AFZAAL AHMED RIZVI, SYED, who died on April 23, aged 66, was a batsman from Karachi who played 91 first-class matches for various sides in Pakistan; his six centuries included an undefeated 155 for National Bank against PIA at Faisalabad in 1981-82. He had a season in the Lancashire League as Colne's professional, and later became an umpire, standing in a one-day international in 1994-95, and acting as the TV official in other games.
AMINUL HAQUE MONI, who died on May 31, aged 66, was general secretary of the Bangladesh Cricket Board from 1991 to 1996, and later served on their board of directors.At his suggestion, all Dhaka Premier League matches in 1996-97 were contested on artificial pitches as preparation for the 1997 ICC Trophy in Malaysia. Bangladesh won the tournament, and qualified for their first World Cup, in England in 1999.
AMM, PHILIP GEOFFREY, who died on September 10, aged 51, was a consistent opening batsman who made a dozen first-class centuries in South Africa. The best was an 11-hour 214 against Transvaal to set up Eastern Province's maiden Currie Cup title in the 1988-89 final. "He wasn't Herschelle Gibbs in terms of talent," remembered Jimmy Cook,who played for Transvaal in that match. "But he was gutsy." Amm, whose older brother Peter also played first-class cricket, was unfortunate that his best years coincided with South Africa's exile. But he was still on the fringe of selection when they returned in 1991-92, and was a useful one-day performer, finishing with five hundreds. He suffered with alcohol-related problems in later life.
ATKINSON, GRAHAM, who died on November 12, aged 77, was a heavy scorer who was close to England selection in the early 1960s. Born in Yorkshire, but recommended to Somerset by the Taunton favourite and renowned coach Johnny Lawrence, Atkinson made his debut aged 16 in 1954, although it was five seasons before he became a county regular,partly because of two years' national service.
While on leave from the RAF in July 1958 he made 164 against Warwickshire at Taunton, and was promptly capped; the following summer - fully available again - he amassed 1,727 runs. "He was very strong on the on side," said his long-time opening partner Roy Virgin."He always had so much time to play the quick bowlers - never looked ruffled. And he could really dig in on bad wickets."In 1960, Atkinson compiled a career-best 190 against Glamorgan at Bath, a fortnight after being involved in a unique feat against Cambridge University at Taunton.
Atkinson and Virgin put on 172in the first innings and 112 in the second,while Roger Prideaux and Tony Lewis started with 198 and 137 for the students:it remains the only first-class match to contain four century opening stands. "We were good as a pair," said Virgin, "because I was all off side - at first, anyway."Atkinson just missed out on 2,000 runs that year, but got there in 1961 (at 23, the youngest Somerset player to do so) and 1962.
The selectors took note: he became a regular in MCC's annual matches against the county champions and the tourists, and took 176 off his native Yorkshire at Lord'sin April 1963. But, with Geoff Boycott and John Edrich about to start long Test careers,Atkinson never quite made the step up,perhaps not helped by his average fielding.He remained a heavy scorer with Somerset until, miffed at being offered only a one-year contract extension for 1967, he upped sticks for Old Trafford. "He was a man of great integrity - probably the best captain Somerset never had," said Virgin.
"The rest of us had been offered two-year deals, but his was only for one, supposedly because of his fielding- although I always thought it was quite good!"Another 1,300 runs - and a second county cap - followed in Atkinson's first season for Lancashire, but his fortunes declined as Jack Bond's side focused more on one-day cricket.After averaging only 24 in 1968 and 1969 he was released, and was lost to the first-class game at 31. He was secretary of Salford rugby league club for a dozen years, then managed Manchester University's sports grounds.After his death, Atkinson's son Richard asked ESPNcricinfo for a copy of their photograph of him. "He always loved it," he said, "because it showed him smashing one over mid-on in an era where opening batsmen did that once a season rather than once an over. Most of his old mates insist it must have been photo shopped."
AUSTIN, RICHARD ARKWRIGHT, died on February 7, aged 60. His death completed a distressing story that had begun with optimism for a bright cricketing future, and ended with years of debilitating cocaine addiction that reduced him to a bedraggled vagrant on the streets of Kingston, dependent on handouts from those who recalled his time as one of Jamaica's finest sportsmen.
In his more coherent moments, Austin would chat intelligently about the state of West Indies cricket and his experiences as a fine all-rounder not just for Jamaica but for several West Indian sides. These comprised two Tests, World Series Cricket, and two rebel teams that toured apartheid South Africa in the early 1980s. In his youthful heyday, he was also a noted footballer, and might have played for Jamaica but for cricket.An opening batsman and versatile bowler capable of taking the new ball or switching to off-spin, Austin forced his way into the West Indies side when Australia toured early in 1978.
He was almost impossible to ignore: he started the home season with 74 against the Combined Islands and 127 against a Guyana attack including Colin Croft, then scored 88 and 56, and took four for 45 and eight for 71, against Trinidad. Austin played in the first two Tests, but signed for WSC's second season before the Third and was promptly dropped, along with two other Packer players, triggering a mass withdrawal of all the rebels, led by captain Clive Lloyd.When WSC ended, Austin could not break back into the Test team, and started looking for other opportunities.
The South Africa tours offered lucrative pay, as well as competitive cricket in another land;like several others, he underestimated the depth of feeling against the apartheid regime, particularly in Jamaica, where the government were fiercely opposed to any contact, let alone by a team of black West Indians. On their return, Austin and the other Jamaicans - the captain Lawrence Rowe, Herbert Chang, Everton Mattis and Ray Wynter - were treated as pariahs, forsaken by their countrymen and, most hurtfully, by previous team-mates.Rowe moved to Miami, where he started a successful new life. Mattis and Wynter also emigrated to the States to avoid the public anger. Unable to follow, Austin and Chang were left broken, at first condemned by society,then forgotten. Chang, a Jamaican of Chinese descent who won a solitary Test cap in India in 1978-79, became a recluse. Austin turned to drugs, surfacing occasionally as "Danny Germs" in sorrowful interviews.
AZMAT RANA, who died on May 30, aged 63, played one Test for Pakistan against Australia in his native Lahore in 1979-80, scoring 49 in his only innings of a high-scoring draw. A left-hander who cut and drove well, he had already played two one-day internationals, against India, but never appeared again, despite amassing over 6,000 runs in first-class cricket, with 16 centuries - the highest 206 not out for Punjab Greens against North West Frontier Province at Peshawar in 1977-78. He had also toured England, in 1971 - but was unable to shrug off malaria - and New Zealand in 1972-73, without much success. Azmat was a member of a prominent cricketing family: his brother Shafqat Rana and two nephews also represented Pakistan, while the umpire Shakoor Rana was another brother.
BANNON, Dr JOHN CHARLES, AO, who died on December 13, aged 72, was a reforming Labor Party Premier of South Australia from 1982 to 1992. Bannon was forced to resign after taking the blame for the collapse of the state bank, and retired to study for a doctorate in Australian history and watch cricket quietly - before Ian McLachlan, the president of the South Australian Cricket Association and a political opponent, recruited him to join the SACA board. Bannon's skills and contacts were crucial in securing the redevelopment of Adelaide Oval; he also became a member of the Cricket Australia board, taking special responsibility for both the indigenous game and speech making (at which he excelled). He was a charming, modest, gifted and honourable man who genuinely loved cricket; but for the cancer that bedevilled his last decade, he might have brought these qualities to global administration.
BARBER, RICHARD TREVOR, died on August 7, aged 90. A hard-hitting batsman for Wellington, Trevor Barber played one Test for New Zealand, at home on the Basin Reserve against West Indies in 1955-56, in the absence of the injured Bert Sutcliffe. Barber pulled off a fine gully catch to dismiss Garry Sobers - although Barber was lucky to still be on the field. "I was at silly short leg, the bowler bowled a short one, Sobers hooked it and it went past my right ear, just touched right there, and went for six. Had it been a little bit closer, I would have been gone." When he batted, Barber was out cheaply twice, trying to sweep Sonny Ramadhin, and was dropped for good. He turned down the chance to be twelfth man in the next match, as he had to work - and missed New Zealand's inaugural Test victory after 26 years of trying. More consistent runs might have earned him a recall, but he always liked to attack: the Dominion Post was not alone in wondering"how much greater Barber would have been with more patience". He made only one first-class century, 117 at Wellington in 1953-54, which just failed to secure victory over Otago. Barber had been New Zealand's oldest surviving Test player, and succeeded by John Reid.
BARRABLE, PETER RITCHIE, who died on September 17, aged 72, played 16 first-class matches for Northern Transvaal over a decade from 1964-65. He made 73 after opening against Orange Free State in Pretoria in 1974-75. By then he was Northern Transvaal's captain and, in an unusual double, their president. "He had the skills and knowledge to lead in the boardroom and on the field," said Jacques Faul, the current association's chief executive.
BARUAH, HEMANGA, who died of liver failure on November 14, aged 49, was a medium-pacer who took 50 wickets in 20 Ranji Trophy matches for Assam, with a best of five for 38 against Tripura at Guwahati in 1991-92. In March 1985 he played an Under-19 Test at Patna, sharing the new ball with Jaspal Singh (see below) and dismissing Tom Moody and the Australian captain Dean Reynolds.
BILBIE, ANTHONY ROBIN, died on August 29, aged 73. An attacking batsman, Robin Bilbie played 14 matches for Nottinghamshire without improving on his debut 39 against Hampshire at Trent Bridge in 1960. He did make a hundred for the Second XI in 1962,but was released at the end of the following season.BISHOP, JAMIE, was found dead at his home on May 1, after an apparent heart attack.He was 44. A wicket keeper who scored heavily for the Pontarddulais club, and also represented the Wales national team, Bishop played one first-class match for Glamorgan -against Oxford University in the Parks in 1992 - and made 51 not out in his only innings.The previous year he had scored 50 for Wales against the West Indian tourists at Brecon.
