February 11, 2011

'He was cricket and Essex, through and through'

ESPNcricinfo staff
A selection of tributes to former England allrounder, and Test Match Special commentator, Trevor Bailey

"Trevor Bailey is one of the great allrounders in the history of English cricket. One of my abiding memories as a small boy is of Trevor Bailey and Willie Watson batting at Lord's to save the Test match against the Australians. It was a superb effort, without which we would not have won back the Ashes in 1953... He has certainly earned his place in the history of English cricket."
Former England prime minister, and well-known cricket fan, John Major, on watching Bailey bat.

"He was a great lover of the game. So many people of that ilk, it becomes absolutely manifest - the game was everything to them. A great admirer of everyone who played it well - a very good man indeed all-round. I suspect a lot of younger people like myself will remember him for what he brought to the radio.
Former England captain David Gower pays tribute to Bailey, the commentator.

"I shall remember him as a wonderful man first of all. He had a lovely waspish sense of humour. He was a very good clinical commentator. He commentated rather as he played cricket: he played it very hard in a very canny way, and he didn't have room for people who gave half-measures. He was a wonderful batsman, a wonderful bowler, and he didn't waste his words at the microphone either."
Test Match Special veteran Henry Blofeld is unstinting in his praise for his former colleague.

"Trevor was a great friend for well over 60 years. We played football and cricket for Cambridge University and were colleagues in the Essex side for about 15 years. He was a great allrounder with a cast-iron temperament... one of a kind."
Doug Insole, a close friend and Essex County Cricket Club president, says we won't see another Trevor Bailey

"He was cricket and Essex, through and through."
His team-mate, Keith Fletcher, on Bailey's two enduring loves

"Trevor was such a pain if you were playing against him - a damned nuisance in fact. You knew that if you could get this bloke out of the way, the chances were that you would win. All too frequently Ray Lindwall and I would find the task beyond us and it got under our skin."
Keith Miller remembered his English counterpart's obduracy in the foreword of Bailey's 1993 biography

"I always felt that in the commentary box he thought like a bowler, rather than a batsman. He would often poke fun at his own stonewalling reputation, as when Kapil Dev had hit Eddie Hemmings for three consecutive sixes at Lord's in 1990, to leave India needing six more to save the follow-on, with No. 11 in and only one more ball to go in the over. 'I'd push the single,' he said with a chuckle, as we all joined in with, 'You would'."
Peter Baxter, the former TMS producer, on Bailey's sense of humour