Full name Challen Hasler Lufkin Skeet
Born August 17, 1895, Oamaru, Otago, New Zealand
Died April 20, 1978, West Tytherley, Hampshire (aged 82 years 246 days)
Major teams Middlesex, Oxford University
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm fast
Education St Paul's School; Oxford University
|First-class span||1919 - 1922|
Challen Skeet, who died after a long illness on April 20, aged 82, will be remembered as one of the great fieldsmen of his time and also for one notable innings which helped to decide the county championship. Four years in the XI at St Paul's, he headed the batting averages in his last two years and in his last, 1914, the bowling averages as well. A fastish slinger, he never bowled seriously later. A solid bat rather than a stroke player, after a good trial for Oxford in 1919, he got his blue in 1920 in a particularly strong side, partly as the reward of some consistent scoring, but even more so for his superlative fielding, especially at cover or in the outfield. As R. C. Robertson-Glasgow said, he had a throw that would have satisfied Sydney.
After the University match, he became a regular member of the Middlesex side, but fifteen innings had produced only 168 runs when it came to the second innings of the last match ( Sir Pelham Warner's last county match for Middlesex) against Surrey at Lord's, on which the championship hung. Middlesex were 73 behind on the first innings, and, when Skeet and Lee went in on the second evening with forty awkward minutes to play out time the odds against Surrey losing must have been considerable. In fact both batsmen made centuries, Skeet 106, the first wicket did not fall till after lunch next day, when the score was 208, and Middlesex won a sensational victory and the Championship.
Going out to the Sudan, Skeet was soon lost to first-class cricket, a few matches for Middlesex in 1922 concluding his career. Of one catch in particular Sir Pelham used to talk. At Edgbaston G. A. Rotherham hit Lee higher than Sir Pelham had ever seen a ball hit: he thought it must rival the famous blow off which G. F. Grace caught Bonner at The Oval in 1880, and the Rev. E. F. Waddy felt sure there must have been snow on the ball when it descended. Skeet had to run twenty yards and then wait almost half a minute before it arrived safely in his hands.
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack
Thirty years ago England were battered, bruised, broken and blackwashed in the Caribbean