Obituaries index: K-O

A-E - F-J - K-O - P-J - T-Z

King, Darryl James, who died in Buderim, Queensland, on March 3, 2002, aged 59, was a talented all-round sportsman who played eight games for Queensland as a batsman in the 1960s. WCAA.

Langdale, George Richmond, OBE, died in Holbeck on April 24, 2002, aged 86. Two and three-quarter hours was time enough for the Yorkshire captain Brian Sellers to be haunted by his lightly made remark, early in 1946, that the Yorkshire-born Langdale might be good enough for struggling Somerset. That was all it took for this 30-year-old left-hander, playing only his second game for Somerset, to drive, cut and pull his native county's bowlers for 146 as Somerset raced from 285 for six to 508. Even the Taunton crowd, long accustomed to schoolmasters who annually swapped the classroom for the crease, found his attacking strokeplay a turn-up for the books. Unfortunately, Langdale never came close to a reprise; a couple of sixties was the best he could manage in 18 further appearances for Somerset up to 1949. Even his best first-class bowling was already in the book. On his Somerset debut, two months earlier, he had taken five for 30 against Warwickshire on an Edgbaston pitch that helped his off-breaks. Outside first-class cricket, however, there were glory days aplenty. In 1953, while working as an instructor at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, Langdale took all ten Dorset wickets for 25 at Reading and, with 71 wickets at 13.77 and 502 runs, helped Berkshire win the Minor Counties Championship. He represented the Minor Counties against that summer's Australians to round off a first-class career of 25 games, 709 runs at 18.17 and 23 wickets at 40.82. He had had four Championship games for Derbyshire in 1936 and 1937 while studying at Nottingham University, and played for Norfolk in 1939.

Little, Alfred Alexander, died in Media, Pennsylvania on August 14, 2002, aged 77. He had been curator of the C. C. Morris Cricket Library at Haverford College, which houses a renowned collection of American memorabilia. Little, a mechanical engineer, worked on developing a nose cone for intercontinental ballistic missiles in the 1950s and later joined the Corona project, which devised ways of taking military surveillance photos from space.

McCall, Hugh Conn, died at Bangor, Co. Down on June 7, 2002, aged 62. Bad weather forced Conn McCall to wait five days before beginning his first-class career in 1964. What should have been his Ireland debut, the annual fixture against Scotland, was abandoned without a ball bowled for the first time since 1888, and three weeks later the opening day against MCC at Dublin was also washed out. Happily the rain relented and on the second day, going in at No. 3, he made 81. Next year he hit 65 against the same opponents in the two-day match at Lord's, and with an unbeaten 65 saved the Irish from defeat at Dublin after Hampshire had them 30 for five. It was in 1965, too, that McCall bowled his only first-class delivery of left-arm spin, conceding the winning single to the New Zealanders at Belfast - though for some years the ball was credited to Ireland's regular slow left-armer, Scott Huey. Seven of McCall's 15 games for Ireland were first-class and in these he scored 308 runs at 23.69. He served as an Irish selector in the first half of the 1980s, as chairman of the Northern Cricket Union and, in 1992, as president of the Irish Cricket Union. One of his sons, Mark, played rugby for Ulster and Ireland.

McFarline, Peter Muir, OAM, died of a heart attack at Melbourne on April 7, 2002, aged 57. "Of all the cricket writers," Dennis Lillee once remarked, "McFarline writes with an edge." Not even the degenerative disease of the spine, syringomyelia, which struck at the peak of his career and left him quadraplegic and hospitalised for his last seven years, could spike that edge. Although his voice was silent, his words still rang out in the pages of the Melbourne Age, as his devoted wife Dell took down the sentences he could barely mouth and sent them through to the paper.

McFarline - affection, reputation and respect dictated that he was always simply "McFarline" - was a Victorian but Queensland made him. The family moved there when he was a child and he began his journalism on the Brisbane Courier-Mail; when he went back to Melbourne to join The Age he retained the empathy for the underdog that Brisbane bred. His 1977 scoop exposing Kerry Packer's breakaway World Series Cricket, investigated in conjunction with the Adelaide cricket writer Alan Shiell, won him the prestigious Walkely award, and he wrote two important books, A Game Divided (1977) and A Testing Time (1979), on those fermentitious times. He was just the man to cover Australia for Wisden Cricket Monthly when David Frith launched the magazine in 1979. The 1980s took McFarline to America as Washington correspondent for the Herald and Weekly Times group, but he returned to Melbourne as his illness took its toll. "He could be an irresistible if complex person," said the Australian writer Mike Coward, who shared press boxes with McFarline over the years. "He was abrasive and assertive, so he alienated and attracted in equal measure. Much of his copy was filed off the top - composed in his head and conveyed by phone without the typewriter or computer being taken from its case. McFarline was a natural as a cricket writer and had the instincts of a hard-nosed investigative journalist. His was a singular life and it will not be forgotten by those he permitted to know some part of him."

