Full name George Henry Pope
Born January 27, 1911, Tibshelf, Derbyshire
Died October 29, 1993, Spital, Chesterfield, Derbyshire (aged 82 years 275 days)
Major teams England, Derbyshire
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm fast-medium
|Only Test||England v South Africa at Lord's, Jun 21-25, 1947 scorecard|
|First-class span||1933 - 1948|
George Henry Pope , who died at Chesterfield on October 29, 1993, aged 82, played 169 matches for Derbyshire and somehow came to seem the embodiment of the county's professionals: hard, rough-hewn, under-appreciated. As a bowler, he could move the ball sharply both ways and took 677 wickets at 19.92; as a batsman he was good enough to have a career average of 28.05 and tough enough to take Larwood and Voce on the chest. He missed most of Derbyshire's Championship season in 1936 through injury, but improved steadily as both batsman and bowler before the war and came close to a Test place (he was in the party for Trent Bridge in 1938 and was chosen for the abortive tour of India in 1939-40). He missed 1946 because he was committed to League cricket but in 1947 he received his one cap, against South Africa at Lord's. In 1948 he did the double for the second time - hitting 207 not out at Portsmouth - but promptly decided to retire to Jersey because of his wife's health. He came back to play more League cricket and stand as a first-class umpire between 1966 and 1974. He was mellower by then. The writer Michael Parkinson recalled playing a League game against Sheffield, when they were effectively Mr Pope's XI. He would rap you on the pads, look ruefully down the wicket and say to himself: `Nice little leg-cutter that, George. Just a little bit too much, perhaps. What do you think, Mr Umpire?' And the poor besotted creature was bound to agree, as he invariably did the next time Mr Pope struck the pads and this time bellowed a demand for lbw.
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