This film is part of Free

Arthur Mold Bowling to A.N. Hornby (1901)

Did he bowl or did he throw? A fascinating record of an early cricketing controversy.

Non-Fiction 1901 9 mins Silent


This unusually topical Mitchell and Kenyon title is perhaps the first filmed record of a sporting controversy. Lancashire's Mold, one of cricket's leading fast bowlers, was judged to have broken rules with his unorthodox bowling action. Despite his protests, this footage proves him guilty of 'throwing'. Mold's teammate Arthur Hornby was another cricketing giant, captaining Lancashire and England.

The film was taken during the second day of play between Lancashire and Somerset at Old Trafford. On the first, Mold, had been no-balled 15 times in 10 overs (including five times in one over) by Australian umpire James Phillips for contravening Rule 48. The accusation caused much comment in the local press. The Northamptonshire-born Mold had played for Lancashire since 1889 and was one of the game's most destructive fast bowlers. Manchester's Evening News reported that the controversy swelled attendance on the second day, and invited its readers to make their own judgements on Phillips' conduct, as well as asking leading umpires for their comments on Mold's bowling. By the early 1890s throwing was disturbingly pervasive in English cricket, and Mold was a serial offender. At a meeting of county captains in 1900 his delivery was condemned by 11 votes to one. Mold was not only breaking the rules, he was being accused of ungentlemany conduct and not behaving like a true Englishman.