Rolph Stewart Grant
December 15, 1909, Port of Spain, Trinidad
October 18, 1977, Oakville, Ontario, Canada, (aged 67y 307d)
Right hand bat
Right arm offbreak
Rolph Stewart Grant, who died on October 18, aged 67, was the younger of two brothers, both Cambridge blues, to captain the West Indies. Not a distinguished player at Cambridge, he owed his selection for one of the last places in 1933 largely to his superb fielding: he was a soccer blue and an Amateur International goalkeeper. But he was also a useful bat in the lower half of the order and a useful bowler of slow off-spin round the wicket and fully justified his place. He dismissed three of the first four Oxford batsmen for 44 runs and made an astonishing catch at short leg to get rid of F. G. H. Chalk, a very dangerous player.
Returning to the West Indies, he played in the Tests against the M.C.C. side in 1934-35 and in the fourth made his highest Test score, 77. Appointed captain of the West Indian side in England in 1939 and faced by mid-June with the awkward problem of finding an opening partner for J. B. Stollmeyer, he solved it with characteristic courage by going in first himself and continued to do so until the end of the tour with very fair success. Against Lancashire he made 95, his highest score of the season, but certainly his best innings was in the Old Trafford Test when, opening after England had declared at 164 for seven on a wicket which was not easy and was likely to become rapidly more difficult, he scored 47 out of 56 in thirty-eight minutes including three 6's off Goddard. When he was out the whole crowd rose to him, a tribute seldom paid to so short an innings. Earlier that day he had taken the wickets of Hutton and Hardstaff for 16 runs. Though he was obviously short of the experience which most Test captains have, he proved himself in other ways an admirable leader.
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