Saturday, March 12

Norman Walter Yardley (1915-1989) Test Cap No:307

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Full name Norman Walter Yardley
Born March 19, 1915, Gawber, Barnsley, Yorkshire
Died October 3, 1989, Lodge Moor, Sheffield, Yorkshire (aged 74 years 198 days)
Major teams England, Cambridge University, Yorkshire
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm medium
Other Administrator, Commentator, Author

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 F.Trueman and B.Appleyard receive county caps from N Yardley.
© The Cricketer International
England's captain in succession to Wally Hammond, Norman Yardley, who died on Oct 4 after suffering a stroke, was the kindliest of men, gentle of demeanour, and one of the sadder casualties of Yorkshire's second ` Boycott revolt' in the mid-1980s, when he resigned as president in the wake of the no-confidence vote.Yardley's distinguished sporting life displayed many facets in his earlier days. At Cambridge he won Blues at cricket, squash, rugby fives and hockey, and was North of England squash champion six times. Having made a name as a schoolboy cricketer as St Peter's, York, he went on to play in the Varsity matches of 1935 to 1938, scoring 90 in the second match and 101 in the third. His great friend Paul Gibb made 122 in the fourth, when Yardley was skipper.

Leonard Litton Wilkinson (1916-2002) Test Cap No:306

Full name Leonard Litton Wilkinson
Born November 5, 1916, Northwich, Cheshire
Died September 3, 2002, Barrow-in-Furness, Lancashire (aged 85 years 302 days)
Major teams England, Lancashire
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Legbreak

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Wilkinson, Leonard Litton, died in Barrow-in-Furness on September 3, 2002, aged 85. For one August he sparkled brilliantly, then just as suddenly his star waned. "The only thing I can think of," Len Wilkinson told the cricket writer Brian Bearshaw, "is that I tried to be too perfect, particularly with the googly. I had an England cap and as an England player I had to be good." He hadn't taken up leg-spin bowling until he was 15, yet a month after turning 22 he was playing Test cricket in South Africa. The selectors could hardly ignore him. In 1938, his first full season with Lancashire, he had taken 151 wickets at 23.28 in 36 games, bowling thoughtfully, delivering the ball from a full height, often getting sharp turn and rarely dropping short.

Paul Antony Gibb (1913-1977) Test Cap # 305

Full name Paul Antony Gibb
Born July 11, 1913, Acomb, York
Died December 7, 1977, Guildford, Surrey (aged 64 years 149 days)
Major teams England, Scotland, Cambridge University, Essex, Yorkshire
Batting style Right-hand bat
Fielding position Wicketkeeper
Other Umpire

Profile
Paul Anthony Gibb, who died suddenly at Guildford on December 7 at the age of 64, was a cricketer who should be judged by the figures he achieved. It would have needed a shrewd critic to discern, when watching him play a long innings, that he was more than a determined and solid University and County batsman. Never did one catch a glimpse of that spark of genius which normally marks the Test player. The figures tell a very different story. In his first innings for Yorkshire he made 157 not out. For his four University matches he averaged 54, making a century in his last year and in the previous year being stupidly run out for 87. His average for his eight Tests was 44.69. In his first, against South Africa, he scored 93 and 106; in the final Test of that series 120. In the first Test after the War, against India, he made 60 and helped Hardstaff to add 182 badly needed runs for the fifth wicket. In his early days a tendency to overdo the hook was often fatal, but once he had conquered this it was indeed a problem to get him out. He was quite happy to rely on his immensely strong back play and to let the runs come at their own rate: his patience seemed inexhaustible. Two Gibbs on a side could have been difficult and three intolerable: one often invaluable.

With his wicket-keeping it was different: not even his best friends would have claimed that he was anywhere near the best of his day. Yet after playing purely as a batsman for Cambridge in his first year while S. C. Griffith, a far better performer, kept and keeping himself in his second year when Griffith was injured, in his third year he was given the preference completely and Griffith did not play at all. This aroused considerable criticism, but not as much as when in the next season, Ames being injured, Gibb was selected for the third and fourth Tests over the heads of a number of better keepers including Arthur Wood, who was almost always preferred to him by Yorkshire. In fact the third Test was completely washed out by rain and by the fourth Gibb was injured and so had to wait for the South African tour that winter before actually taking the field for England.On that tour he was second-string to Ames, but in 1946 he kept in the first two Tests against India and the following winter in the First Test in Australia, before on each occasion making way for Evans.

To summarise his career, he was in the XI at St Edward's, Oxford, played for Cambridge from 1935 to 1938 and for Yorkshire from 1935 to 1946. After returning that winter from Australia, he was seen no more in first-class cricket until 1951 when he appeared for Essex as a professional, the first cricket blue ever to turn professional. Though now no longer a candidate for Tests, playing for Essex for six seasons he made a thousand runs in four of them, besides proving a serviceable keeper. He dropped out of the Essex side in 1956 and from 1957 to 1966 was a first-class umpire. At the time of his death he had for some years been a bus-driver in Guildford.

Test debut South Africa v England at Johannesburg, Dec 24-28, 1938
Last Test Australia v England at Brisbane, Nov 29-Dec 4, 1946
First-class span 1934 - 1956

Arthur Wood (1898-1973) Test Cap No:304

© The Cricketer International
Full name Arthur Wood
Born August 25, 1898, Fagley, Bradford, Yorkshire
Died April 1, 1973, Middleton, Ilkley, Yorkshire (aged 74 years 219 days)
Major teams England, Yorkshire
Batting style Right-hand bat
Fielding position Wicketkeeper

Profile
Bill Bowes, a former fellow Yorkshire and England player and now cricket correspondent to the Yorkshire Evening Post, writes: Arthur Wood, born August 25, 1898, died April 2, 1973, was the regular Yorkshire wicketkeeper from the time Arthur Dolphin retired at the end of the 1927 season until war was declared in 1939. His benefit in the season realised £2563. For Yorkshire he scored 8461 runs average 21-3 and he claimed 848 victims, 603 caught and 245 stumped. Ten of the catches and one stumping came in Test cricket.Remarkably free from injury, he kept wicket in 222 consecutive county games until, at Brighton in 1935, captain Brian Sellers heard him boast of his record (since beaten by Jimmy Binks) and said, `If that's the case, Arthur, you deserve a rest.' He gave the job to Paul Gibb. It was the only thing that marred Arthur's most successful season, when he scored 1000 runs and scored his only century, against Worcestershire at Sheffield.

