Cricinfo XI

Gene genie

Stuart Broad's selection for England puts him among a select group whose fathers have also played for England. Here are XI others

Martin Williamson

July 18, 2007

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If and when Stuart Broad makes his Test debut, it will place him among a select group whose fathers have also played for England. We look at the XI others.



Charlie Townsend: part of a cricket dynasty © The Cricketer International
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Charlie and David Townsend
Charlie Townsend was a leading amateur allrounder with Gloucestershire who played twice against Australia in 1899 during a summer in which he made 2440 runs and took 101 wickets. But soon after he qualified as a solicitor, and that ended his serious cricketing career. His son David made three Test appearances in the Caribbean in 1934-35 and remains the last man to play for England without ever playing county cricket - his call-up came after a good summer at Oxford. Like his father, he turned his back on the game soon after to pursue a career in law. The Townsends were a cricketing dynasty: six members of the family over four generations played first-class cricket.

Fred and Maurice Tate
Fred has gone down in cricket history as possibly the most wretched one-cap wonder in cricket history, dropping a crucial catch and then being clean bowled having a slog with four needed to beat Australia in 1902. Legend has it a tearful Fred vowed he had a young lad at home who would avenge him. Whether the story is true or not, Maurice certainly did restore family honour with 155 wickets in 39 Tests, including a then-record 38 against Australia in 1924-25.

Joe Hardstaff Snr and Joe Hardstaff Jnr
The Hardstaffs provide the only case of a father and son representing England in Australia. Joe senior played all five of his Tests there in 1907-08, scoring 1384 runs on the tour and finishing third in the Test averages. Joe junior was a more stylish batsman whose debut came against South Africa in 1935 - the series in which Joe senior, who became a respected umpire after retiring, stood in the last of his 21 Tests - and went on to play 23 times either side of World War Two, including two tours to Australia in 1936-37 and 1946-47. That conflict meant he lost six seasons when he would have been in his prime. As it was, he averaged over 46.



Fred Tate: 'One day my son will come and avenge my failures' © The Cricketer International
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Frank and George Mann
A Middlesex stalwart whose career spanned the Great War, Frank Mann captained MCC in South Africa in 1922-23 where he played all his five Tests, winning the series 2-1 as well as 14 of the 22 tour matches. He went on to become an England selector. His son George captained England in South Africa in 1948-49, winning plaudits for his attitude both on and off the field, but after two Tests in 1949, he was replaced by Freddie Brown as business commitments meant he was unable to guarantee his availability to lead England to Australia in 1950-51. Like his father, he went on to be president of Middlesex, but George went one better, becoming MCC president in 1983-84 as well as chairman of the TCCB (the forerunner of the ECB).

Jim Parks Snr and Jim Parks Jnr
Jim Parks senior was a talented county allrounder whose one Test cap came in a remarkable summer, 1937, in which he scored 3003 runs and took 101 wickets - his son later recalled that his mother had died and "dad just threw himself into his cricket to forget his loss". His only Test was also the first for fellow opener Len Hutton. Although Parks outscored Hutton in both innings (making 22 and 7) and took 3 for 36, he was not picked again. Young Jim made his maiden first-class hundred at 17 and it was as a batsman that he made his Test debut four years later. But in 1958 Sussex found themselves short of a wicketkeeper and so he stepped in, beginning the most successful part of his career. Within 18 months he was keeping for England, and he retained the spot for most of the 1960s, playing 46 times as one of the most successful keeper-batsmen in the game. A third generation Parks - Bobby - kept for Hampshire, and was called in on a day off to keep for England for a day, against New Zealand at Lord's in 1986, when Bruce French was felled by a Richard Hadlee bouncer.

