's Eleven against the Australians at Lord's. As things turned out the match was, perhaps, the most memorable in which he ever took part. The Australians had to follow on, but they set the Gentlemen 128 to get in the last innings and against Palmer and Giffen, bowling at the top of their form on a worn pitch, the task proved a formidable one. Indeed, the Australians looked to be winning when, with six wickets down and 45 still required, Diver joined A. G. Steel. Rising to the occasion, they hit off the runs without being separated. One can remember the finish as well as if the match had been played last season. Except that Diver put one ball up--it dropped out of reach over Boyle's head at short mid-on--the batting was flawless.

It cannot be said that Diver ever improved upon his earliest efforts for Surrey, but he held his own, playing many a fine innings--the highest of them 143 against Oxford University at Oxford in 1885. After playing for Surrey three years as an amateur he declared himself a professional in 1886, and at the end of that season his association with the county came to an end. Following a rather long interval he qualified by residence for Warwickshire, and played for them from 1893 till 1901. Always more or less successful, he had an especially good season in 1899, when he scored 1,010 runs in county matches, hit up a score of 184 against Leicestershire at Birmingham, and averaged 31. After finishing with Warwickshire he kept up his cricket in a modest way for Monmouth from 1903 onwards. Diver had the very rare experience of playing for both sides in Gentlemen v. Players matches. He was in the Gentlemen's team at the Oval in 1884, and assisted the Players at the same ground in 1886 and 1899. In all he scored 2,962 runs for Surrey with an average of 21, and 5,931 runs for Warwickshire with an average of 26.

© John Wisden & Co