1997

Obituaries in 1996

ANDREW, FREDERICK JAMES, died suddenly on July 15, 1996, aged 59, at the annual Sir Garfield Sobers schools tournament in Barbados, an event he helped found. Jim Andrew was a fast-medium bowler who had a lengthy career with Gloucestershire but played only 21 first-class matches. He took five for eight, and ten for 91 in the match, against Kent at Dartford in 1962. But Andrew found his métier when he followed Reg Sinfield as cricket professional at Clifton College, where he spent 30 years and became an institution, insisting on the highest standards of play, dress and behaviour. According to the Old Cliftonian Society annual report: His all, impressive and bronzed figure at the controls of tractor or mower, and his piercing whistle, were a forbidding warning to any real or imagined malefactors trespassing on his precious Close.

BOSE, BISMAL KRISHNA, who died on May 20, 1996, was Bihar's most successful Ranji Trophy bowler, taking 205 wickets at 16.59. He played for his state in 38 matches from 1940-41 to 1957-58, and captained the team for several seasons.

BROUGHTON, SHAUN WALTER, died of viral encephalitis on his 20th birthday, May 1, 1996. He was a right-handed opening batsman who played two first-class matches for Natal B in 1995-96.

BUSH, RONALD GEORGE, who died on May 10, 1996, aged 87, was one of two men (along with Alan Clark of Wellington) to have played in winning teams in both New Zealand's traditional inter-provincial cricket and rugby competitions: the Plunket Shield and the Ranfurly Shield. He was a seam bowler who played ten first-class matches for Auckland in the 1930s. During a rugby tour of Japan, he is said to have given his boots to the son of the Tokyo University captain, who later became commandant of a POW camp in Malaya. When an offer answered Yes to the question You know Ron Bush? conditions in the camp improved immediately.

CLIFT, PATRICK BERNARD, died of bone marrow cancer on September 2, 1996, aged 43. Paddy Clift played Currie Cup cricket for Rhodesia before being recommended to Leicestershire by his compatriot, Brian Davison. He spent a year qualifying before making an astonishing impact in Leicestershire's match against MCC as champion county in April 1976. Against a team containing nine past or future England players, he took eight for 17 - five bowled and three lbw. Clift said he just bowled straight. In the next five sessions, only three wickets fell. He played for the county until 1987 without ever doing anything quite as spectacular, though his cricket was often dramatic. He took two hat-tricks, and one of his two centuries, made in 50 minutes at Hove in 1983, was the fastest ever made for Leicestershire. Since his batting was powerful, his seam bowling accurate with cunning changes of pace, and he was an athletic fielder, he was a natural one-day cricketer. This reputation tended to overshadow his first-class performances. In 1980 he moved his winter home to Natal, captained their Currie Cup team and settled in Durban with his family to work as a banker. He was an affable, popular, family man and his death cast a pall over Leicestershire's 1996 Championship celebrations.

COLDWELL, LEONARD JOHN, died suddenly on August 6, 1996, aged 63. Len Coldwell had his finest hour at Lord's in 1962 when he bowled England to a nine-wicket victory over Pakistan on his Test debut in front of a 20,000 Saturday crowd. But he played only seven Tests in all, and was never really a man for the grand occasion. In county cricket, however, he was one of the most effective fast bowlers of the 1960s, and he battled on undemonstratively through a succession of injuries. What made him special was the partnership he formed with Jack Flavell. Together they took Worcestershire to the brink of the County Championship in 1962, and then to the club's first ever titles in 1964 and 1965. It was a classic pairing - Flavell bowling out-swing, Coldwell bowling in-swing - and enabled Worcestershire to supplant Yorkshire as the most feared team in the country. Coldwell was a Devonian who had his debut for Worcestershire in 1955. He developed slowly for a fast bowler, but in 1961 he took 140 wickets, and in 1962 he took 152 - a figure surpassed only once, by Derek Underwood in 1966, in the 34 seasons since then, and now unthinkable. That summer he bowled 1,103 overs, an extraordinary workload for someone never wholly confident of the sturdiness of his hips and knees. According to Basil D'Oliveira, Coldwell would work out exactly where to bowl to each individual opponent: sometimes he would aim straight at the stumps, sometimes he would use the extreme edge of the crease. His methods proved less effective at the highest level. Success against Pakistan got him on to the 1962-63 tour of Australasia, but conditions there were less helpful and the batsmen less easy to think out. He returned for the first two Tests against Australia in 1964, was obliged to bowl a 100-minute spell in conditions which Wisden said would have been far more responsive to spin, and was never chosen again. Coldwell played on for Worcestershire until 1969 but then retired in mid-season and returned to Devon; in later years, he helped run a seaside cafe and became captain of Teignmouth Golf Club. His comradeship with Flavell lasted way beyond cricket. The two of them were firm friends as well as partners in the fast bowling business, and the families spent their holidays with each other. Coldwell had been looking forward to a hip replacement operation and getting rid of some ofthe pain that had bothered him since his playing days.

COLDWELL, WILLIAM RODNEY, died in late 1995, aged 63. Bill Coldwell played two first-class matches for MCC in 1954 and 1955. He was later general manager of Birmingham City Football Club, and team manager for three matches in 1991. He is believed to be the only Birmingham manager in history with an unbeaten record.

