PJ Beames

Name: Beames, Percy James
Date of Birth: 27 July 1911 (d 29 March 2004)
Career: 1929/30 - 1946/47
Teams: South Melbourne, Melbourne
Matches: 189
Batting Style: RHB
Bowling Style: RAMP

Percy Beames was an outstanding all-round sportsman who played for the State at both cricket and football. A classy rover for the Demons in 213 games (1931-1944), Beames played in Melbourne's 1939, 1940 and 1941 VFL premiership sides and was captain-coach from 1942-1944. In cricket, Beames was a member of Melbourne's 1932/33, 1935/36, 1936/37 and 1937/38 VCA premiership sides. Like many others, Beames' chances of Test honours were thwarted by World War II.

Born in Ballarat and educated at Ballarat College, Beames started his VCA career at South Melbourne in 1929/30, he crossed to Melbourne in 1931. He scored two double-centuries for the Demons - 231* against University in 1938/39 and 219* against Northcote in 1944/45 and, in three successive seasons (1942/43 - 808, 1943/44 - 990, 1944/45 - 810) topped 800 runs in a season.

For Victoria, Beames played 18 first class matches between 1933/34 and 1945/46, scoring 1186 runs @ 51.56 with 3 centuries. In 1938/39 he scored a brilliant 226* (215 minutes, 1 six and 28 fours) against Tasmania at Launceston and 169* (160 minutes, 1 six and 21 fours) at Hobart a few days later. His other first class century was 104 against South Australia at the MCG in 1939/40.

Beames captained Victoria in the first post-war season and, although it had been agreed that the Sheffield Shield would not be contested, the Vics were the only undefeated State. Beames' contribution was a steady 382 runs @ 47.75, but Lindsay Hassett was appointed for 1946/47 and Beames retired from all cricket at the end of the 1946/47 season to pursue his career as a football and cricket journalist with The Age.

Beames was cricket writer for The Age for 30 years, and scooped the world during the Ashes Test at Melbourne in 1954 when he broke the story about the illegal watering of the pitch. Beames was the only writer who learned that curator Jack House, a crony from his football years, hosed the wicket on the rest day, Sunday, after big cracks appeared on it late on Saturday afternoon. He went on to cover many Tests, both at home and abroad.

Beames was an inaugural member of the VCA 200 Club when it was introduced in 1985.

Innings N.O. Runs Batting Avg High Score 50s 100s
193 24 7850 46.45 231* 36 20

Runs Wickets Bowling Avg Best 5wi 10wm Ct/St
 771 29  26.58  4/20      72/1