Friday, March 18

Benjamin Caine Hollioake (1977-2002) Test Cap No:588

© Getty image
Full name Benjamin Caine Hollioake
Born November 11, 1977, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Died March 23, 2002, Perth, Western Australia, Australia (aged 24 years 132 days)
Major teams England, Surrey
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm fast-medium

Michael Atherton awards Test caps to brothers Adam (left) Ben Hollioake.
© Getty image
Ben Hollioake died when his Porsche 924 left a freeway exit road, made slippery by light rain, and crashed into a brick wall. He had been driving home from the customary family dinner that preceded his and his brother Adam's return to Surrey for the English season, having spent much of the winter with England's one-day squad in Zimbabwe, India and New Zealand. Ben was just 24 years and 132 days old: no England Test cricketer had died so young.The England captain, Nasser Hussain, flew from the Test series in New Zealand for his funeral, which was attended also by Surrey colleagues and Australian players, testimony to his immense popularity. "Ben was the most naturally gifted cricketer that I have ever played alongside," said Alec Stewart, who captained him for Surrey and England. Everyone recalled his easy-going approach to life and the friendships he fostered with his gentle nature and whimsical sense of humour; Adam, in his funeral address, described him as "a beautiful work of art, a classic sculpture". And in the game's collective memory, the picture of Ben Hollioake remained fixed on a spring afternoon in 1997 when, making his England debut at 19, this tall, loose-limbed allrounder set Lord's alight with 63 in 48 balls against Australia to take the Man of the Match award.

Neil FetzGerald Williams (1962-2006) Test Cap No:546

© Getty image
Full name Neil FetzGerald Williams
Born July 2, 1962, Hopewell, St Vincent
Died March 27, 2006, London, England (aged 43 years 268 days)
Major teams England, Cornwall, Essex, Middlesex, Tasmania, Windward Islands
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm fast-medium

© Getty image
Neil Williams, a medium-fast bowler who played one Test for England in 1990, died in hospital on March 27 after a short battle against pneumonia. He was 43. He suffered a stroke at his St Vincent home three weeks earlier from which he never recovered.Williams' one cap came when he was drafted into the England side for the final Test against India at The Oval in 1990 after Chris Lewis withdrew with a migraine. India amassed 606 for 9 and Williams took 2 for 148 - but the victims were Sachin Tendulkar and Mohammad Azharuddin. Sent in as a nightwatchman on the second evening, he made 38 in a second-wicket stand of 74 with Graham Gooch, an achievement he rated higher than his two wickets. He was not considered for that winter's Ashes or England B tours and, when he was not even summoned when injuries hit, it was clear that at 28 his chance had come and gone.

Williams was born in St Vincent and emigrated to Britain when he was 13. He joined Middlesex after a season and a half as an MCC Young Professional, during which time he had also been playing for Hornsey.

Wilfred Norris Slack (1954-1989) Test Cap No:516

© Wisden Cricket Monthly
Full name Wilfred Norris Slack
Born December 12, 1954, Troumaca, St Vincent
Died January 15, 1989, Banjul, The Gambia (aged 34 years 34 days)
Major teams England, Middlesex, Windward Islands
Batting style Left-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm medium

Wilf Slack, the Middlesex and England left-handed opener, collapsed and died while batting in Banjul, capital of The Gambia, on January 15, 1989, at the age of 34. He had suffered four blackouts on the field or in the nets in the two previous years, but exhaustive tests had failed to identify the cause. Born in St. Vincent, Slack came to England at the age of eleven and learned his cricket at High Wycombe. He played for various local teams and in 1976, when 21, he was Buckinghamshire's leading run-scorer with 748 in his début season. The Middlesex coach, Don Bennett, marked him as first-class county material, and he was signed by them the next year. However,

Graham Barry Stevenson (1955-2014) Test Cap No: 485

Full name Graham Barry Stevenson
Born December 16, 1955, Ackworth, Yorkshire
Died January 21, 2014 (aged 58 years 36 days)
Major teams England, Northamptonshire, Yorkshire
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm medium
Height 6 ft 0 in

Graham Stevenson was an unpretentious Yorkshire allrounder who played a couple of Tests and four one-dayers for England in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He had a storming ODI debut, taking 4 for 33 and cracking 28 off 18 balls to squeeze England home by two wickets against Australia at Sydney. He also cracked an unbeaten 115 from No.11 for Yorkshire against Warwickshire in 1982 in a last-wicket partnership of 149 with...Geoff Boycott, who merrily crawled to 79 before being last out.

Graham Barry Stevenson (born 16 December 1955, Ackworth, West Yorkshire, England - 21 January 2014) is an English former cricketer, who played in two Tests and four One Day Internationals from 1980 to 1981.His county cricket career was spent mainly with Yorkshire and latterly, for one season, .

Stevenson was a right-armed fast bowler, who also found occasional success as a right-handed lower order batsman, and very occasional wicket-keeper; playing for Yorkshire from 1973 to 1986, and for Northamptonshire in 1987. Stevenson took 488 first-class wickets in 188 games at an average of 28.84, with an additional 307 wickets in the one day game. He scored two first-class centuries, with a top score of 115 not out. With that innings, Stevenson became only the eighth No. 11 to make a first-class hundred, in a partnership of 149 with Geoffrey Boycott against Warwickshire at Edgbaston in 1982. That partnership remains Yorkshire's all-time record for the tenth wicket.

