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King, Frances Sarah, died of meningococcal meningitis on September 11,
2003, aged 22. A skilful bat and seam bowler, she had played 15 one-day
internationals for New Zealand's White Ferns, having forced her way into the
national side after success at Under-21 and A-team level. She took four for 24
against Australia in the opening match of the 2002-03 World Series of Women's
Cricket at Lincoln, and had looked a potential match-winner for the years ahead.
Kirschbaum, Guillermo Patricio, died on April 13, 2003, aged 35,
following a severe asthma attack. Kirschbaum was a star of the Belgrano club
and an inspirational captain of the Argentine national side in more than 50 matches,
including the 1997 and 2001 ICC Trophy tournaments. His typically flamboyant
34 not out off 18 balls against Malaysia in 2001 helped his side to victory and
second place in their group. He was Argentina's highest ICC Trophy run-scorer,
Kitson, David Lees, who died on May 17, 2002, aged 77, was one of several Yorkshiremen recruited by Somerset to bolster the side in the early 1950s. He spent three seasons at the club, often opening the batting but giving only glimpses of his Bradford League form.
Knott, Charles James, died on February 27, 2003, aged 88. Charlie Knott
was a beguiling and flighty amateur off-spinner for Hampshire in the years before
and after the Second World War who went on to become one of the most important
behind-the-scenes figures in the club's history. He began as a medium-pacer but
in 1938, playing only his third game for Hampshire, Knott experimented with offbreaks
on a turning pitch and took nine in the match for 114; the following year
he took eight for 85 against Surrey and was capped. Stomach ulcers kept him
from active war service - his close-of-play tipple was a pint of milk - but were
not a handicap when Championship cricket resumed in 1946. Knott's 122 wickets
at 18.47 were a record for a Hampshire amateur in a season and included ten
against the touring Indians to warrant both a Test trial and his first invitation to
play for the Gentlemen at Lord's. His hat-trick in the drawn 1950 fixture stopped
the Players in their tracks when they were 36 runs from victory with seven wickets
in hand. He reached 100 wickets that year for the fourth time in five seasons and
might easily have been picked for a tour had his batting and fielding been better.
After that, Knott began to devote more time to the family businesses: his father
was in the fish trade at Southampton Docks and also owned the speedway and
greyhound stadium next to the county ground at Northlands Road. But Knott's
most important contribution to Hampshire was still to come. As chairman of the
cricket committee from 1967 to 1988, he was instrumental in spotting and signing
the stars who would lead the club to the 1973 Championship and a succession of
one-day trophies. He lent Gordon Greenidge a pair of pyjamas when he arrived
in Southampton as a 16-year-old; he insisted on plumping for the then little-known
Barry Richards when thwarted in his attempt to sign Clive Lloyd, and also brought
over Andy Roberts and Malcolm Marshall. Knott was also well-known in speedway
and helped revive the sport in his role as promoter at Southampton, and later
Poole. However, when the stadium closed, the land was sold off for housing and
not to Hampshire, thus hemming in the ground and forcing the club, decades later,
to move to the Rose Bowl.
Lay, Stanley Arthur, died on July 27, 2003, aged 96. Stan Lay won the
javelin gold medal for New Zealand in the first British Empire Games (now the
Commonwealth Games) in Canada in 1930. Lay was also a cricketer, playing for
Taranaki against the 1929-30 MCC team. He was advised to take up the javelin
because his throwing arm was so good.
Lucas, Douglas Charles , died on October 28, 2003, aged 89. Doug Lucas
was chairman of Northamptonshire from 1980 to 1985, during which time he
oversaw a modernisation of the committee structure, and president from 1985 to
1990. He had a lifelong involvement with Horton House, one of the county's
leading clubs, and was their president for nearly 30 years.
McConnon, James Edward, died on January 26, 2003, aged 80. Jim
McConnon raised a few eyebrows in only his second season of county cricket,
when a hat-trick and spell of six for 11 for Glamorgan brought down the 1951
South Africans as they chased 148 to win. He raised many more three years later
when he was preferred to Jim Laker, for the 1954-55 Ashes tour. McConnon,
from County Durham, had moved to South Wales after a knee injury had put paid
to his hopes of a career as Aston Villa's centre-half. Glamorgan signed him in
1949 on the strength of his fast bowling and batting for Newport, but that winter
coach George Lavis, observing McConnon's smooth action and long, strong
fingers, made him an off-break bowler. Two seasons later he took 136 wickets.
Over six feet tall, he flighted the ball beautifully and obtained sharp spin, those
big hands held stunning gully catches and occasionally he could hit mightily: in
the three years McConnon took 100 wickets (1951, 1954 and 1959) Glamorgan
were in the top six. His brief elevation came after he outbowled Laker, taking
seven for 23, when Glamorgan shocked Surrey at The Oval in July 1954. Two
weeks later he was in the Test team as England experimented against Pakistan.
Though he took three for 12 in a six-over spell at Old Trafford and kept his place
at The Oval, his tour selection ahead of Laker was a shock, and not a success.