Wilfred Frederick Frank Price (1902-1969) Test Cap No:303

Full name Wilfred Frederick Frank Price
Born April 25, 1902, Westminster, London
Died January 13, 1969, Hendon, Middlesex (aged 66 years 263 days)
Major teams England, Middlesex
Batting style Right-hand bat
Fielding position Wicketkeeper
Other Umpire

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Fred Price, the former Middlesex and England wicket-keeper and Test match umpire, died in hospital on January 12, aged 66. A skilled performer behind the stumps, Fred Price held 648 catches and brought off 316 stumpings during a first-class career extending from 1926 to 1947. In 1937 he set up a record, since equalled but not surpassed, when he took seven catches in the Yorkshire first innings at Lord's.

Douglas Vivian Parson Wright (1914-1998) Test Cap No:302

© The Cricketer International
Full name Douglas Vivian Parson Wright
Born August 21, 1914, Sidcup, Kent
Died November 13, 1998, Canterbury, Kent (aged 84 years 84 days)
Major teams England, Kent
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm medium, Legbreak googly
Other Coach

Profile
© The Cricketer International
Doug Wright was the finest English leg-spinner, perhaps the most dangerous of all English bowlers, in the years just before and after the war. A Kentishman, from Sidcup, he made his debut for the county in 1932 aged 17, but did not become a regular for another four years until Tich Freeman's final season. By 1938, he was in the Test team against Australia, and at Leeds came close to bowling them to a remarkable victory, dismissing Bradman, McCabe and Hassett as Australia sought a mere 105 for victory. For most of his 34 Tests, he was bowling in difficult circumstances with little support. Often he was the spin attack, as in Australia in 1946-47 when he and Bedser bowled almost 500 eight-ball overs between them. Against South Africa at Lord's in 1947, he took ten for 175, but there were many more days of abject frustration.

Wright began as a quick bowler who liked to turn his wrist and slip in the odd spinner; later he reversed the proportions. But his quicker ball remained so fast that Godfrey Evans had to signal the slips to move deeper, and even his stock ball had a rare fizz to it. Everyone agreed - and Bradman and Hammond were among his chief admirers - that on his day Wright was unplayable. But he gave the batsmen a chance to score too. With his technique, wrote David Frith, running in from over 15 yards, hopping and skipping as he went, and whipping over a wristy and finger-spun ball that would dip, bounce and deviate crazily off the pitch, to expect long-term accuracy was to display a dismal ignorance of physics. He never ever bowled a ball defensively, said Lord Cowdrey, his team-mate at Kent. Every ball was bowled to take a wicket.He took seven hat-tricks, more than anyone else in history, and 100 wickets in a season ten times.

In 1954, Doug Wright became Kent's first professional captain, though his natural diffidence did not obviously lend itself to leadership and, as so often in his career, he had a weak team around him: Kent slid nearer the bottom each season. At the end of each day, he would take his shoes and socks off and apologise to his poor old feet. "Sorry, boys," he would say, "but you're going to be needed again tomorrow." He retired aged 43, and in 1959 succeeded George Geary as coach at Charterhouse. Everyone liked Doug Wright. Cowdrey remembers him being asked about the best over he ever bowled. "Bowling to the Don at Lord's, he said. Every ball came out of my hand the way I wanted and pitched where I wanted. I beat him twice. It went for 16."

Test debut England v Australia at Nottingham, Jun 10-14, 1938
Last Test New Zealand v England at Wellington, Mar 24-28, 1951
First-class span 1932-1957

Reginald Albert Sinfield (1900-1988) Test Cap No:301

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Full name Reginald Albert Sinfield
Born December 24, 1900, Benington, Stevenage, Hertfordshire
Died March 17, 1988, Ham Green, Bristol (aged 87 years 84 days)
Major teams England, Gloucestershire
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm slow
Other Coach

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This is a Hand Signed
Sinfield, Reginald Albert, was born on December 24, 1900, and died on March 17,1988. At the time of his death he was England's oldest surviving Test cricketer, a distinction which then fell to R. E. S. Wyatt. His single appearance for England at Trent Bridge in the First Test of 1938 was the climax to a career which extended from 1921 to 1939 and was a fitting reward for years of loyal service to Gloucestershire. Sinfield was the epitome of the old type of English professional cricketer. In him were combined all those qualities which contributed so much to the development of the game at a time when its leadership was very much under the control of the amateur.

