From The Sporting Globe (Melbourne), 22 February 1930
Tasmania’s keenest sportsman
Alan Newton’s inter-state record in cricket and tennis
First-grade cricketer for 20 years, A-grade tennis player for 15 years, and an inter-state representative in both sports over a long period of that time, is the summarised record of Alan Colin Newton, the Tasmanian batsman, who played in his eighteenth first-class match during the week. If Tasmania has a keener sportsman than Newton, his keenness must reach almost to the borderline of obsession.
Living in Hobart since boyhood, Newton has not had the opportunities to develop as rapidly as men of his calibre living on the mainland. In spite of his restricted opportunity, he has achieved in cricket as well as tennis a record unequalled by many other players with every opportunity.
His keenness on sport has given him a unique record among Tasmanians, but it is also likely that had he concentrated on either tennis or cricket, and made his fondness for the game subservient to the ambition of reaching the highest rank, he would have won greater fame in one or the other.
Cricket has always been Newton’s best sport. It was his first love, and it looks like being his last now that he is approaching his 36th year and must soon consider sticking to one or the other in active competition.
Newton has achieved some notable feats in his cricket career, and has a record that few first-class sportsmen can approach. His name has been among the records in Wisden for many years. He set it there, with the help of J. Barnet, in a school match in Hobart in 1908-09, when he shared in a first wicket partnership of no wicket for 400. The big score was made by Newton and Barnett, who was
later Tasmania’s Rhodes scholar, for Queen’s College against Hutchins School at Hobart.
Another achievement in Newton’s cricket career is to make 1000 runs and take more than 100 wickets North vs South games in Tasmania. Playing in the match against Victoria in 1922-23 in Melbourne, in which the home team made the then world’s record total in first-class games of [?], Newton scored 49 not out and 63 not out – a fine achievement of more than 100 runs in a match without losing his wicket.
Born in Longford, Tasmania, Newton went to Hobart when three years of age. He has lived and played all his grade cricket and tennis in Hobart, and is now the best-known amateur sportsman in the city. He began cricket with Queen’s College in 1906, and while still at school played with East Hobart in first-grade cricket. Soon after leaving school he got his first game in inter-state cricket and had a disappointing run against Victoria.
In the same year he was chosen in the North vs South game, and has played in these representative games every year since. In 1921-22, he won the Tasmanian Association bowling average, taking 70 wickets at 81 [?] In 1920, he won the batting average of the association with 57.6.
Newton’s tennis career was opened in 1916 when he was 24 years of age. Through watching some his friends in the court, he developed a keenness for the game, and joined the Fernside Club. He won the B-Grade singles of Southern Tasmania in his second season and played A-Grade in the following years.
He made rapid progress at tennis, and in 1924 and 1925 represented Tasmania in the Australian Championships. Newton played No. 1 for Tasmania in all these matches, and met the leading players of Victoria and New South Wales. Naturally, he was well beaten, but in several games he made a very creditable showing against these stars.
Last year he captained the Tasmanian team against New South Wales, and led the side in a successful tour of N.S.W. country centres. Newton is also on the executive side of the sport, holding the office of honorary treasurer of the Tasmanian Lawn Tennis Association. He is also honorary treasurer of the Sandy Bay Cricket Club.
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