Billy Griffith      

Full name Stewart Cathie Griffith

Born June 16, 1914, Wandsworth, London

Died April 7, 1993, Felpham, Sussex (aged 78 years 295 days)

Major teams England, Cambridge University, Surrey, Sussex

Batting style Right-hand bat

Fielding position Wicketkeeper

Other Administrator

Stewart Cathie Griffith
Batting and fielding averages
Mat Inns NO Runs HS Ave 100 50 6s Ct St
Tests Insights on test 3 5 0 157 140 31.40 1 0 0 5 0
First-class 215 336 41 4846 140 16.42 3 15 328 80
Bowling averages
Mat Inns Balls Runs Wkts BBI BBM Ave Econ SR 4w 5w 10
Tests Insights on test 3 - - - - - - - - - - - -
First-class 215 18 23 0 - - - 7.66 - 0 0 0
Career statistics
Test debut West Indies v England at Port of Spain, Feb 11-16, 1948 scorecard
Last Test South Africa v England at Port Elizabeth, Mar 5-9, 1949 scorecard
Test statistics
First-class span 1934 - 1954

Wisden obituary
Stewart Cathie Griffith, CBE, DFC, TD, died aged 78 in a nursing home at Felpham in Sussex on April 7, 1993, after a long and trying illness. Batting as a makeshift opener in the Port-of-Spain Test of 1947-48, Billy Griffith became the first man to score his maiden first-class century for England and the only man to do so on debut. Later, he became secretary of MCC and guided the club from 1962 to 1974, during which time the club's role and the game itself changed profoundly. At Dulwich, in spite of making more than 1,200 runs during four years in the XI, Griffith lived in the shadow of his friend Hugh Bartlett, whose scoring was phenomenal. However, when he took up wicket-keeping, he found an identity of his own. He won his Blue in his second year at Cambridge, 1935. It is a long time since Cambridge had a better wicket-keeper, said Wisden. He toured Australia and New Zealand with a young MCC team under Errol Holmes in 1935-36, but lost his Cambridge place the following year to Paul Gibb. Griffith returned to Dulwich as cricket master, moved from Surrey (for whom he had played once) to Sussex and became first-choice keeper in 1939. He had a heroic war as an officer in the Glider Pilot Regiment, along with Bartlett. As second-in-command he carried the commander of the 6th Airborne Division, Major-General Windy Gale, into Normandy, crash-landing after being caught in a storm. He also took part at Arnhem and won the DFC. His exploits make his subsequent heroism on the cricket field easier to comprehend. After the war Griffith became captain and secretary of Sussex. Though he rapidly stood down as captain, he maintained his wicket-keeping form to be chosen for the 1947-48 tour of the West Indies. Called in as opener because three leading batsmen were unfit, he played an epic innings in the Second Test, battling for six hours and scoring 140. He would say later that he had to stay out there because he had run out his opening partner Jack Robertson for two and dared not face his captain's wrath. He toured South Africa in 1948-49 and played in the last two Tests before retiring to become cricket correspondent of the Sunday Times for two years and then one of two MCC assistant secretaries to Ronnie Aird. Ten years later he became secretary. Immediately afterwards, amateur status was abolished and one-day cricket began. In 1968, MCC surrendered its controlling role to the TCCB and cricket became embroiled in the D'Oliveira affair. Griffith was a man of enormous natural charm who never liked to say an unkind word to anyone, however acute the crisis; this sometimes meant that other people at MCC had to take the more unpleasant decisions.
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack

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Billy Griffith, MCC secretary, at the time of the Stop The Seventy Tour campaign

Billy Griffith, MCC secretary, at the time of the Stop The Seventy Tour campaign

© The Cricketer International


The first draw for the Gillette Cup at Lord's, 1963.   Billy Griffith (left), Donald Carr and J Dunbar officiate

The first draw for the Gillette Cup at Lord's, 1963. Billy Griffith (left), Donald Carr and J Dunbar officiate

© The Cricketer International

Aug 22, 1940

A Pelham Warner XI which played at Lord’s in August 1940. Back: Billy Griffiths, Greville Stevens, Walter Robins, Gubby Allen, Reginald Taylor, Len Hutton. Front: 
George Heane, Bryan Valentine, Freddie Brown, Learie Constantine.

A Pelham Warner XI which played at Lord’s in August 1940

© Martin Williamson

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Northants won by 2 runs (D/L method)
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Yorkshire won by 29 runs
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Essex won by 7 wickets (with 36 balls remaining)
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