William John Edrich (1916-1986) Test Cap No:300

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Full name William John Edrich
Born March 26, 1916, Lingwood, Norfolk
Died April 24, 1986, Whitehill Court, Chesham, Buckinghamshire (aged 70 years 29 days)
Major teams England, Middlesex, Norfolk
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm fast
The England side that regained the Ashes at The Oval in 1953,
Bill Edrich,a;llso member of the team / © The Cricketer International
Profile
Bill Edrich, who died at Chesham as the result of an accident on April 24, 1986, aged 70, was a cricketer who would have been the answer to prayer in the troubled England sides of today. Endlessly cheerful, always optimistic and physically courageous, he was a splendid hitter of short-pitched fast bowling and took the blows he received as a part of the game. When he made 16 in an hour and three-quarters on a hideous wicket at Brisbane in the first innings of the first Test in 1946-47, an innings which Wisden's correspondent described as one of the most skilful batting displays I have ever seen, it was reckoned that he was hit ten times by Lindwall, Miller and Toshack. So far from being demoralised by this experience, he scored in the series 462 runs with an average of 46.20, and that for a side which lost three Tests, two of them by an innings, and drew the other two. Moreover, his cricket did not end with his batting. Though he stood only 5ft 6in tall, and had a low, slinging action,
he could off a run of eleven strides bowl genuinely fast for a few overs. Admittedly it was a terrible proof of the weakness of English bowling after the war that at this period he often had to open in Test matches. It is barely credible that in 1950, when his 22 wickets in the season cost him just under 50 runs each, he opened in both of West Indies' innings at Lord's. In fairness it must be added that Walcott, who made 168 not out in the second innings, was missed off him in the slips at 9. Still, in a reasonably strong side he was a valuable change as a fifth or sixth bowler, always apt to upset a good batsman by his unexpected speed. Like many natural athletes, he originally made a reputation as a tireless outfielder, but he was soon found to be too valuable in the slips to spend much time elsewhere. One way and another he was always in the game, always trying his hardest.
Bill Edrich runs the ball down to third man during his double hundred,
© ESPNcricinfo Ltd

He came of a Norfolk farming family, which sometimes produced its own XI. Three of his brothers played with some success in first-class cricket and his cousin, John, had later a distinguished Test match career. Bill Edrich first appeared for Norfolk in 1932 at the age of sixteen, and by 1936 had scored 1,886 runs for them in the Minor Counties Championship alone, not to mention an innings of 111 against the 1935 South African side. By then he had begun to qualify for Middlesex, and in 1936 he made three hundreds in first-class cricket for MCC and came second in the first-class averages with an average of 55. So it was no surprise when next year, in his first full season of first-class cricket, he scored 2,154 runs with an average of 44.87, heading the batting, and was picked for Lord Tennyson's side in India.

Cyril Washbrook (1914-1999) Test Cap No:299

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Full name Cyril Washbrook
Born December 6, 1914, Barrow, Clitheroe, Lancashire
Died April 27, 1999, Sale, Cheshire (aged 84 years 142 days)
Major teams England, Lancashire
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm medium

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© Getty image
Cyril Washbrook, who died on April 27, 1999, aged 84, was an always staunch and sometimes brilliant opening batsman for Lancashire and England. He flourished either side of the Second World War, and his name will for ever be paired in history with that of Len Hutton, with whom he opened for England 51 times. Their average partnership was 60, which from this distance seems like unparalleled riches, although they played in often perilous times for England. In the popular imagination, he is remembered for two other things. One was his comeback in 1956 when, as a selector, he made a dramatic return to the Test team, aged 41. The other was the jaunty angle of his cap which hinted at a carefree nature. In fact, he was a diffident man, and he masked this by acquiring a rather forbidding exterior as he gained authority.

His cricket, however, gave pleasure right from the start. In his second match for Lancashire, as an 18-year-old in 1933, Washbrook made 152, and Neville Cardus wrote in the Manchester Guardian: He looks like a cricketer, has a cricketer's face and wears his flannels like a cricketer. He went on to become the very embodiment of a Lancashire cricketer, and remained deeply associated with the county until his sad and lingering final illness.

Washbrook was born in Barrow, near Clitheroe, but his family moved to Shropshire. From Bridgnorth Grammar School, he might have gone to either Warwickshire or Worcestershire or, since he had many gifts, Wolves or West Bromwich Albion. But when he arrived at Old Trafford, the old opener Harry Makepeace, now coach, took him under his wing as his protégé and successor. After his brilliant start, however, Washbrook fell back somewhat and it was 1935 before he finally established himself in the side, hitting 1,724 runs and coming fifth in the national averages. He was still dropped once from the side in 1936, to Cardus's disgust. A year later he made his England debut, alongside Denis Compton, at The Oval against New Zealand in 1937. But he made only nine and eight not out, and missed the opportunity for the then infinitely greater honour of a Test against Australia the following year.

Austin David George Matthews (1904-1977) Test Cap No:298

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Full name Austin David George Matthews
Born May 3, 1904, Penarth, Glamorgan, Wales
Died July 29, 1977, Penrhyn Bay, Llandudno, Caernarvonshire, Wales (aged 73 years 87 days)
Major teams England, Glamorgan, Northamptonshire
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm fast-medium
Other Coach

Profile
Austin David George Matthews, who died in hospital on July 29, aged 72, had a career which was almost unique. Born at Penarth and educated at St. David's, Lampeter, he played for Northamptonshire from 1927 to 1936 and at that time was merely a useful member of one of the weakest county sides, who could not on his performances have kept his place for a leading county. His 567 wickets had cost him 26.45 runs each and he had made a couple of centuries. In 1937 he went to coach cricket and rugby at Stowe and threw in his lot with Glamorgan, making his first appearance at the end of July.

Denis Charles Scott Compton (1918-1997) Test Cap No:297

Cover of  Denis Compton by Tim Heald
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Full name Denis Charles Scott Compton
Born May 23, 1918, Hendon, Middlesex
Died April 23, 1997, Windsor, Berkshire (aged 78 years 335 days)
Major teams England, Europeans (India), Holkar, Middlesex
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Slow left-arm chinaman

Profile
© All Sport UK Ltd
Denis Compton, who died on April 23, 1997, aged 78, was not just a great cricketer but a character who transcended the game and became what would now be called a national icon. In the years after the war, when the British were still finding the joys of victory elusive, the exuberance of Compton's batting and personality became a symbol of national renewal. Almost single-handed (though his pal Bill Edrich helped), he ensured that cricket returned to its pre-war place in the nation's affections. Only Ian Botham has ever come remotely close to matching this achievement.

