Skip to Content
Department of Premier and Cabinet

Edgar Arthur ('Ted') McDonald

Edgar Arthur ('Ted') McDonald (Member 1995)

6 January 1891 - 22 July 1937

Tasmanian born McDonald played twice for his home state before settling in Melbourne. Those two games in 1910 and 1911 were less than auspicious. The move to Victoria proved the turning point in his career. Selected for his adopted state, he played his first game for them ironically against Tasmania and impressed his former team mates with his increased speed and control.

The First World War intervened and it took him until the third Test of the 1920-21 series against England for McDonald to play for his country. Under the astute leadership of Warwick Armstrong, he paired McDonald with the great Jack Gregory as the first dual pace attack in cricket history. That combination proved too much for England and Australia won the series 5 - 0.

Selected for the 1921 England tour, McDonald and Gregory gave the home sides a taste of true pace. In the first Test, McDonald took 3/42 and 5/32 and followed this with 4/58 and 4/89 in the second. At the end of the Series, he had taken 27 wickets at an average of 24.74.

He played just three more Tests for Australia - against South Africa on the way home and that was the end of his Test career.

He then accepted a lucrative contract to play county cricket with Lancashire and spearheaded this attack through that county's greatest years with his best seasons in 1925 and 1928 when he took 205 and 190 wickets respectively. Mean, moody and magnificent, McDonald was one of Australia's greatest ever fast bowlers and earned the respect of both opponents and team mates. This partnership with Gregory was seen as one of cricket's most fearsome attacks.

At the age of 46, McDonald was tragically killed at the scene of a car accident when he was helping the victims. Tributes poured in for this enigmatic cricketer dubbed by Charlie Macartney - at the time - as 'unquestionably the most effective speed bowler in the world'!