Obituary

Benjamin Wilson

WILSON, BENJAMIN B., who died on September 17, aged 77, played as opening batsman for Yorkshire between 1906 and 1914 and later coached at St. Peter's School, York, and at Harrow. During his first-class career he scored 6,454 runs, including fifteen centuries, for an average of 27.69. His highest innings was 208 against Sussex at Bradford in 1914, when he put together an aggregate of 1,605 runs -- his best -- and altogether he exceeded 1,000 runs in a season five times. Yet, as illustrated by references to him in Wisden by that excellent judge Sydney H. Pardon, he rarely showed his real capabilities and this led to his services being dispensed with by the county following the First World War.

Of him in 1909 Mr. Pardon wrote: "Playing in excellent style, he had everything in his favour, but for some reason that one is quite unable to explain, his success made him unduly cautious"; next year: "If he would only give free play to his natural ability, he might soon be first-rate"; and the following season: "Possessing every physical advantage, he is at his best a very fine hitter, but he is apt for no reason whatever to subside into laborious slowness. He ought by this time to have been Tunnicliffe's successor, but he cannot be considered as more than a partial success." Had Wilson given full rein to his natural skill in driving and cutting, he might well have earned himself a place among the great men of Yorkshire cricket.

© John Wisden & Co