BLAKE, DAVID EUSTACE, who died on May 21, aged 90, was an attractive left-hand batsman and wicket keeper who made 50 appearances for Hampshire. On his debut, against Combined Services in 1949, he made 47 and 54 after stumping Peter May. Blake scored 100 in a Championship victory over Somerset at Bournemouth in 1954, and five years later another round 100, for Free Foresters against Oxford University in the Parks. He had opened at Aldenham School with John Dewes (see below), a future England batsman, and in 1960, playing for MCC against Ireland in Dublin, went in first with Len Hutton, who made 89 in his final first-class innings. Blake fitted cricket in around his work as a dentist in Portsmouth. His older brother John - an Oxford Blue who also played for Hampshire -was killed in action in Yugoslavia in 1944.
BOWYER, WILLIAM, RA, who died on March 1, aged 88, was a distinguished land scapeand portrait artist, whose love of cricket inspired one of his best-known works - the vivid depiction of Viv Richards playing a characteristically aggressive pull, now in the National Portrait Gallery. Bowyer was born in the Midlands, and as a young man played for Leekin the North Staffordshire League. He spent some of the Second World War working underground in the Staffordshire coalfield as a Bevin Boy. But, when his cricketing prowess became known to the colliery management, he was swiftly transferred to a job in the offices so he could play for the pit team. Bowyer became a fast bowler and front line batsman for Chiswick CC, and always said he would not paint a batsman playing a stroke he could not execute himself. Other subjects included Mike Gatting, Ian Botham and Bob Willis, and in 1987 he was commissioned by MCC to paint the bicentenary match at Lord's.
BRAILSFORD, FRANK COLLISS, died on June 19, aged 81. A regular in Derbyshire's Second XI in the 1950s, "Jim" Brailsford played only three first-team games, all in August 1958 - but they were eventful ones. On his debut, against Sussex at Derby, he had Ted Dexter caught from his first ball in first-class cricket, while his second match - against Hampshire at the old Ind Coope ground in Burton-on-Trent - saw 39 wickets go down on the second day (Derbyshire had made eight for one on the rain-affected first).Hampshire were skittled for 23 and 55 in a match containing only one bowling change; Brailsford's 14 after opening in the second innings remained his highest score. He was associated with the Chesterfield club for more than 70 years, although he was Undercliffe's professional when they won the Bradford League in 1970 and 1971. Later Brailsford joined the Derbyshire committee, and was their vice-chairman for a time.
BRIND, HENRY THOMAS,MBE, who died on August 31, aged 85, was the best-known groundsman in cricket, and the leading authority on pitch preparation. Brind, always"Harry", made his reputation at The Oval where, as Surrey's head groundsman from 1975 to 1994, he transformed the nature of the square and made the pitches a byword for pace and bounce; batsmen were in his debt as much as fast bowlers. It was fitting that, in the year of his retirement, Devon Malcolm bowled with lightning speed to record his fabled nine for 57 against South Africa. "The surface shone," said Brind. "It was the best pitch Iever prepared." His success was such that he was appointed the ECB's pitch inspector in 2000, and his formula repeated on surfaces around the country.
Brind was born in Hammersmith, just a few miles from the ground where he made his name, but his early ambitions centred on football: he was good enough to be recruited by Chelsea, who won the League under Ted Drake in 1955, but a knee injury ended his chances of becoming one of Drake's Ducklings, as Fleet Street dubbed the club's youth-team graduates. He first worked as a groundsman at a school in Putney, before moving to Barking side and, when Trevor Bailey begged a loan from Warwickshire to secure Essex's first permanent ground at Chelmsford in 1965, Brind was hired. He had a minuscule budget and no assistance. "We had no proper covers - only trestles with sheets draped over them."Nevertheless he created an excellent square, and his work came to the attention of administrators at Test venues. Surrey, keen to lose their reputation for slow, lifeless pitches, took him on, but Brind soon realised he had his work cut out: "If you dropped a ball from a 16-foot pole, it should bounce two or three feet, but when I arrived at The Oval, it was bouncing three inches." Brind persuaded Surrey that the square needed relaying after his initial excavations revealed compressed loam to a depth of around a foot;underneath that was nothing but shale. He knew that the construction of the M11 in Essex meant there was a surfeit of Ongar loam, and tons were brought to The Oval, where Brind mixed it with Surrey loam.
It was his magic formula.The transformation did not happen overnight, though the first time a relaid pitch was used in a Test - for the final match of the 1981 Ashes - it drew praise from the captains,Mike Brearley and Kim Hughes. Brind also insisted on better equipment, and argued that groundstaff should concentrate on their main tasks, not clearing rubbish from the stands at the close of play. He had a testimonial season in 1993, and was succeeded at The Oval by his son Paul. His work with the board saw him advise on pitch preparation around Britain,as well as in Australia, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. He also laid the square at Sir Paul Getty's ground at Wormsley.
On his death, the Surrey flag flew at half-mast over the pavilion. "Harry produced some of the best pitches I ever played on, with terrific pace and bounce," said Alec Stewart."He was one of the most forward-thinking groundsmen in the world." In retirement Brind moved back to Essex, and in later life was forced to accept the role of supervisor while his wife Pat mowed their immaculate grass. "We have the finest lawn in Chelmsford,"she said.
BROWN, WILFRED MARTIN, died in a fire which destroyed his home in the southern Queensland town of Warwick on April 25. He was 85. He played two unsuccessful matches for Queensland, yet his unwavering patience and defensive skills made him a thorn in the side of a succession of touring teams for Country XIs, his best effort 78 against MCC at Rockhampton in 1954-55.
BULBULIA, AHMED SAMED, died on July 10, aged 82. Sam Bulbulia, a member of a prominent Johannesburg cricketing family, was a fine batsman who represented Transvaal's non-white side for many years, including some of the later games (from 1971-72) which are now considered first-class. He played for the South African non-white team, led by Basil D'Oliveira, in representative matches against the touring Kenyans in 1956-57. Soon after that, his family were ordered to leave their home in the Johannesburg suburb of Fietas and move 20 miles away to the non-white township of Lenasia, in accordance with the apartheid government's Group Areas Act - but the Bulbulias defiantly stayed put, and were still there in 2015. Sam remained active in cricket, and in 2014 was one of the inaugural recipients of Cricket South Africa's Heritage Blazers, which recognised prominent players and administrators from the apartheid era. His brother, Mahmood"Koeka" Bulbulia - a swing bowler - died eight days later, aged 80.
BURROWS, ALFRED, who died on August 16, aged 61, had a peculiar career in Indian domestic cricket, scoring 193 - his fourth first-class century - in what turned out to be his final match, for Railways against Vidarbha in December 1985. A stylish batsman, born into an Anglo-Indian family in Madras, Burrows had twice been selected for Central Zone,including against the 1983-84 West Indian tourists; he made 31 against an attack spearheaded by Michael Holding and Wayne Daniel. He later took up coaching and umpiring, and stood in the first two seoasons of the unauthorised Indian Cricket League.Four years before his death he emigrated to Western Australia.
BYFIELD, ARNOLD STANLEY,OAM, died on July 4, aged 91. "Bud" Byfield was an outstanding Western Australian country cricketer whose uncomplicated batting and medium-pace earned him six state matches in the early 1950s. In 1993, he was given the Medal of the Order of Australia for his extensive involvement in Aussie Rules as player,umpire and administrator. His sister, Joan, is the mother of the former Test batsman Geoff Marsh, and grandmother of current internationals Shaun and Mitchell.
CAMACHO, GEORGE STEPHEN, died on October 2, aged 69. Steve Camacho was the longest-serving chief executive of the West Indies Cricket Board, and the last Test cricketer to hold the position. Appointed the first executive secretary in 1982, he operated virtually on his own from a small office at Kensington Oval in Bridgetown. He was upgraded to CEO when the board moved their headquarters to Antigua, but stood down in 2000 after the first signs of the cancer that eventually killed him. During his 18 years in charge he also served as manager, assistant manager and selector of West Indies teams, and was a valued member of the ICC's chief executives' committee.
A Guyanese of Portuguese descent, he was one of their last white Test players. A patient, technically correct opener who batted in glasses, Camacho played 11 Tests for West Indies and 35 times for his native Guyana between 1964-65 and 1978-79. His modest averages - 29 in Testsand 34 in first-class cricket - did little justice to his talent, which was first evident in an innings of 157 for Guyana Colts against the Australian tourists in 1964-65 at Bourda, where he had developed his passion for the game.
He was then 19. A year later, he made the first of his seven first-class centuries: 106 for Guyana against Trinidad at Queen's Park Oval. He was part of a phenomenally powerful batting side, which included his dashing left-handed opening partner Roy Fredericks, Rohan Kanhai, Basil Butcher, Joe Solomon and Clive Lloyd, and later Alvin Kallicharran. Camacho's 87 against England at Port-of-Spain in his debut series in 1967-68 remained his highest Test score: "He played hitherto unrevealed strokes all round the wicket," reported Wisden.
He struggled in Australia in 1968-69, but retained his place for the tour of England that followed, where he topped the Test averages with 46. But an unremarkable home series against India in 1970-71 proved his last: an unexpected opportunity to revive his Test career in England in 1973 was cut short by a crushing blow to the face from Andy Roberts in the tour game against Hampshire. He continued playing for Guyana, latterly as captain, until he turned to administration in 1979.During the years when West Indies dominated, he was uncompromising in his attention to detail, and managed the board under the presidencies of Jeffrey Stollmeyer, Allan Rae, Sir Clyde Walcott and Peter Short, who predeceased him by two months (see below). An affable personality, Camacho would speak passionately, humorously and precisely abou this days in the game and the vast number of friends he made.His grandfather, G. C. Learmond, represented British Guiana (as Guyana was known), Trinidad and Barbados in the inter colonial tournaments at the turn of the 20th century, and toured England with the West Indian teams of 1900 and 1906, before they achieved Test status. His father, George Camacho, a left-handed batsman, played 15 matches for British Guiana, three as captain.
