Obituary

Herman Griffith

GRIFFITH, HERMAN C., died at Bridgetown, Barbados, on March 18, 1980, aged 86. He was late in coming to the front, being 35 when he appeared in England in 1928 with the first West Indian team to be granted Test status, but he had played for Barbados as early as 1921, and in 1926 had taken nine for 96 for them against the Hon. F. S. G. Calthorpe's MCC side. In 1928 his final record was not impressive, his 76 wickets costing 27.89 runs each, but there were those who reckoned him the best bowler on the side.

Not as fast as Constantine, indeed really fast-medium, he was more of a stock bowler and was an indefatigable trier, a quality less common then in West Indian sides than it has since become. Getting plenty of pace off the pitch and swinging away sharply, he relied greatly on catches in the slips. His best performances were in the final Test at The Oval where, in an innings of 438, he took six for 103 (with a spell of five for 21) and eleven for 118 against Kent at Canterbury, where he was largely responsible for the innings defeat of a strong batting side.

In 1930 he took eight wickets against an unrepresentative England side at Port-of-Spain and in the fifth Test at Sydney in 1931 he played an important part in the first West Indian victory over Australia by bowling Bradman for a duck with a slower ball, which he tried to turn to leg and made into a yorker. His second visit to England at the age of 40 in 1933 was perhaps a mistake: he was naturally not the bowler he had been, his 44 wickets costing him over 37 runs each, and he played in only two of the Tests. He continued, however, to play in first-class cricket at home until 1941. Apart from his bowling he had a safe pair of hands in the field.

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