Four future county cricketers were born in 1869, including one of Yorkshire’s best-ever opening batsmen, and Paul Dyson looks back at their careers. The photo of Jack Brown is by courtesy of Mick Pope.

The first member of 1869’s four future Yorkshire cricketers to see the light of day arrived in Saltburn, Middlesbrough on February 22nd. The most valuable part of Joseph Whitwell’s formative years was spent at Uppingham School where he was in the first eleven for five years and captained the team in his final season of 1887. His solitary game for Yorkshire – as an amateur – came three years later, was against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge, and his contribution was to score four and four and take one wicket. (An elder brother, William, also played for Yorkshire in the same season.) A solid batsman and useful medium-paced bowler he played club cricket for Norton (Durham) and Saltburn. He also represented Durham for seven years; he captained the county in four seasons (1899-1902), the team winning the Minor Counties Championship in 1901. He had a business as an ironmaster and died at Langbaurgh Hall, Great Ayton, Middlesbrough in 1932 at the age of 63.

Another who had a short career for Yorkshire was Luther Whitehead, He was born on June 25th in Hull and his two games, in which he made 21 runs, came in the county’s first official title-winning season of 1893. He played club cricket for Leeds Leamington and had seven seasons with Ossett, including one as professional. He was head of the Leeds Meter Company, Tower Works, Armley and died on business in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1931 when aged 61.

A total of 30 Yorkshire players have opened the batting for England in Test cricket. Some of these were great players and the first of them was Jack Brown; he topped his country’s averages in Australia in 1894/95 and in his 140 in the fifth and final game at Melbourne his first 50 runs came in 28 minutes – a world record which stood for 112 years.

An image of Lauren Winfield-Hill and Adil Rashid, with the Yorkshire logo and Northern Diamonds logo in the middle

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