CAMPBELL, IAN PARRY, who died on May 31, aged 87, was a prolific wicketkeepe rbatsman at Canford School in Dorset, passing 1,000 runs in 1945 and 1946, when he was called up to play for Kent against Middlesex at Lord's; he had little chance to shine after Les Todd, Jack Davies and Les Ames all made hundreds. That was his only Championship appearance, although he was an Oxford Blue in 1949 and 1950; his highest score, 60 not
out, came against Leicestershire the following year, when he missed the Varsity Match. In all he played 22 first-class games, his 41 dismissals including 16 stumpings (he once made five in an innings in a school match). A fine all-round sportsman, Campbell played hockey for England and rugby for Kent. He later lived in New Zealand.
CLAYTON, RHEINHALT EDWARD, died on October 8, aged 80. "Rene" Clayton never got beyond twelfth man in two seasons on the Glamorgan groundstaff, but became a legendary figure in club cricket in North Wales: a batsman who bowled teasing leg-spin, he did the 1,000-run/100-wicket double for Colwyn Bay in 1976 and 1977, after nine years as Llandudno's professional. Part of the first national team selected by the new Welsh Cricket Association in 1969, Clayton was also Colwyn Bay's groundsman.
CLOUGH, BRIAN, who died on January 28, aged 82, was one of the finest batsmen to appear in the Bradford League, scoring more than 10,000 runs, often choosing between his "hookin' bat" and one for "drivin'". He made his league debut for Spen Victoria's second team when he was 11, and played for the firsts at 14 - but was mainly associated with Bowling Old Lane, helping to keep the inner-city club going during tough times in the 1990s. His son, David, is the Press Association's England cricket reporter.
CORBETT, PETER LLEWELLYN, who died on May 23, aged 74, extended his maiden first-class hundred - against Transvaal B at the Wanderers in January 1963 - to a lofty 237. That remained the record for North Eastern Transvaal until Martin van Jaarsveld made an unbeaten 238 in November 1999 (when the team were known as Northerns). Corbett added 132 in his next match, against Griqualand West, and scored 560 runs in just six matches in 1962-63 - but managed only one more century, three years later. He had played for South African Schools in 1958-59, alongside Ali Bacher and Peter Pollock. His brother, John, also played for North Eastern Transvaal.
DALMIYA, JAGMOHAN, who died on September 20, aged 75, turned an Anglocentric sport into an Indocentric one, converting India's enormous passion for the game into a worldwide marketing tool - to much national joy and international apprehension. Dalmiya was president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India from 2001 to 2004, after stints as secretary in the 1990s. The BCCI had a deficit of 8.5m rupees when he took over; the national broadcaster Doordarshan demanded 500,000 to show each Test, based on an obscure 1885 Act of Parliament. "There is money in cricket," said Dalmiya, "but none of it is coming to the BCCI." And so he set about changing all that. The TV battle came to a head in 1993 when, following a Supreme Court ruling, the BCCI were able to sell the rights for the home series against England for $US40,000. A little more than a decade later, the rights fetched $612m over four years.
With his impeccable safari suit and brushed-back hair, "Jaggu-da", as he was affectionately known, was the picture of a successful businessman. His ambitions as a player had ended when his father died and, aged 19, he had to focus on the family business, the M. L. Dalmiya Construction Company, which built the Birla Planetarium in Calcutta. Until then he had been an enthusiastic opening batsman and wicket keeper for the Rajasthan club in the Calcutta League.
It took him less than a decade to transform the world game. Along with the BCCI president, I. S. Bindra, Dalmiya ensured that the veto enjoyed by England and Australia, the ICC's founder members, was removed. And, at a time when England was seen as the natural home for the World Cup, Dalmiya helped make it a global tournament in both form and content, taking it to the subcontinent in 1987 and 1996.
When he became the ICC's first Asian president in 1997, they had only a few thousand pounds in the bank. On Dalmiya's watch, that swelled to more than $17m. His tactics were a mix of politics, diplomacy, blackmail and charm. First he courted the non-Test countries, each of whom had a single vote to the Full Members' two; guaranteed their support, he took on the rest. His method may have lacked universal appeal, his motives often put down to colonial resentment, but there was no denying his influence. What Tiger Pataudi did on the field, Dalmiya did in the boardroom, forcing respect from countries long used to looking down on Indian cricket.
Now that India's position as the engine that drives world cricket is a cliche´, it is difficult to understand the opposition he had to face from the traditionalists. Malcolm Speed, a former ICC chief executive, once spoke of Dalmiya's "manic determination to make India a world cricketing power", and described him as "the most resolute, able, difficult, prickly and unpredictable man" he had ever met.
Unusually for an administrator, Dalmiya was also a players' man, putting in place central contracts during his time at the BCCI. The former Test captain Anil Kumble called him a "players' president", always keeping the door open for dialogue. "My generation was very comfortable dealing with the board," said Kumble, "because Mr Dalmiya was always receptive." Ian Chappell characterised him as "a man I didn't want to have as an enemy", but added that he did "a hell of a lot for the game". Another ex-captain, Sourav Ganguly, succeeded him as president of the Cricket Association of Bengal.
"These are big shoes to fill," he said. "I began playing cricket when he was the president. He was a companion through my career." The fall came in 2006, when Dalmiya was expelled by the BCCI for alleged misappropriation of funds. He claimed the accusations were unfounded: he didn't need the
money. In July the following year, the Calcutta High Court dismissed the charges and, in 2013, when Narayanaswami Srinivasan was forced to stand aside by the Supreme Court, Dalmiya returned as interim president. In March 2015 he was voted back to power but, his faculties in decline, he was a mere figurehead. Asked once what drove him, Dalmiya replied: "In a corner of our hearts, isn't there a desire for recognition, for having more contacts and friends, being on television and in newspapers?" Simple ambitions from a simple man - but ambitions that changed cricket.
DAULTREY, STUART GEORGE, died on December 14, aged 68. A geography lecturer, Stu Daultrey became one of Ireland's leading umpires, after losing an arm in a motorcycle accident. He stood in two first-class matches, including Ireland's game against Australia A in 1998. After being forced to give up umpiring through ill health, he wrote thought provoking articles for cricket websites.
DAVIDSON, REV. WILLIAM WATKINS, died on May 26, aged 95. Bill Davidson kept wicket for Oxford University in 1947 and 1948, and made four Championship appearances for Sussex; he had been their oldest surviving player. A modest batsman, he reached double figures only three times in 23 first-class innings. Davidson enlisted in the Army during the Second World War, seeing action in Burma and Malaya, even though, as a theological student, he was exempt from military service. He became a chaplain in the Royal Navy, and later a vicar in Surrey and Westminster. On retirement from the church he took up sailing, once being dismasted in a storm in the Bay of Biscay.
DAVIS, ALEXANDER EDWARD, died on August 14, aged 91. A former quantity surveyor, Alex Davis was Warwickshire's scorer for ten years from 1988, and did the job for England in the West Indies in 1993-94 and Australia the following winter. He was therefore in charge of the scorebook for Brian Lara's then-record 375 in the Antigua Test in April 1994, and his 501 not out - still the first-class best - for Warwickshire against Durham at Edgbaston a few weeks later. Davis is the only person known to have seen every ball of both. "The two innings were very different," he reflected in Wisden 1995, "because the first I was doing manually in a scorebook, whereas the second I was doing on the computer and a manual scoresheet, so I was working twice as hard. And the second one was scored at such a rate, we kept having to answer the phone to the press to give the details of each of the fifties. At one time the pressman said: 'Shall I stay on for the next fifty?'"
DE SILVA, PIYAL BANDULA, who died on February 17, aged about 80, was the secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka for two years from 1978. The board had no central office at the time, and meetings were held in de Silva's house in Colombo; his home telephone served as the board's contact number, and he paid for all their international calls. He later founded Score, a cricket magazine, and received an ICC medal for his services to the game.
DEWES, JOHN GORDON, died on May 12, aged 88. It may have been an act of optimism induced by the mood of euphoria, or possibly a gamble forced by a lack of alternatives, but the team for the Third Victory Test against the Australian Services at Lord's in July 1945 included three teenage batsmen. They were "the best schoolboy cricketers of 1944", according to the Press Association: John Dewes and Luke White, freshmen at Cambridge, and Donald Carr, training to become an army officer in Kent. Dewes was not overawed.
"I was in form: I thought I was going to make it," he remembered. "Little did I realise what a big jump I was making." All three were on their first-class debuts, and Dewes enjoyed the most success, scoring 27 at No. 3 in the first innings, despite receiving some sharp blows from Keith Miller, who eventually sent his off stump flying. Promoted to open in the second, he was bowled by Miller for a duck. "I had no idea bowling could be that fast," Dewes told the author Stephen Chalke. "After that match, I always had Keith Miller in the back of my mind."
He later made five appearances in official Tests and - when teaching duties allowed - played for Middlesex until 1956. He was an obdurate left-handed opener, determined rather than stylish. "He was a practical player," said his former Cambridge team-mate Hubert Doggart. "He had a good eye and he was a very strong cutter, hooker and puller." The highlights of Dewes's career were three huge partnerships, all for Cambridge. In May 1949, he and Doggart put on an unbroken 429 in a day against Essex at Fenner's, an English domestic record for the second wicket that lasted until 1974; Dewes made 204. But Doug Insole declared overnight, denying them the chance to pass the world record of 455, set five months earlier by K. V. Bhandarkar and B. B. Nimbalkar for Maharashtra against Kathiawar at Poona. It was suggested that Insole's decision disappointed the players, as well as the fresh posse of pressmen, but Doggart insisted: "We had talked about declaring at tea on the first day. We were quite happy about it - we wanted to win the match."
