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Full name Richard Norman Rowsell Blaker
Born October 24, 1879, Bayswater, London
Died September 11, 1950, Eltham, Kent (aged 70 years 322 days)
Major teams Cambridge University, Kent
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm fast
Blaker, Mr Richard Norman Roswell, M. C., died in Eltham Hospital on September 11, following an operation for peritonitis. Born on October 24, 1879, he captained Westminster School at cricket, and Association Football for four years, and, holds the record score at Vincent Square, 256 for Rigaud's in a house match. At Cambridge, he gained his cricket Blue in the three seasons, 1900 to 1902, being contemporary with such players at S. H. Day, F. B. Wilson, E. M. Dowson and E. R. Wilson. He also appeared as centre-forward in three Association football University matches against Oxford, being captain in 1901.
For Kent, between 1898 and 1908, he gained a high reputation both as a hard-hitting batsman and a fine slip fielder. One of his best batting performances was against Gloucestershire at Catford in 1905, when he hit 120, including five 6s, out of 194 in seventy-five minutes. Against Surrey at Canterbury in 1900, he and S. H. Day put on 50 in eighteen minutes. He helped Kent to carry off the County Championship in 1906, and was President of the club when he died. He also captained the Butterflies.
As a footballer, he was a frequent member of the Corinthian teams who achieved such great things in the early part of the century. In the first Great War, when a Lieutenant in the Rifle Brigade, he was awarded the Military Cross for bravery at Cambrai. His twin daughters, Barbara and Joan, known as the Blaker Twins, were prominent members of the Kent women's cricket team and both played for England. During the last Canterbury Week his tent was the centre of pleasant entertainment, but he showed signs of ill-health and in little more than a month passed away.
Wisden Cricketer's 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?