Dempster (right) with Curly Page in 1931
|Full name||Charles Stewart Dempster|
|Born||15 November 1903|
Wellington, New Zealand
|Died||14 February 1974 70) (aged|
Wellington, New Zealand
|Test debut(cap 3)||10 January 1930 v England|
|Last Test||31 March 1933 v England|
|Domestic team information|
|1921–22 to 1947–48||Wellington|
|1935 to 1939||Leicestershire|
Source: Cricinfo, 22 August 2008
Charles Stewart "Stewie" Dempster (15 November 1903 – 14 February 1974) was a New Zealand Test cricketer and coach. As well as representing New Zealand, he also played for Wellington, Scotland, Leicestershire and Warwickshire.
New Zealand is a sovereign island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses—the North Island, and the South Island —and around 600 smaller islands. It has a total land area of 268,000 square kilometres (103,500 sq mi). New Zealand is situated some 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long period of isolation, New Zealand developed a distinct biodiversity of animal, fungal, and plant life. The country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington, while its most populous city is Auckland.
Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a field at the centre of which is a 20-metre (22-yard) pitch with a wicket at each end, each comprising two bails balanced on three stumps. The batting side scores runs by striking the ball bowled at the wicket with the bat, while the bowling and fielding side tries to prevent this and dismiss each player. Means of dismissal include being bowled, when the ball hits the stumps and dislodges the bails, and by the fielding side catching the ball after it is hit by the bat, but before it hits the ground. When ten players have been dismissed, the innings ends and the teams swap roles. The game is adjudicated by two umpires, aided by a third umpire and match referee in international matches. They communicate with two off-field scorers who record the match's statistical information.
The Wellington Firebirds are one of six New Zealand first-class cricket teams that make up New Zealand Cricket. It is based in Wellington. It competes in the Plunket Shield first class (4-day) competition, the Ford Trophy domestic one day competition and the Super Smash.
Born to a Scottish parents Charles Dempster and Eliza Jemima Weavers in 1903 Dempster lived the first three decades of his life in Wellington, nearby to the local cricket ground the Basin Reserve. Developing an early interest in the game Dempster played for the Wellington Boys' Institute team in his youth and was encouraged by his father to score hundreds, being rewarded with 5 shillings from him for each one he scored. In his most prolific season he scored nine centuries in ten innings with the remaining innings scoring 99 and gaining the attention of the local provincial selectors.
The Basin Reserve is a cricket ground in Wellington, New Zealand, used for Test, first-class and one-day cricket. The Basin Reserve is the only cricket ground in New Zealand to have Historic Place status as it is the oldest test cricket ground in New Zealand. The ground has been used for events other than cricket, such as concerts, sports events and other social gatherings, but now it is mostly used for cricket, particularly Test matches. It is also the main home ground for Wellington Firebirds.
Dempster made his first first-class appearance for Wellington against Canterbury at the Basin Reserve over new year 1921/1922 scoring 10 and 1. Dempster first toured with New Zealand in 1927, when no Test matches were played, and headed the touring team's first-class batting averages. He was a surprise choice for the tour,being selected more for his performances in second-class cricket. In the 1929–30 MCC tour of New Zealand Dempster and Mills put on a New Zealand record first-innings stand of 276 for the first wicket, which remained the highest for New Zealand until 1972 . In the 1931 New Zealand tour of England he averaged 59.26 and scored 120 in the Test at Lord's. In 1932 he was listed as one of the Wisden Cricketers of the Year.
The New Zealand cricket team toured England in the 1927 season. The team contained many of the players who would later play Test cricket for New Zealand, but the tour did not include any Test matches and the 1927 English cricket season was the last, apart from the Second World War years and the cancelled South African tour of 1970, in which there was no Test cricket in England.
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The New Zealand cricket team toured England in the 1931 season. The tour was the first tour by a New Zealand team in which Test matches were arranged. Originally, only one Test was planned, but New Zealand acquitted themselves so well in the first match and in the game against MCC that matches against Surrey and Lancashire were hastily replaced by two further Test matches. Of the three Tests played, the first was drawn, the second was won comfortably by England; the third was heavily affected by rain and also drawn. The tour as a whole was blighted by poor weather, and 23 of the 32 first-class matches ended as draws.
He made his final Test appearance against the 1932/33 England team scoring 83 not out.
Dempster moved to England, appearing in one first-class match for Lindsay Parkinson's XI in 1933 and once for Scotland in 1934. He settled in England from 1935, being contracted by the Leicestershire millionaire Sir Julien Cahn to play for his private team. Dempster qualified for Leicestershire, captaining the team from 1936 to 1938, although playing irregularly in 1938 and 1939. In 1938–39, he toured New Zealand with Cahn's team.
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He was able to play county cricket as an amateur, and was therefore acceptable as a county captain, by being employed by Cahn, ostensibly as the manager of one of his furniture stores in Leicester. While there, he married a girl from Leicester.
Dempster appeared for the County scratch sides during the war but left the staff when the war ended. He played three times for Warwickshire in 1946 before returning to New Zealand to become a coach. He was selected to play for New Zealand in a one-off Test in Christchurch against England, but withdrew due to an eye injury the night before play. The match ended in a draw. Dempster made his final appearance for Wellington against Auckland at Eden Park in January 1948 scoring 7 and 41.
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