30 June 1999

John Langridge - Sussex batting legend dies


John Langridge, who scored more first-class runs for Sussex than any other batsman, died on Sunday in a nursing home at Eastbourne at the age of 89. He was born on 10 February 1910.

A loyal servant of Sussex for 27 years, John Langridge was unlucky not to follow his elder brother James into the England team (his nephew Richard also represented the county). The nearest he got was selection for the party to tour India in 1939-40, cancelled due to the 2nd World War. He was arguably the best English batsman never to play in a Test, though he got a measure of compensation by being a Test umpire in later life. He made his first class debut in 1928 at the age of 18, and carried on accumulating runs for Sussex until 1955. An opener, he scored 34,380 runs at 37.45 between 1928 and 1955, with 76 hundreds and a top score of 250*.

He had a somewhat inelegant method, with a hunched stance, and defending with bat close to pad at all times. He sold his wicket dearly, and could play his shots along with the best of them at times. His 76 centuries are a Sussex record, and his 776 catches are the most for any county - many players were dismissed caught by John and bowled by James. He was a specialist slip fielder, surpassed only by Hammond amongst comtemporaries - he took 69 catches in his final season, a remarkable figure for a man of 45. On retirement he joined the first-class umpires list, serving with distinction until 1980, and umpiring 7 Tests. He was awarded the MBE for services to cricket.

It was intended that Sussex players would wear black armbands on Monday during their National League match against Northamptonshire in memory of John Langridge, until the match was washed out.

Source :: CricInfo365