Stevenson made all his international appearances on tour with England. He travelled to Australia and India in 1979–80, and to the West Indies in 1980–81. He made his One Day International debut in Australia, in the World Series Cup, taking four wickets and scoring 28 not out in a winning cause.

Test debut India v England at Mumbai, Feb 15-19, 1980
Last Test West Indies v England at St John's, Mar 27-Apr 1, 1981
ODI debut Australia v England at Sydney, Jan 14, 1980
Last ODI West Indies v England at Albion, Feb 26, 1981
First-class span 1973-1987
List A span 1973-1987

Graham Roy Dilley (1959-2011) Test Cap No:483

© PA Photos
Full name Graham Roy Dilley
Born May 18, 1959, Dartford, Kent
Died October 5, 2011 (aged 52 years 140 days)
Major teams England, Kent, Natal, Worcestershire
Batting style Left-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm fast
Other Coach

 Graham Dilley in delivery stride,
against Australia © Getty Images

Graham Dilley was plucked from Kent as a 20-year-old and taken to Australia in 1979-80 as the Great White Hope fast bowler. Tall, blond, good-looking and seriously quick, he had obvious star quality. But though he played 41 Tests and in several of them lived up to his billing, his career meandered through loss of rhythm - his action was always a bit ugly and chest-on - and some thoroughly nasty injuries. He reached his peak in 1986 and 1987 when he was undisputed as England's spearhead, but it was his fate to be remembered more for supporting Ian Botham as a batsman at Headingley 1981. After retirement, he endured a period of well-publicised poverty, caused partly by his impulsive mid-career move from Kent to Worcestershire, which meant he never got a benefit. He returned to the cricket fold with a spell as bowling coach to the England women's team, and was appointed assistant coach of the men's side for the tour of India in 2001-02. He died aged just 52 in 2011 following a short illness.
One of the quickest bowlers of his generation, with a memorable surge to the crease, Dilley took 138 Test wickets at 29.78 for his country but his best-remembered contribution to the England cause came with the bat - he made 56 supporting Ian Botham in a 117-run partnership which helped England to a famous Ashes Test win over Australia at Headingley in 1981.
Graham Dilley in action against,
Pakistan © PA Photos

David Leslie Bairstow (1951-1998) Test Cap No:481

© The Cricketer International
Full name David Leslie Bairstow
Born September 1, 1951, Horton, Bradford, Yorkshire
Died January 5, 1998, Marton-cum-Grafton, Yorkshire (aged 46 years 126 days)
Major teams England, Griqualand West, Yorkshire
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm medium
Fielding position Wicketkeeper

David Bairstow was found hanged at his home on January 5, 1998. He was 46. Reports said he had been suffering from depression: his wife was ill, he had financial troubles, he faced a drink-driving charge and was in pain from his own injuries. The news stunned cricket, especially as Bairstow had always seemed the most indomitable and least introspective of men, and led to much comment on the problems faced by retired sportsmen.David "Bluey" Bairstow was not merely the Yorkshire wicketkeeper but almost the embodiment of the country's cricket throughout the 1970s and 1980s. He arrived in county cricket amid a blaze of publicity when he was drafted from grammar school in Bradford into the Yorkshire side as an 18-year-old on the day he sat an English Literature A-level. He was allowed to sit the exam at 7am, then went out and caught five Gloucestershire batsmen over the next three days. From then on, he was a regular, and while Yorkshire's affairs swirled turbulently around him, Bairstow was always there: loud, combative, combustile. "He wasn't a great wicketkeeper and he wasn't a great batsman," said his team-mate Phil Carrick, "but he was a great cricketer."

John Christopher Balderstone (1940-2000) Test Cap No:467

Chris Balderstone and Doncaster footballer on,
 the same day © The Cricketer International
Full name John Christopher Balderstone
Born November 16, 1940, Longwood, Huddersfield, Yorkshire
Died March 6, 2000, Carlisle, Cumberland (aged 59 years 111 days)
Major teams England, Leicestershire, Yorkshire
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Slow left-arm orthodox
Other Umpire

  Leicestershire players wait to bat in a dugout.
© Wisden Cricket Monthly
John Christopher Balderstone, one of the few men to have played cricket and football at the highest level, died suddenly at his home in Carlisle on March 6 at the age of 59. He had been suffering from cancer. Most success came on the cricket field where he played a major role in Leicestershire winning their first Championship title in 1975, following eight years at Yorkshire, and he won two Test caps against the all-conquering West Indies side of 1976.His soccer career started at Huddersfield Town but after 117 appearances as a scheming inside-forward he moved to Carlisle United where, during his 369 appearances in which he scored 68 goals, he was a member of the side which gained promotion to the First Division for just one season, 1974-75, and which was briefly on top of the table.