The following summer Dewes (183) and his great friend David Sheppard put on 343 for the first wicket against the West Indians, again at Fenner's, leaving Alf Valentine and Sonny Ramadhin wicketless. A month later they managed 349 (Dewes 212) at Hove. It was the most productive season of his career: 2,432 runs at 59 left him fifth in the averages. No other batsman matched his nine hundreds, one of which came for Middlesex at Headingley in Len Hutton's benefit match.
Dewes was born in North Latchford, Cheshire, and educated at Aldenham, where he was captain in 1944. That summer he made 107 for The Rest against Lord's Schools, earning selection alongside Carr and White for Public Schools against a Lord's XI, a match interrupted when a V1 flying bomb was seen heading their way over Baker Street. It cut out overhead, landing just outside the ground, but left a coating of dust on the wicket. Play swiftly resumed, and spectators emerged from under their seats to applaud the boys' courage. "It was very frightening," said Dewes.
He made his Test debut at The Oval in 1948, scoring one (bowled Miller) and ten in England's innings defeat. His encounter with Miller three years earlier had left lasting memories: when the Australians visited Fenner's, Jack Fingleton was amused by the amount of improvised padding Dewes had stuffed into his trousers. He played twice against West Indies in 1950, and a second-innings 67 at Trent Bridge was enough to earn him a place in Freddie Brown's squad for the Ashes tour. He played in the first two Tests, but did not get into double figures and was dismissed twice by Miller. Later, he was fond of telling stressed pupils or parents that their anxieties were nothing compared with facing Miller at the MCG.
There were no more Test opportunities, and Dewes moved into teaching full-time, appearing for Middlesex in the holidays. In 1955 he was still good enough to score 673 runs at 48 in eight matches, including a century against a Surrey attack including Alec Bedser, Jim Laker and Tony Lock. He taught at Tonbridge and Rugby, before moving to Australia to become head of Barker College in the Sydney suburbs, where one of Richie Benaud's sons was a pupil. He returned to England in the early 1960s, and became a housemaster and careers teacher at Dulwich. One pupil was Nigel Farage, later to become leader of UKIP; Dewes told him he would make an excellent auctioneer.
He visited Aldenham in 2010 for the first annual match between a John Dewes XI and the school. The connection between the cricketing families of Doggart and Dewes has endured. His son Jim Dewes, a Cambridge Blue in 1978, played for Free Foresters alongside Simon Doggart, Hubert's son. More recently, John and Hubert both had two grandsons at Wellington College, where Jim teaches. In a house match in 2009, James Doggart scored a hundred and Adam Dewes a half-century, almost 60 years to the day after their grandfathers' partnership against Essex.
DIMMOCK, PETER HAROLD, CBE, CVO, died on November 20, aged 94. As a producer and presenter, Peter Dimmock was one of the most influential figures in the history of British television. He made his reputation by overseeing the landmark coverage of the Coronation in 1953, after convincing sceptical Establishment figures that the public deserved to see the event in as much detail as possible. He was always a sports enthusiast
- he had been racing correspondent of the Press Association before joining the BBC - and became a pioneer of the corporation's outside broadcasts, including their sports coverage; he also became well known in front of the camera, presenting Sportsview and later Grandstand. Dimmock produced the BBC's first live Test coverage from outside London - West Indies' ten-wicket victory over England at Trent Bridge in 1950. Much of his skill
lay in negotiating with administrators. He once attended a meeting with senior MCC figures at Lord's, after they had hesitated over signing a new contract for Test coverage. He told them £100,000 was the BBC's "one and final offer". After waiting outside during their deliberations, he returned to be informed the offer was not high enough. "Although it's only of academic interest," the chairman said, "the lowest price we could have accepted
would have been £120,000." Dimmock smacked his hand down on the table: "Done!"
DINDAR, NAZIER, who died of cancer on July 6, aged 49, was an all-rounder who played several games now considered first-class for Transvaal's non-white side, and three for other Transvaal teams in 1991-92, the first season of integration between the various boards. He scored 132 not out against Western Province in a Howa Bowl match in 1988-89, sharing a substantial partnership with Haroon Lorgat, now Cricket South Africa's chief executive, who said: "He was one of the many talented cricketers who were regrettably denied opportunity when in the prime of their lives." Dindar later emigrated to England, although he was working in Saudi Arabia at the time of his death.
DRUMMER, FRANCOIS THEODORE MAX, died on August 3, aged 76. Frankie Drummer was a fast bowler for South Africa's Western Province in the 1960s, and later moved to Transvaal. He was quite quick but, in the days of little or no coaching, rarely swung the ball until a selector noticed he was holding it across the seam. Drummer's eight for 28 (and 11 for 69 in the match) demolished Border for 68 at East London in 1966-67; in his next game, against the touring Australians at Newlands, he dismissed Ian Redpath and Grahame Thomas, then compiled a four-hour 48 as nightwatchman. His brother Desmond also played for Western Province.
DUCKMANTON, ALBERT GEORGE, died on February 1, aged 81. Alby Duckmanton was a handy off-spinning all-rounder who played 17 matches for Canterbury spread over ten years from his debut in 1951-52. On January 19, 1961, he took a career-best five for 29 against Northern Districts at Hamilton, and exactly a year later - in what turned out to be his final game - made his highest score of 69 against Central Districts at Nelson. He then had a long career in cricket administration, becoming Canterbury's chairman and president. Duckmanton served on the New Zealand Cricket Council from 1981 to 1988, when he occasionally managed the national team at home. A talented badminton player and a rugby referee, he was awarded the Queen's Service Medal in 2013 for his contributions to sport.
DUFFY, GERARD ANTHONY ANDREW, died on June 15, aged 84. A hard-hitting batsman who also mixed innocuous-looking leg-rollers with seam-up, Gerry Duffy played for Ireland for 20 years, and at club level for 43, mainly with Leinster. He scored more than 10,000 runs for them, with a highest of 264, and amassed over 900 wickets; they won a dozen league and cup titles during his time. In all he made 55 appearances for Ireland, scoring 79 and 92 against MCC at Clontarf in 1970; the previous year he was part of the side which skittled the West Indian tourists for 25 at Sion Mills. In 1961, his six for 29 against the Australians included the wicket of a rather more distinguished leg-spinner, Richie Benaud - who said during an 80th-birthday tribute, Duffy was the best all-rounder never to have played Test cricket. After finally retiring, he turned to coaching, his star pupils being the Joyce family, five of whom have played for Ireland.
ELLIS, REGINALD SIDNEY, died on June 21, aged 97. Reg Ellis was the last survivor of the famous wartime Australian Services team which toured England, then went to India, and finally entertained around Australia. He was a key member of their attack, able to vary his orthodox left-arm spin with the more exotic, back-of-the-hand variety. He was, as the Perth historian Ed Jaggard had it, "tirelessly effective": 70% of his victims in the five Victory Tests in England in 1945 came from the top six. His best performance was against H. D. G. Leveson Gower's XI at Scarborough, where he bowled the Services to victory with five wickets in each innings. The ensuing slog through the subcontinent and back home in Australia took its toll, but did produce career-best figures of six for 144 in a New South Wales total of 551 for seven.
Ellis had volunteered for the Royal Australian Air Force, his training revealing skills which led him to become a flight instructor in the UK. From 1944 he flew ten missions with the Lancasters of No. 463 RAAF Squadron. Back in Australia, he found work as a flying instructor with the Royal Aero club of South Australia; the job often required weekend work, and he played only one further state match, against Victoria in March 1946. Working hard again, he took five for 210. In 2011, Ellis was a guest of honour at Sachin Tendulkar's Bradman Oration at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. On the flights to and from Adelaide, he amused himself by rating the skill of the take-offs and landings.
ERICKSON, BERT, who died on May 28, aged 83, was a tireless administrator in South African non-white cricket, chiefly with Avendale in Cape Town, which - helped by the England batsman and future international coach Bob Woolmer - he helped develop into a club capable of holding their own in the highest division of the local league. Erickson had represented the South African Coloured Cricket Association team during his playing days,
and in 2014 was one of the inaugural recipients of Cricket South Africa's Heritage Blazers.
FAWCETT, GEORGE WALTER, died on December 10, aged 86. Walter Fawcett was a wicketkeeper, primarily associated with the strong Waringstown club in County Down. A schoolteacher, he played a dozen times for Ireland in the late 1950s, and became an umpire.
FEATHER, ROBERT LEIGH, died on July 28, aged 82. A successful Bradford wool merchant, "Robin" Feather captained Yorkshire's Second XI for four years from 1962, starting with youngsters such as Geoff Boycott and John Hampshire under his command. In one early game, against Durham, he sent someone in to run Boycott out, "because he was making no effort to score" in pursuit of a small target. "This was the first real indication I had of just how selfish a player he was," said Feather. Around this time he was mooted as a possible successor to the retiring Vic Wilson as county captain, but the job went to Brian Close. Feather had led Harrow to victory over Eton at Lord's in 1952, topscoring with 38; he played his first game for Yorkshire Seconds in 1958, when they won the Minor Counties Championship. He served on committees at Headingley for 17 years from 1967, standing down after Boycott was reinstated as a player.
FENNER, GROUP CAPTAIN MAURICE DAVID, who died on April 5, aged 86, had the unenviable task of deputising for Godfrey Evans as Kent wicketkeeper in 14 matches between 1951 and 1954. After a successful trial at the end of the war he had been offered a chance to sign for Kent on a full-time basis, but opted to continue his education before joining the RAF. The other 19 of his 33 first-class games were for Combined Services,
including one against the 1953 Australians at Kingston, where he allowed just seven byes in a first-innings total of 592 for four. Fred Trueman, David Allen and Fred Titmus were among the bowlers he kept to while they were on national service. He was secretary of Kent from 1977 until 1982. His father, George, also played for Kent.