Compton was a remarkable batsman: loose-limbed with broad shoulders and powerful forearms. He could play all the strokes, though he rarely straight-drove. What made him special was his audacity: he would take risks, standing outside the crease even to quickish bowlers, challenging them to bowl anything other than the length he wanted. He took 622 wickets, mostly with his chinamen, and any other player might have turned this skill into a career; Compton regarded them as a bit of a party trick. His running between the wickets was never good, but it seemed to get worse after he retired and became the source of a thousand after-dinner jokes. In reality, it was never a disastrous weakness.
Denis Compton goes out to bat,
© ESPNcricinfo Ltd

Denis Compton was born in Hendon, on May 23, 1918, and described his childhood as both poorish and happy. His father was a self-employed decorator who became a lorry driver when his business foundered. He was also a keen cricketer, as was Leslie, Denis's elder brother. They played against the lamp-posts in Alexandra Road and at Bell Lane Elementary School, and Compton's talent was obvious at once. At 12, he was playing for his father's team, and North London Schools against South London Schools at Lord's. He made 88. Two years later, watched by Sir Pelham Warner, he made 114 at Lord's for the Elementary Schools against C. F. Tufnell's XI and led his team to a crushing victory. He joined the Lord's staff in 1933, and three years later got a game for the county, as an 18-year-old against Sussex in the Whitsun match. Compton batted at No. 11: he scored 14 in an important last-wicket stand with Gubby Allen that gave Middlesex first-innings points; the umpire Bill Bestwick supposedly said later that he only gave Compton lbw because he was desperate for a pee.

Next match he was No. 8 and facing Larwood with confidence. Then he was No. 7, scoring 87 against Northamptonshire. In one game, the captain Walter Robins came down the pitch after he had driven a fast bowler for two consecutive fours. You know what to look out for now, don't you? No, skipper. Well, he'll bounce one at you. If he does, I shall hook him. And he did - into the Mound Stand. Before June was out he scored a hundred, in an hour and three-quarters, at Northampton. By the time the season was over and he had passed a thousand runs, Warner, then chairman of the Test selectors, called him the best young batsman who has come out since Walter Hammond was a boy.
But Compton had no time to relax.
© The Cricketer International

In September he made his Football League debut for Arsenal on the left wing against Derby County, scored the opening goal in a 2-2 draw, and was called the success of the afternoon by the Daily Express. Soon he was being marked out as a future England footballer as well as cricketer, despite criticism, which Compton always accepted, that he was inclined to prefer pretty ball-play to anything else. In cricket, the golden youth's progress turned out to be stoppable only by the Germans. In 1937 he scored 1,980 runs and was picked by England against New Zealand at the Oval. He scored 65 and was run out, flukily, while backing up. That year, as Pasty Hendren retired, Bill Edrich qualified for Middlesex. Len Hutton also made his Test debut. Thus started both the great partnership and the great rivalry that were to dominate post-war cricket. The contrast between the serious-minded Hutton and the insouciant Compton would be the great divide in English cricket for years, and small boys of all ages invariably inclined to one or the other.

Arthur William Wellard (1902-1980) Test Cap No:296

© The Cricketer International
Full name Arthur William Wellard
Born April 8, 1902, Southfleet, Kent
Died December 31, 1980, Eastbourne, Sussex (aged 78 years 267 days)
Major teams England, Somerset
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm fast-medium
Other Coach

Profile
Wellard, Arther Willium, died peacefully in his sleep on December 31, 1980, aged 77. In a career extending from 1927 to 1950 he scored 12,575 runs with an average of 19.73 and took 1,614 wickets at 24.35 - figures which suggest a valuable county all-rounder. In fact he was more than that. Though he was a good enough opening bowler to be selected in that rôle for a Test against Australia, and once took nine for 117 in an unofficial Test in India, it is as a batsman that he will be chiefly remembered. In the course of his career he hit some 500 6s, thus accounting for a quarter of the runs he made. But he was no mere slogger: he had a sound defence and was, for one of his type, remarkably consistent. His record was not boosted by large innings.

James Horace Parks (1903-1980) Test Cap No:295

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Full name James Horace Parks
Born May 12, 1903, Haywards Heath, Sussex
Died November 21, 1980, Cuckfield, Sussex (aged 77 years 193 days)
Major teams England, Canterbury, Sussex
Batting style Right-hand bat

Profile
© ESPNcricinfo Ltd
James Horace Parks, who died on November 21, 1980, aged 77, will be remembered for his feat of scoring 3,003 runs and taking 101 wickets in 1937, a record which, unless the whole pattern of country cricket is radically changed, cannot possibly be equalled. First appearing for Sussex in 1924, he created a sensation by taking seven for 17 in his third match, in the second innings against Leicestershire at Horsham. Naturally, great things were hoped of him, but he was slow to develop and it was not until 1927, when he made 1,036 runs with an average of 23.54 and took 44 wickets at 26.93, that he began to justify the confidence which the country had placed in him. From then until the Second World War he was an indispensable member of the side. In 1928 he made the first of his 41 hundreds and in 1929 helped Bowley to put up 368 in three hours, at that time a Sussex record, for the first wicket against Gloucestershire; his share was 110. In 1935 he did the double and appeared for the Players at Lord's;

that winter he was a member of E. R. T. Holmes's MCC side to Australia and New Zealand, which did not play official Tests. His one Test appearance was against New Zealand at Lord's in 1937, when he opened the batting with Hutton, also making his Test debut, but, though he scored 22 in the first innings and bowled well, he can never have been a strong candidate for a place against Australia. His first-class career ended in 1939. After the War he went to the Lancashire League and later, for a time in the 1960s, was the country coach at Hove.