"He was homesick by the time we got to Aden," noted MCC manager Geoffrey
Howard. Three months into the tour he broke a finger fielding and returned home
without playing a Test. The next summer, McConnon broke a bone in his left
hand and walked out when Glamorgan insisted on a medical before issuing a new
contract. However, after he took 52 wickets at 6.80 apiece to help Burnley win
the Lancashire League, Glamorgan were back with the offer of both a contract
and a benefit. There was also spin support from Don Shepherd, who was a great
admirer: "Jim got so close to the stumps at delivery," he recalled, "he would often
knock off the bails with his backside, and round the wicket he was still close."
But after taking 113 wickets in 1959, the injuries returned and he went back north
to play for Cheshire, coach at Stonyhurst College from 1966, and later work
alongside Brian Statham as a sales rep for Guinness.
Malin, Francis, died on January 28, 2003, aged 73. Frank Malin was
president of the Irish Cricket Union in 1985 and, from 1990 to 1992, its first
Marsh, Frederick Eric, died on March 25, 2003, aged 82. Eric Marsh was
an ex-miner who had four post-war seasons with Derbyshire as a left-handed
batsman and slow bowler, and for the next 30 years was coach at Repton School,
where he was regarded with great affection. "He had an infectious enthusiasm for
the game and was unstinting in his attention," recalled one of his more gifted
charges, Richard Hutton. At 17, Marsh was knocked unconscious in the Markham
Colliery explosion of 1938 in which 79 died; on coming to, he helped in the
rescue attempts. He made his debut for Derbyshire in 1946, alongside his uncle
Stan Worthington, and over the next two seasons was a valued member of the
team as an accurate rather than prodigious spinner. But he faded and, after a shortlived
reincarnation as an opener, switched to coaching.
Masood Iqbal Qureshi died from kidney failure on October 31, 2003,
aged 51. Known to his contemporaries as "Billa", Masood Iqbal was a controversial
selection to understudy Wasim Bari as Pakistan's wicket-keeper on their 1972-73
tour of Australia and New Zealand. His batting was negligible, but he was an
agile keeper and there were fewer quibbles when he went to England in 1978.
"He owned the sweetest sense of timing - that was the key to his wicket-keeping,"
said Dr Nauman Niaz, a former cricket analyst for the PCB. By the time he played
his only one-day international, though, against New Zealand at Multan in 1984-
85, he was past his best and gave away 18 byes in 35 overs. Two years later he
retired after 17 years of first-class cricket for Lahore teams and for Habib Bank,
where he continued to work on completing his MBA. In the 1990s he returned
to cricket as an administrator, A-team tour manager, referee and selector. In 2000
he was appointed a PCB groundsman.
Milling, Hugh, died in his sleep on February 17, 2003, aged 40, while in
Austria with a party of boys from Hulme Grammar School, where he was master
in charge of cricket. Earlier in the day he had suffered a blow to the head while
skiing. A potent strike bowler in Irish university and club cricket, Milling played
26 times for Ireland and, in his only first-class match, against Scotland in 1987,
had match figures of six for 98.
MIlls, Robert , who died of a heart attack on October 29, 2003, aged 51, was
chief sports writer of the Yorkshire Post and had been its cricket correspondent
since 1990. After joining the paper from the Hull Daily Mail, "Freddie" Mills
proudly upheld the Post's long tradition of excellent cricket writing, dating back
to J. M. Kilburn and beyond. He combined a sharp eye for a news story with a
feel for the traditions of the game and his county, qualities that shone through his
daily journalism and his book on Headingley, Field of Dreams. He was a pipesmoker
with a dry northern humour, much liked by his press box colleagues.
Moore, Denis Neville, who died on October 2, 2003, aged 93, scored a
double-century in his debut innings for Gloucestershire in 1930 and appeared to
be on the verge of greatness. He hit 1,317 runs for Gloucestershire and Oxford
University that year and in 1931 became the first man since 1863 to captain the
university in his second year. But early that summer he split his thumb fielding
in a minor match and, before he was fit again, fell seriously ill with pneumonia
and then pleurisy, so missing the University Match and spending four months in
bed. He never returned to Oxford, and his batting was never the same. Moore's
exceptional talent came to the fore at Shrewsbury School, and he played twice
for Oxford before being dropped for the Gloucestershire match at a time when
the university's cricket was riddled by factions and dissent. Moore's response was
to ask his own county captain, Bev Lyon, if he could play for Gloucestershire
against the university. With forceful and attractive strokeplay, he made 206, sharing
double-century partnerships of 219 with both "Charlie" Dipper and Wally
Hammond out of a total of 627 for two declared; it remained the highest score
on debut for a county until surpassed by David Sales of Northamptonshire in
1996. Oxford were obliged to recall him, and he was top-scorer in both innings
of the University Match. He appeared occasionally for Gloucestershire between
1932 and 1936 but achieved little. Instead, he concentrated on running the family
law firm in Croydon, but he remained a keen player for some of the grander
roving clubs into his fifties.
