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Full name Peter Cranmer
Born September 10, 1914, Acocks Green, Birmingham, Warwickshire
Died May 29, 1994, Peacehaven, Sussex (aged 79 years 261 days)
Major teams Europeans (India), Services, Warwickshire
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm medium-fast
Other Administrator, Journalist
Dashing pre-war rugby player and Warwickshire cricket captain either side of the war, Peter Cranmer, who has died at the age of 79, won 16 England caps as a centre three-quarter and twice captained his country. He helped England to a Triple Crown before he was 20, and in 1936 played in the famous victory over the All Blacks al Twickenham. With P. L. Candler, he set up two tries for Alex Obolensky, the 'Flying Prince' from Russia, who achieved sporting immortality that afternoon.
Cranmer had been captain of rugby and cricket at St Edward's, Oxford, where he indulged also in every other sport avail able, and though he played no first-class cricket while at Oxford University, he made his debut for Warwickshire - as an amateur of course - in 1934, scoring what was to be the highest of his four centuries (113 v Northants at Edgbaston) in his fifth match, displaying 'grace and power'. This was the match in which Bakewell and Snowden had century first-wicket stands twice in the same day for Northants. That season, Cranmer quickly showed his alacrity in the field by sprinting and diving to hold a catch, the ball having thudded onto bowler George Paine's head and knocked him out.
Fairhaired Cranmer was appointed Warwickshire captain in 1938 when only 23, when R. E. S. Wyatt's term was unceremoniously ended. Cranmer led the county until the end of the 1947 season, when business commitments compelled him to retire. He played for Cheshire in 1948. No complex theoretician, he approached the game with simple strafegies: 'Have a bowl, Eric (Hollies), he would say, 'and get the buggers out!' Wisden saw him off with the complimentary comment that his 'hurricane hitting and cheery personality contributed substantially to the bright spirit of the side.' He played a few further matches up to 1954, finishing with 5853 runs at 21.60, his most productive season having been 1947, when he made 1192 runs (22.49), and hammered a 90-minute century against the South Africans. His medium-pace bowling brought him 29 wickets at 41.66, with best figures of 7 for 52 for Services v Governor's XI at Calcutta in 1944-45. His war service - he rose to the rank of major - also took him to Egypt and Burma. Cranmer later entered journalism, and for some years served BBC Midlands. His committee work at Edgbaston extended his connection with Warwickshire CCC beyond 50 years, some of which, in middle age, involved captaincy of the 2nd XI.
Retirement was forced through illness in 1976, and he adjourned to the Sussex coast. Latterly he was wheelchair-bound, having had both legs amputated. He was interviewed in WCM Aug 1992. Born in Acocks Green on Sept 10, 1914, Peter Cranmer died on May 29.
Wisden Cricket Monthly
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