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Edward Liddle's Biographies of Irish Cricketers
Cormac MacArt Lloyd
  • Born circa 1913 Dublin
  • Died 31 March 1978 Drumlease Co Leitrim
  • Educated Warwick School; Dublin University
  • Occupation Church of Ireland Clergyman
  • Debut 22 July 1929 v The Catamarans at College Park
  • Cap Number 365
  • Style Right hand bat
  • Teams Dublin University; Clontarf

Cormac Lloyd may have been named after one of the legendary High Kings of Ireland, but his batting was utilitarian rather than regal; as an opening batsman he was Boycott rather than Sehwag. Entering Dublin University in 1929, as a Theology student, from Warwick School, where he was a prominent cricketer, he gained 1st XI Colours each season from 1929 to 1933 apart from 1931, when he did not play at all.

As he hardly played the previous season and had a poor run the following year, it is possible that he had an injury or illness which affected his play. As it was he scored 801 runs in all matches at 25.03 with a highest score of 78. He topped the averages in his last year, 1933 with 233 runs at 25.91, but his most prolific summer was his first, 1929, when he scored 345 runs at 34.50. This performance, together with some useful innings for Clontarf, though he did not appear for the Castle Avenue side for any length of time, helped gain him his three Irish caps later in the summer.

He came into the Irish side for the match against The Catamarans in College Park at the end of July. The visitors were a team made up of Indians resident in Britain. Two of the side, the Nawab of Pataudi, then 19, and Nazir Ali, later played for India, which did not become a Test playing country until 1932. Pataudi, who did not play for India until 1946, when he was captain, portly and passed his best, was a very good batsman. He was selected for England on the notorious Bodyline tour of Australia.

Despite scoring a hundred in the First Test, he was dropped after the Second, having refused to field in Larwood's leg side cohort. "His Highness is a conscientious objector," sneered Jardine, clapping his hands and ordering Maurice Leyland across instead. Nazir Ali was a hard hitting opening bat and useful fast medium bowler, who played in two Test Matches. Pataudi's son, of course, captained India; Nazir's brother Wazir Ali played seven Tests for India, his (Wazir's) son Khalid Wazir two for Pakistan.

Cormac was one of three replacements in this match the others being JA O'Donnell and Frank Reddy. All three, none of whom had originally been nominated as a substitute, were on debut, as was a young red haired off spinner called Boucher. It was probably one of Ireland's strongest batting line ups of that era, with Reddy - who was to score over 3000 runs for Leinster CC - at 10, and Boucher, "The best number eight in the World" (JCB) one before the roller. It was a low scoring match, with Ireland winning by 76 runs. Batting at 3, Cormac played two crucial innings and thus a major part in Ireland's success. His first innings 28 made him second highest scorer to Eddie Ingram. They added 60 for the 3rd wicket, the best partnership of the match. Cormac fell lbw to Nazir who had a seven wicket haul. Ireland gained a useful lead then, batting again, Cormac reached a determined and highly praised 38, before being dismissed by JA Piachaud (4-39). This was the highest score of the match, enabling Boucher and Tom Dixon, once the dangerous pair of Nazir and Pataudi had been parted, to bowl Ireland to victory.

Unfortunately Cormac's remaining matches for Ireland were not so successful. He was retained for the brief tour of England, which saw some good batting by TJ Macdonald but two drawn games resulted. Promoted to open, he was out for 3 in the only innings he played at Lord's. He came up against the Worcestershire amateur fast bowler, Denys Hill. Denys, whose county appearances were limited by military duties, was distinctly quick, probably the fastest Cormac had faced. He soon gave a catch to all rounder Jack Webster, best known for Free Forester cricket. Rain again intervened v Civil Service Crusaders at Chiswick. The match is remembered for the batting of TJ Macdonald and George McVeagh, for Cormac it brought another failure. Opening again he was caught and bowled by leg spinner Alfred Sharland. The elements did not allow him to bat a second time.

The following two seasons were, as we have seen, difficult ones for him, so it is surprise that he did not play for Ireland again. He very possibly had owed his selection v Catamarans by "being there," as he was not an originally chosen substitute. He played little more serious cricket, devoting himself instead to his chosen calling, becoming a Canon a few years before his death.