COOK, CECIL, died on September 4, 1996, aged 75. Sam Cook epitomised everything that has traditionally been considered best about county cricketers in general, and West Country cricketers in particular. He was a phlegmatic, humorous, locally-rooted man who loved a wry laugh, a pint and the lift he led, and made friends everywhere he played. He was also a naturally gifted, slow left-arm bowler who could drop the ball on a length, without bothering to practise, and keep it there all season, with enough flight and variation to outwit the best batsmen in the game. After training as a plumber and serving in the war, Sam arrived at the Bristol nets in 1946, and announced himself as Cook of Tetbury, sir. He immediately impressed Wally Hammond, took a wicket with his first ball in first-class cricket, and 133 in the first season. A year later he was preferred to Doug Wright for the Trent Bridge Test against South Africa, but he tried too hard on a docile pitch, returned horrid figures and was never picked again. He still kept bowling and bowling for Gloucestershire and took 1,782 wickets over 19 years, putting him 49th on the all-time list. He remained Cook of Tetbury, never gave himself airs or took anything too seriously, certainly not his batting: his runs (1,965) just exceeded his wickets. David Foot tells how he arrived at the crease once, and whispered to Andy Wilson what looked like an important instruction. How are yer onions this year, Andy? he said. From 1971 to 1986 Sam Cook was a first-class umpire. It was universally understood that, unlike his colleagues, he took pity on umpire. It was universally understood that, unlike his colleagues, he took pity on suffering bowlers and would give batsmen out lbw on the sweep; tyros learned this as an unwritten regulation of county cricket. After his funeral at Tetbury parish church, Arthur Milton saw that Sam's grave was in a distant corner and remarked: See they've got you down at third man again, old son.

CREED, LEONARD GOLLEDGE, died on June 3, 1996, aged 79. Len Creed was the Bath bookmaker and Somerset committee member whose holiday in Antigua in 1973 led to the county signing Viv Richards. He was Somerset chairman in 1977 and 1978.

CROWTHER, LESLIE DOUGLAS SARGENT, CBE, who died on September 28, 1996, aged 63, was a well-known TV comedian and game show host with a passion for cricket. He was a tireless worker for the Lord's Taverners, and president in 1991 and 1992.

DARE, JOHN ST FELIX, who died on February 10, 1996, aged 90, played ten matches for British Guiana between 1924-25 and 1929-30. He was President of the West Indies Cricket Board of Control between 1960 and 1966, having been secretary in the 1930s.

DOYLE, SISTER MARY PETER, who died in Upper Hutt, New Zealand, on April 17, 1996, aged 109, attributed her longevity to her faith in God and her interest in cricket. She was believed to be the oldest Sister of Mercy in the world.

FISHER, FREDERICK ERIC, died on June 19, 1996, aged 71. Eric Fisher was a left-arm swing bowler who was picked for New Zealand against South Africa at Wellington in 1952-53. He struggled as a bowler and dropped Jackie McGlew twice during his unbeaten innings of 255. Figures of eight for 34 for Wellington against Canterbury had got him into the team, and he continued to be an effective Plunket Shield bowler, but he was surprisingly omitted from the tour to South Africa a year later and never played Test cricket again. The selectors apparently took against him, and several others, for being a bit rotund at a time when the South Africans had made athletic fielding fashionable. Fisher went to England to become professional for Rochdale. He also played three matches for Central Districts, but dropped out of the first-class game two years after his Test.

FOTHERGILL, DESMOND HUGH, died on March 16, 1996, aged 75. Des Fothergill was a batsman and occasional leg-spinner who played 27 matches for Victoria from 1938-39 to 1948-49, scoring 102 against South Australia at Adelaide in November 1947. He was better known as an Australian Rules footballer for Collingwood, but knee trouble forced him to retire aged 27 and he played little cricket after that either.

HALFYARD, DAVID JOHN, who died suddenly on August 23, 1996, aged 65, had a remarkable, indeed eccentric, career which was supposed to have ended after a serious road accident in 1962. But he returned to the first-class game six years later and was still taking wickets for Tiverton Heathcoat in the Devon Premier League a few weeks before he died. Dave Halfyard came to prominence as a tireless seamer for Kent in the late 1950s, and took 135 wickets in 1958. After his accident he kept trying to make a comeback, but failed, and in 1967 went on to the first-class umpires' list. However, Nottinghamshire saw him bowling in the nets - in itself not normal practice for an umpire - and decided to sign him, although almost the entire committee had to watch him for two hours before they were convinced of his fitness. He thus became perhaps the only umpire to retire and return to playing. Bowling more sedately but even more craftily than he did for Kent, he spent three productive years at Nottinghamshire, bringing his total of first-class wickets to 963 before finally leaving the first-class game in 1970. Even while with Nottinghamshire he would slip away on his days off to bowl leg-breaks for club sides. Over the next 12 years he had spells as professional with Durham, Northumberland and Cornwall and had another period as an umpire. While with Cornwall, he took all 16 Devon wickets to fall in a match at Penzance. Halfyard's zest for displaying the tricks of his trade before audiences others might have thought unworthy made him in that sense comparable to Sydney Barnes. His pride and joy was a camper van with almost 400,000 miles on the clock; his cricket had the same improbable durability.

HOUGHTON, WILLIAM ERIC, died on May 1, 1966, aged 85. Eric Houghton played seven matches as a batsman for Warwickshire in 1946 and 1947. He was better known as an outside-left for Aston Villa, Notts County and England. It was said he could hit a dead ball harder than any of his contemporaries and once smashed the crossbar with a free kick.