Mackay, P., who died in Thiruvananthapuram on April 29, 2002, aged 52, was the first bowler to take ten wickets in a match for Kerala. He did so with five for 36 and five for 82 against Andhra Pradesh at Guntur in December 1974. In 12 first-class games between 1972-73 and 1974-75, all in the Ranji Trophy, he took 24 wickets at 31.29 and scored 209 runs at 13.06. Mackay was the Kerala Cricket Association coach for some years.

Mann, John Pelham, MC, died in New Orleans on September 8, 2002, aged 83. Two years younger than his brother George, who died in 2001, John Mann succeeded him as Eton captain in 1937 and joined him in the Cambridge side in 1939. Unlike his brother, though, or their father Frank, he did not get a Blue or go on to play for and captain England. Not that he lacked the talent. By the end of his four years in the Eton XI, with appearances for the Lord's Schools in the last two, good judges were vouching for his quality as a batsman. He made 62 for Middlesex against Cambridge on his first-class debut and, a few days later, an unbeaten 59 against the West Indians in his first match for Cambridge. One correspondent wrote that he batted "with the greatest nerve and judgment... to an extent that made his seniors look distinctly discredited". Yet in his next four games he never reached the heights expected of him. The chances are he would still have received his Blue, for he was batting like a good player out of form rather than a tyro, but he fell ill a fortnight before Lord's. The war denied him a second chance. After serving, like his brother, in the Scots Guards, Mann played 13 times for Middlesex in the 1946 Championship, hitting a career-best 77 against Warwickshire at Lord's which was notable for some fine front-foot driving in the public-school tradition. Not that county cricket was germane to his agenda. Forsaking the family brewing business, he went to work for Unilever in 1946, and played only once in 1947 to settle his first-class account at 608 runs and an average of 20.96 from 21 games. He took six wickets as a leg-spinner at 61 apiece. As managing director of Unilever in New Zealand in the 1950s, Mann developed Birds Eye as an international supplier of frozen foods, and he furthered his career in the United States before settling there permanently.

Mascarenhas, Mark, who died in a car crash at Nagpur on January 27, 2002, aged 44, was a larger-than-life media magnate whose entrepreneurial brio transformed the way cricket was marketed. The catalyst was the success of the Indian-backed bid to stage the 1996 World Cup in Asia. Mascarenhas, Bangalore-born but US-domiciled since his student days, won the contract for his company, WorldTel, to auction the TV rights by paying the Indian board $US2.5 million. Such a figure was unheard of for a sport and a tournament whose international exposure was anything but global. Mascarenhas changed all that, obtaining $US14 million in TV rights for the hosts and attracting multinational sponsors for every imaginable official product, even chewing-gum. The UK television rights alone were forced up from $US1 million in 1992 to $US7.5 million. The overall profit for the tournament was thought to be around $US50 million. Mascarenhas, meanwhile, was also agent for India's most charismatic cricketer, Sachin Tendulkar, whom he signed prior to the World Cup for $US10 million over five years; when the contract was renewed it was said to be worth five times that. However, his dealings with India's state-owned broadcaster, Doordarshan, over the TV rights for the 1998 ICC mini World Cup in Dhaka, and WorldTel's links with the Indian cricket supremo Jagmohan Dalmiya encouraged conjecture about Mascarenhas's business methods. Not that any malpractice was proved. Successful, ambitious men always attract rumours, and Mascarenhas's ambitions knew no bounds. "He had a big heart, took big risks and had a bigger ego," said Sambit Bal, editor of Wisden Asia Cricket, who had edited Mascarenhas's website, total-cricket.com, run in tandem with his CricketTalk magazine. Because of that ego cricket advanced, was dragged even, into a new era.

