Charles Edward McCausland

Born4 October 1898 Dublin
Died 12 December 1965 Folkestone, Kent
EducatedWinchester College, Dublin University
Debut13 July 1922 v Scotland Hamilton Crescent, Glasgow
Cap Number313
StyleRight-hand batsman; right arm fast medium.
TeamsDublin University, Phoenix,
HistoryCharles McCausland, a tall and somewhat austere looking man, was a good all round cricketer. He was educated at Winchester College where he was not in the XI, though a glance at the teams in his time there reveals several names later to be prominent in the first class game, so competition must have been strong. One would like to know what Charles made of a patrician looking boy, two years younger than he was, called Jardine. However the coaching at Winchester helped Charles develop into a forcing middle order batsman and a lively fast medium bowler with an unusual approach to the wicket. When he took two wickets, for Dublin University against Essex at Brentwood in 1922, a local paper reported, "McCausland swings his arms twice behind his back during his approach to the wicket, and is disconcerting to anyone facing him for the first time." Possibly the eccentric hand of Winchester's master in charge, Test spinner and caustic writer, Rockley Wilson can be discerned here.

A medical student, he entered Dublin University in 1920, following war service, and was five years in the XI from 1922. In all matches he totalled 1299 runs at 17.07. He hit three hundreds, including 100 not out against The Rest of Leinster in a two day match at Rathmines in 1921, which is not included in the aggregate given. He also took 1112 wickets at 15.16, heading the bowling averages in 1922, when he captured 25 wickets at 15.16.

In League cricket he hit one century, 113 v Pembroke in 1922, when he also passed fifty on two other occasions. He also hit one other half century the following summer. Bowling, he was one of several capable performers of above medium pace, though the XI lacked a bowler of genuine hostility such as Basil Ward. Nevertheless Charles had four five wicket hauls, including a dramatic 7-9 v Clontarf in 1925, hustling the Castle Avenue side out for a meagre 42. That season he also had 5-58 v Phoenix, bowling top order batsmen Cyril Buttenshaw for 4 and Wilfred Hutton for 0. The previous season he had taken 5-23 v Leinster at Rathmines before rain intervened to save the hosts.

Away from the League, his best score was 101 v Manchester University in College Park in 1924. The visitors had gained a 58 run first innings first innings lead, and then a clatter of early wickets put the home side in some danger. However Charles and Jacko Heaslip (100*) aided by a belligerent 40 odd from Noel Kelly made the match safe. Charles also appeared for the University in three first class matches, one v Essex in 1922, and two against Northamptonshire in 1924 and 1925. His best bowling in these matches was 2-38 v Essex in a match which was saved by the batting of the unrelated Kellys, AP and GNB. AP, the wicket keeper, held two catches off Charles, one giving him the prized wicket of the Curragh Camp born former England captain FL Fane, whose father FJ Fane had played for Ireland in an odds match in 1865. FL Fane, who scored over 18000 first class runs including a Test hundred against South Africa, had the unusual - but not unique - experience of reading his own obituary in Wisden! Charles also made some useful runs, in losing causes against Northants, passing 20 in three of his four innings, which was more than most of his colleagues achieved.

He played four times for Ireland, suffering from the fact that three of these were as a replacement. This meant that his place in the batting order varied, and, that his captains, Bob Lambert and AP Kelly, had mixed and inconsistent views as to how he should be used as a bowler.

Thus on his debut v Scotland at Hamilton Crescent in 1922, he batted in the middle order scoring 12 in the first innings and 14 in the second of a drawn match, but bowled only 3 overs being the 8th bowler whom Lambert turned to. In Bob's defence, the attack was overloaded with medium pacers. Charles at least got on before fellow University man, JR Wills, a bowler rather than an all rounder. Playing against the same opponents two years later, again as a replacement, Charles came on as third change and had 0-3 in the few overs allowed him. He batted at 7 to be caught for 9 by Scots master batsman John Ker off the leg spin of GLD Hole. Promoted to 6 in the second innings, he made 23, his highest score for Ireland.

The MCC match in College Park which followed was the only one in which he was an original selection. Under Kelly's captaincy he found himself opening the attack but banished to "one above the roller" in the batting order. Possibly some incident occurred in the field which upset the autocratic skipper, who was prone to making such decisions. As it was, the two day match was drawn, with Charles taking one wicket, that of JC Masterman for 42, MCC's top first innings score. Masterman - later knighted - was an interesting wicket to take. Nominally an Oxford don, he was a John Le Carre type character, being also a spy master and recruiter. A very good club cricketer, he wrote much about cricket in his autobiography, and, in a novel "Fate Cannot Harm Me", has a magnificent description of a country house cricket match, which, is, in places, genuinely - believably - funny. At No 11, Charles (19) put on 33 for the last wicket with Noel Kelly, which went a long way towards saving the match. He was not an original selection for the MCC game at Ormeau which followed as the intention was to draw the crowds by including a large number of local players. However, there were several withdrawals and Charles was called up. He made little impact, neither batting nor bowling in another rain affected draw. He was not seen much in Irish Cricket after this season, his few appearances for Phoenix not being enough to put him in their 1st XI of players with 500 runs or 50 wickets to their credit.

Edward Liddle, September 2008

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