Born in Longwood, he played in Paddock's side in the Huddersfield League before his 15th birthday and in 1961 made his Yorkshire debut against Glamorgan at Headingley, making 23 in his only innings that summer. But after scoring 1,332 runs in eight seasons he moved to Leicestershire where his career blossomed.He took a good deal of satisfaction in winning the Man of the Match award when Leicestershire, under the leadership of Ray Illingworth, beat Yorkshire in the 1972 Benson and Hedges Cup Final, and his maiden first-class century came the following year against Lancashire at Liverpool, the first of 32, of which the highest was an unbeaten 181 against Gloucestershire at Grace Road in 1984.A member of the first-class umpires' list since 1988, he stood in two limited-overs internationals against South Africa and had the minor distinction to be the first Third Umpire used. He was highly respected and Barrie Leadbeater, the umpires' chairman and a close friend, said: 'He was a fine, positive player who won a lot of friends by his approach.

Robert Andrew Woolmer (1948-2007) Test Cap No:463

© The Cricketer International
Full name Robert Andrew Woolmer
Born May 14, 1948, Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, India
Died March 18, 2007, Kingston University Hospital, Jamaica,
West Indies (aged 58 years 308 days)
Major teams England, Kent, Natal, Western Province
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm medium
Other Coach

Bob as Pakistan's coach © AFP
Bob Woolmer was the most highly regarded cricket coach in the world. As a consequence he was employed by two leading Test nations, South Africa and Pakistan, and approached by two more, England and West Indies. In addition he was a good enough player to have been signed by Kerry Packer for World Series Cricket. Underpinning his abilities was a schoolboyish enthusiasm for the game matched in recent times, perhaps, by only Colin Cowdrey and Shane Warne.

Few individuals within the game have had to make so many contentious decisions. Joining Packer and hence forfeiting the chance of captaining Kent and England; signing up for the first breakaway tour of South Africa in the sure knowledge that a Test career would never be resumed; turning down the opportunity to coach England in 1999 when the ECB's first choice ahead of Duncan Fletcher. For such a mild-mannered man he was mired in undue controversy - and that was the case even before he met Hansie Cronje. Yet Woolmer never expressed any regret about the course of his life.

It is sad, not least for his family, that such a talented cricketing man will be remembered, at least by those with a passing knowledge of the game, for the circumstances of his death and his association with Cronje, a man who let him down badly. For Woolmer to emerge from his partnership with Cronje with his reputation untainted was testimony to his honest nature. The essential point was that Woolmer would not have done anything to harm the game he loved. He liked his money - which Test cricketer of the mid-1970s did not, given how poor the remuneration was pre-Packer? - but he liked cricket even more.

Graham Richard James Roope (1946-2006) Test Cap No:457

© Getty image
Full name Graham Richard James Roope
Born July 12, 1946, Fareham, Hampshire
Died November 26, 2006, Grenada (aged 60 years 137 days)
Major teams England, Berkshire, Griqualand West, Minor Counties, Surrey
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm medium

© Getty image
"I ain't no square with my corkscrew hair," declared that bopping elf Marc Bolan. Nor, assuredly, was that genial chatterbox Graham Roope, another beloved curly-locked entertainer whose sudden death of a heart attack during a 60th birthday trip to Grenada robbed the game of one of its more charismatic figures.

Eyebrows were hoisted in the 1970s when England's selectors repeatedly picked a batsman whose first nine Test knocks begat 137 runs. Roope, happily, had other rabbits up his sleeve. So ragged was English slip fielding between the decline of Colin Cowdrey and emergence of Ian Botham that two county stalwarts who might have stayed in the margins found opportunity knocking: 'Roopey' and Phil Sharpe. If Sharpe's anticipation was marginally superior, the Hampshire-born Roope was the more athletic.

Reactions sharpened by goalkeeping stints for Wimbledon, Kingstonian and Corinthian Casuals, he took 602 catches, a haul surpassed among exclusively postwar players by only Graeme Hick (668) and Keith Fletcher (644), who both put in many more seasons than the 19 in which Roope served Surrey from 1964 to 1982. Geoff Arnold, that arch-seducer of outside edges, rates him among the best half-dozen slips he has seen.

Tony Greig (1946-2012) Test Cape No.452

Full name Anthony William Greig (Tony Grieg)
Born October 6, 1946, Queenstown, Cape Province, South Africa
Died December 29, 2012, St Vincent's Hospital, Sydney (aged 66 years 84 days)
Major teams England, Border, Eastern Province, Sussex
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm medium, Right-arm offbreak
Other Commentator
Height 6 ft 6 in
Relation Brother - IA Greig, Nephew - WG Hodson

© Getty Images
At 6 feet 6 inches, Tony Greig stood head-and-shoulders above team-mates on the field, and had the confidence and charisma to go with it, making up for shortcomings of technique with the bat and pace with the ball by sheer personality and an irrepressible love of the contest. The controversial conclusion of his career, as one of the first and firmest disciples of Kerry Packer, have tended to obscure his all-round accomplishments: in the mid-1970s, there was no more complete cricketer, and he bequeathed to his successor as England's captain, Mike Brearley, a thoroughly professional and close-knit side.