HURST, ROBERT JACK, who died on February 10, 1996, aged 62, was a tall, slow left-arm bowler with a good action, who played 100 matches for Middlesex between 1954 and 1961. Bob Hurst was successful in 1956 and 1957, and received his cap, but was inclined to be short of confidence and never fully established himself at a time when Lord's pitches were becoming less helpful to spin. He returned to club cricket with Teddington, where he was a major force. Hurst was a popular dressing-room figure; his red hair earned him the nickname Bloodnut.

JEGANATHAN, SRIDHARAN, who died on May 14, 1996, aged 44, was the first Sri Lankan Test player to die. Jeganathan was a left-arm spinner and lower-order batsman who played in two Tests in New Zealand in 1982-83. He was recalled to play in the 1987 World Cup and dismissed Graham Gooch, Tim Robinson, Mansoor Akhtar and Richie Richardson. He later became Malaysia's national coach.

JOHNSON, JOHAN ECKARD, who died in a car crash on February 9, 1996, aged 24, was a fast-medium bowler and useful tail-end batsman for Griqualand West and Orange Free State. He topped the Griquas' bowling averages in 1993-94 with 19 wickets at 22.94, then moved up to play Castle Cup cricket for Free State. His appearances were restricted because of back trouble and he moved back to Griqualand West the following year. He had been due to play the day he died, but an injury had forced him to withdraw.

JONES, WILLIAM EDWARD, died on July 25, 1996, aged 79. Willie Jones was a left-handed batsman of fatalistic temperament who played 340 matches for Glamorgan between 1937 and 1958, as an amateur before the war and then as a professional. Little Willie scored two double-centuries in a fortnight in Glamorgan's Championship year, 1948. After the first, he received a heap of telegrams, opened some and stuffed the rest into his bag. Asked why, he said: I'll open those when I have a bad day. The bad days would have come less often had he been less dependent on his wristy square-cut, but he played the shot so effectively it brought him a stack of runs. He was a gifted slow left-armer, with a nice action but not enough confidence, and an athletic outfielder. Jones was a fly-half for Penarth, Neath and Gloucester and played in a wartime rugby international for Wales.

JORDAN, FRANK SLATER, who died on October 22, 1995, aged 90, was in the New South Wales team along with Don Bradman in Bradman's debut match at Adelaide in 1927-28. Jordan was a fast-medium bowler who played in five other games for the state, with match figures of eight for 43 against Tasmania in 1928-29.

KANNAYIRAM N., who died on January 1, 1996, aged 70, was an all-rounder who played for Madras and Tamil Nadu. He toured the West Indies in 1952-53, but did not play in a Test match.

KENNY, CHARLES JOHN MICHAEL, who died in September 1996, aged 67, was a right-arm medium-pace bowler who won a Cambridge Blue in 1952; at Lord's he had Colin Cowdrey stumped for seven. He played 18 matches for Essex and also appeared for Ireland.

KENYON, DONALD, died on November 12, 1996, aged 72, after being taken ill when he was about to show a film at a members' evening at Worcester, the ground he adorned for so long. Don Kenyon was almost synonymous with Worcestershire cricket in the two decades after the war. In the words of his old team-mate, George Chesterton, Worcester was the only place in the cricket world where Don did not immediately conjure up Bradman. Kenyon was born in Staffordshire, played for Stourbridge and was taken on the county staff in 1946, when he scored a century against them for Combined Services. Then he embarked on a career of run-accumulation that hardly ever wavered, and opposing bowlers could only stand despairingly as this broad-shouldered figure boomed the ball past mid-on or extra cover. He was helped by the friendliness of the New Road pitch; when he played for England, his trumpet sounded far more uncertainly. He is said to have been incurably homesick in India in 1951-52, and was quickly blown away by the Australian fast bowlers when chosen to open with Hutton in two Tests in 1953. Two years later he finally did himself justice with 87 at Trent Bridge against South Africa, but after failing in the next two Tests disappeared from international cricket. At county level, he remained a giant. He is still Worcestershire's leading scorer, with 33,490 runs for the county, and passed 2,000 seven times. In 1959, he became Worcestershire captain and led the team to its first two County Championships and two of the first four Gillette Cup finals. Don Kenyon was never a talkative or, perhaps, imaginative man but his natural seriousness, authority and example made his captaincy successful. He was also a good listener, ready to take advice. Between 1965 and 1972, he was an England selector and he became county president when Worcestershire were champions again in 1988 and 1989. His greatest pleasure in later years was bowling to his young grandson in the nets at New Road.

KERSEY, GRAHAM JAMES, died in hospital in Western Australia on January 1, 1997, aged 25, after being injured in a car crash on Christmas Eve. Kersey was a wicket-keeper who played occasionally for Kent in 1991 and 1992 before moving to Surrey the following year. He quickly established himself at the Oval as the first-choice keeper, except on the big one-day occasions when the captain, Alec Stewart, did the job. Kersey was not an especially stylish keeper- apart from anything else, his cap regularly fell off - but he rarely dropped catches, and was a battling batsman who could irritate opposing bowlers with effective use of the sweep. Above all, he was a dedicated team man whose cheerful attitude and combative approach were an important part of Surrey's revival in 1996. Stewart described him as the most popular member of the staff - a true player's player'. The Surrey vice-captain Adam Hollioake said: You could rely on him totally. You could get the best wicket-keeper in the world, but he couldn't possibly fill the gap.

