At the end of his fourteen-year Test career Hugh Trumble was the best bowler in the world. His tally of 141 wickets in 31 Tests against England remained unsurpassed for almost eight decades.
On two occasions Trumble led the Australian team, and he remains the only bowler to take two hat-tricks in Anglo-Australian Tests. Among such great players as Harry Trott, Joe Darling, Clem Hill, Monty Noble and the brilliant Victor Trumper, Trumble was, on and off the field, a key force behind the team’s success and development.
In England he rubbed shoulders with royalty and played in grimy industrial towns and on the grounds of exclusive cricket clubs. In the United States he encountered the bustle of big cities and the frontier atmosphere of the West. Everywhere, his many friendships, his good humour and his belief in playing the game for enjoyment made him a popular figure.
Hugh Trumble was born in Abbotsford, Victoria, in 1867. Shaped by “muscular Christianity” and his father’s coaching on the Kew Asylum oval, the young Trumble acquired values that remained strong until his death in 1938.
Almost single-handedly he kept the Melbourne Cricket Club alive during the Great War, with only his prestige as a cricketer and his personal appeals convincing many members to remain with “the grand old Club”. The wartime strain permanently weakened his health.
In 2004 Hugh Trumble was inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame.