John Marshall

John Marshall (1796?1876), cricketer. Born in England, Marshall brought considerable cricket expertise with him when he arrived in Van Diemen's Land in 1832. He scored heavily in club cricket in the 1830s and 1840s and, despite his age, was elected captain of the Van Diemen's Land team that played against Victoria at Launceston in February 1851, Australia's first first-class match. He played three matches for the colony against Victoria, the last in 1854 when the Melbourne newspapers described his wicketkeeping as being 'sharp as a needle', although he was approaching sixty years of age. He is rightly regarded as the 'father' of Tasmanian cricket, his contribution all the more remarkable since it was given during a time of personal tragedy, when he lost four of his eight children to childhood diseases.

Ric Finlay