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Edward Liddle's Biographies of Irish Cricketers
James Grundy
  • Born 5 March 1824, New Radford Nottingham
  • Died 24 November 1873, Carrington Nottingham
  • Occupation Professional Cricketer
  • Debut 26 May 1862, MCC at Lord's
  • Cap Number 64
  • Style Right-hand bat, Right-arm fast medium round round arm
  • Teams Nottinghamshire, MCC, United England XI, Players of England, England to North America

"Jemmy" Grundy, who had no Irish qualification whatsoever, was in the 1850s, one of the best bowlers in England. HS Altham, doyen of cricket historians, wrote, "Bowling quick medium with no obvious finesse, his length was marvellously accurate... and he believed in frontal attack." In all matches in 1854, he took 196 wickets at under 5. In his first class career he took 1137 wickets at 12.81. His career best brought him 9 for 19 for Nottinghamshire against Kent at Trent Bridge in 1864. He was thought "sound" anywhere in the field. He had been an automatic choice for George Parr's team to tour North America in 1859, a tour more remembered for the extreme dangers the XI faced at sea, rather the quality of the cricket. It was, though the first overseas tour and so Grundy joined the other ten in taking his place in cricket history. As a batsman, "Jemmy" was invariably in the upper order, often opening, but was not, at first highly regarded. However, as Altham commented, "Like many other bowlers he learnt to bat, and, in the latter half of his career scored heavily." He hit 18 first class 50s, his highest being 95 for England v Surrey in 1862 at the Oval.

He also played a number of matches, against Odds teams for the United England XI. This first brought him into contact with the game in Ireland, when in 1854, he was in the side defeated by XXII of Phoenix by 135 runs. He collected a pair, with fellow mercenary Charlie Lawrence getting him in the first innings. He was also in the United XI defeated by XXII of Ireland by 6 runs in 1856.

His selection for Ireland came about because of his membership of the Lord's groundstaff, which began in 1851 and also resulted in him umpiring 37 first class matches up to 1871. In 1862 needing a bowler to strengthen the attack Ireland engaged Grundy for the match with MCC at " headquarters." His Nottinghamshire colleague George Wootton, a fast bowler with whom Grundy often opened the attack, played for MCC and took 10 wickets in the match. Grundy had 6, but failed with the bat. Ireland had to thank the home grown all rounder and first Irish cricket historian, Arthur Samuels, and future MCC Secretary Bob Fitzgerald for seeing them to a narrow victory. "Jemmy's" son John (1859 - 1909) played one first class match as a wicket keeper in 1886 and his son - in - law Charles Clifton played 9 times for Nottinghamshire 1873 - 1876. Only 49 when he died, "Jemmy" predeceased the obituary section of Wisden but a biography of him can be found both in Scores & Biographies Volume V and in Peter Wynne-Thomas's Nottinghamshire Cricketers 1821 - 1914.