FERNANDES, ANTHONY LONGINUS, died on December 19, aged 70. Tony Fernandes was a tall, nippy swing bowler who took exactly 100 first-class wickets, mainly for Baroda, with a best of six for 41 against Maharashtra in 1968-69. And he was a handy batsman, who hit ten first-class fifties. Fernandes also represented West Zone, appearing in three Duleep Trophy finals and against the 1969-70 Australian tourists, when he dismissed Ian
Chappell. His brother Leslie, a wicketkeeper, also played for Baroda; they combined to have Sunil Gavaskar caught behind in a Ranji Trophy match in 1972-73.
FLANAGAN, SIR MAURICE, KBE, who died on May 7, aged 86, was the brains behind the rise of Emirates Airlines. He was appointed in the mid-1980s by the ruling Maktoum family in Dubai to launch the airline, which grew from two planes to a fleet of over 230. Flanagan was a Lancastrian with a passion for sport - he once had a trial for Blackburn Rovers - and believed its value as a marketing tool far exceeded advertising. Australia wore the Emirates logo on their shirts while winning the 1999 World Cup, and he later expanded its involvement in cricket to sponsorship of international umpires and acquiring the naming rights of Old Trafford and Chester-le-Street's Riverside. Flanagan also backed the UAE's own team, as opener Arshad Ali recalled: "Whenever I played a good knock, he would either be present on the ground, or the next day he would telephone and congratulate me."
FLETCHER, DAVID GEORGE WILLIAM, died on April 27, aged 90. While Denis Compton was scoring centuries for fun in the run-soaked summer of 1947, Surrey's Dave Fletcher was quietly acquiring a record of his own: 1,857 runs remains the most by anyone in their first full season of county cricket, beating Herbert Sutcliffe's 1,839 in 1919. In only his second Championship match, Fletcher hit 194 - which remained a career-best - as Surrey piled up 706 for four against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge. He was promptly capped, and the runs continued to flow: he carried his bat for 127 against Yorkshire at Bradford, and two weeks later made 77 for the Players in the annual Lord's match against the Gentlemen. In September he was called up late to play for the North, who were a man short for a festival game at Kingston against the South - and hit 168.
Great things were forecast for this tidy, correct opener with a full range of strokes, but they never quite happened. Second-season syndrome (824 runs at 25) extended over three further summers, not helped by indifferent health, before a renaissance in 1952 under the vibrant new captain Stuart Surridge brought 1,960 runs, with five centuries. That was the first of Surrey's seven successive Championships, and Fletcher contributed to them all,
often opening with Eric Bedser. Surridge felt he was a little too correct, and encouraged him to play his shots. "We were told to get on with it," recalled Fletcher. "He said he wasn't interested in sitting in the pavilion for too long watching us bat." He remained an admirer of Surridge, who was in charge for the first five years of that famous run before handing over to Peter May: "I would say the difference was that Stuart won it for us for five years, and we won it for Peter for two." Even after the glory days, Fletcher made 1,371 runs in 1960, when he was 36. But he retired the following season after breaking a finger, and became a respected coach, particularly associated with Surrey Young Cricketers. Latterly he lived in Cheam, near the playing fields of his old school, Sutton Grammar, and could occasionally be spotted doing the gardening in his old boys' blazer. He was Surrey's oldest surviving player when he died.
FOORD, CHARLES WILLIAM, died on July 9, aged 91. Bill Foord was a bespectacled school teacher - and an enthusiastic fast bowler who enjoyed some success for Yorkshire, taking 126 wickets in 51 matches over six years from 1947. He often shared the new ball with Fred Trueman, who was wary of this academic interloper - rated more highly by the Yorkshire hierarchy, Trueman suspected, because of his accuracy. His mood was not
improved when, sent to Grimsby as twelfth man for the Second XI against Lincolnshire in 1951, he was told off for falling asleep in a deckchair, while Foord took seven for 35. In 1953, with Trueman largely absent on national service, Foord collected 62 wickets, including a career-best six for 63 to set up an innings victory over Hampshire at Bournemouth in August. A fortnight earlier he had taken five for 61 against Surrey at Headingley - the top five in the eventual champions' batting order. That was Foord's best season; but he retired at the end of it, and returned to full-time teaching, although he
continued to play and coach at the Scarborough club, ending up with over 1,000 wickets for them in more than 30 years. "Many players said there was no finer sight than Bill Foord bounding in from the Tea Room End at North Marine Road," said David Byas, a later Scarborough favourite. Foord produced a good-natured book of verse, Cricket Rhymeniscing, in 2010.
FRASER, JOHN MALCOLM, AC, CH, died on March 20, aged 84. Malcolm Fraser was prime minister of Australia from 1975 until 1983 and, like many who have held his country's highest office, a cricket-lover. He was following the World Cup closely at the time of his death, having tweeted his congratulations to Sri Lanka for their valiant performance against Australia at the SCG on March 8. Fraser was a staunch supporter of racial equality and an outspoken opponent of apartheid. He visited Nelson Mandela in prison, and recalled that, among the first questions Mandela asked, was whether Don Bradman was still alive. When Mandela became president years later, Fraser took him a bat inscribed: "To Nelson Mandela, in recognition of a great unfinished innings, Donald Bradman."
FURLONGE, CARL DOMINIQUE, who died on December 18, aged 83, was the oldest of three brothers to represent Trinidad: the middle one, Hammond, won four Test caps in the mid-1950s. Carl's son, David, also played for Trinidad, and is now the coach at the Queen's Park club in Port-of-Spain. A left-hander, Carl made 99 for North Trinidad against the South in the annual Beaumont Cup match in 1959, when it had first-class status; his highest score for the full Trinidad side was just 32. But he is remembered for his exceptional fielding, especially close in on the leg side. His three quicksilver catches at leg slip against the 1954-55 Australian tourists are said to have helped the bowler, Lennox "Bunny" Butler, into the side for the next Test. Without Furlonge's help there, Butler took two for 151 and never played again.
GARDENER, BRIAN EDWARD FRANCIS, who died on January 19, aged 73, invested £2m of his own fortune in a magnificent new ground on the Isle of Wight. He did not live to see his dream of returning first-class cricket to the island for the first time since 1962, but the Newclose ground received many plaudits. Gardener, owner of one of the leading local hotels, had once lived near Sir Paul Getty's ground at Wormsley, and loved to tell
the story of being mistaken for the groundsman by Brian Johnston during one of his strolls around the perimeter. Wormsley proved his inspiration, and Newclose shared many of its attributes, not least the rural setting. Its extensive pavilion cost £900,000, and boasts a large electronic scoreboard and benches modelled on those in the Lord's Pavilion. Newclose hosts home matches for Ventnor in the Southern Electric Premier League, and representative games.
GOVINDAN, I. VELAYUDHAN, who died on March 18, aged about 80, was a medium paced all-rounder who played 15 Ranji Trophy matches for Kerala from 1957-58. After sporadic early success he was ignored for five seasons after 1960-61 but, recalled in November 1966, made an undefeated 102 from No. 9 against Andhra at Vijayawada. However, in the next two games he fell for ducks to two Test bowlers - Syed Abid Ali and Bhagwat Chandrasekhar - and was dropped again, this time for good.
GRAVENEY, JOHN KENNETH RICHARD who died on October 25, aged 90, was a fast-medium swing bowler who mixed great skill with wholehearted commitment, until his career was curtailed by a back injury. Older brother of Tom, and father of David, Ken was the founder of Gloucestershire's Graveney dynasty, and served the county as captain, chairman and president, sometimes in fractious times.
The brothers' talent was not spotted until the family moved to Bristol from their native Northumberland via Lancashire in the late 1930s. At Bristol Grammar, Ken was the star batsman, although the two and-a-half-year age difference meant he and Tom played together only once for the school. Graveney saw active service with the Royal Marines - he took part in the Normandy landings - but, after being demobbed, struggled to adapt to civilian life, and was thinking of re-enlisting when he was offered a week's trial by Gloucestershire.
He did enough to earn a contract, making his debut against Worcestershire at Gloucester in July 1947. His potential was underlined early in 1949, when he took six for 65 against Surrey at The Oval. But even that was put in the shade at Chesterfield in early August, when he took all ten for 66 in Derbyshire's second innings, on what was expected to be a last-day spinners' pitch. While Tom Goddard toiled fruitlessly, Graveney took wickets each time he was recalled to the attack - though when the last pair, Bill Copson and Les Jackson, proved hard to shift, Gloucestershire captain Basil Allen warned him he was in danger of being taken off. If it was a motivational trick, it worked: Copson was soon caught by George Emmett at extra cover.
That summer Graveney took 59 wickets at 28, and passed 500 runs. But he was seldom free from back trouble. He had suffered injuries during his wartime service, and reckoned he had made things worse by bowling flat out during his Gloucester trial. He never gave less than his all, but sometimes had to be helped from the field at the close. At the end of the 1951 season he bowed to the inevitable and retired; Tom wrote that it "nearly broke his heart". There was one more bravura performance: on the last afternoon at Taunton in May, with the match ambling towards a draw, he took five quick wickets, held three catches in the gully off Sam Cook and, promoted up the order, hit a rapid 25 as Gloucestershire sneaked home.
By the late 1950s he was able to play club cricket again, and in 1962 captained Gloucestershire Second XI. But it was still an astonishing development when, in 1963, after 11 years out of the first-class game and at the age of 38, he was asked to take over from Tom Pugh as Gloucestershire's captain. It was the summer in which the distinction between amateur and professionals was abolished, but the club committee remained wedded to the idea of amateur captains, not least because they were cheap. Graveney had forged a successful career in the catering business, and his employers were willing to give him the summer off - but he contributed little as a player, and failed to inspire as a leader.
