ORANGE cricket legend George Bonnor, last week, notched another century.
On Wednesday, June 27, it was 100 years since Bonnor passed away.
To mark the occasion a number of cricket and history enthusiasts gathered at Bonnor’s grave at the Orange Cemetery.
Mitchell Cricket Council secretary Carl Sharpe gave a toast Bonnor, who was known as a character, would have appreciated.
“Here’s to George. It’s the slowest 100 he ever got but he got there,” Sharpe said.
Bonnor was one of Australia’s great Test cricketers and he moved to Orange in 1887 before passing away in 1912.
The batsman was involved in a number of history-making moments in cricket.
He made his Test debut for Australia in the first official Test between Australia and England, played at The Oval in Surrey in 1880.
He went on to play 17 Tests for Australia including the Test of 1882, which led to the creation of the Ashes.
Bonnor was a big man, standing at 198cm and weighing 101kg.
He was known for his big hitting and once drove a ball 146 metres in Melbourne.
At the first Test at The Oval, Bonnor skied a ball so high the batsmen completed three runs before the ball fell into the hands of G.E Grace.
Bonnor continued his big-hitting ways when he played cricket in Orange.
On one occasion at Wade Park, Bonnor lifted the ball from the northern end and it cleared Peisley Street before landing in a coal train.
The ball was recovered from the train in Bourke where it had one mark on the leather case.
He was also involved in the first hat-trick in Test cricket, but not in the way he would have liked.
Bonnor came in on the hat-trick ball from England’s Bill Bates.
The batsman prodded the ball forward for a fielder to catch and give Bates the first Test hat-trick.
The batsman also had a good arm and once threw a cricket ball 108 metres without removing his coat.
Bonnor kept playing cricket in Orange after he moved here in 1887.
Visiting teams would be reluctant to come to Orange if they heard Bonnor was playing.
In his final season in Orange cricket he finished with an average of just over 200.
Bonnor died of a heart attack on June 27, 1912.
The Orange District Cricket Association ensured the cricketer’s legacy was honoured by creating the Bonnor Cup.
It is the trophy awarded to the winning team from the day-night competition.