Object of the Month – August 2019
William Bates `Ostrich’ (Emu) Trophy, 1888
William Bates was born in 1855 at Lascelles Hall, Huddersfield. He played 202 times for Yorkshire between 1877 and 1887 and was one of the great all-rounders of the era.
He played in 15 Tests, all in Australia, between 1882 and 1887, an in January 1883 was presented with this trophy reputedly made up of an ostrich egg in commemoration of a sensational match-winning performance in which he took England’s first-ever `Hat Trick’, while capturing 7 for 28 in the first innings of that game.
He followed up with 7 for 74 in the second innings as well as scoring 55 in the ten- wicket victory to become the first Test player from any county to take more than ten wickets and score a half-century in the same match.
On his last tour to Australia, he was struck in the eye by a ball whilst practicing in the nets. He lost his eye and never played First Class cricket again.
There is some conjecture about whether the egg is indeed an ostrich one! The bird is native to Africa and Arabia, not Australia. The emu is indigenous to Australia, and this actually appears on its coat-of-arms, and thus on the famous `Baggy Green’ cap.
Trophy on Loan by kind permission of Linda Parson Bates