KUMAR, SIVA SHANTHI, was shot dead while playing golf at the Royal Colombo club on December 7, 1996, aged 53. Two gunmen climbed a wall and fired six shots at him on the 12th green. Shanthi Kumar was captain of the Tamil Union team in the early 1970s.

LANGLEY, JOHN DOUGLAS ALGERNON, who died on April 27, 1996, aged 78, was an aggressive right-hand batsman who won a Cambridge Blue in 1938 after scoring a century, described by Wisden as a brilliant exhibition of driving, against Glamorgan. He also played once for Middlesex. Langley was an excellent golfer, and played in three Walker Cup matches, the first in 1936 within a few weeks of leaving Stowe School. He was English champion in 1950, having been runner-up while still at Stowe.

LAWTON, THOMAS, died on November 6, 1996, aged 77. Tommy Lawton was one of the best-known forwards in English soccer during the early post-war years and won 23 England caps, scoring 22 goals. As a teenager, he played Lancashire League cricket for Burnley and hit Learie Constantine for two successive sixes.

LAY, RONALD SAMUEL MARSHALL, died on November 9, 1996, aged 79. Ron Lay was one of the successful and respected county umpires who had not played first-class cricket. He emerged from officiating in local cricket round Northamptonshire via the Minor Counties, and joined the first-class list in 1956, staying on until 1968. He missed much of the 1964 season because Ted Dexter lashed a straight drive on to his foot.

LODGE, DEREK HARRY ALAN, who died on July 10, 1996, aged 67, was a civil servant and a cricket statistician with an unusually lateral cast of mind. His 1982 book Figures on the Green tried to offer answers to questions usually considered beyond statisticians reach, such as What Was the Greatest Innings Ever Played? ( Jessop's 104 at the Oval, 1902, suggested Lodge). He was vice-chairman of the Cricket Society and a keen long-distance runner.

LOMAX, IAN RAYMOND, who died on July 31, 1996, aged 65, was a tall, powerful Etonian cricketer with an Edwardian sense of style and 18th century zest. He played only six matches for Somerset, but his performances included 83 in 64 minutes against Hampshire in 1962. There were committee members who would have liked him to have taken over the captaincy, but he played most of his cricket for the grander wandering clubs and Wiltshire, for whom he was Man of the Match in a Gillette Cup tie with Essex in 1969. He hit 63, including 16 in one over off Robin Hobbs; Lomax smashed the ball hard whoever was bowling. Increasingly, though, he devoted himself to horses, and was Master of the Craven Farmers' Hunt. His first wife, Rosemary, was a racehorse trainer. To get round Jockey Club rules which barred women, he held the licence for many years.

McINNES, MELVILLE JAMES, OAM, died on July 23, 1996, aged 80. Mel McInnes umpired 16 Tests in Australia in the 1950s, including all five Tests of the 1954-55 Ashes series. He won a solid reputation for his judgment, impartiality and bearing, but became mired in controversy on the 1958-59 tour when he was blamed by the English press after some bad decisions and for not stamping out throwing and dragging among Australian fast bowlers.

McKENNA, DONALD CHARLES, died in Australia, where he was born, on September 4, 1995, aged 51. He was a left-handed batsman who made 35 first-class appearances in South Africa for Border in the old Currie Cup B section between 1973-74 and 1979-80, usually keeping wicket. He made 69 on debut against Orange Free State and his only century, 129 not out, against the same opposition a year later.

MICHAEL, LEONARD, who died on March 16, 1990, aged 74, was a wicket-keeper who played 21 matches for South Australia, starting in 1939-40, though he did not make his Shield debut for another eight years. He saved a match against Victoria in 1949-50 by scoring 85 and sharing a last-wicket stand of 104 with Ernie Pynor.

MILLER, LAWRENCE SOMERVILLE MARTIN, died on December 17, 1996, aged 73. Lawrie Miller was a left-handed batsman who played 13 Tests for New Zealand, not making his debut until just before his 30th birthday. His career was held up because he came from rural Taranaki. He failed to pass 50 in Tests; indeed, in South Africa in 1953-54, he made four successive Test ducks, a sequence ended only by a fairly inglorious two. But he played some important little innings, and his 47 and 25 in the low-scoring match against West Indies at Auckland in 1955-56 were instrumental in securing New Zealand's First Test win. He was often prolific in provincial cricket: at one stage of the 1952-53 season he had scored 397 for Central Districts without being dismissed. Miller latter moved to Wellington. He also played first-class rugby.

MILLER, ROLAND, died on May 7, 1996, aged 55. Ron Miller was an all-rounder from County Durham who played 133 matches for Warwickshire between 1961 and 1968, best known for his left-arm spin and close catching. His application never quite matched his natural gifts, and Warwickshire barred him from the night-watchman's job after he was caught, hooking Fred Trueman.

MORGAN, GRACE A., who died on October 22, 1996, aged 87, was reserve wicket-keeper on the English tour of Australasia in 1934-35 which included the first women's Test. She played only two Tests herself, but became a prominent administrator.