Masimula Walter Bafana, died in his sleep on April 19, 2002 in Guildford. He was only 26, and had recently arrived in England to play for Brook in the Surrey Championship and coach at King Edward's School, Witley. Surrey was far removed from his humble beginnings in the Johannesburg township of Alexandra where, nicknamed "Black Express", he was a jewel in South African cricket's development programme. He charged in and bowled fast, distinctly so at times. Ali Bacher, the country's cricket supremo, took him under his wing and arranged for him to attend his old school, King Edward; Fred Trueman and Ray Lindwall were among those who went to Alexandra's dusty nets to admire and advise the teenage speedster. At a time when age-group representative teams were almost exclusively white, he played for Transvaal (now Gauteng) at national cricket weeks from 13 onwards, and was one of six development programme players, among them Makhaya Ntini, in the Under-19 side that visited England in 1995. That tour, he said, "taught me tough lessons and it pointed out to me that there was still lots of hard work to be done". By the time Walter made his first-class debut, for Gauteng in 1998-99, he was relying on line and length rather than raw speed. And when he made headlines, it was because of race, not pace. After black administrators criticised the selection of an all-white Northerns/Gauteng XI to play England in November 1999, Rudi Bryson was forced to stand down from the team and Masimula came in. He took two for 12 in ten overs in England's second innings. His 18 first-class games, mostly for Gauteng, produced 33 wickets at 26.90, with a best of four for 35 against Eastern Province at Johannesburg. "He was a great guy," said the Gauteng captain Clive Eksteen, "a wholehearted competitor and a pleasure to have around."

Moore, Richard Henry, died in Llanrhos on March 1, 2002, aged 88. He still held the record for Hampshire's highest individual score, 316, set at Bournemouth one July day in 1937. The Dean Park boundaries were short and the 23-year-old Dick Moore made the most of them, hitting three sixes and 43 fours in an innings that began with play at 11.30, reached three figures off the ball before lunch and continued until almost 7 p.m. when he was last out and the big crowd reluctantly set about going home. Hampshire's next-highest score was 75 by Cecil Paris, with whom he added 207 for the fourth wicket in two hours. Moore was especially powerful in front of the wicket and not always discriminating when choosing the ball to hit, but his 316 contained remarkably few flaws. One skybound hit might have been caught by any one of three converging Warwickshire fielders but, to the crowd's enjoyment, each left it to another. It was quite a day on the south coast: at Hove, Eddie Paynter was working off the effects of an overnight journey from Manchester by tormenting Sussex's bowlers to the tune of 322.

Moore first played for Hampshire in August 1931 as a 17-year-old fresh from Bournemouth Grammar. He knew Dean Park well and hit half his ten hundreds there including his first, 159 against Essex in the last game of 1933. He now had the attacking strokes to complement an excellent defence and in 1934 he opened the innings, made 1,522 runs at 33.08 and was rated by Wisden "probably the most promising young amateur in English cricket". Next year, however, he went down with scarlet fever at the end of May and missed the rest of the season. When he returned in 1936 it was as captain and, buoyed by his strong personality and enterprising approach, Hampshire rose six places to tenth, having for a time been a heady third. Moore himself had a poor mid-summer, scraping only 89 runs in 17 innings, but he came good again to reach his thousand, as he did once more in 1937, with 1,562. After that, cricket took second place to the family bakery business, although he made three centuries in 1938. He was still only 26 when war broke out, and in 137 first-class games had scored 6,026 runs at an average of 26.08, held 116 catches and, bowling medium pace or just below, taken 25 wickets at 39.11. Moore married a North Wales baker's daughter and, having been in charge of a PoW camp in North Wales during the war, remained in the area afterwards and played for Denbighshire. In the 1950s he organised a festival at Colwyn Bay that attracted some of the day's leading cricketers.

Moore, Dudley, died in his local surgery at Broadstairs on January 3, 2002, aged 71. From 1962 to 1994 he ran the reporting agency at Kent's grounds, sending scores and match reports throughout the day to the news agencies, national and local papers, and radio stations. For most of that time he was Wisden's correspondent in Kent, and his corner of the press box was a first port of call for journalists seeking local colour, player background or a phone line. Moore had kept wicket for Kent Young Amateurs and knew the club, its administrators and cricketers at close hand without ever betraying a confidence. He was Kent's press officer for a time, ghosted autobiographies for Mike Denness, Alan Knott and Bob Woolmer, and wrote The History of Kent County Cricket Club. Come autumn, he covered football and ice hockey. Moore was once overheard phoning through a score of 333 for three as "free hundred and firty-free for free" and this quickly became part of county-circuit folklore. When a scoreboard registers a clutch of threes, a cry goes up in the press box of "firty-free for free", or simply, "it's a Dudley".

