Greville Stevens

STEVENS, GREVILLE THOMAS SCOTT, who died on September 19, aged 69, was beyond question one of the outstanding amateurs of his time. A fine batsman and bowler of leg-breaks and googlies, he came to the fore when in the XI at University College School from 1917 to 1919. He attracted special attention in the last year with an innings of 466 in a house match, and that season he was accorded the signal honour for a schoolboy of inclusion in the Gentlemen's team against the Players at Lord's.

Middlesex readily appreciated his worth and they called upon his services in 1919. Upon his debut in first-class cricket, he took 10 Hampshire wickets at Lord's for 136 runs, and the next summer he helped Middlesex to win the County Championship. Not surprisingly, he gained his Blue as a Freshman at Oxford in 1920 and he remained a valued member of the University side for the following three years, being captain in 1922. In 1923 he bore a major part in an overwhelming Oxford victory in an innings with 227 runs to spare over Cambridge. Caught on a pitch affected by sunshine after heavy rain, the Light Blues were dismissed in their first innings for 59, Stevens taking six wickets for 20 runs. That season, too, he shone brightly as a batsman, hitting 182--his highest innings--for Oxford against the West Indies and 122 for the Gentlemen at Lord's.

Stevens took part in 10 Test matches for England. He helped them regain the Ashes from H. L. Collins's Australians in 1926; visited South Africa with small success in 1922 and 1927 and played twice in the West Indies in 1929, when he took 10 wickets for 195 runs in the first of the representative games.

A batsman who, considering his short back-lift, hit with surprising power, he twice exceeded 1,000 runs in a season and in all first-class cricket registered 10,361 runs, including 12 centuries, at an average of 29.69, took 676 wickets for 26.55 runs each and, as a superb fieldsman close to the wicket, held 200 catches. He would doubtless have far eclipsed this record had he been able to spare more time from business for cricket.

© John Wisden & Co