Nazar Mohammad, who died on July 12, 1996, aged 75, faced the first ball received by a Pakistani in Test cricket, at Delhi in 1952-53, and in the next match became the country's first Test centurion. On a matting wicket at Lucknow, he carried his bat for 124 not out in eight hours 35 minutes and set up an innings victory; he was the first player to be on the field throughout a Test. He also made 55 and 47 in the final Test but, soon afterwards, a domestic accident damaged his arm and ended his career. He became a coach, selector and one of Pakistan's best cricketing raconteurs. His son, Mudassar Nazar, played 76 Tests.

NEWMAN, SIR JACK, the world's senior Test player, died on September 23, 1996, aged 94. Jack Newman was a left-arm medium-pace bowler who played in three Tests for New Zealand, against South Africa in 1931-32, and against England a year later. He was the first New Zealand Test player to emerge from outside the big cities. He came from Nelson and was unable to get a game in first-class cricket between his debut for Canterbury in February 1923, and being picked by Wellington eight years later. Against England, he had to bowl to Wally Hammond on the way to his world record 336 not out, and was hit for three successive sixes. Newman became a selector and, from 1965 to 1967, president of the New Zealand Cricket Council. He was a legend in Nelson cricket, and played for the team from teenage years until he was past 50. He also turned the small family business he joined even before he became a Test player into a major national company, and its airline division became Ansett New Zealand. In the week Sir Jack died, this was sold to Rupert Murdoch. On his death, the senior Test cricketer became Lionel Birkett of West Indies, born in 1904.

NUTTER, ALBERT EDWARD, died on June 3, 1996, aged 82. Bert Nutter was an all-rounder who played for Lancashire before the war and then accompanied his friend Buddy Oldfield both into League cricket and to Northamptonshire, where they shared a testimonial. The two men died within seven weeks of each other. Nutter bowled accurately at good pace, and regularly scored middle-order runs in pleasant style. In 1938 he came close to the double, but just missed his 100 wickets, a mark he did pass in his first season with Northamptonshire ten years later. After retirement, he emigrated to South Africa.

OLDFIELD, NORMAN, died on April 19, 1996, aged 84. Buddy Oldfield was less than 5ft 3in tall and extremely nervous, but he was one of the best, and bravest, English batsmen of the 1930s, who delighted Cardus with his wristy strokeplay and said he enjoyed receiving bouncers. Oldfield played in one Test - against West Indies at the Oval in 1939- and scored a much praised 80. But war broke out a fortnight later, and he never had another opportunity: he remains the top scorer among the 80-plus players who have appeared in only one Test for England. Oldfield came from Dukinfield on the outskirts of Manchester and spent six years on the Lancashire staff before becoming an overnight success. Wisden described his debut season, 1935, as sensational and Cardus began comparing him to J. T. Tyldesley: If this young man does not go to the top of his calling, there will be a scandalous interference with destiny. He scored 1,066 runs that year, maintained his form for the next two years and then raised his game. He scored 1,812 runs in 1938 and 1,922 in 1939, and there was some surprise that he was not chosen for England earlier. But the really scandalous interference with his destiny came from Hitler. When peace returned, Oldfield, then 35, fell out with Lancashire over terms and went to play League cricket. He returned to the county game with Northamptonshire in 1948 and remained for seven years, playing a major part in the county's rise from the cellar: in 1949, the county's best year since 1913, Oldfield passed 2,000. After leaving Lancashire, he was banned from Old Trafford except when Northamptonshire were playing there: in 1951 he dealt with this situation in the traditional manner, and scored hundreds against his old county in the next two years as well. But he came to regret his decision to leave Lancashire, and believed in old age that it had cost him the chance of another Test cap. Oldfield was a first-class umpire from 1955 to 1965 and stood in two Tests, but he said he never really enjoyed the job: I wanted to be one of the lads and you just can't be. I didn't like giving people out either. He was nervy in that job too and often explained his decisions to the players. Lancashire then forgave him enough to appoint him their coach from 1968 to 1972. It was said he never ate breakfast for fear of vomiting when he batted. According to Frank Tyson, when Oldfield was next inhe sat by the window padded up and fully prepared, smoking cigarette after cigarette and blinking furiously.

PALSULE, SADASHIV GOPAL, who died on February 19, 1996, aged 77, played three matches for Maharashtra, and hit 97 out of 604 in the second innings when his team lost the 1948-49 Ranji Trophy semi-final against Bombay in which a world record 2,376 runs were scored. He was later a journalist.

PEACH, FRANCIS GEORGE, died on February 3, 1996, aged 84. Frank Peach was Derbyshire's statistician and co-founded the club yearbook in 1954. He played an important role in fundraising as a member of the Supporters' Club during some trying years for the county.

PETER, RAJESH, who was found dead in his flat in New Delhi in suspicious circumstances early in 1996, aged 36, played for Delhi in the Ranji Trophy. He was a fast bowler, but was best-known for scoring 67 not out in a ninth-wicket partnership of 118 with Rakesh Shukla in the 1981-82 Trophy final against Karnataka, when both sides passed 700.

PIGOT, DAVID RICHARD, who died on June 8, 1996, aged 66, was a batsman who played 44 times for Ireland, although he did not win his first cap until he was 37; his last came when he was 46. His father also appeared for Ireland and his grandfather was president of the Irish Cricket Union.