Mudie, George Horatio, originally recorded in Wisden as Moodie, died in St Catherine, Jamaica on June 8, 2002, aged 86. He had been West Indies' oldest surviving Test cricketer, a precedence which passed to Esmond Kentish. His one Test, against England at Kingston in March 1935, clinched West Indies' first series win. Mudie, a tall left-handed batsman and left-arm spinner, had come into the side on the strength of a career-best 94 and 60 not out for Jamaica against MCC. Batting No. 6 in the Test, he scored only five while George Headley at the other end hammered on towards an unbeaten 270. But the first of his three wickets broke the sixth-wicket stand of 157 between Les Ames and Jack Iddon as England struggled to avoid the follow-on after their captain, Bob Wyatt, retired hurt early on with a fractured jaw. Having made his debut against Lord Tennyson's side in 1931-32, Mudie played 17 times for Jamaica until 1951-52, by which time he was a much respected coach whose charges included the young Alf Valentine. In 1948 he was called up as a replacement for John Goddard's side in India, only to be told on reaching London that he was no longer needed. In 19 first-class games he scored 578 runs at 22.23 and took 42 wickets at 35.45, with best figures of five for 32 in only nine overs against the Oxford and Cambridge side that visited Jamaica in August 1938.

Mullins, Patrick Joseph, OAM, who died in Brisbane on September 7, 2002, aged 79, was Australia's pre-eminent cricket collector until the onset of blindness led him to sell his collection of some 8,500 items to the Melbourne Cricket Club in 1988. He had started collecting at the age of eight. A solicitor by profession, he compiled Bat & Pad: Writings on Australian Cricket (1984) with Phil Derriman, and Cradle Days of Australian Cricket (1989) with Brian Crowley.

Nayudu, Cottari Subbanna, died in Indore on November 22, 2002, aged 88, after protracted respiratory and heart problems. His older brother, C. K., was India's first Test captain and such was his renown and longevity as an all-rounder that C. S. had to live in his shadow even though 18 years separated them. For all that, C. S. enjoyed a long and distinguished Ranji Trophy career between 1931-32 and 1961-62, in which time he played for Central Provinces and Berar, Central India, Baroda and Holkar before captaining Bengal and the three Pradeshes, Andhra, Uttar and Madhya. In 56 Trophy games he took 295 wickets at 23.49 bowling leg-breaks and googlies - an average of five a match - and scored 2,575 runs at 30.20. In 1942-43 he became the first to take 40 wickets in a Ranji Trophy season, in just four games for Baroda, while in the 1944-45 final, playing now for his brother's Holkar team against Bombay, he delivered a world-record 917 balls in the match. Figures of six for 153 and five for 275 brought another world record, for the most runs conceded in a match. His best figures were eight for 93 in a 13-wicket haul for Baroda against Nawanagar in 1939- 40, while his four hundreds included a highest of 127 for them against Rajputana in 1942-43.

It was very different at Test level, where only three of his 11 appearances came at home. The others were in England, in 1936 and 1946, and in Australia in 1947-48, where in four Tests he went without a wicket and scored just 18 runs. His 1936 team-mate, Cota Ramaswami, identified his problem: "C. S. bent his body so low while delivering the ball that his head was almost on a level with the top of the stumps. He stretched his arm fully and threw his body weight into his delivery so that the ball came off the pitch very quickly. He also spun the ball extremely well but unfortunately his length and direction were not always controlled." His two Test wickets cost 359 runs while his hard-hitting batting was scarcely more successful, producing 147 runs at 9.18. Yet his future had looked so bright when, making his Test debut at 19, he hit 36 and then a prolonged 15 to help India stave off defeat by England at Calcutta.

Newton-Thompson, Christopher Lawton, MC, died in Cape Town on January 29, 2002, aged 82. Although born in London, he was a fifth-generation South African on his father's side and was educated there before going up to Cambridge in 1937. He earned a game against the West Indians with a "brilliant display of all-round hitting" in the 1939 Seniors' Match. He scored eight in each innings - Learie Constantine uprooted his off stump in the first after Newton-Thompson had the temerity to hook his slower ball for six - and caught George Headley at the wicket for 103. It was his only first-class game. He captained Cambridge at rugby and played a wartime international for England. His brother, Ozzie, was a cricket and rugby Blue at Oxford after the war and an England rugby international. Christopher Newton-Thompson won his MC as a tank commander in Italy. As befits the son of an English suffragette, who was related to the political Chamberlain family and herself was elected mayor of Cape Town, he became prominent in the anti-apartheid movement after returning to South Africa in the late 1950s and was a co-founder of Waterford, the non-racial school established in Swaziland after the government closed St Peter's in Johannesburg, Oliver Tambo's alma mater. Pupils at Waterford included the children of Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu, along with the future actor Richard E. Grant.

