Full name Thomas Barkley Raikes
Born December 16, 1902, Malabar Hill, Bombay (now Mumbai), Maharashtra, India
Died March 2, 1984, Rickinghall Superior, Suffolk (aged 81 years 77 days)
Major teams Oxford University
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm medium
Education Winchester; Oxford University
|First-class span||1922 - 1925|
Thomas Berkley Raikes, died on March 2, 1984, at Rickinghall Superior, Norfolk, aged 81. Three years in the Winchester XI and captain in 1921, he headed the bowling averages in 1920 with 50 wickets at 12.41 and again in 1921 (when he was also second in the batting averages) with 60 at 16.07. Going up to Oxford, he took 5 for 5 in the first innings of the Freshmen's match and had bowled 57 balls before a run was scored off him. He was immediately drafted into the'Varsity side and although an unfair number of catches was dropped off him he finished the season with 40 wickets at an average of 20.72. He bowled particularly well at Lord's, where his analysis of 44-19-65-3 in a Cambridge total of 403 for four declared represented better work than many more spectacular feats.
At this point it seemed that he might well take his place among the leading bowlers of the day. Strongly built, he could bowl accurately for long periods at a brisk medium, with plenty of swerve and spin and some subtle variations of pace. The off-break with which he bowled in this'Varsity match that fine batsman C. E. Fiddian-Green is said to have pitched almost outside the mown area of the wicket. Unfortunately this promise was never fulfilled. He found the pleasure of life at Oxford too alluring, rapidly put on weight and was never again really fit enough for a first-class bowler. In 1923 he was dreadfully expensive and kept his place only on reputation and lack of competition. In 1924 he did rather better and took 9 for 38 in the second innings against the Army, but in 1925 he finally lost his place in a side which was desperately short of class bowling. Besides playing for Oxford he had for some years been a member of the Norfolk side, but on going down he went abroad and played no more serious cricket. He will be remembered as a bowler of great possibilities which he lacked the dedication to develop.
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack
What makes this innocuous-seeming bowler so difficult to handle?