CRICKETER OF THE YEAR 1929

Les Ames

LESLIE E. G. AMES, who last summer catching sixty-nine and stumping fifty-two, helped in the dismissal of 121 batsmen and in so doing established a new wicket-keeping record, was born at Elham--a place between Canterbury and Folkestone--on December 3, 1905. He played cricket as a boy at Folkestone for the Harvey Grammar School, being a member of the eleven for four years, and after a season at Brabourne, near Ashford, came under notice in a match between Ashford and Kent Club and Ground. In 1923 he joined the Kent County staff and it was at Tonbridge that he took seriously to keeping wicket. In 1926 be played only two matches for Kent but in 1927, in twenty-eight matches, had a very successful season, making over a thousand runs, including a century against Hampshire at Southampton, and securing a batting average of 34. Last season he showed great improvement as a wicket-keeper and also as a batsman. He made 1,919 runs with an average of 35 and put together four three-figure innings, including one of 200 against Surrey. Ames has a pretty style as a batsman and is not afraid to hit the ball full and hit it hard, and he may become the best wicket-keeper-batsman that England has ever had. The wonderful record of A. P. Freeman, who taking 304 wickets in the season, beat the record of the late Tom Richardson, was helped materially by Ames' work behind the wicket. Ames took Freeman very well indeed. He gets down very low when standing up--he has not yet had the practice of some other wicket-keepers in standing back to fast bowling---and keeps without fuss or attempt at spectacular effect. It has been said of him that he makes wicket-keeping look easy, which appears to be true; it is the greatest compliment which can be paid to a wicket-keeper.

© John Wisden & Co