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Full name Bernard Leonard Muncer
Born October 23, 1913, Hampstead, London
Died January 18, 1982, Camden Town, London (aged 68 years 87 days)
Major teams Glamorgan, Middlesex
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm offbreak, Legbreak googly
Len Muncer died suddenly on January 18, 1982, aged 68. When he left Middlesex in 1946 at the age of 33 after 13 seasons, his career seemed a failure. Nor had a spell on the Burma-Siam Railway, as a prisoner-of-war, improved his prospects. He had played fairly regularly in 1934 and 1935 with moderate success, but since then he had failed to keep his place: his highest score was 85 against Northamptonshire in 1937 and his 23 wickets had cost over 28 runs each. Yet when he retired in 1954 after eight seasons with Glamorgan, he had five times taken over 100 wickets, once being the first in England to reach that target, he had made four centuries, he had had much to do with his county winning the Championship in 1948, and in 1952 he had done the double. Moreover, at one period some regarded him as the best slow spinner in England and in 1948 he had played for the Players at Lord's. The main reason for this dramatic development was that he had switched from legbreaks and googlies to offbreaks. With these, besides the cardinal gifts of length, flight and spin, he had the rarer virtue of making the batsman play six balls an over. To add to his value he was a good slip. His highest score was 135 against Somerset at Swansea in 1952. Later the emergence of McConnon, also an offspinner, restricted his opportunities and, having been awarded a benefit in 1954, he left the county at the end of the season and returned to Lord's, where he eventually became Head Coach. A cheerful, friendly man, he was deservedly popular.
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack
Plays of the Day from the second ODI between England and India, in Cardiff
Plays of the day from the third ODI between England and India at Trent Bridge
Plays of the day from the tri-series match between Zimbabwe and South Africa
Would he have fared better than the incumbent middle-order batsmen, Root and Ballance?