Nicklin, Frank Hallam, who died on June 25, 2002, aged 80, was the man most responsible for ensuring cricket remained a major item on tabloid sports pages in the 1970s and '80s. As sports editor of The Sun when Rupert Murdoch turned it into a sex-driven tabloid in 1969, he pioneered celebrity columns, marks out of ten and gimmicks instead of old-fashioned match reports, a formula that rapidly helped the paper become Britain's top-selling daily. However, as an enthusiastic Derbyshire follower and useful club left-arm seamer, Nicklin made sure cricket retained its pre-eminence as the summer game. He employed the respected Clive Taylor as cricket correspondent and gave him remarkable space for match reports, beginning a tradition The Sun has never wholly abandoned. Nicklin, who had coined the phrase the Busby Babes to describe the Manchester United team of the late Fifties, later became head of the sports reporting agency, Hayter's. A wartime fighter pilot who was captured twice in occupied Europe but escaped both times, he much enjoyed Fleet Street's own heroic traditions of after-hours congeniality.

Nye, John Kent, MBE, died in Chichester on January 28, 2002, aged 87. Eight years growing up in Australia gave Jack Nye some idea of what fast bowling was all about. His short-pitched deliveries rattled the young gentlemen of Cambridge when, just turned 20, he took five for 45 and three for 77 against them at Hove on his Sussex debut in 1934. But with Maurice Tate, Jim Cornford, George Pearce and Jim Hammond ahead of him in the pecking order, if not in pace, he had to wait his turn. Arthur Gilligan rated him and Nye repaid his confidence by learning to bowl a more English length and taking 47 wickets in the back half of 1938. Next summer he captured 110 at 30.60 - and doubtless took as much pleasure, given his career batting average of 8.59, from a hard-hit 55 against Worcestershire at Eastbourne, the match in which he reached 100 wickets. The war robbed Nye of his best years and he played only two summers after being demobbed from the RAF, taking 41 and 46 wickets to boost his first-class tally to 304 at 34.23 from 99 games. In his 98th, a career-best six for 95 at Hove scotched Gloucestershire's chances of winning the 1947 Championship. Later that year he went to work in Africa and, after qualifying as an engineer, had a significant hand in Kenya's road-building programme.

Oldam, David, who died in Taunton on January 1, 2002, aged 69, was Somerset's first-team scorer from 1983 to 1998, during which time he never missed a match - or a ball bowled. And even when ill-health forced him to put down his pencils and shut down his computer, he continued to make the public-address announcements. His first job at Taunton, in 1981 after retiring from British Telecom, had been to operate the new scoreboard that replaced the one in the 1925 photo of Jack Hobbs equalling W. G. Grace's record of 126 hundreds. If not as gregarious as some scorers, Oldam was no less helpful or meticulous. "He was an excellent scorer," recalled his Hampshire counterpart Vic Isaacs, "both in the book and on the laptop, and relished the statistical work and the handbook which occupied the long winters."

Oldfield, Peter Carlton, OBE, died on July 16, 2002, aged 91, having been the oldest surviving Oxford Blue. That distinction passed to Vivian Jenkins, who was unable to oust Oldfield as wicket-keeper in 1933 but was included for his batting and saved Oxford from defeat by Cambridge. Tall for a keeper at 6ft 2in, Peter Oldfield would have had three Varsity matches but for breaking a finger in his third game in 1931. Two smart stumpings off Tuppy Owen-Smith's demanding leg-breaks in the previous match, against the New Zealanders, had confirmed the brilliant reputation Oldfield acquired over three years in the Repton XI, the last as captain. His career batting average was only 9.87 from 237 runs in 24 games, with a best of 36 against Lancashire in 1932; he also made an unflustered, match-saving two not out which helped Bob Wyatt reach his century for MCC against the 1934 Australians. Behind the stumps it was a different story, one of genuine class and quicksilver hands to match his mind, and in first-class cricket he took 26 catches and made 33 stumpings. After Oxford he did his articles as a surveyor and became an estate agent. His war was the stuff of storybooks. Severely wounded and captured while serving with the SAS in the Western Desert in 1942, Major Oldfield was interrogated by Rommel himself. When he refused to talk, the Germans threatened to shoot him as a spy. A sympathetic doctor smuggled him to Tripoli, from where he was transferred to Italy. In Milan he helped pull 15 fellow prisoners of war from the rubble when the Allies bombed their hospital; after being moved to another hospital in Bergamo, he walked out of a back door and, in spite of his unhealed wounds, escaped to neutral Switzerland.

© John Wisden & Co