Leonard Hutton (1916-1990) Test Cap No:294

© PA Photos
Full name Leonard Hutton
Born June 23, 1916, Fulneck, Pudsey, Yorkshire
Died September 6, 1990, Kingston Hospital, Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey (aged 74 years 75 days)
Major teams England, Yorkshire
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Legbreak

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Len Hutton and Don Bradman pose for a photo
© Getty Images
Sir Len Hutton, who died in hospital at Kingston-upon-Thames on September 6, 1990, aged 74, was one of the greatest batsmen the game has produced in all its long history. In the Hall of Fame he sits at the high table with the élite, and if English cricket alone is taken into consideration he was one of the two most accomplished professional batsmen to have played for his country, the other being Sir Jack Hobbs with Walter Hammond and Denis Compton coming next haud longo intervallo.

Len Hutton and Fred Trueman head,
to the nets at Headingley
© The Cricketer International 
He was born at Fulneck near Pudsey into a family in which there was a healthy respect for the old virtues of discipline and self-denial. It was also a keen cricketing family, and the boy seems to have nursed ambitions deep in his heart to become a great player. He devoured anything he could lay his hands on about the art of batting, and by the time he had come to the notice of George Hirst he was already a complete player. Indeed, Hirst proclaimed that there was nothing to teach him; Sutcliffe, more extravagant in his praise, predicted that he would play for England. By 1934, still only 17, he was ready for first-class cricket, and in fourteen matches in the Championship he at once made his mark with five fifties and a maiden first-class century -- an innings of 196 against Worcestershire at Worcester.

Batting with supreme confidence he was last out in a total of 416. He also showed a high degree of skill in batting for four hours on a difficult pitch at Scarborough before being bowled by Goddard for 67. Ill health a year later held him up, but in 1936 he made his 1,000 runs for the first time, often having to bat on rain-affected pitches in that vile summer. Impatient critics complained that he was too defensive. His answer was swift and to the point, and in 1937 he let loose a torrent of runs to show himself magnificently equipped with strokes. Against Derbyshire at Sheffield he made 271 not out, and when Yorkshire entertained Leicestershire at Hull he celebrated his 21st birthday with a fine 153, sharing in an opening partnership of 315 with Sutcliffe. His season's total of 2,888 (average 56.62) was second only to Hammond's. A broken finger in July 1938 put him out of cricket for around six weeks, but in 1939 he was in superlative form with 2,167 runs in the Championship and 2,883 in all matches, including twelve hundreds.

Alfred Richard Gover (1908-2001) Test Cap No:293

© Getty image
Full name Alfred Richard Gover
Born February 29, 1908, Woodcote, Epsom, Surrey
Died October 7, 2001, South London (aged 93 years 220 days)
Major teams England, Surrey
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm fast
Other Coach

Profile
© ESPNcricinfo Ltd
Alf Gover had two long careers in cricket. The first was as a whole-hearted fast bowler for Surrey and, briefly, England; he then turned to coaching, and for around 40 years ran the best-known cricket school in England, at East Hill in Wandsworth, near Clapham Junction in south London.

Gover the bowler sent down brisk outswingers, using an eccentric bowling action - right arm pumping, right foot skipping past left in delivery - that he wouldn't have recommended to his latter-day pupils. But it was mightily effective: he took 200 wickets in both 1936 and 1937, playing half the time on the shirt-front Oval pitches on which Len Hutton was to compile 364 against Australia in 1938.

At a time when England weren't overstocked with fast bowlers it was surprising that Gover won only four Test caps, three of them in his golden years of 1936 and 1937. The final call came after the war, when the 38-year-old Gover opened the bowling against India at his beloved Oval, alongside the new Surrey and England bowling star Alec Bedser.In all Gover took 1555 wickets at 23.63. His best return was 8 for 34, which included four wickets in four balls, for Surrey against Worcestershire at New Road in 1935.

Laurence Barnard Fishlock (1907-1986) Test Cap No:292

© cricket-books.com
Full name Laurence Barnard Fishlock
Born January 2, 1907, Battersea, London
Died June 25, 1986, Sutton, Surrey (aged 79 years 174 days)
Major teams England, Surrey
Batting style Left-hand bat
Bowling style Slow left-arm orthodox

Profile
Laurie Fishlock died peacefully in hospital after an operation on June 26, 1986, aged 79. For years he was one of the mainstays of the Surrey side; the first left-hand batsman of any prominence they had had since the early 1870s. Season after season he topped their averages, usually with more than 2,000 runs and an average of about 50. He was largely a county player; a little older than most, he was 28 when he got his cap. Four years later came the war, and when first-class cricket was resumed he was 39, an age when men are retiring from Test cricket rather than starting it. So in all he played in only four Tests: two in 1936 against India, another, also against India, in 1946, and one in Australia in 1946-47. In these he did little.

Arthur Edward Fagg (1915-1977) Test Cap No:291

© The Cricketer International
Full name Arthur Edward Fagg
Born June 18, 1915, Chartham, Kent
Died September 13, 1977, Tunbridge Wells, Kent (aged 62 years 87 days)
Major teams England, Kent
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm medium
Fielding position Wicketkeeper

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Arthur Fagg signs autographs for children
© Getty image
Arthur Edward Fagg, died at Tunbridge Wells on September 13, aged 62. Although in a career which extended from 1932 to 1957 he scored 27,291 runs with an average of 36.05, made 58 centuries and played five times for England, it cannot be said that he ever fulfilled expectations. In the middle thirties Sutcliffe was dropping out of Test cricket and England was looking for a new opening pair. Fagg and Hutton were at once recognised as obvious candidates and Fagg, a year the senior and by some considered the better prospect, got the first chance, playing in two Tests v. India in 1936 and being picked for the Australian tour that autumn. Halfway through the tour he was invalided home with rheumatic fever, a great setback to his career, and he missed the entire season of 1937. Naturally, in 1938 the selectors were cautious about playing him and, though he had a splendid season, it was not until the final Test that they picked him and then he was one of those left out.

