John Jackson

JOHN JACKSON died in Liverpool Workhouse Infirmary on November 4th, in his sixty-ninth year. His career, which extended, from 1855 to 1866, was terminated, as regards big matches, by a serious accident sustained whilst playing against Yorkshire. Inasmuch as his connection with first-class cricket ended thirty-five years ago, John Jackson had long outlived his fame, but no one acquainted with the history of the game will need to be told that in his day he was the best fast bowler in England. Born in Suffolk on May 21st, 1833, he was taken to Nottingham in infancy, and with Notts cricket he was associated all the time he played. He first appeared at Lord's in 1856, and soon went to the top of the tree. Cricket in those days was very different from what it is now. Wickets were not prepared with the excessive pains now taken over them, scores were naturally far smaller, and bowlers met with a measure of success that in this generation would be impossible. It is fruitless to inquire what rank John Jackson would have taken in the cricket world

if he had been born thirty years later. The important fact is that under the conditions prevailing in his own time he was great. He was past his best when the accident occurred that cut short his career, but as he was then only thirty-three he would probably have lasted several seasons longer. In style he belonged to the old round-arm school, all his best work being done before the restriction as to the height of the arm was removed, but as he was a man of fully 6ft. the ball came from a good elevation. He had tremendous pace, and, like most of the right-handed fast bowlers of his time, but unlike Tarrant, made the ball go a little with his arm. Tarrant at times broke back but, on the evidence of Caffyn and others who played against him, was not so straight or so accurate in length as Jackson. The two bowlers went to Australia with George Parr's team in 1863-64, and met with great success. Jackson was then at the height of his fame, but he began to decline when he returned to England, He was a member of England eleven that in 1859 visited America. He assisted the Players in their matches against the Gentlemen from 1859 to 1864, bowling in twelve matches (23 innings) 2139 balls for 827 runs and 69 wickets, average 11.98. At Lord's in 1861 he and the late Edgar Willsher bowled unchanged through both innings of the Gentlemen.

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