Joe Hardstaff (senior - his son also represented Nottinghamshire and England) was a short, powerful right hand bat, and a brilliant fielder, especially in the outfield. Making his debut with Nottinghamshire in 1902, he played on either side of the war, retiring in 1926. He was a fine stroke player on all sides of the wicket, and had a solid defence. He bowled occasionally, his fast-medium style giving him 58 first-class wickets. His best period was before the war, and in 1907, based on a fine innings of 124* against the visiting South Africans, and his contribution to Nottinghamshire's Championship win, he was chosen to tour Australia. He had a fine tour, topping the first-class averages with over 50, and making over three hundred runs in the Tests. A great favourite with the Australian crowds, it is a testimony to the strength of English batting at this time that he never played another Test. At the end of his playing career he became a popular first-class umpire, and stood in several Tests.
(Article: Copyright © 2003 Dave Liverman)
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