That his health was not fully trustworthy was shown when he refused an invitation for the South African tour that winter. In 1939 he played in one Test v. West Indies. Unfit for the Services during the War, he went as coach to Cheltenham and, when first-class cricket was resumed in 1946, felt so doubtful whether he could stand the strain that he decided to stay there.

Harold Gimblett (1914-1978) Test Cap No:290

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Full name Harold Gimblett
Born October 19, 1914, Bicknoller, Somerset
Died March 30, 1978, Dewlands Park, Verwood, Dorset (aged 63 years 162 days)
Major teams England, Somerset
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm medium
Other Coach

Profile
© The Cricketer International
To watch Harold Gimblett bat in the years immediately before and after the war was a delight. His debut was straight out of Boys' Own - he smashed 123 in 65 minutes - and within a year his hitting had become the stuff of folklore and he had been picked for England. He played the game "vividly, sturdily, and above all gallantly" (G Moorhouse), his character being shown by hitting three sixes from an over during which his partner appealed against the light. But he was dogged by mental problems which left him a tortured soul, and in the end the pressure all got too much for him and he quit mid season. He committed suicide in 1978.

Harold Gimblett, who died at his home at Verwood, Dorset, on March 30, aged 63, was the most exciting English batsman of his day. Years ago, C. B. Fry wrote of MacLaren, Like all the great batsmen, he always attacked the bowling! If that view was once shared by the selectors, they had abandoned it by Gimblett's time. They preferred soundness and consistency. Watching our batting in Australia in 1946-47, Macartney expressed amazement that both Gimblett and Barnett had been left at home. Gimblett played in three Tests only, two against India in 1936, the first of which at Lord's he finished with a dazzling 67 not out, culminating in five consecutive boundaries, and one against the West Indies in 1939. Those of us who saw the inexpressibly feeble English batting against Ramadhin and Valentine at Lord's in 1950 shown up for what it was by the bold tail-end hitting of Wardle, longed for an hour of Gimblett, and indeed he was picked for the next Test, but was unfortunately ill and unable to play.

Holcombe Douglas Read (1910-2000) Test Cap No:289

Full name Holcombe Douglas Read
Born January 28, 1910, Woodford Green, Essex
Died January 5, 2000, Truro, Cornwall (aged 89 years 342 days)
Major teams England, Essex, Surrey
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm fast

Profile
Holcombe Douglas 'Hopper' Read (born 28 January 1910, Woodford Green, Essex, died 5 January 2000, Truro, Cornwall) was an English cricketer who played in one Test in 1935.Read was regarded as the fastest bowler in the world for the brief period he was able to play first-class cricket, and though he could be extremely erratic in length he was still an extremely dangerous bowler on a lively pitch. Originally from Winchester College, Read never went up to either Oxford or Cambridge University but his reputation as a fast bowler in club cricket was such that Surrey gave him a trial against those two Universities in 1933 even though he never claimed qualification to represent Surrey in County Championship matches. Although he took 4 for 26 in the second innings against Cambridge, Surrey did not think it worth having Read properly qualify for them and they raised no objections when Essex asked if he might be available. Read was obviously qualified for Essex: not only was he born there but his father, Arthur Holcombe "Arnold" Read, had played 22 games for their first eleven between 1904 and 1910.

John Charles Clay (1898-1973) Test Cap No:288

 Johnnie Clay in action,© Getty image
Full name John Charles Clay
Born March 18, 1898, Bonvilston, Glamorgan, Wales
Died August 11, 1973, St Hilary, Cowbridge, Glamorgan, Wales (aged 75 years 146 days)
Major teams England, Glamorgan, Wales
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm offbreak
Other Administrator

Profile
Johnnie Clay was one of the most dedicated cricketers ever to represent Glamorgan. He first appeared for the county when they acquired first-class status in 1921 and continued with them till 1949; was captain in six seasons and for some time honorary secretary; and at the time of his death was President of the County Club, a position he had held since 1961.At Winchester, where he was in the XI in 1915 and 1916, Johnny Clay, as he was generally known in the cricket world, was a fast bowler, but eventually he took to off-breaks and possessed few equals. Not only did he spin the ball skilfully from his considerable height, but he maintained a splendid length and never wilted under punishment. In his long career he took 1,315 wickets at an average cost of 19.77, three times dismissing over 100 batsmen in a season.His most successful summer was that of 1937, when with the aid of such analyses as nine wickets for 59 runs against Essex at Westcliff and nine for 66-17 for 212 in the match-against Worcestershire at Swansea, he obtained 176 wickets for 17.34 runs each.

Denis Smith (1907-1979) Test Cap No:287

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Full name Denis Smith
Born January 24, 1907, Somercotes, Derbyshire
Died September 12, 1979, Derby (aged 72 years 231 days)
Major teams England, Derbyshire
Batting style Left-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm medium
Fielding position Wicketkeeper

Profile
© in.com
Denis Smith died suddenly at Derby on September 12, aged 72. Born at Somercotes on January 24, 1907, he played for Derbyshire from 1927 until 1951. He was then appointed county coach in succession to Harry Elliott, making a solitary appearance in 1952 in an emergency and finally ending his 44-year connection with the club in 1971, though he was quietly scouting until last year. By 1930 he had developed into a reliable left-handed batsman, scoring 83 and 105 in Payton's benefit match at Trent Bridge. In the next match, his 107 at The Oval was largely responsible for Derbyshire's first victory against Surrey for 26 years. At this time he was opening the innings, and although he dropped down the order at times over the years, he is best remembered as an opener. His ability in this direction was to bring something rare to Derbyshire- success. In four consecutive seasons, Derbyshire were twice third, runners-up in 1935 (which from a playing point of view was a better year than 1936) and champions in 1936.

