Deep in the vaults of Southampton City Art Gallery lies this oil on card by George Elgar Hicks painted around 1883 and presented to the Gallery by Miss Annie Hicks in 1942.
Measuring just 21.3 x 28.8 cm it must have been a favourite if kept by Hicks who, at the time his Three Young Cricketers looked on from the boundary, was concentrating his energies on the lucrative pursuit of painting society portraits.
That year Notts won the county championship with Arthur Shewsbury opening the batting. Martin Bladen Hawke was playing for Cambridge and the North of England. W.G. was of course omnipotent.
Stopping the action in this way suggests a familiarity with the game as does the technique shown in The Croquet Player.
For the last years of his life Hicks lived at Western House, in that old cricketing centre of Odiham in Hampshire, where he died on 4 July 1914.