POOLE, CYRIL JOHN, who died on February 11, 1996, aged 74, was splendidly entertaining member of the Nottinghamshire side of the 1950s. He made three Test appearances on the second-string MCC tour of the subcontinent in 1951-52 and scored half-centuries in both innings on his debut in Calcutta. But he did not have enough application to be a serious contender for a home Test place in such a strong era, and instead acquired a reputation as one of the most gifted and audacious left-handed batsmen on the circuit, and a great fielder. Poole, from the mining area round Mansfield, started as a footballer and, at 15, became Mansfield Town's youngest-ever player before going on to Gillingham and Wolves. He did not make his first-class debut until he was 27, in 1948, but thereafter became a steady county run-scorer, passing 1,000 regularly, and making 1,860 in 1961 when he was already 40. There was about him the vague hint of the chancer off the field. He would regularly borrow any bat that was lying around the dressing-room, never worrying about the weight or other technicalities. It is said his team-mates tried to cure him with a trick bat, which was merely a shell filled with sawdust. He scored about 70 with it and apparently never noticed.

POPE, ALFRED VARDY, died on May 11, 1996, aged 86. Alf Pope was a Derbyshire stalwart of the 1930s, alongside his younger brother George (and, on one occasion, his youngest brother Harold). He was a fast-medium bowler who came to Derbyshire via the classic route: he began work as a coal miner at 14 but left during the General Strike of 1926 and joined Sam Cadman's nursery at the County Ground. He was a tall man, a touch quicker than George but less overtly aggressive, who could move the ball sharply off the seam, especially on Derbyshire's responsive pitches. His best year was the county's Championship year of 1936, when he compensated for George's absence through injury by taking 99 wickets. Arthur Richardson, the captain, would warn him he might have to bowl until close of play, and would get the cheery response: I like bowling, skipper. Alf Pope was also a very useful late-order bat and scored a century against Warwickshire when promoted to No. 4 at Edgbaston in 1938. In 1941 he re-created his Championship-winning partnership with Bill Copson to take Saltaire to the Bradford League title. Later, he was a roving professional and coach before settling to spend 20 years as coach and groundsman at Berkhamsted School. He played until he was 69 and gave up umpiring only the summer before his death.

PUNA, NAROTAM, died on June 7, 1996, aged 66. Tom Puna was a highly regarded off-spinner and the first migrant from Asia to be capped for New Zealand, playing in the three Tests against England in 1965-66. His family emigrated from Bombay when he was eight and he got into the Northern Districts team as a batsman and occasional seamer. He turned to off-breaks as a last resort in a match against Central Districts in 1957-58, and promptly took four for two to win the match. By the time Puna retired in 1969, he had become the team's leading wicket-taker with 223. He took 34 wickets in 1965-66 at an average of just over 13, and was a natural choice for the Test team. In the three Tests against England he got only four wickets, but some of those present still believe that, had he been given more overs in the final innings at Auckland. New Zealand might have won. He later ran a greengrocer's shop in Hamilton, but was still playing just before he died; two of his three sons have also represented Northern Districts.

RICHARDS, DICK STANLEY, who died on November 13, 1995, aged 87, played 18 matches in the Sussex middle order between 1927 and 1935. He coached at Rossall School from 1937 to 1982.

ROBERTS, ALPHONSO THEODORE, died of cancer on July 24, 1996, aged 58. Alfie Roberts was the first Test player from any of the Leeward and Windward Islands which have become so influential in modern West Indian cricket. Roberts came from St Vincent and was picked to go to New Zealand in 1955-56, aged only 18, on the basis of a couple of promising innings and the recommendation of Everton Weekes. He made 28 and 0 in his only Test and was never picked again. A job was arranged for him in Trinidad to try and give him more cricketing opportunities, but he failed in his only first-class match there, and was criticised by locals who objected to a small islander being picked ahead of native Trinidadians. He scored only 1 and 0 for the Windwards against MCC- on a matting pitch in terrible conditions - in 1959-60. Roberts subsequently emigrated to Canada, where he obtained a degree and worked in Montreal. He is believed to have played only one friendly game there - against a touring Vincentian XI in 1966 - scoring a brilliant 50 before tossing his wicket away.

ROBERTS, Air Vice-Marshal JOHN FREDERICK, CB, CBE, FCA, died on April 20, 1996, aged 83. Robbie Roberts was a left-hand batsman who played five times for Glamorgan before the war and three first-class matches for Combined Services afterwards. He rose to be the RAF's Director-General of Ground Training.

ROBINSON, THOMAS LLOYD, died on August 2, 1996, aged 83. Lloyd Robinson was a fast-medium bowler who played four matches for Warwickshire as an amateur in 1946. He later captained the Second Eleven, and was president of Gloucestershire in 1980. Robinson was a successful businessman and, from 1974 to 1977, chairman of the Dickinson Robinson Group.

ROGERS, REX ERNEST, who died on May 22, 1996, aged 79, was a left-handed but who scored steadily for Queensland before and after the war. His family moved to Brisbane when a cyclone destroyed their home in Cairns, and he made his state debut in 1935-36. He gained a regular place the following season and stayed in the team until he retired 12 years later, often captaining the side after the war. He scored eight centuries and made 3,382 runs at 35.97. Against South Australia at Adelaide over Christmas 1937, Rogers scored 181 in just 231 minutes, an innings described as especially brilliant by Wisden. The war ruined his chance of Test cricket.

