Born April 18, 1926, Clapton, London
Died August 5, 2017 (aged 91 years 109 days)
Major teams England, Cambridge University, Essex
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm medium
Fielding position Wicketkeeper
Douglas John "Doug" Insole CBE was an English cricketer, who played for Cambridge University, Essex and in nine Test matches for England, five of them on the 1956–57 tour of South Africa, where he was vice-captain to Peter May. After retiring from playing, he was prominent in cricket administration, and served as chairman of the England selectors and as President of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC).
Insole was born in Clapton, London, attended the Monoux School, Walthamstow, and lived most of his adult life at Chingford. He was cricket captain of Cambridge University whilst a history student at St Catharine's College and went on to captain Essex for many years. He scored 20,113 first-class runs for Essex, the ninth highest aggregate for the club.He played as a wicket-keeper, batsmen, and as a bowler.He was one of the Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 1956. He was President of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) for the twelve months, beginning on 1 October 2006. For his many services to cricket, Insole was appointed a CBE in 1979.
Insole was chairman of selectors for England in the 1960s, and in 1968, he was criticized for presiding over the non-selection of Basil D'Oliveira for a tour to South Africa. Only later did it become generally known that the selectors had been pressurised into omitting D'Oliveira because he was a 'coloured' South African and his inclusion in a team to visit the country, then under apartheid, was thought to be undiplomatic.
Also during Insole's time Geoffrey Boycott was dropped, in 1967 after having scored 246 not out. Boycott admitted to still feeling aggrieved about this over 40 years later, while commenting on the third Test between New Zealand and England at Napier on 24 March 2008 and again during the Test Match Special commentary of England against the West Indies at Edgbaston on 7 June 2012, where he said that Insole "should have spelt his name with an A!"Again on 9 August 2014 during the 4th Test against India at Old Trafford, Insole's name was mentioned and Boycott was off on his tirade and reiterated his thoughts on how Insole's name should be spelt and was quickly silenced by Jonathan Agnew.
Insole was a first team footballer for the amateur Corinthian-Casuals F.C., and played in the 1956 FA Amateur Cup final, before they lost to Bishop Auckland in a replay.He managed the 1978-79 and 1982-83 Ashes tours to Australia,and for nine years to 2006 was chair of the European Cricket Council.Insole died on 5 August 2017, aged 91. His death was announced by Essex County Cricket Club the following day.
Doug Insole was probably better known for his influence on cricket after the end of his playing days rather than his exploits on the field. He was however, a fine batsman, who made over 50 first-class hundreds and had a modest Test career. His method was unorthodox, with an open stance, and a dominant bottom hand. This made him vulnerable to the ball moving away from him, but an excellent eye, combined with great concentration and tenacity, made him successful. He adapted his methods to the state of the game, but his natural inclination was to score at a fast rate.
An excellent slip fielder (he also occasionally kept wicket), Insole was also an outstanding leader. He honed his captaincy skills at Cambridge in 1949, and took over the leadership of Essex from T.N Pearce the following year. Essex finished bottom of the championship that summer, but over the next decade became a force in the championship, in no small part due to Insole's influence. He understood the game well, and was popular with his players. He bowled occasional medium pace, and was good enough to take 138 first-class wickets.
Insole's Test career consisted of nine matches spread over seven years. He debuted against West Indies in 1950, but twice was dismissed cheaply by Ramadhin as England were heavily defeated. Five years later he was given a second opportunity against South Africa, and played a single Test against Australia in 1956, without notable success. He was chosen to vice-captain the England tourists visiting South Africa in 1956, and topped the England Test batting averages. He made an important century in the third Test, and England won the series. He played for England just once more, making a duck in his final innings against South Africa in 1957. He continued to play for Essex until his retirement in 1963, having at that point made centuries against all the first-class counties, other than his own, with over 25,000 first-class runs.
Insole served cricket with considerable distinction after his playing career (earning the CBE). He was on the MCC committee for over 20 years, and an England selector for 19. Notably he was chair of the Test and County Cricket Board at the time of the Packer "crisis", and led English cricket through a difficult time with much common sense. He also managed the 1978-79 England tour of Australia, and latterly was chair of the European Cricket Council. In 2006 he was elected as president of MCC. Council.
Test debut England v West Indies at Nottingham, Jul 20-25, 1950
Last Test England v West Indies at Birmingham, May 30-Jun 4, 1957
First-class span 1947 - 1963
List A span 1969 - 1969