After Gloucestershire finished bottom of the Championship in 1964, he returned to his business career. His final haul was 172 wickets at 28. But it was not the end of his involvement with Gloucestershire cricket, and he became vice-chairman, then chairman. In 1982, after David had assumed the captaincy, he wondered whether it was ethical to continue but, after deciding to stand again, he was voted out at the AGM. He later served as president, and was Gloucestershire golf captain in 1968. Perhaps his greatest service to the county, however, had come in August 1947 when, in the midst of a hectic season, they were struggling to field 11 players for a Sunday benefit match. He introduced a potential new recruit. "This is my brother," he said. "I can't get the ball past his bat."
GRIFFITHS, SHIRLEY SPENCER, who died on February 3, aged 84, was a fast bowler from Barbados who moved to Birmingham and had three seasons on the Warwickshire staff. Amateur batsmen found his pace hot, but the pros were more capable: of his 74 first-class wickets, only 41 came in the Championship. Still, in 1958 he claimed seven for 62 against Kent, then five for 37 - four bowled and one lbw - as Middlesex were skittled for 77, also at Edgbaston. But five more Championship matches that season produced only seven more wickets and, with Warwickshire having several other seamers, he was released. He continued to terrorise club players on spicier pitches: one batsman, who had trials with Warwickshire, remembered being "conscious of backing away when I saw him start his run-up".
GRIFFITHS, LORD (William Hugh), PC, MC, who died on May 30, aged 91, was decorated for bravery in the Second World War, became one of the most distinguished figures in the British judiciary and, uniquely, president of both MCC and the Royal & Ancient Golf Club. But alongside those considerable achievements he never forgot his excellent record in first-class cricket, nor his experience at the hands of the 1948 Australians.
Griffiths burst on to the cricket scene in 1946, taking six for 129 on debut for Cambridge University against Lancashire. His five for 85 in the Varsity Match could not prevent an Oxford victory; he did bowl Martin Donnelly, but only after he had made 142. Griffiths took 28 wickets at 22 in eight matches that summer, his victims including Vijay Merchant, Bill Edrich, Bob Wyatt and Les Ames. He was seriously quick, once forcing Denis Compton to retire hurt after hitting him in the face. "Hugh really was a tearaway," recalled his Cambridge team-mate Hubert Doggart. "He ran up and let it go." In all, he made 38 first-class appearances, mainly for Cambridge, for whom he won a Blue in each of his three years at St John's College. He also played six times for Glamorgan, four of them in 1948, when he contributed eight wickets to the county's first Championship title.
That summer he also appeared against Don Bradman's Invincibles at Fenner's. Unwisely, given he was no batsman, he taunted the Australians' stand-in captain Lindsay Hassett about the quality of his pace attack. Hassett instructed Keith Miller and Ray Lindwall to "condition the lad a bit". Griffiths' reward was a dented box, courtesy of Miller, who dismissed him twice. But he considered it a privilege to have faced two greats in their pomp. When Tony Lewis suggested he was the eternal No. 11, Griffiths replied: "I never got partners skilful enough to stay with me."
With his luxuriant eyebrows, Griffiths was an unmistakable figure in both the legal and sporting worlds. He became a High Court judge in 1971 and a Law Lord in 1985. He was involved in a number of high-profile cases, including the obscenity trial against the editors of Oz magazine, and the unmasking of the Foreign Office mole Sarah Tisdall. He became MCC president in 1990, and was well placed to advise on a legal dispute over the delayed completion of the Compton and Edrich Stands; he also had to deal with the publicity when Tim Rice proposed Rachael Heyhoe Flint for membership. Griffiths said members had to decide the issue and, while he privately supported women's membership, it was no surprise when a majority voted against. In 1993 he chaired an MCC working party that proposed the amalgamation of the TCCB with the National Cricket Association. In the course of the review, Griffiths - conscious that the Laws of cricket alone could not govern the behaviour of players - composed a Preamble to the Laws. It was based on the understanding that, in his words, "cricket is a game that owes much of its unique appeal to the fact that it should
be played not only within its Laws, but also within the spirit of the game".
HARRIS, NORMAN HILLIER, who collapsed and died in a London street on November 20, aged 75, was perhaps the most original cricket journalist of his generation. He was also well known as an athletics writer and founding father of the fun run sponsored by his then newspaper, The Sunday Times, which was a major event in the early days of the keepfit craze. He may even deserve the credit for rescuing the word "jogging" from disuse
before would-be joggers felt obliged either to run properly or stay on the sofa. But he was also fond of cricket, and as a teenager in his native New Zealand was manning the Hamilton scoreboard in 1958-59 when MCC came to town and Colin Cowdrey was out for a duck. He joined The Sunday Times in 1969, and one of his earliest exclusives was an explanation for a plague of misshapen balls in that summer's county matches: Harris
tracked the fault down to a production error by an assistant in the ball factory. It was a classic Harris story, of the kind he would keep giving the paper for the next 20 years. "He had a curiosity for the bits of cricket nobody else was interested in," said its former deputy sports editor, Nick Mason. "Long before bowlers' speeds were regularly clocked, he was trying to look at old film to work it out. He once got a bee in his bonnet about what percentage of left-handed batsmen were actually left-handed. I think he rang up every lefthander then playing to ask. That was the way his mind worked." Harris also wrote with great zest about village cricket. Later he went to live in Northumberland, and covered Durham's home matches for The Times, but he still brought his quirky interest in bats, balls and other paraphernalia to the Cricket Equipment column in Wisden, which he wrote from its inception in 1993 until 2011.
HASAN JAMIL ALVI, who died on October 7, aged 63, was a left-handed all-rounder who played six one-day internationals for Pakistan, all at home. He took three for 18 at Sahiwal to set up victory over India in October 1978, which helped win a place in the squad for the 1979 World Cup - but he did not appear in any of the matches in England. He was a consistent performer over a 15-year career in domestic cricket, scoring four first-class hundreds - the highest 172 for PIA against Dawood Industries in 1975-76 - and also taking 204 wickets, with a best of five for 38 for Pakistan Universities against Railways in 1973-74
HAYWARD, SIR JACK ARNOLD, OBE, who died on January 13, aged 91, was a businessman who made his fortune from the development of Freeport in the Bahamas, and used much of his wealth in acts of idiosyncratic philanthropy. He became known as "Union Jack"; the Daily Telegraph called him "a British patriot to the point of eccentricity". Hayward was always keen on sport, and poured millions into an unavailing attempt to
restore Wolverhampton Wanderers to their former greatness. His patronage of cricket was less well known, but he was a key benefactor of the women's game, sponsoring two England teams on tours of the Caribbean in the early 1970s. His interest went beyond flourishing his chequebook, however. Rachael Heyhoe Flint, the England captain, recalled: "He threw himself into whatever project he got involved with, and often came to watch us play." Hayward financed the first women's World Cup in 1973 - two years ahead of the men - and was rewarded with an England victory over Australia in the decisive game at Edgbaston. After an approach by E. W. Swanton, he also provided capital for the building of the first indoor school at Lord's in 1978; the net space was named Hayward Hall.
HEATHCOTE, PHILIP, who died in the terrorist attack on Sousse, Tunisia, on June 26, aged 52, was a familiar member of the cricket community in and around Felixstowe. He moved to Suffolk from his native Manchester in the early 1990s, and joined the Felixstowe Corinthians as a fast-medium bowler. "Philip was a good and loyal cricketer," said their president Bob Wilson. "He was a bit fiery. He wanted to win games all the time." On retiring from playing, Heathcote became a coach of the club's junior players, and an umpire. He and his wife Allison (the club secretary) had flown to Tunisia to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary. She was hit by five bullets, but survived.
HILTON, COLIN, who died on October 30, aged 78, was for a few short summers in the late 1950s and early '60s one of the most feared fast bowlers on the county circuit. He joined Lancashire in 1957 via Atherton, his home club, and Ribblesdale Wanderers, and was identified as the long-term successor to Brian Statham. But, as the new decade wore on and Statham showed few signs of decline, Hilton became a victim of the competition for places created by the presence of Ken Higgs and Peter Lever.
He was no more than average height, but broad across the shoulders, and muscular. While his run-up was not especially long, his formidable strength and athleticism generated real pace. A book about his career was called The White Flash: the story of the fastest English bowler of his time, yet he had more than just speed. On a helpful pitch he found seam movement and, blessed with long fingers, mastered the subtleties of cutting the ball. He was, however, prone to nerves. The Lancashire captain Bob Barber recalled a match at Trent Bridge against Nottinghamshire, who included Reg Simpson, then in his forties.
"He bowled a couple of beamers at Reg, who just moved out of the way as they went whistling past. I said: 'What's going on?' Colin replied: 'Sweaty fingers.' He showed me his hands and they were sweaty. His nervousness was genuine." In 1961, Hilton took 75 wickets at 24, and the following season 94 at 26. But his efforts were overshadowed by the internal strife at Lancashire, who were under the captaincy of Joe Blackledge, a 34-year-old amateur with no first-class experience.
They finished second from bottom. Against Nottinghamshire at Liverpool that dismal summer, Hilton took 11 for 127 - and still finished on the losing side. A knee injury meant he hardly featured in 1963, and was released. He had taken 263 wickets at 36 in 91 appearances for Lancashire, but the feeling lingered of potential unfulfilled. "He really was quick, and the batters knew it," said Barber. "If he had concentrated and had discipline he would have gone further."