ROWAN, COLIN MACDONALD, died on February 23, 1996, aged 53. Don Rowan had a collection of 1,500 cricketing interviews on tape, especially with players of the 1950s.

RUDD, CLIFFORD ROBIN DAVID, died in September 1996, aged 67. Robin Rudd was a South African-born batsman who captained Eton in 1946 and won an Oxford Blue as a freshman in 1949. He subsequently played for a number of gentlemanly teams and worked for the Anglo-American Corporation, mostly in Bulawayo.

RUSHTON, WILLIAM GEORGE, who died on December 11, 1996, aged 59, was a well-known TV and radio humorist and a passionate follower of cricket. He regularly drew cartoons for The Cricketer- including the January 1997 cover illustration - and his novels included W. G. Grace's Last Case, a fantasy in which W.G. and Dr Watson foil a plot to take over the world by the Martians.

RYDER, ROWLAND, who died on February 13, 1996, aged 81, was a schoolmaster and cricket writer, who virtually grew up at Edgbaston, where his father was Warwickshire secretary for almost half a century. His work included biographies of Edith Cavell and Sir Oliver Leese, the soldier and MCC president. Both father and son had articles published in Wisden. Ryder's final book, Cricket Calling, an evocation of the game and his connection with it, was published to widespread acclaim a year before his death. Cricket is not so much a game, he wrote, as an extension of being English: a gallimaufry of paradoxes, contradictions, frightening logic and sheer impossibilities, of gentle courtesy and rough violence.

SANDERS, HAZEL MARY, who died on December 29, 1995, aged 69, played in 12 women's Test matches for England between 1949 and 1958. She was a defensive bat and a brilliant close fielder.

SARGENT, EDWARD ROTAN, died on January 28, 1996, aged 81. Tanny Sargent was responsible, in 1974, for restarting cricket at the once-famous Merion College in Philadelphia, fifty years after it disappeared. He was one of the few American members of MCC and between 1970 and 1984 was curator of the C. C. Morris Cricket library at Haverford College, reputedly the finest in North America.

SCAIFE, JOHN WILLIE, who died on October 27, 1995, aged 86, was a Lancashire-born batsman who played 42 matches for Victoria between the wars, often scoring useful runs after the state's great batting stars - headed by Woodfull and Ponsford- had had their fill. Scaife earned a Test trial in 1928-29 but did not hit his best form until after he had regained his place in the state side in 1933-34. He scored 573 runs at 52.09 in 1935-36. The following year he played for Europeans in the Bombay Quadrangular, becoming an unlikely team-mate of Harold Larwood.

SHENTON, PETER ANTHONY, who died on January 13, 1996, aged 59, was a Yorkshire-born batsman and off-spinner who played once for Northamptonshire in 1958 and seven times for Kent in 1960. Later, he was a successful and nomadic professional for various Yorkshire clubs.

SIMONS, DOROTHY EDITH, OBE, died on September 13, 1996, aged 84. Dot Simons was a pioneer of women's cricket in New Zealand and bowled left-arm spin for Wellington. In 1934 she became the first secretary of the NZ Women's Cricket Council, and was president of the International Women's Cricket Council from 1966 to 1969. She was a successful sports journalist.

SMITH, RAYMOND, who died on February 21, 1996, aged 81, was an all-rounder who, with his cousin Peter, almost had to carry the Essex attack in the years after the war. Luckily, he loved bowling. Ray Smith often opened the attack, with his sleeves rolled up, bowling huge in-swingers at a fair pace; then with cap on and sleeves rolled down - as though he was someone else entirely - he would return to purvey somewhat less effective off-breaks. His batting, when it came off, was thunderous. He scored only eight first-class centuries, but three of them were the fastest of the season: 63 minutes against Derbyshire in 1948; 70 minutes against the South Africans in 1951, when he went on to 147; and 73 minutes against Northamptonshire in 1955. He was especially harsh on off-spinners and once reduced even Jim Laker to standing, despairingly, with hands on hips. He did the double three times, even though his appeals - contrary to fast-bowling tradition - were always whispered, in a surprisingly upper-crust voice. He retired in 1956, seven years before the introduction of one-day cricket, at which he would have excelled. By then he had embarked on a long career coaching at Felsted. But he achieved one ambition; in his last home match Essex beat Yorkshire for the first time since the war, something for which he had been known to say he would give either a month or a year's salary. Smith scored the wining runs off Trueman. For many years he ran a restaurant outside Birmingham.

SMITH, THOMAS EDWARD, MBE, who died on December 14, 1996, aged 87, was revered throughout English umpiring circles. Tom Smith called the meeting in 1953 that led to the foundation of the Association of Cricket Umpires, and became the general secretary for its first 25 years. He served on countless committees dealing with the Laws, and worked closely with Billy Griffith, the MCC secretary, to produce the 1980 code. He took over R. S. Rait-Kerr's book, Cricket Umpiring and Scoring, which, if not quite cricket's bible, is regarded by many officials as the essential commentary on it. Unusually for a figure little known to the public, he was made an honorary life member of MCC.

