Friday, March 11

Edward Paynter (1901-1979) Test Cap No:263

© The Cricketer International
Full name Edward Paynter
Born November 5, 1901, Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire
Died February 5, 1979, Keighley, Yorkshire (aged 77 years 92 days)
Major teams England, Lancashire
Batting style Left-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm medium

Eddie Paynter hits out during his heroic 83 at Brisbane
© The Cricketer International
Eddie Paynter, who died at Keighley on February 5 aged 77, was a left-handed batsman who averaged 84.42 for his seven Tests against Australia, a figure which no other Englishman can approach. This in itself would entitle him to a place among the great, but his figures become even more remarkable if his innings are analysed. In three of these matches he came to the rescue at a grave crisis. On the first occasion, the third Test in 1932-33, he came in at 186 for 5, not a good score by the standards of Tests in Australia in those days, and made 77, adding 96 with Verity for the eighth wicket. In the fourth Test at Brisbane, he was taken to hospital with tonsillitis and doubtless, had all gone well with England, would not have batted. But all did not go well, and at 216 for 6 he emerged from the pavilion, refused Woodfull's offer of a runner, was still there at the close, and returned to bed in hospital. Next morning, he was not out until he had scored 83 in nearly four hours. On this occasion he and Verity put on 92 for the ninth wicket. Normally quick on his feet and a fine driver, he had conserved energy by waiting for opportunities to hit the ball to leg, preferably to the boundary. Few innings in history have so captivated the imagination of the public. Moreover, Paynter insisted on fielding for a couple of hours before retiring and then, as if to show that he was none the worse, in a brief second innings he finished the match with a 6.

Hedley Verity (1905-1943) Test Cap No:262

© Getty image
Full name Hedley Verity
Born May 18, 1905, Headingley, Leeds, Yorkshire
Died July 31, 1943, Caserta, Italy (aged 38 years 74 days)
Major teams England, Yorkshire
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Slow left-arm orthodox

© The Cricketer International
Hedley Verity, Captain, The Green Howards, died of wounds a prisoner of war in Italy on July 31, 1943, some two months after his thirty-eighth birthday. He had been reported wounded and missing, and the news of his death came on September 1, exactly four years after he had played his last match for Yorkshire and, at Hove, taken seven Sussex wickets for nine runs in one innings, which finished county cricket before the war.He received his wounds in the Eighth Army's first attack on the German positions at Catania, in Sicily. Eye-witnesses, who were a few yards from Verity when he was hit, have told the story. The objective was a ridge with strong points and pillboxes. Behind a creeping barrage Verity led his company forward 700 yards. When the barrage ceased, they went on another 300 yards and neared the ridge, in darkness. As the men advanced, through corn two feet high, tracer-bullets swept into them. Then they wriggled through the corn, Verity encouraging them with "Keep going, keep going." The moon was at their back, and the enemy used mortar-fire, Very lights and fire-bombs, setting the corn alight. The strongest point appeared to be a farm-house, to the left of the ridge; so Verity sent one platoon round to take the farm-house, while the other gave covering fire. The enemy fire increased, and, as they crept forward, Verity was hit in the chest. "Keep going," he said, "and get them out of that farm-house." When it was decided to withdraw, they last saw Verity lying on the ground, in front of the burning corn, his head supported by his batman. So, in the last grim game, Verity showed, as he was so sure to do, that rare courage which both calculates and inspires.