Alfred Diver is the only cricketer designated as a ‘given man’ to represent Nottinghamshire in a bona fide inter-county game; that is to say, Surrey agreed to Notts co-opting Diver for this specific match because four of the principal Notts players were absent.

Diver, who normally played for Cambridgeshire teams (indeed, his last recorded match is for that county v Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge in 1866), was a great success, hitting the highest score in each innings, but the weakened Notts side still lost. The cricket annual pen picture of Diver in 1859 reads: ‘A first-class bat, having a very strong defence. He can scarcely be excelled as a long-stop, and is a very good round-arm (fast) and underarm (slow) bowler.

At the time of his Notts appearance, Diver was the professional at Rugby School (1856-1876) and also a regular with Parr’s All England Eleven (1855-1861). Born in Cambridge in July 1824, he moved permanently to Rugby in 1856 and set up a cricket retail business in the town. He died in Rugby in March 1876. Diver was known to his friends as ‘Ducky’.

Following the 1859 English cricket season, he was one of the 12-strong party of English players who toured North America. Led by George Parr, this was the first ever overseas cricket tour.

His nephew, Edwin Diver, played over 200 first-class games, mostly for Surrey and Warwickshire.

 

April 2020