From September 10, 1921

“IN the softest of September sunshine at Scarborough on Wednesday,” reported the D&S Times 100 years ago this week, “George Hirst played his last innings of big cricket, and he contrived for the occasion to cast his years aside. In 30 minutes, he clouted – that is the word he would use himself – 30 runs, and pulled and drove as the Hirst of the ancient days pulled and drove.”

Hirst, aged 50 in 1921, was one of the greatest Yorkshire cricketers of all time. His heyday was before the First World War, when he amassed most of his 36,356 runs (average 34.1) and took most of his 2,742 wickets (average 18.7).

He played 24 Tests for England, but it was in the county game where he was most successful, particularly as he became one of the first “swerve” bowlers – we’d call it swing bowling today, and Hirst was one of the first to understand how to control the swerving ball.

Despite his age, Hirst, from near Huddersfield, had returned to the crease after the war, but 100 years ago this week, he was retiring but still rolling back the years as he faced the Sussex bowler Vallance Jupp.

“Hirst put all his fine yeoman’s gusto into the hit and Jupp’s half-volley went high in the air and crashed down among the jubilant crowd on the on boundary,” said the D&S.