August 10, 1912, Horsham, Sussex
December 19, 2007, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, (aged 95y 131d)
Right hand Bat
Charlie Oakes was a genuine allrounder - a middle-order batsman and legspinner, albeit one for whom the topspinner and googly became the stock balls - who was a regular member of the Sussex side either side of the war. He made his debut in 1935 and within two years was established in the side, scoring more than 640 runs and taking 37 wickets in his first full summer. The war came when Oakes was 27 - he immediately joined the RAF - and by the time county cricket resumed he was almost 35. But, with retirements giving him more responsibility, he matured and his best seasons followed - he passed 1000 runs in each of the next five years as well as passing 50 wickets in each. In 1950 he made 1543 runs and took 72 wickets, both bests. The closest he came to international honours was in 1948 when he was mentioned as being a possible tourist to South Africa.
His form with bat and ball fell away after his 40th birthday and he retired in 1954, succeeding his father as groundsman at Horsham - Charlie and his three brothers and one sister had grown up on the ground - before becoming a coach at Stowe School. He was renowned for being a laid-back character who could often be found dozing when it was his turn to bat.
Batting & Fielding