STOCKS, FREDERICK WILFRED, died on February 23, 1996, aged 77. Freddie Stocks was a Nottinghamshire all-rounder who never achieved the classic double, but instead managed a unique one: a century in his first match and a wicket with his first ball. Yorkshire-born but Nottinghamshire-raised, Stocks played a few wartime games for the county and was picked for the first game after the war, against Kent. He came to the crease with the score 66 for five and 114. It was six weeks and ten games before he was given a bowl, at Old Trafford, but he immediately had Winston Place caught at the wicket. By then he had already played in a Test trial at Lord's, but he made just 19 and Stocks became one of only three players in that match never to play Test cricket. He settled into a career of playing fighting middle-order innings for his county, and switched from bowling medium pace to off-spin. Ten years after his sensational entry, and close to his exit, he had one more brilliant day, scoring 171 against the 1956 Australians, the highest score ever for Nottinghamshire against the Australians.

TEBAY, KEVAN, who died on August 13, 1996, aged 60, played 15 matches for Lancashire between 1961 and 1963. He rescued the county from 14 for four by scoring 106 against Hampshire in 1962, and shared century stands with Brian Booth in both innings against Worcestershire the following year. However, he quickly returned to the Bolton League where he became a local legend, mainly as a batsman for Egerton. His three sons all followed him into the League.

THOMAS, CECIL H.,died on September 1, 1996, aged 69. Bruiser Thomas represented British Guiana as an all-rounder throughout the early 1950s and later became chairman of selectors and Guyana's representative on the West Indies Board. He was also one of Guyana's best-known radio personalities, acting as summariser on cricket commentaries and hosting the weekly programme Sports Action Line.

THOMAS, DILLWYN, who died on August 27, 1996, aged 91, was a medium-pacer who played just two matches for Glamorgan in 1939, but took a match-winning five for 64 at Ilford on his debut.

TICKOO, R. C., died on November 15, 1995, aged 88. Ramjoo Tickoo was regarded as the father of cricket in Jammu and Kashmir. He was a founder of the Jammu Cricket Club, the Kashmir Cricket Club and the joint Cricket Association, which first entered the Ranji Trophy in 1959-60 with Tickoo, then 53, as player-manager. He was a fast-medium bowler in his youth and took all ten wickets in a non-first-class match against a visiting Bombay side in 1935.

TYLER, Professor CYRIL, who died on January 25, 1996, aged 84, played 16 matches for Gloucestershire between 1936 and 1938, bowling off-spin and, occasionally, leg-spin. He was an agricultural chemist and became deputy vice-chancellor of Reading University from 1968 to 1976.

WARNER, JOHN EDWIN, who died on October 31, 1995, aged 84, umpired two Tests in South Africa in the 1960s. The second, against England at Cape Town, was dominated by two disputes about his decisions regarding close catches: Eddie Barlow stood his ground when given not out and went on from 41 to 138; Ken Barrington walked.

WATERMAN, ALFRED GEORGE, died on March 27, 1996, aged 84. Tiny Waterman (who was 6ft 2in) was an all-rounder who made ten appearances as an amateur for Essex in 1937 and 1938, taking four for 79, bowling fast-medium, on debut against Yorkshire, and scoring a match-winning 103 at Bath the following year. He then devoted himself to club cricket and the timber trade, but returned to Essex to exercise fierce financial control as treasurer when the club contemplated extinction in 1967. A decade later he became chairman and was able to enjoy the team's first trophies.

WATT, LESLIE, died on November 15, 1996, aged 72. Les Watt had a very brief Test career, scoring 0 and 2 in his only match for New Zealand, against England on his home ground at Dunedin in 1954-55. This contrasted with his usual performances: he was a defensive batsman who for a long while opened the innings for Otago with Bert Sutcliffe, whose left-handed dash received the ideal back-up from Watt's right-handed solidity. Against Auckland in 1950-51 they shared what is still the highest opening partnership in New Zealand, 373. Sutcliffe had 258 by the last over of the day; Watt had just 96 and was caught off the last ball. His first-class career lasted from 1942-43 (when he represented South Island Army) until 1962-63.

WELBY-EVERARD, Major-General CHRISTOPHER EARLE, KBE, CB, who died on May 10, 1996, aged 86, played six times for Lincolnshire in the 1930s. He was the last British General to command the Nigerian army.

WERAPITIYA, T. B., died on May 18, 1996, aged 71. Tissa Werapitiya was president of the Sri Lankan Cricket Board between 1979 and 1981, when the country was elevated to Test status. He later became Minister of Internal Defence. Werapitiya was an all-round sportsman who scored 96, 100 and 143 in successive years for St Anthony's College against Trinity in Kandy's big schools match. He was also a successful bowler in Ceylonese club cricket; while playing for Police against a touring Indian army team he returned figures of 10.5-7-8-9.

WHITFIELD, EDWARD WALTER, died on August 10, 1996, aged 85. Ted Whitfield was an orthodox, skilful but rather diffident batsman who played more than 100 games for Surrey between 1930 and 1939, and passed 1,000 runs in 1938 when he hit 198 against Cambridge. He played for Northamptonshire in 1946 before becoming games master and coach at St Paul's School.

WILMOT, KILBURN, who died in April 1996, aged 85, was a swing bowler who played 75 matches for Warwickshire between 1931 and 1939. He played professional football for Coventry City and Walsall.

YOUNG, DOUGLAS EDMUND, who died on December 27, 1995, aged 78, was a leg-spinner all-rounder who won an Oxford Blue in 1938. He took six for 58 against Lancashire that year. In the 1950s he played for Berkshire.

© John Wisden & Co
 
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