Full name George Nathaniel Francis
Born December 11, 1897, Trents, St James, Barbados
Died January 12, 1942, Black Rock, St Michael, Barbados (aged 44 years 32 days)
Major teams West Indies, Barbados
Also known as birth registered as John Nathaniel Francis
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm fast
|Test debut||England v West Indies at Lord's, Jun 23-26, 1928 scorecard|
|Last Test||England v West Indies at Lord's, Jun 24-27, 1933 scorecard|
|First-class span||1924/25 - 1933|
George Francis caused a sensation in West Indies' tour of England in 1923 in the final match of the first-class season at Scarborough when he ripped through the best of England batting to reduce a strong Leveson-Gower's XI to 19 for 6 after they were set 28 to win. It wasn't quite enough to force an improbable win but it brought acknowledgement that West Indies were no push overs. Francis was capable of bowling at genuine pace, and possessed a vicious yorker, yet his selection for the 1923 trip only came at the insistence of West Indies' captain, Harold Austin.
Five years after his headline-grabbing Scarborough exploits, Francis, though by now a little past his best, took the new ball for West Indies in their inaugural Test at Lord's. In company with Learie Constantine and Hermann Griffith, West Indies had three bowlers of express pace, and created the early prototype for the side of the 1970s and '80s - but without matching their later success.
His employers gave him leave for one Test in 1929-30 when England visited the Caribbean, and Francis responded by taking six wickets at Georgetown in West Indies' first Test victory. Touring Australia the next season, he took 11 wickets at 31.81 and at Sydney he bowled tightly to force another win after Jackie Grant had set the Australians 250. His last Test was at Lord's in 1933, where he failed to take a wicket. But by then he was engaged by Radcliffe in the Bolton League, where he was well-liked and his bowling commanded a considerable reputation.
It was cricket's loss that Test status was given to West Indies too late to the world to fully enjoy the talents of George Francis. He died in January 1942.
Three days ahead of the fourth Test, the surface at the HPCA Stadium wore a smattering of grass. Will that, or Mohammed Shami's availability, subject to fitness, change India's combination?
Stats highlights from the fourth day in Ranchi, where Cheteshwar Pujara batted for ages and the Australians toiled like they haven't had to in many years
Did Virat Kohli get his tactics right on the final day in Ranchi? Going by his fast bowlers' lines and R Ashwin's late introduction, the Indian captain took a few puzzling calls
For the third time this home season, the team took the lead after its opposition put up 400 batting first but the Ranchi effort was special
Also, which players have the most half-centuries without ever having made a hundred?
South Africa are set to play 14 Tests in nine months soon, so both fast bowlers, despite being sent home from New Zealand, should not lose hope
This Bangladesh are crazy if they think they can beat Sri Lanka in their own den. Right?
Under duress again, Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim forged a match-winning partnership and contributed in the second innings to help Bangladesh create history