Tall and elegant in style, he approached the artistry of Frank Woolley, though not possessing the fluency of the Kent player. Usually attractive to watch, Smith's forcing shots were well executed, being severe on anything over-pitched, especially on middle or leg stump, and his runs came at a good rate. Throughout most of the 1930s his usual opening partners were Storer or Alderman - the latter an almost perfect foil to Smith's aggression - and they could be relied on to give the side a sound start. Consistent batting in the early weeks of 1935 gained him Test recognition in two matches against South Africa,

James Morton Sims (1903-1973) Test Cap No:286

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Full name James Morton Sims
Born May 13, 1903, Leyton, Essex
Died April 27, 1973, Canterbury, Kent (aged 69 years 349 days)
Major teams England, Middlesex
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Legbreak

Profile
Cricket lost a fine cricketer and a real character when J. M. Sims, the former Middlesex and England player, died at Canterbury on April 29. 'Simmo', as he was known to his colleagues in his playing days, will be remembered for his high standards of sportsmanship and particularly for his sense of humour and the delivery of his speech, which came out of the corner of his mouth. Jim was quite devastating on his day with his leg-break and googly - the old 'wozzler', as he called it. He used to revel on a dry, dusty pitch because he bowled his leg-break so quickly. I would compare his pace with that of Chandrasekhar, who caused so much trouble last winter in India and who has a similar dip in his flight. I played most of my career with Jim and so much of the fun which I had was contributed by him. There is a wealth of stories one could tell about him. Once against Gloucestershire he was bowling to that magnificently aggressive batsman,

Joseph Hardstaff (1911-1990) Test Cap No:285

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Full name Joseph Hardstaff
Born July 3, 1911, Nuncargate, Nottinghamshire
Died January 1, 1990, Worksop, Nottinghamshire (aged 78 years 182 days)
Major teams England, Auckland, Europeans (India), Nottinghamshire, Services
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm medium

Profile
© The Cricketer International
Joseph Hardstaff, junior, who died in hospital at Worksop on January 1, 1990, aged 78, was one of the most elegant batsmen of his generation. In point of style and suppleness of movement at the crease he could stand comparison with the greatest exponents of the art of batsmanship. He may have lacked the majesty of Hammond or the feline grace of Sobers, but his batting had a certain sheen and glamour about it, all its own. From an early age he had shown clear signs of cricketing ability, receiving invaluable advice from his father, Joe, a highly respected Nottinghamshire and England batsman and later a Test match umpire. When, at the age of sixteen, he was recommended to the Nottinghamshire authorities by Larwood, he proved to be an extremely apt pupil, and in 1930, aged nineteen he seized his chance by making 53 not out in only his second Championship match. There followed three seasons of consolidation, his captain, Arthur Carr, preferring to nurse him along in the lower order. Carr's patience and judgement proved correct;

in 1934 the young man's batting blossomed to the tune of 1,817 runs, including four hundreds. By now he had settled in at No. 4, becoming an integral part of one of the strongest batting sides in the country, and maintaining his form he played in his first Test, against South Africa, in 1935. Chosen for MCC's tour of Australia and New Zealand under E. R. T. Holmes in 1935-36, he was an outstanding success with 1,044 runs in first-class matches, his innings of 230 not out against an Australian XI at Melbourne making such an impression that his future at the highest level seemed assured. Another productive season followed in 1936, including 94 against India at Old Trafford, but on the Ashes tour of 1936-37 his form largely deserted him on the big occasions.

Wilfred Barber (1901-1968) Test Cap No:284

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Full name Wilfred Barber
Born April 18, 1901, Cleckheaton, Yorkshire
Died September 10, 1968, Bradford, Yorkshire (aged 67 years 145 days)
Major teams England, Yorkshire
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm fast-medium

Profile
Wilf Barber, who died in hospital at Bradford on September 10 after a short illness, aged 66, rendered admirable service as a batsman and first-rate out-fielder, particularly on the leg boundary, while a professional for Yorkshire between 1926 and 1947, during which period the Northern county eight times carried off the Championship. Specially strong in off-side strokes and possessing eminently sound defence, he generally exercised that restraint which one has learned to expect from Yorkshire opening batsmen. With competition so strong at the time, he did not gain a regular place in the side till 1932 when the illness of P. Holmes made way for him, and in scoring 1,000 runs he thoroughly justified that recognition, as Wisden said of him.

N.S Mitchell-Innes (1914-2006) Test Cap No:283

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Full name N.S Mitchell-Innes
Born September 7, 1914, Calcutta (now Kolkata), Bengal, India
Died December 28, 2006 (aged 92 years 112 days)
Major teams England, Scotland, Oxford University, Somerset
Batting style Right-hand bat

Profile
© Cricketer International
Mandy Mitchell-Innes was a stylish batsman and useful medium-pacer who was a precocious schoolboy at Sedburgh, making his debut for Somerset while still at school. He then spent for years in the XI at Oxford, captaining them in 1937, and in 1935 he was called up by England for the first Test against South Africa. He made 5 and then had to drop out of the next Test, at Lord's, after a severe bout of hay fever (an affliction which dogged him throughout his career). He never played for England again.

After leaving Oxford his appearances for Somerset were limited by his work overseas in the Sudan Civil Service, but he played when on leave before and after the war. In 1948 he captained Somerset in a somewhat unusual joint arrangement, but his work commitments meant he played only five times. Mitchell-Innes also played for Scotland (scoring 87 against the 1937 New Zealanders) and won a Blue at golf. On the death of the former Surrey and England bowler Alf Gover in October 2001, Mitchell-Innes became England's oldest living Test cricketer. He died on December 28, 2006.Was Test selection once such an autocratic, uncomplicated business as this? In 1935 Norman 'Mandy' Mitchell-Innes, a name barely heard of, was chosen to play for his country against South Africa on the authoritative word of Plum Warner, who had just seen him make a hundred for Oxford University off the tourists' attack.Mandy was clearly a prospect.

