Tom Twopenny the cricketer

Tom Twopenny the cricketer. Twopenny is selected in the first Australian cricket team (all Aboriginal) and the first to tour England. He sails out of Sydney aboard the “Parramatta” with the Australian Aboriginal XI on 8 February 1868, arriving in London on 13 May. There are only two players from NSW, both late inclusions in the team, Twopenny and Charlie Dumas. The remainder are Victorians. Twopenny is the surprise bowling find of the tour. Playing against East Hampshire he secures 9 wickets for 9 runs by his eleventh over. Twopenny also plays against the Marylebone Cricket Club at Lord’s in London. When there is conflict on the field the whole team walk off the pitch. At Southampton he clean bowls nine opponents for 17 runs in 21 overs. Twopenny is a droll character noted for always arriving late at railway stations on the tour, usually “with only one leg in his pants”. Back in Australia in 1870, he plays at the Melbourne Cricket Ground representing NSW against Victoria in an inter-colonial match. A journalist once wrote that Twopenny is “one of the finest looking and most intelligent” Aboriginal people he has ever met. (Mulvaney’s Cricket Walkabout 72-129 in Brook, 1st edit, 56-57; Nichols p6-7; Macleod, Pictorial History, Manly, p20.).