Archibald Campbell MacLaren
(1 December 1871 – 17 November 1944) was an English cricketer
who captained the England cricket team
at various times between 1898 and 1909. A right-handed batsman
, he played 35 Test matches
for England, as captain in 22 of those games, and led the team to defeat in four Ashes
series against Australia. An amateur
, MacLaren played first-class cricket
, captaining that county for most of his career. As a batsman, MacLaren was one of the leading cricketers of his time and had a reputation as a fast-scoring stylist. In 1895, he scored 424 runs in an innings
which was the highest individual score in first-class cricket until 1923 and remained a record in English cricket until 1994. Opinions were divided over his captaincy. He was a deep thinker on the game and critics believed him to be tactically advanced, but his pessimism, clashes with the selectors and inability to get the best out of his players led most commentators to rate him a poor leader.
After attending public school
, MacLaren played intermittently for Lancashire until 1899 as he tried to establish a career outside the sport. Even so, he was appointed county captain in 1894 and was chosen frequently to play for England. An appointment as Lancashire's assistant secretary allowed him to play more regularly from 1900. He first captained England in 1898 as a stand-in, but became captain in his own right in 1899. Under his leadership, England lost to Australia in three consecutive series—1899, 1901–02 and 1902. MacLaren was involved in controversies throughout all three defeats, and was replaced as captain in 1905, although he remained in the team. Business interests kept him out of the game for the following years, but he was invited to lead England once more in 1909. Defeat in that series ended his Test career, and the following year he ceased playing regular first-class cricket. He played occasionally until 1922–23, and had some late successes: in 1921, a team selected and captained by MacLaren defeated a previously unbeaten Australian team, and on his final first-class appearance during a 1922–23 Marylebone Cricket Club
tour of New Zealand, he scored 200 runs. (Full article...