Bendigo’s Ashes legacy: Cricket heroes to live on

Source: Bendigo Advertiser

A Bendigo history buff has called on the community to honour three locals, forever linked to the origins of the famous Ashes cricket series between Australia and England.

Peter MacIver has spent hours researching cricketers William Lloyd Murdoch and Harry Boyle who lived in Bendigo and played for the 1882 Australian team that helped create the Ashes legend.

Mr MacIver has also researched another Bendigo cricketer, Billy Midwinter, who played in the first Test match for Australia against England before later representing England against Australia.

Midwinter was not part of the legendary 1882 Australian team.

Mr MacIver said the three Australian players deserved permanent recognition in Bendigo. “All three deserve blue plaques to commemorate their connections to Bendigo,’’ Mr MacIver said.

“Our town is full of wonderful history and we should be celebrating it, after all, one of our main industries is tourism and three more famous Bendigonians can do no harm to visitor figures.”

Mr MacIver said he had spent countless hours delving into Bendigo’s Ashes legacy.

His research will be featured in a five-part Bendigo Advertiser series starting today with part one on William Lloyd Murdoch.

“These stories started out with me researching John Boyd Watson, a fellow Scot and, of course, probably the most successful gold mining millionaire in Sandhurst,’’ Mr MacIver said.

“The discovery that his son-in-law was William Lloyd Murdoch put me on to him.

“I then became puzzled that so little seemed to be written about Murdoch and other members of the early Australian Elevens.

“Only a few have been written about, so I started researching the team with a view to writing about them.

“These men deserve to be remembered and honoured for the contribution they made, not only to Australian sport, but also to creating a national identity in Australia.’’

Bendigo’s Peter MacIvor visits the grave of former Australian cricketer Harry Boyle in the White Hills cemetery. Photo: JIM ALDERSEY

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