Hilton moved to Essex in 1964, but endured a traumatic time, Wisden calling him "rather more of a liability than an asset". Unable to cope with the new front-foot no-ball law, he was called 230 times. Hilton moved back to the sanctuary of the leagues, where he prospered again. He was the professional at Oldham, before joining Morecambe in 1968, when he claimed 113 wickets, still the Northern League record. The following season he took all ten wickets against Lancaster on the Saturday, and nine against Kendal on the Sunday.
For a time he lived in a caravan on an isolated part of the Welsh coast near Cardigan, but moved back to Atherton, where he ran the Conservative club with his partner, and coached and umpired at his first club. Hilton's earthy humour made him a popular and rumbustious presence at Lancashire former players' lunches.
HODGSON, PHILIP, who died on March 30, aged 79, was a 6ft 8in opening bowler who played 13 matches for Yorkshire between 1954 and 1956. In his first season, Hodgson (five for 41) combined with Fred Trueman (five for 40) to knock Sussex over for 117 at Hove. A schoolteacher, Hodgson played most of his club cricket for Sheffield United, although he also represented Len Hutton's old team Pudsey St Lawrence. Later, while serving in the RAF, he had four first-class matches for Combined Services.
HOWE, LORD (Richard Edward Geoffrey), CH, QC, PC, died on October 9, aged 88. No politician can ever have used the language of cricket to such seismic effect as the former Conservative Foreign Secretary Geoffrey Howe, in the House of Commons on November 13, 1990. Enraged by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's continued hostility to the European Union, he described her impact on the work of businessmen, financiers and, especially, the Chancellor, John Major, and the Governor of the Bank of England, Robin Leigh-Pemberton. "Mr Speaker, I believe that both the Chancellor and the Governor are cricketing enthusiasts, so I hope there is no monopoly on cricketing metaphors," said Howe, before adding the words that entered political folklore and put in motion a chain of events that led to Thatcher's downfall. "It is rather like sending your opening batsmen to the crease, only for them to find, the moment the first balls are bowled, that their bats have been broken before the game by the team captain." Howe always denied that his wife, Elspeth, who had captained her school team at Wycombe Abbey, had provided the analogy.
HURN, BRIAN MORGAN, OAM, died on October 18, aged 76. "Bunger" Hurn spent a decade as a useful all-rounder for South Australia without ever securing a permanent position. He was an aggressive left-hander, but adaptable enough to take three hours over his highest score of 77, against Queensland in 1964-65. He also claimed five for 62 against the 1958-59 MCC tourists, including Colin Cowdrey, Ted Dexter and Tom Graveney in
quick succession. Hurn was a stalwart of Kensington, Don Bradman's former club, for 18 seasons. He also had a long and successful career in country Australian Rules football; his grandson, Shannon, captained the West Coast Eagles in the 2015 AFL Grand Final. Part of a pioneer family from the Angaston district in South Australia's Barossa Valley, Hurn farmed sheep and cattle, and grew grapes for wine.
HUTCHISON, PAUL JAMES, died of cancer on February 26, aged 47. A peripatetic professional cricketer who bowled at a fair pace from a small frame, Hutchison plied his trade in Queensland before moving to Darwin, then went south to Adelaide, where he took five for 87 on first-class debut, for South Australia against Tasmania in 1991-92. He soon moved to Tasmania, playing three times for them, before returning to Brisbane club cricket, where he was a mentor to the young Shane Watson. Hutchison also had spells with Burnley, Rawtenstall and Walsden in the Lancashire leagues in the 1990s.
IQBAL HUSSAIN SHEIKH died on January 9, aged 80. Iqbal Sheikh was a Karachi doctor who fitted in 22 first-class matches in Pakistan around his medical duties. A batsman and occasional leg-spinner, he scored 91 for Hyderabad against Khairpur in the Ayub Trophy in 1965-66.
JADEJA, LALUBHA RAMSINHJI, who died on July 19, aged 93, played 31 matches in India, mainly for Saurashtra, over a long career that stretched until 1962-63. A medium pacer, he took seven for 61 (and 11 for 137 in the match) against Maharashtra at Rajkot in 1958-59. Three seasons later, by now 39, he claimed successive five-fors against Maharashtra and Baroda. His early matches were for Nawanagar, though he was not a member of their princely Jadeja family, which included Ranjitsinhji and Duleepsinhji.
JASPAL SINGH BANSAL, who died of cancer on November 12, aged 47, was a brisk opening bowler who started with Delhi in the Ranji Trophy, but had more success with Punjab, taking six for 87 against Jammu & Kashmir in November 1989. He was also a handy batsman, spanking 78 against Haryana in the next match. When West Indies toured in 1987-88, Jaspal played for India Under-25 at Chandigarh, and encountered an in-form Viv Richards: "My captain Sanjay Manjrekar asked me not to pitch the ball on the leg side after I had been hit for a couple of boundaries through midwicket - but I was actually bowling outside off stump!" Richards escaped him (he retired after making 138), but Jaspal dismissed Richie Richardson and Roger Harper, and later scored 70. In 2000 he moved to Australia, where he turned out for Dubbo. His older brother, Gursharan Singh, played one Test for India in 1989-90.
JONES, BENEDICT MARK RHYDDERCH, died on April 20, aged 67. Mark Jones was head of the BBC Sound Archives for 15 years, and a studious and dedicated historian of the Corporation's recorded legacy. He was also an enthusiastic member of the Bushmen, the cricket team based at the World Service, after being recruited because he always seemed glued to the Test match. He played in flared whites, and captained the side to a
record eight wins in 1982. Jones's match reports were much enjoyed and, at the end of that summer, he caught the post-Falklands mood: "Arguments rage as to how to celebrate the year of victory. One faction favours a march past Bush House in full cricketing kit; the Bushmen doves talk feebly of an interdenominational thanksgiving service for the sportsmanship of the defeated teams."
JONES, PETER LANGLEY, died on July 10, aged 85. As the indefatigable editor of Record Mirror, Peter Jones was at the epicentre of London's 1960s pop music boom. He wrote one of the first books on the Beatles, but perhaps his most significant contribution was to point the ambitious publicist Andrew Loog Oldham in the direction of a young rhythm and blues band he had seen performing in Richmond. Oldham quickly became
manager of the group, then still called The Rollin' Stones. At school Jones was a talented cricketer and footballer, and had covered both sports for the Sunday Dispatch; he had a lifelong passion for Essex and Chelsea. Jones died at home while watching the First Test of last summer's Ashes. His cricket library has been donated to Essex.
KANITKAR, HEMANT SHAMSUNDER, who died on June 9, aged 72, was a compact batsman, noted for the late cut and an inside-out lofted drive. "He could hit a six over extra cover on demand," remembered Milind Gunjal, a former team-mate. He was also a serviceable wicketkeeper. Kanitkar piled up more than 3,500 Ranji Trophy runs for Maharashtra, beginning with 151 not out on debut, against Saurashtra at Poona in 1963-64.
His dozen centuries for Maharashtra included 250 against Rajasthan in 1970-71; the following season he made 168 for the Rest against an Indian XI. A belated call to national colours came in 1974-75, when he was nearly 32, for the First Test against West Indies at Bangalore. He started by top-scoring with 65, but three failures followed, and he was jettisoned for good. Kanitkar later turned to coaching, and was a state selector. "He had an
astute cricketing brain," said his state colleague Yajurvindra Singh. "He was a fabulous captain to play under, and never ruffled. He had an expressionless demeanour that stood him well, especially when we played cards." His son, Hrishikesh, also played two Tests for India, in Australia in 1999-2000.
KARIA, PANKIL DHIRAJILAL, died on March 29, aged 48, of a presumed heart attack while watching the World Cup final on television. A bowler who won two Under-19 one-day caps for India against Australia in 1984-85, Karia also played twice for Saurashtra.
KENNEDY, GEORGE MICHAEL SINCLAIR, CBE, died on December 31, 2014, aged 88. Michael Kennedy was a distinguished journalist on the Daily Telegraph, and the author of several notable books on music, including biographies of Vaughan Williams and Elgar. His love of cricket was sealed when he saw Walter Hammond score 160 at Horsham in 1937. At Old Trafford in 1948, he was no less enthralled by Denis Compton's
undefeated century against Australia after a blow on the head from Ray Lindwall; Compton and Ian Botham remained his favourite players. During post-war service in the Royal Navy, Kennedy was posted to Australia, where he met Neville Cardus: they began a long friendship based on their shared passions for cricket and music. A collection of their correspondence is held in the Old Trafford library. Kennedy first joined the Telegraph as
a copy boy in their Manchester office in 1940, and rose to become northern editor for 26 years. During Old Trafford Tests, he would take the paper's cricket correspondent, E. W. Swanton, out to dinner in Manchester - recoiling at Swanton's occasional rudeness to restaurant staff.
KESHRI, ANKIT RAJ, died on April 20, three days after colliding with a team-mate during a league game for East Bengal in Kolkata. He was 20. Keshri, who was part of Bengal's Under-23 squad, dashed in for a catch from deep cover - but the bowler ran for it too, and hit Keshri in the head with his knee. He was treated immediately, and reached hospital in 15 minutes, but failed to recover.
KISSELL, RONALD KEITH, died on June 26, aged 86. Ron Kissell was a stocky lefthander who made an enterprising 80 not out for New South Wales against the 1946-47 MCC tourists, when he was just 18. He could not score consistently enough to secure a permanent place in a strong NSW side, but made over 9,000 runs in more than two decades of Sydney grade cricket, chiefly for Glebe.
KRISHNA, T. VAMSHI, died after being hit by a cork ball on a school playground in Vanasthalipuram, near Hyderabad in India, on April 24. Although aged only six, he was fielding close in, and was struck on the chest by a powerful shot from a 12-year-old.
