SURREY GREATS - GEORGE LOHMANN
George Alfred Lohmann was a cricketer's cricketer. Few could have played as whole-heartedly as he did in his short career. With a reputation for being a match-winner, Lohmann was an integral member of the Surrey side that won seven County Championships, and shared another, between 1887 and 1895. Excelling in every department of the sport, such was his contribution to cricket that he died at the age of 36 from tuberculosis, having burnt himself out.
His batting and fielding would have qualified him for a place in any side, but as a medium pace bowler he was regarded by both W.G.Grace and C.B.Fry as being the finest of his era. With a career total 1,841 first-class wickets at an average of 13.73 runs apiece, he enjoyed eight consecutive 100-wicket seasons from 1885 to 1892, including three successive summers (1888-1890) in which he claimed over 200 scalps.
Bowling from both sides of the stumps, with a rhythmical and polished action off a moderate run, Lohmann was the master of flight and variation of pace; always experimenting, but never allowing his length to suffer. His more notable performances for Surrey included hauls of 8-18 against Hampshire in 1885, 8-23 at Beckenham in 1888, 8-13 against Lancashire just over a week later and 9-67 at Hove in 1889 (out of a match aggregate of 15-98).
wickets in a Test on three occasions against Australia, at the Oval in 1886 (12-104), and at Sydney in 1887 (10-87) and 1892 (10-142). In addition, during the three Test tour of South Africa in 1895-96 he collected 15-45 (including the fourth hat-trick in Test history to end the match) and 12-71 in the Port Elizabeth and Johannesburg encounters on his way to 35 wickets at 5.80 runs apiece in the series.
George Lohmann chose to remain in South Africa to repair his ailing health, but returned to England in 1901 as manager of the touring party.
The famous cricket historian Gordon Ross once wrote of Lohmann: "A veil of sadness hung over Surrey cricket in the year 1893. George Lohmann did not play a single game; he was stricken with illness, and although he did play again in subsequent seasons, the recovery from his illness was only partial; he died of consumption ten years later in South Africa.
"Without the potent spearhead of their attack, who for eight years
carried all before him, Surrey were no longer the force they had been and they
dropped not from first to second, but to fifth place. There was no replacement
for Lohmann; genius cannot be replaced."