Thursday 24 April 1997

A genius, pure and simple

By Fred Titmus (Middlesex & England and former England selector)

MIKE Atherton once asked me at an England selection meeting. `Just how good was Denis Compton?` `I can`t tell you that Mike, because you just wouldn`t believe me,` I replied. I wasn`t being evasive. I just didn`t want Mike to think I was exaggerating.

Denis Compton was a batting genius, pure and simple. When he went in to bat everybody in the Middlesex changing room came out to watch, unwilling to risk missing one of his special innings. I can`t think of a more popular cricketer. That was particularly the case with younger players.

In his later playing days, whenever a young batsman made his debut against Middlesex, he would always ask me the newcomer`s Christian name so that he could wander over at the end of the over and wish him well on first-name terms. He just loved all cricketers.

Source :: The Electronic Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/)