Basil Robinson 1919-2013

Former Canada captain Basil Robinson dies

Martin Williamson

January 29, 2013

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The Oxford University side against MCC in 1948 (Back row) Nigel Bloy, William  Davidson, Jika Travers, Christopher Winn, Basil Robinson. (Middle row) Abdul Kardar, Philip Whitcombe, Tony Pawson, Anthony Mallett, William Keighley. (Sitting) Clive van Ryneveld, Hubert Webb.
Basil Robinson (back row right) in the 1948 Oxford side at Lord's © Marylebone Cricket Club
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Players/Officials: Basil Robinson

Basil Robinson, a brisk offspinner who played for Oxford University and went on to captain Canada, has died at his home in Ottawa at the age of 93.

Robinson was a prolific allround sportsman at the University of British Columbia - in 1936 he scored 1533 runs and took 186 wickets for Vancouver Junior CC - and in 1939 was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford but because of the war he was unable to take this up until 1946 by which time he was 27.

While at Oxford he played football, rugby and cricket, becoming the first Canadian to be awarded his Blue in 1947 and 1948. He did little in his second appearance at Lord's but in 1947 he took 4 for 54 in a drawn match.

He enjoyed success with the ball in both seasons, taking 50 wickets for the university at 27.74; his best bowling came against Worcestershire in 1947 when he took 6 for 55 as the students beat the county by 169 runs. His only first-class half-century came when he scored 51 on his debut against Lancashire.

On leaving Oxford he returned to Canada where he rejoined the Department of External Affairs but he continued to be an active cricketer. In 1954 he captained the Canadian squad which toured England playing a number of first-class games.

Martin Williamson is executive editor of ESPNcricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and Africa

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Martin Williamson Executive editor Martin Williamson joined the Wisden website in its planning stages in 2001 after failing to make his millions in the internet boom when managing editor of Sportal. Before that he was in charge of Sky Sports Online and helped launch and run Sky News Online. With a preference for all things old (except his wife and children), he has recently confounded colleagues by displaying an uncharacteristic fondness for Twenty20 cricket. His enthusiasm for the game is sadly not matched by his ability, but he remains convinced that he might be a late developer and perseveres in the hope of an England call-up with his middle-order batting and non-spinning offbreaks. He is now managing editor of ESPN EMEA Digital Group as well as his Cricinfo responsibilities.
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