Born in Wilford on 3 May 1869, Alick Handford was a right-arm medium pace bowler with an easy action, making the ball come quickly off the pitch.

His first trial for Nottinghamshire was in the Colts XXII of 1893, he then appeared for Nottinghamshire Colts v Yorkshire Colts in June 1894 and won a place in the County side v Gloucestershire at Trent Bridge the following month, gaining immediate recognition with a second innings analysis of 26-18-25-5.

He finished the 1894 season with 25 wickets at a cost of 17.44 each from four matches. The Nottinghamshire Committee were sufficiently impressed and went to considerable trouble to secure his services for 1895, first by obtaining a substitute for his club engagement and second by finding him a place on the MCC staff.

Despite that promising starts, and the fact that in the Colts match of 1895, Handford demolished the youngsters, taking 24 wickets for 66 in the match, his form did not translate to the First-Class game and his only performance of note was 5-23 v Leicestershire. In 1896 Handford played only v Middlesex at Lord's and his last County match was v Lancashire at Trent Bridge in July 1898.

He had made his First-Class debut a very long way away from Trent Bridge, representing the Players of the USA v Gentlemen of Philadelphia in September 1892 at the home ground of the Germantown CC, where he was the professional.  His elder brother, Sanders Handford, played all his cricket in the United States.

Alick Handford also had professional engagements with South Wiltshire, Royal Buffs Aldershot, Leicestershire, Sefton Park and, from 1900-1902, with the MCC.  He had one winter with the East London club in South Africa in 1895-96 and his last appointment was with Christ's College, Christchurch, New Zealand in 1912-13; his final First-Class appearance was in New Zealand, playing for Southland v Otago at Invercargill in February 1915.

In all First-Class cricket, he made 275 runs at 9.48 and twice made a top score of 24no; he took 60 First-Class wickets at 28.70, with best figures of 7-39 for the MCC against Oxford University. His career included the point at which six-ball overs were introduced, but Handford had just one such innings - in all other games they were five-ball overs - bowling eight overs, including three maidens, but his exact analysis is not recorded.

Alick Handford died in Tavistock, Devon, on 15 October 1935.


July 2020

Nottinghamshire First-Class Number: 233

See Alick Handford's career stats here