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Full name John Pelham Mann
Born June 13, 1919, Byfleet, Surrey
Died September 8, 2002, New Orleans, Louisiana, United States of America (aged 83 years 87 days)
Major teams Cambridge University, Middlesex
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Legbreak
Mann, John Pelham, MC, died in New Orleans on September 8, 2002, aged 83. Two years younger than his brother George, who died in 2001, John Mann succeeded him as Eton captain in 1937 and joined him in the Cambridge side in 1939. Unlike his brother, though, or their father Frank, he did not get a Blue or go on to play for and captain England. Not that he lacked the talent. By the end of his four years in the Eton XI, with appearances for the Lord's Schools in the last two, good judges were vouching for his quality as a batsman. He made 62 for Middlesex against Cambridge on his first-class debut and, a few days later, an unbeaten 59 against the West Indians in his first match for Cambridge. One correspondent wrote that he batted "with the greatest nerve and judgment... to an extent that made his seniors look distinctly discredited". Yet in his next four games he never reached the heights expected of him. The chances are he would still have received his Blue, for he was batting like a good player out of form rather than a tyro, but he fell ill a fortnight before Lord's. The war denied him a second chance. After serving, like his brother, in the Scots Guards, Mann played 13 times for Middlesex in the 1946 Championship, hitting a career-best 77 against Warwickshire at Lord's which was notable for some fine front-foot driving in the public-school tradition. Not that county cricket was germane to his agenda. Forsaking the family brewing business, he went to work for Unilever in 1946, and played only once in 1947 to settle his first-class account at 608 runs and an average of 20.96 from 21 games. He took six wickets as a legspinner at 61 apiece. As managing director of Unilever in New Zealand in the 1950s, Mann developed Birds Eye as an international supplier of frozen foods, and he furthered his career in the United States before settling there permanently.
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack
John Mann wasa fine batsman and leg-spinner at Eton where he was in the XI for four years and captain in 1937. Playing for Cambridge in 1939 as a Pembroke
College freshman, Mann showed good form, but lack of fitness prevented him winning a blue. He left Cambridge at the outbreak of war and never returned.
Between 1939 and 1947 Mann made 15 appearances for Middlesex without really doing justice to his ability and he finished his first-class career with
608 runs at an average of 20.96 from 21 matches, with 18 catches and six wickets. Mann's best first-class score was 77 for Middlesex against Warwickshire at Lord's in 1946. The best bowling analysis for his underused leg-breaks was
3 for 71 for Cambridge against Leicestershire at Fenner's in 1939, i
a spell of wicket-buying which could have put his side in with a chance of an unlikely victory had he been persevered with. During the war Mann was an
officer in the Scots Guards and won the MC in Holland in 1944. He subsequently enjoyed a most successful business career. He was also a member of the British
North American Council and subsequently moved to New York, before retiring to Connecticut. John Mann's father, F.T., and brother, F.G., were both excellent
cricketers who captained Middlesex and England.
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