The son of Mrs. James Crooke, 3 St Savior's Crescent, Jersey, Channel Islands, he was educated at Winchester, which he entered in 1858. He was in the Eleven and played against Eton in 1860, scoring 5 and 14 and in addition takeing five wickets for 21 runs in Eton's second innings. This match was played at Winchester over three days and was won by Eton by 19 runs. He left school in March 1861 and entered Brocklebanks, the Liverpool firm of shipowners and Indian merchants.
His club cricket was with Liverpool and he was selected to play for Lancashire, in their initial first-class match, against Middlesex at Old Trafford on 20th to 22nd July 1865. In 1866 he left to work in Calcutta, where he was for many years captain of the Calcutta Cricket Club.
Returning to England on leave in 1874-75 he resided at Cheltenham and turned out for MCC and for Gloucestershire before returning to India mid season 1875. When playing for MCC against the Gentlemen of Herefordshire, at Lord's, 18th and 19th June 1875, he scored 121 and hit a ball over the grand stand for six.
A powerfully built man of 6ft., weighing 12 stone, he was a right-hand middle order batsman and a right-hand fast round-arm bowler, who usually fielded at long-leg or cover-point.
In 1886 he finally returned to England.
At the time of the 1901 Census he was living at 5 South Parade, Southsea, Portsmouth, aged 56, living on his own means, with his wife Louisa M., aged 47, and three domestic servants.
At the time of his death he was viving at 1 St Ronan's Road, Southsea. He was buried at Highland Road Cemetery, Southsea, on 10th August 1923.
(Article: Copyright © 2004 Don Ambrose)
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