Billy Murdoch – Part 1 – with Richard Cashman & Ric Sissons image
The Golden Age of Cricket Podcast
Billy Murdoch – Part 1 – with Richard Cashman & Ric Sissons
214 Plays
4 months ago

Billy Murdoch was a colossus of Australian cricket in the 19th century. He captained Australia in its first victory on English soil giving rise to the Ashes, and as a stylish but determined batsman, he scored the first triple century in Australia and the first Test double century. He’s often been called Australia’s answer to W.G. Grace. But he courted controversy too. Bankrupted in his 20s, he secretly married the daughter of Victoria’s wealthiest gold miner without his permission. He emigrated to England in 1890, as he and his wife aspired to make it in Edwardian society, often living beyond their means. He even played a solitary Test for England in South Africa. But what do we make of Murdoch’s cricketing legacy today, and is he unfairly forgotten?

In this episode, we look at the backend of Murdoch's life & career as it falls within the 'Golden Age', and for the first time on this podcast I welcome two guests to discuss a subject:

Richard Cashman is a sports historian based at the University of Technology Sydney. He is the author of 12 cricket books as well as his memoirs, Cackyhander: Writing on Cricket, Sports History and the Olympic Games. He has won the Australian Cricket Society Literary Award on three occasions: for his book on Australian cricket crowds, and his biographies of Fred Spofforth & Billy Murdoch, the latter co-written with my other guest.

Ric Sissons grew up in England, playing and watching cricket in Derbyshire. He is the author of eleven cricket books including The Players, which won the English Cricket Society’s Silver Jubilee Literary Award in 1988. His most recent books are: The Glory & The Dream: The 1903-04 MCC Tour of Australia and the so-called Golden Age; J T Tyldesley in Australia; And – with Peter Schofield – When the Kangaroo met the Eagle. The 1913 Australian tour of Canada and the United States.

In 2019, Richard and Ric published Billy Murdoch: Cricketing Colossus. Visit  Walla Walla Press for a copy.


Presenter & Producer: Tom Ford

All music used in podcast comes from the University of California Santa Barbara’s remarkable collection of wax cylinder’s from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, which are free to download and use. You can donate to the upkeep of these recordings via their website.