Obituary

William Greswell

GRESWELL, WILLIAM TERRITT, who died on February 12, aged 81, was reputed to be the first bowler to introduce the in-swinging delivery to first-class cricket. Gaining his colours at the age of 15, he was in the Repton XI from 1905 to 1908, heading the bowling figures in the last season with 59 wickets for 12 runs each. He began playing for Somerset in 1908 and continued to do so from time to time until 1933. Meantime he represented Gentlemen against Players three times.

In first-class matches in England, he took 525 wickets for 20.77 runs each with bowling of slow to medium pace, deceptive flight and spin. His best analysis was nine wickets for 62 for his county against Hampshire at Weston-super-Mare in 1923. As a batsman, he hit 2,499 runs, including a century against Middlesex at Lord's in 1909, for an average of 14.95, and he held 91 catches, mostly in the slips, where his fielding reached a high standard. He became President of the County Club in 1962.

It came as a blow to Somerset when Creswell left for Ceylon in 1909 to take up a position with the family tea and rubber estates, though he continued to turn out for the county when on leave. In Ceylon cricket he achieved great things and he became known as the best European player to appear there. Between 1909 and 1923, he disposed of 1,016 batsmen for 8.72 runs each, nearly all of them in first-class fixtures. Twice he took all 10 wickets for Colombo C.C.--for 26 runs against Malay C.C. in 1911 and for 21 runs against Mercantile XI ten years later--and on no fewer than 29 occasions obtained at least eight wickets in an innings. He dismissed four men with consecutive balls against Galle C.C. and three other times in first-class cricket he performed the "hat-trick". In 1911, he set up a Ceylon record with 232 wickets for just over eight runs apiece.

Besides his cricketing ability, Creswell showed aptitude at other ball games. He played hockey for Somerset and the West of England and captained hockey and Association football teams in Ceylon. He also won the Ceylon A.A.A. half-mile championship.

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