A profile of Morice Bird
by Dave Liverman
A stylish hard-hitting batsman, the pinnacle of Morice Bird's cricketing career was probably achieved as a schoolboy, when he made a century in each innings for Harrow against Eton at Lord's before a packed house. In the same year (1907) he made his first-class debut for his native county, Lancashire, but failed to make an impression. Two years later, based on a reasonable season with Surrey he toured South Africa. He had modest success in the middle order in the five Tests. He finished the series with a pair in the final match, which he completed with a duck when he was promoted to open in the second innings with just 14 needed to win. He captained Surrey for two years, and had considerable success with the bat, particularly in 1911 when he made 1,404 runs. Not picked to play home Tests, he was notably successful against the 1912 Australian tourists, where he made 76, 68 and 112 in the two matches he played against them. He toured South Africa again in 1914, batting at 8 or 9 in the Tests and bowling occasionally.
He was a hard-hitting right-handed bat, excelling in the off-drive and cut, but somewhat weaker in defence. He tended to do his best on the big occasion, and was also a useful medium-pace bowler, and an excellent field. He appeared only briefly after the War, when for a while he coached at Harrow and the Oval, before being stricken with the illness that was to lead to his premature death.
(Article: Copyright © 2003 Dave Liverman)