Len and Richard Hutton
Len Hutton was one of the game's greatest batsmen, and of all the sons in these father-son combinations, Richard Hutton was probably the one most blighted by the weight of expectancy. The fact that he was rather good at the game actually made things worse, since many seemed to believe that since he had some of his father's talent, he ought to be even better. From the moment he emerged as a proficient schoolboy, he was never allowed to forget his parentage, but he won his five England caps in 1971 on merit. He was even invited to play for the Rest of the World in Australia in 1971-72 but looked out of his depth. The backgrounds of the two could not have been more different. Len grew up in a working-class family in Yorkshire, while Richard went to public school and Cambridge.



Chris Cowdrey: his autobiography was titled Good Enough ... the jury is out © The Cricketer International
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Colin and Chris Cowdrey
Colin Cowdrey followed Len Hutton as one of England's premier batsmen, and was a renowned stylist as well, so for Chris, like Richard Hutton, following in the footsteps of one of the game's legends was too much to ask. But, again like Richard, Chris Cowdrey was good enough to play for England in his own right as an allrounder. His six Tests - 108 fewer than his father - were unremarkable, although he captained England once, against West Indies in 1988, but his chance to prove his detractors wrong never came as he was injured after the one appearance and never chosen again. Even then claims of nepotism overshadowed his appointment: Peter May, the chairman of selectors, was his godfather.

Micky and Alec Stewart
Micky was a superb close fielder and useful opening batsman - as well as being a leading amateur footballer - who played eight Tests in the early 1960s. He went on to become England manager, and it was at that time that Stewart junior first appeared. Alec struggled for form, leading to some accusations of nepotism, but from 1992 onwards there was no questioning why he was in the side and he went on to become one of England's most successful and wholehearted players.



You've done good, son: Proud pa Jeff Jones presents son Simon with his Wisden Cricketer of the Year award in 2006 © Getty Images
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Jeff and Simon Jones
It has to be hoped that this is not a case of like father, like son. Jeff Jones was a fast left-armer from Glamorgan who played 15 Tests between 1963-64 and 1967-68 before a serious shoulder injury ruled him out of the 1968 season. It subsequently emerged that he had arthritis in his elbow joint as well as severe wearing of the bone, and he never played again. Simon has played 18 Tests, but injury ruled him out of the final act of the historic 2005 Ashes series, and he has been almost permanently sidelined by a series of injuries ever since.

Alan and Mark Butcher
Alan's only Test cap came on his home ground - The Oval - in 1979 where he opened with Geoff Boycott but looked ill at ease as he made 14 and 20. He never got another chance. A left-hand opener, like his father, Mark overcame a wobble in 1999, when he reworked his technique with his father's help to cement his place as England No. 3 before a series of freak injuries in 2004 led to him losing his place.

Arnie and Ryan Sidebottom
Arnie Sidebottom was one of the last footballer-cricketers, playing with Manchester United among other clubs, and his one Test appearance came in 1985 when, by his own admission, he was "past his sell-by date". He was always prone to injury so it was somehow fitting that he limped out of that game. Ryan's debut in 2001 was uninspiring, and most believed he was destined to be the one-cap son of a one-cap father. But he honed his basics in county cricket, and when called up again six years later, he was a much more effective swing bowler.

Incidentally ...
Chris Tremlett, who made his debut ahead of Broad in the current Test, is following in the footsteps of his grandfather, Maurice, who played three Tests in the West Indies in 1947-48.

Martin Williamson is executive editor of Cricinfo

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Martin Williamson Executive editor Martin Williamson joined the Wisden website in its planning stages in 2001 after failing to make his millions in the internet boom when managing editor of Sportal. Before that he was in charge of Sky Sports Online and helped launch and run Sky News Online. With a preference for all things old (except his wife and children), he has recently confounded colleagues by displaying an uncharacteristic fondness for Twenty20 cricket. His enthusiasm for the game is sadly not matched by his ability, but he remains convinced that he might be a late developer and perseveres in the hope of an England call-up with his middle-order batting and non-spinning offbreaks. He is now managing editor of ESPN EMEA Digital Group as well as his Cricinfo responsibilities.

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