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Edward Liddle's Biographies of Irish Cricketers
George Kinahan
  • Born 1823 Dublin
  • Died 21 September 1903 at Roebuck Park, Dundrum Co.Dublin.
  • Educated Mr Rainsford's School; Dublin University
  • Occupation Distiller; Director of Bank of Ireland.
  • Debut 10 September 1855 v Gentlemen of England at Phoenix CC, Phoenix Park.
  • Cap Number 6
  • Style Right hand bat; wicket keeper.
  • Teams Dublin University, Phoenix, Kingstown

George Kinahan was a member of a long established Anglo-Irish family, which, originating from Co Cork was prominent in Dublin by the early 19th Century. A branch of the family also settled in Co Down. The Kinahans were also cricketers. George and his younger brother Charles were both members of the first Irish side recognised as such by Cricket Ireland (Irish Cricket Union), while their cousin Edward also played in early Irish matches.

Though a student at Dublin University, George did not play regularly for the XI there, but was seen instead turning out for Kingstown and Phoenix. The latter club engaged Charles Lawrence, who was to have such a formative influence on Australian Cricket, as professional in 1851. Lawrence arranged a series of matches between the Gentlemen and Players of Dublin and it was in the first of these of which a score has been seen, that George made his debut in major cricket. The Players had only two good players in Lawrence and Peter Doyle, the other nine being soldiers of the garrison, whereas the Gentlemen had several, including, not only George, who was a good batsman at this level, but also John Coddington, one of the best bats in Ireland at the time, who made 70.

The side additionally included an army officer, Frederick Marshall, a hard hitting batsman, who played for Ireland in odds matches in 1860 and 1861, as well as appearing against them for the Gentlemen of England. Marshall was later a Lieutenant - General, commanded the cavalry during the Zulu War, and, in that conflict, had the harrowing task of leading the detachment which recovered the dead following the disastrous defeat at Isandwala. Students of military history, or cinema goers familiar with the film "Zulu Dawn", will be aware of the scale of the defeat. The horror was compounded by the fact that it was not thought safe to go to the battle site for several weeks. Amongst the rotting corpses were found several cricket bats, which must have been poignant indeed for the General, who was later President of Surrey. He died in 1900. In the Gentlemen's innings in the match under review he made 21. George was third top score. Opening the batting he made 36 before being caught and bowled by Lawrence. The Gentlemen totalled over 300, winning by an innings.

George was also on the winning side later in the summer when XXII of Phoenix defeated the United England XI by an innings and 105 runs. This win was achieved in spite, it may be said, of the presence of Fred Lillywhite as umpire whose decisions normally favoured those he worked with. Fred, one of the three sons of master bowler William, and cousin of Jim Lillywhite, England's first Test Captain, published the early editions of Arthur Haygarth' multi volume Scores and Biographies to which all historians of the game are much indebted. However, when Fred claimed to be the writer, Arthur changed publisher! George's contribution to the hosts' victory was not great. At number 3, he was bowled by slow round armer Tom Nixon for 5. Tom had a passion for inventions. He produced cork pads for batting, and, later, devised a bowling machine which sent down round arm deliveries at varying speed.

Apart from his matches for Ireland, George was seen in one other notable fixture in these years. In July 1857, he appeared for XXII of Dublin against Charles Lawrence's United Ireland XI, for which Marshall played in a match for Lawrence's benefit. The XXII were crushed, the bowling of Lawrence and Rev James McCormick being far too strong for them. Batting in the middle order, at 10, George did not have a bad first innings. His 10 was one of only three double figure scores, though he fell to Lawrence just when set. He never got set in his second knock, McCormick, future Chaplain to Queen Victoria, getting him for 3. This match was played at the Rotunda Gardens, Dublin. The ground lay beyond where Parnell Square now stands and the part on which cricket was played has long been built over. The wicket was considered excellent.

It has to be said, that George hardly established himself in the Irish side, though he played in the first match, along with his brother Charles, against the Gentlemen of England, somewhat of a misnomer as several of them were Irish based, in Phoenix Park in September 1855. He managed 0 and 1 at 10, thus not contributing very much to Ireland's victory. He played three further matches for Ireland, all in 1860. The first two of these were odds games and will not be found in his statistics on this site.

The first was against Colonel Buchanan's XVI of Scotland at Drumpellier. This was really a venture by Lawrence and his United XI, but the two teams are sufficiently representative, for the match to have become regarded as official. The Scots were expected to win as most of their best players were assembled in addition to some English reinforcements. In fact the bowling of Lawrence and Arthur Samuels was too much for the hosts who were easily defeated .George, opening was out for 0 to a bowler called Isaac in Ireland's only innings. As a fieldsman, he helped in Arthur Samuel's haul of wickets, by catching one B Rankin!

He was also in the side for XXII of Ireland v the famous All England XI at Rathmines in early September at Rathmines, the first Irish match played at Observatory Lane. The visitors, the first of professional travelling XIs, were making their first visit to Ireland and won by 7 wickets. Again at 10, George made 3 and 1. He could at least claim to have been dismissed by two of the best bowlers in the world at the time. He was bowled by Edgar Willsher, a fast left arm round armer in the first innings, and lbw to Crispin Tinley in the second. Cris Tinley had originally been a fast round armer, but was now gaining great success as a "lobster." In the field George caught a well known batsman, who had an even better known name, the Surrey opener, Julius Caesar!

George's last outing for Ireland was, alas, no more successful. At the end of the month, he was in the team which played I Zingari at the Vice Regal Ground, then newly laid out by Lawrence. Ireland lost by 4 wickets, their batting being routed by fast under armer Henry Arkwright in the first innings, and McCormick in the second. Batting at 8, George was 3* in the first knock as Arkwright, who was killed in a Mont Blanche avalanche six years later, took 8 wickets. However, George was less fortunate in the second being caught by the ubiquitous Fred Marshall off McCormick for 4.

Away from cricket, George was much involved in public life. Apart from his Bank Directorship, he was High Sherriff for both the County and City of Dublin. Married, he had two daughters, who maintained the family's cricket connections by marrying two of the Hamilton brothers. Thus Anne Kinahan was the wife of Drummond (WD) Hamilton, classic left hander, while her sister Maria married Lowry (Rev FCL) whose ecclesiastical duties, kept him from many Irish matches, but did not prevent him from captaining Cheshire.