David Charles Humphery Townsend (1912-1997) Test Cap No:282

Full name D.C Humphery Townsend
Born April 20, 1912, Norton-on-Tees, Co Durham
Died January 27, 1997, Norton-on-Tees, Co Durham (aged 84 years 282 days)
Major teams England, Oxford University
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm medium

Profile
David Townsend, who died on January 27, 1997, aged 84, was the last man to play cricket for England without ever playing for a first-class county. Townsend was picked for the 1934-35 tour of West Indies on the strength of his form for Oxford University. He played, opening each time with Bob Wyatt, in the last three Tests of the series, and top-scored with 36 in the second innings of his debut when England were all out for 107. But his highest score otherwise was 16. The Townsends were a cricketing dynasty: six members of the family have played first-class cricket, including David's grandfather Frank, his father Charles, and his son Jonathan; Charles Townsend also played two Tests, in 1899. No other family is known to have produced four generations of first-class cricketers.

Cedric Ivan James Smith (1906-1979) Test Cap No:281

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Full name Cedric Ivan James Smith
Born August 25, 1906, Corsham, Wiltshire
Died February 8, 1979, Mellor, Lancashire (aged 72 years 167 days)
Major teams England, Middlesex, Wiltshire
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm fast
Height 6 ft 3 in

Profile
Jim Smith, Arthur Wellard and Alan Watt in a
discussion,© Getty image
Cedric Ivan James Smith, known universally as Big Jim Smith, died at his home near Blackburn on February 8, aged 72. Born at Corsham, he played for Wiltshire from 1926 until 1933, but, having been on the staff of Lord's since 1926, came to the notice of the Middlesex authorities, who persuaded him to qualify for them. To the general public he was at that time unknown and his first season, 1934, was a triumph. With 172 wickets at an average of 18.88, he came sixth in the first-class bowling averages and played for the Players at Lord's. That winter he was a member of the MCC side to the West Indies,

a great honour for a player with so little first-class experience. He played in all the Tests on this tour and gave some sensational displays of hitting. His only other Test match was against New Zealand at Old Trafford in 1937. He continued as a very valuable member of the Middlesex side until 1939, and in his six seasons for the county he took 676 wickets at 17.75. Standing six feet four inches and immensely strong, he had the cardinal virtue of bowling at the stumps and revelled in long spells of bowling.

George Alfred Edward Paine (1908-1978) Test Cap No:280

The England XII for the Lord's Test of 1932 against India. Back: Eddie Paynter, Wally Hammond, Bill Voce,
Bill Bowes, George Paine (12th man), Les Ames, Percy Holmes: Front: Herbert Sutcliffe, Walter Robins,
Douglas Jardine (captain), Freddie Brown, Frank Woolley, June 25, 1932 © ESPNcricinfo Ltd

Full name George Alfred Edward Paine
Born June 11, 1908, Paddington, London
Died March 30, 1978, Solihull, Warwickshire (aged 69 years 292 days)
Major teams England, Middlesex, Warwickshire
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Slow left-arm orthodox
Other Coach

Profile
George Paine, who died at Solihull on March 30, aged 69, was for a short time pretty near the full England side as a slow left-hander and would probably have been picked had anything happened to Verity. In 1934, a season not on the whole helpful to bowlers of his type, he headed the first-class averages with 156 wickets at 17.07. His father and grandfather had both been employed at Lord's and he himself, born at Paddington, was engaged on the Lord's staff and in 1926 played five matches for Middlesex. In only one of these did he meet with any success taking five for 77 and three for 25 against Warwickshire, who were so much impressed with his possibilities that, with the consent of Middlesex, they invited him to qualify for them. As a result of this he was a regular member of their side from 1929 to 1938.

John Iddon (1902-1946) Test Cap No:279

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Full name John Iddon
Born January 8, 1902, Mawdesley, Lancashire
Died April 17, 1946, Madeley, Staffordshire (aged 44 years 99 days)
Major teams England, Lancashire
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Slow left-arm orthodox

Profile
© ebay.co.uk
John Iddon, the Lancashire allrounder, was killed in a car accident at Crewe on April 17 when returning home from a business visit to the Rolls-Royce works. Born at Mawdesley, near Ormskirk, on January 8, 1903, he came of a cricketing family, his father being professional to the Lancaster club for fourteen years. After doing well for Leyland Motors, Jack Iddon made his first appearance for Lancashire against Oxford University in 1924, and played for the county for fifteen seasons prior to the war. He represented England in five Test matches, four against West Indies during the M.C.C. tour of 1934-35, and once against South Africa at Nottingham the following summer.

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A right-handed, hard-driving batsman, Iddon reached a thousand runs in eleven successive seasons up to 1939, obtaining 2,261 in 1934, when Lancashire were Champion County for the fifth time during Iddon's career. Altogether he scored 22,679 runs in first-class cricket and took over 500 wickets. His first century came against Surrey at Old Trafford in 1927, and two years later he played his highest innings, 222 against Leicestershire at Liverpool.Iddon bowled slow left-arm and was particularly effective when the wicket showed signs of wear. On such a pitch at Sheffield in 1937 he accomplished his best performance, taking nine wickets in the Yorkshire second innings for 42 runs and enabling Lancashire to beat their great local rivals after a lapse of five years. In 1936 his benefit realised £1,266.

Iddon did not rejoin Lancashire for the 1946 season, but hoped to play occasionally as an amateur. From 1929 to the time of his death he was technical representative to a firm of brake-lining experts in Manchester. He left a wife and two children. Damages totalling £9,801 were awarded at Stafford Assizes to Mrs. Iddon as compensation.Iddon was the second Lancashire cricketer who met his death in a road accident in recent years. E. A. McDonald, the Australian and Lancashire fast bowler, was knocked down and killed by a motor-car on the Manchester-Chorley Road in 1937.

Test debut West Indies v England at Bridgetown, Jan 8-10, 1935
Last Test England v South Africa at Nottingham, Jun 15-18, 1935
First-class span 1924-1945