Moore, Nigel Harold, died on December 24, 2003, aged 73. Moore was
a golf Blue at Cambridge, but his first-class cricket there was limited to three
early-season games in 1952. For Norfolk between 1947 and 1964 he was, Henry
Blofeld said, "a jolly good competitor, an enormously strong man who was a
formidable striker of the ball and bowled a sharpish fast-medium." Representing
Minor Counties against the South Africans in 1960, he top-scored in the second
innings with 59.
Mukherjee, Sujit, who died on January 14, 2003, aged 72, played five Ranji
Trophy games as a batsman for Bihar in the 1950s. He had a far greater reputation
in India as a publisher, translator and prolific author whose work included five
elegant cricket books. A selection of his writings, edited by Ramachandra Guha,
was published as An Indian Cricket Century in 2002. He was a wry observer of
both the game and academic pretentiousness. One essay, "Cricket in the Mother
Tongue", combined the two by speculating on the possibilities for the teaching of
cricket in a foreign language, with solemn professors churning out theses on "the
effect of non-aspirated consonants on the off-drive of left-handed batsmen".
Munawwar Hussain Khan died on March 26, 2003, aged 88. Popularly
known as Mannay Khan, Munawwar Hussain umpired five Test matches in Pakistan
between 1958-59 and 1969-70.
Nawaz, M. E. M., who died on October 14, 2003, aged 70, was one of a select
group of Ceylonese all-rounders to perform the double of 1,000 runs and 100
wickets in the Saravanamuttu Trophy. He played mainly for Moors SC and had a
reputation as a devastating bowler of medium-pace leg-cutters on matting wickets.
Niaz Ahmed Siddiqi, who died on April 12, 2000, aged 54, took the new
ball for Pakistan in two Tests against England. Although sometimes said to be the
only indigenous cricketer from East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) to play Test cricket
for Pakistan, Niaz Ahmed was in fact born at Benares, in Uttar Pradesh, and taken
to Dacca after Partition. When East Pakistan achieved independence as Bangladesh
in 1972, he settled in Karachi. Niaz was on the 1967 tour of England and made
his Test debut at Trent Bridge, taking two (Brian Close and Geoff Arnold) for 72.
His second Test 18 months later was played against the background of East
Pakistan's clamour for independence, and Niaz, the home-town bowler, was
judiciously selected ahead of Asif Masood for the Dacca Test against Colin
Cowdrey's beleaguered tourists. An engineer by profession, he played most of his
domestic cricket for the Public Works Department (PWD), helping them reach the
Quaid-e-Azam Trophy final in 1969-70 and captaining the side in 1973-74, his
Nickel, Aaron, died on May 25, 2003, aged 79. Polish-born, Nickel played
six games for Transvaal in the early 1950s, and in 1952-53 his fast-medium inswing
set up the vital win against Rhodesia that guaranteed Transvaal's immediate
return to the Currie Cup A section after being relegated. Bowling unchanged on
a damp Salisbury pitch he took seven for 43 as the home side were bowled out
for 68. His match figures of ten for 87 were the best on the ground during
Rhodesia's participation in South African domestic cricket. His nephew, Ali Bacher,
captained South Africa and became a prominent administrator.
Nixon, Dr Robert Graeme, died on June 27, 2003, aged 78. A Bulawayo
dentist, Bob Nixon enjoyed a considerable reputation in southern Africa as a radio
commentator. He also broadcast in England on World Cup matches and for the
BBC while living there from 1986 to 1992. "Bob was the first to guide me in
microphone technique," Robin Jackman said. "His was a gentle voice that belonged
to a gentle man." When Rhodesia became Zimbabwe in 1980 Nixon entered
parliament as an Independent.
Noreiga, Jack Mollinson, who died on August 8, 2003, aged 67, after a stomach operation, was the only West Indian to take nine wickets in a Test innings. He did so against India at Queen's Park Oval in March 1971 in his second Test. Once Grayson Shillingford had bowled Ashok Mankad for 44, Noreiga wheeled away with his cleverly flighted off-spinners but was unable to prevent the Indians from establishing a match-winning lead. Eight of his victims were caught (two caught and bowled) and one was stumped. Noreiga, a clerk in Trinidad's Ministry of Works, was 34 at the time and before that season had played only one firstclass game for the island - nine years earlier, and also against an Indian touring team. However, Trinidad called him up in 1970-71 on what Wisden called "the dubious pitches at the Queen's Park Oval", and with his sharp off-break and good control he immediately justified his inclusion: six for 50 in the innings win over Combined Islands was followed by 11 for 153 as Trinidad beat Barbados for the first time in 26 years. He was brought into the West Indies team because Lance Gibbs was out of form and played in four of the five Tests against India - taking 15 wickets in the two Tests at Queen's Park, but only two in his other two. Noreiga, a father of nine children, became a well-known coach and played club cricket up to the season before his death.