|Born||14 August 1910, Dublin|
|Died||13 March 1973, Basingstoke, Hampshire|
|Occupation||Executive with Arthur Guinness|
|Debut||4 August 1928 v MCC at College Park|
|Teams||Leinster, Ealing, Club Cricket Conference, Middlesex, British Empire XI|
|History||The second player to achieve the double for Ireland, Eddie Ingram was an outstanding all round cricketer. Batting, he favoured the leg side and delighted in deploying his trademark hook. He was also, until what Wisden termed his "Pickwickan girth" developed, very quick between the wickets. Bowling, he was basically, a very accurate leg spinner, relying on flight and immaculate length rather than great spin. Later to "answer Ireland's call," he added medium pace inswing, thus enabling hard-pressed selectors to use him to open the attack and pick an extra batsman.|
At Belvedere, where he and JC Boucher were exact contemporaries, he was coached by former Leicestershire opener Albert Knight, who was reputed to pray for success before each innings. Eddie had little need of Divine intervention appearing for both Leinster CC and Ireland while still 17. He took 6-36 on his debut v Railway Union in 1928, followed this with a fifty against the University, and never looked back. He had a 20-year career for the Club, scoring 3416 runs at 46.16 and taking 335 wickets at 9.13. These figures would have been even more impressive had not "Uncle Arthur" moved him to London in 1936. He played only 13 matches for Leinster thereafter.
In 1933 he had an amazing run of 103*, 100*, 64, 213, 86 and 85. The double hundred, in 220 minutes v Phoenix at Rathmines, included one 6 and thirty-eight 4s. That season, he averaged 73.80. 1935 was a fine all round season. He had 7 five-wicket hauls, four being accompanied by fifties. Thus against Pembroke at Rathmines, he crashed his way to an even time 60, and then took 7-17. His penultimate match was in 1946, against old rivals Phoenix. In a two innings match he hit a brilliant 160 and took 10 wickets. He had a 50 and a "5 for" in his finale two years later.
In London he played mostly for Ealing, in a career which saw him take over 3000 wickets, besides scoring more than 15000 runs, generally managing 1000 a season. He was a regular member of Club Cricket Conference sides, and Chairman of their Umpires Committee. During the war, he was a leading bowler for the British Empire XI, a star studded side raised by future maverick British Labour MP Desmond Donnelly, to raise money for wartime charities. Between 1939 and 1949, Eddie played 12 times for Middlesex, gaining his Cap in 1948. His performances were useful rather than outstanding. As a bowler, though he took 3-7 v Sussex in 1937, his main attribute was his accuracy. For example against Worcestershire at New Road in 1947, he returned figures of 46-17-72-2. Batting, his highest score was 28, but this enabled the County to claim a narrow victory over Glamorgan, the 1948 season's Champions.
For Ireland he scored 1648 runs and took 151 wickets in a 25-year career. He usually performed best against the strongest opposition. Thus he hit 50s against the 1951 South Africans and the 1952 Indians in College Park to stand between Ireland and total humiliation. Likewise, again in College Park in 1952, he shored up an Irish collapse against MCC, repeatedly hooking pacey Derbyshire amateur Tom Hall to the square leg boundary. Ingram was often at his best at Lord's, never more so than in 1935, when his scores of 78 and 83 brought Ireland an unlikely 4-wicket victory. The latter innings, his highest for Ireland, being part of a match winning stand of 120 in an hour, for the 4th wicket, with English Rugby International JG Cook.
His bowling was never seen to better advantage than against the 1938 Australians. Having already taken 4-46 at Ormeau, he had 7-83 in College Park including a spell of 5-18 in 7 overs causing SG Barnes to make one of his characteristic light appeals. Australian opening bat and future cricket writing maestro Jack Fingleton was most impressed by Eddie. He also caused Yorkshire to collapse on a dusty College Park track in 1947. A 5-0 spell saw the Tykes finish on 293 all out having been 286-5. Ingram captained Ireland 8 times without much success, but was always highly regarded as a tactician and judge of players' strengths and weaknesses.
His obituary is in Wisden 1974 and he is profiled in Siggins and Fitzgerald Ireland's 100 Cricket Greats.
Edward Liddle, April 2007
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