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Edward Liddle's Biographies of Irish Cricketers
Daniel Duff
  • Born 1840 Glasgow
  • Died 12 February 1912, Plockton, Scotland
  • Educated
  • Occupation Surveyor
  • Debut 14 May 1861 v Colonel Buchanan's XIV of Scotland at Langloan, Coatbridge
  • Cap Number 57
  • Style Batting hand unknown; left arm medium pace round arm
  • Teams Clydesdale, West of Scotland, Glasgow Caledonian, Gentlemen of Scotland, Scotland, Caledonian Club.

Daniel Duff was a very good left arm medium pace round armer, who was a force to be reckoned with in Scottish cricket throughout the 1860s. His one appearance for Ireland came when Charles Lawrence's United Ireland XI, on its second visit to Scotland, was short of a full complement of players for their match against Colonel Buchanan's XIV of Scotland at Coatbridge. Daniel, who had bowled impressively for Clydesdale against Lawrence's men the year before, was one of three local players brought in to fill the vacancies.

He more than justified his place, taking 7 of the hosts' 13 first innings wickets, while Lawrence took 4. Daniel then opened the batting but was run out for 10. However he took a further 4 wickets in the second innings, leaving Ireland requiring 53 to win. They finished on 25-5, Daniel not batting on this occasion.

He also shone with the ball on his Scotland debut, when he and his team-mates ventured south of the Border to take on the Surrey Club at The Oval in May 1866. After the visitors had been dismissed for 150, he put in a long and accurate spell of bowling to finish with figures of 39.2-19-56-3 (4 ball overs), besides holding two catches, as Surrey gained a lead of 17. His best wicket was that of opener Edward Tritton, a well-known amateur batsman of the time who was an Oxford blue and played for the Gentlemen as well as for Middlesex.

Daniel went on to take a further three wickets in the hosts' second innings, so, in all, played a notable part in the Scots eventual victory by 172 runs. Unfortunately, neither Daniel or his team-mates could maintain this form when they crossed the Thames to play MCC, going down to a heavy defeat. His best performances in major cricket were undoubtedly against the visiting Professional XIs who frequently came to Scotland to take on local odds sides. Thus, later in 1866, playing for Clydesdale, he had 10 wickets in the match (5 in each innings though full analysis are not available), helping to dismiss the United South of England XI for 116 in their first innings and 56 in the second. His victims included the well known all rounder George Griffin and Henry Jupp, one of the leading batsmen of his day who was always even more reluctant to leave the crease than WG Grace or Stewart Broad. Once on his home ground at Dorking Jupp was bowled by the first ball of the match. He replaced the bails and settled down to face the next ball.

"Aint you going Juppy?"asked the umpire

"Not in Dorking I aint, " was the reply.

Rain prevented the USE match from being finished. However in the same prolific season, assisting the West of Scotland against the All England XI Daniel had 11 wickets in the match, his wickets including all time cricket legends George Parr, - "The Lion of the North" - and all rounder George "Tear Em" Tarrant.

Other notable achievements included a fine performance in his last match of which a score has been seen, playing for XXII of the West of Scotland against the all England XI, a match which the hosts won by 12 wickets. The visitors were bowled out for 117 in their first innings with Daniel taking 8 wickets including those of the highly rated Bob Carpenter and Tom Hayward, uncle of Jack Hobbs' mentor, as well as those of all rounders Alf Shaw and Yorkshireman George Anderson. He took a further two in the second, though once more the full analysis are not available.

Daniel Duff also had outstanding performances to his credit for Scotland against Birkenhead Park in 1868 and for the Gentlemen of Scotland against the Players of Scotland on several occasions, even when the professionals were reinforced by Sassenach hired guns. In all this fine bowler was a remarkable cricketer, who despite dubious qualifications and a solitary appearance, deserves to be remembered as one of Ireland's best players in the early years of our international cricket.