LA FRANTZ, ERROLD CAMPBELL, MBE, who died on February 20, aged 95, played only once for Queensland - in the final match before the Second World War closed down first-class cricket in Australia - but became such a significant presence in the game that he was awarded an MBE in 1977 for services to cricket. A Queensland selector for a decade from 1954-55, he was also an authoritative commentator on both national radio and Brisbane television. In 1973 La Frantz helped fix Jeff Thomson's well-paid move north to Brisbane from Sydney by securing him a radio job. He was a member of Toombul CC in Brisbane for 83 years.
LARKINS, WARWICK NORWOOD, who died on May 16, aged 68, was a stalwart of the Albion club in Dunedin, who have produced more than two dozen New Zealand cricketers since their foundation in 1862. An avid collector of cricket books, he was New Zealand's scorer on their tour of England in 1978, and played for them against the Netherlands at the end of the trip, although his leg-breaks were kept under wraps.
LEE, ALAN PETER, who died suddenly on December 19, aged 61, was cricket correspondent of The Times from 1988 to 1999. Among his colleagues, he was perhaps the most respected sports journalist of his generation. Sports desks loved the fact that, when they asked for however many words at whenever o'clock, Lee would deliver precisely. His fellow writers were fearful that, whatever was going on behind the scenes, Lee probably had more information than they did.
He was a born journalist, writing football reports as a nine-year-old, joining the Watford Observer at 16 and moving on to the boot camp of Hayter's sports agency, where tyros had to work fast and furiously. Still only 24, he went to Australia to report the Kerry Packer-led breakaway and produced a remarkably mature book, A Pitch in Both Camps. He later freelanced before becoming cricket correspondent of the Mail on Sunday, then edged out Christopher Martin-Jenkins to succeed John Woodcock at The Times. All the while, he would produce biographies, ghosted autobiographies and other books at a matchless pace (Greig, Gower, Gooch, Dexter, Willis, etc.), without ever neglecting the day job.
Surrounded by press-box chaos, he was always orderly and focused. "Eff-all's happened and they still want 800 words," wailed Martin Johnson of The Independent one rained-off day. "I've written three stories already," replied Lee. Though he would be tap-tapping away during the lunch interval, he was unperturbed if interrupted with a plaintive "Leapy, what is going on?" and was generous with his knowledge. He was already a racing enthusiast (and owner) when a new editor who did want CMJ invited him to become racing correspondent instead. This was a big ask, the horsey press being wary of outsiders. His professionalism won them over, and blew them away - two years later he was named Sports Journalist of the Year.
Lee's great strength was his mobility, social and actual. He cultivated administrators and gained their trust, sometimes at the cost of being over-respectful. But he put himself about, driving miles to outgrounds or gaff tracks and talking to everyone; in racing, he far preferred the roughness of the jump season to the glitz of the flat. He was a good companion, and for many years took delight in his annual cricket match in Sussex, in which his XI would play a racing team led by the trainer Josh Gifford. No colleague could recall him having a day's illness until he was rushed to hospital last summer for a major coronary operation, and he was on the brink of returning to work when he had a heart attack. Divorced, he had a long-term relationship with the former England cricketer Sarah Potter.
LEESON, RAYMOND JOHN, OAM, died on June 26, aged 90. During the Second World War, Ray Leeson was the only survivor when a Wellington bomber crashed during a snowstorm near Leicester. The upshot was that, in order to spare himself movement, he took up wicketkeeping at home in Goulburn, on the southern tablelands of New South Wales, where he played until he was 53; he might well have been chosen for the state side
had he moved to Sydney. As it was, he captained the Southern NSW team that stretched the 1960-61 West Indian tourists. He was a close friend of Trevor Bayliss, his fellow townsman, who is now England's coach. Leeson edited the Goulburn Evening Post for 36 years, writing about 9,000 editorials, and frequently updating his own obituary.
LEQUAY, DR ALLOY REMIGUS, who died on March 15, aged 90, was a long-serving politician and sports administrator who had a profound influence on cricket in his native Trinidad, and the wider West Indies. For 70 years, the island's cricket was under the control of the Queen's Park CC in Port-of-Spain, the owners of the largest and best appointed of the Caribbean Test grounds. Lequay felt it was inappropriate for the national sport to be managed by a private club, especially when the country was emerging from its colonial past into political independence - and, in the face of powerful opposition, undertook a personal campaign to end the arrangement. He was to the fore in the establishment in 1956 of the Trinidad Cricket Council, and became their president in 1978.
Lequay was the Trinidad & Tobago board's chairman until his retirement in 2002, adding the role of chief executive officer in 1994 after completing another of his ambitions in developing the National Cricket Centre in the central Trinidad town of Balmain - it contains the organisation's offices, a first-class ground, and an academy named after Frank Worrell. A Trinidadian of Chinese descent, Lequay devoted much of his life to national politics, and was elected to parliament in 1966.
LESTER, EDWARD IBSON, died on March 23, aged 92. Ted Lester served Yorkshire with quiet dedication in three contrasting roles for 45 years. He began immediately after the war as a hard-hitting middle-order batsman, moved on to become an influential Second XI captain, then spent three decades as the club's impeccable scorer. He managed to remain above the factionalism that so often dominated cricket in the county, and took great pride in sharing with Percy Holmes the distinction of being the only Yorkshire batsmen to score a century in each innings of a Roses match.
He was born in a house overlooking the ground at North Marine Road, Scarborough, and lived in the town all his life. Enraptured early, Lester went to games from the age of six, and recalled seeing Wilfred Rhodes and Harold Larwood. He soon graduated to playing: and made the Scarborough first
team while still at school. But the war put his career on hold: flat feet kept him out of the armed services, where he felt he would have played a better class of cricket than in the denuded Yorkshire leagues.
He was not stalled for long. Lester made his debut for Yorkshire - opening with Len Hutton - against the RAF at Scarborough in 1945, Herbert Sutcliffe's last first-class match. Near the end of the 1946 season he was summoned by telegram to play in the final three Championship games, all away. But Lester was working in the treasurer's office of the local authority in Scarborough, and could not quickly arrange leave. And, with clothes rationing in force, he lacked enough kit for three games. As a compromise he appeared only in the final match, against Nottinghamshire, and was surprised by his first meeting with the martinet Brian Sellers - a fatherly chat in the captain's room before play on the first day. On the second, when Yorkshire were fielding, he found that Sellers's reputation was well deserved. "I went down to third man and he was in the gully," Lester recalled. "When a wicket fell he beckoned me up and gave me the biggest mouthful I had ever heard. The problem was that I was wearing my cap at an angle."
In 1947 Lester was allowed time off to play in seven Championship matches, and made three successive centuries: against Derbyshire at Scarborough and one in each innings at Northampton. But his form did not spare him another dressing-down from Sellers, who barred his way when he attempted to board the team coach without a tie. In that celebrated summer Lester scored 657 runs at 73, and finished third in the averages behind Denis Compton and Bill Edrich. The following year he left the borough treasurer's office behind for good, and was a fixture in the Yorkshire side for the next seven summers, passing 1,000 runs six times. Having been schooled on fast Scarborough pitches, he had a good eye and quick reflexes, and was particularly strong on the leg side. He was also a superb cutter. His best season was 1949, when Yorkshire shared the title and he contributed 1,801 runs at 37.
By the mid-1950s, Lester's feet had begun to trouble him again, and he made fewer Championship appearances. He was asked to take over as Second XI captain, and regarded his four years in charge as some of his happiest. His brief was to develop the county's emerging talent. "He had a very shrewd cricket brain and he was highly respected," said John Hampshire, one of his youngsters. "We knew the rudiments but he taught us the finer points." Another young charge was Geoff Boycott, of whom Lester remained a staunch supporter through some turbulent years.
Lester continued to spend his winters in accountancy, and the Yorkshire committee decided his talent for numbers would make him an ideal candidate for the vacant role of scorer in the early 1960s, though he had never done the job before. He made an unimpressive start: unable to locate the ladder to the scorebox in the Grand Stand at Lord's, he missed the first three balls of the match. He was seldom caught out again, and became one of the best-known scorers on the circuit, introducing to county boxes the linear system favoured by the BBC. He made a brief playing comeback in a Gillette Cup tie against Middlesex at Lord's in 1964, when Hampshire was taken ill after the team had travelled with only 11 men. In borrowed kit, he relished the fielding but was bowled second ball by John Price as Yorkshire were dismissed for 90.
At the close of play, Lester would deliver the day's statistics to the dressing-room, but Hampshire noted that he kept a discreet distance from the players. Nevertheless he remained a confidant of Boycott and David Bairstow during their captaincies, and was regarded as a sage on pitch and weather conditions at Scarborough. He did not enjoy the political infighting at Yorkshire in the 1980s, and felt three-day cricket on covered pitches
had become dull and formulaic. Lester was a highly regarded companion for the Yorkshire press corps. "He knew as much about cricket as anybody I have known," said Wisden's Yorkshire correspondent David Warner. Always a prodigious walker, he thought nothing of covering a couple of miles in pursuit of "the right pint at the right price".
LUCAS, FREDERICK CHARLES, died on September 11, aged 81. Fred Lucas was one of those cricketers whose career was killed off by the years lost to national service. When he was called up, Lucas had been progressing nicely in the Kent Second XI as an offspinner and useful batsman. But the services offered him little cricket of a good standard, and his bowling was not as effective on his return to Kent in 1954 - though he was still
given two Championship games that summer, at Ilford and Chesterfield. At school he had been an outstanding all-round sportsman, and his career in football was rather more successful: a wing-half, he made 185 appearances for Charlton Athletic between 1956 and 1964. He played in the famous match at The Valley in December 1957, when Charlton recovered from 5-1 down to beat Huddersfield Town 7-6. Remarkably, there were four first-class cricketers playing - Lucas, Derek Ufton and Stuart Leary (all of Kent) for the home team, and Yorkshire's Ken Taylor for Huddersfield.
MARQUSEE, MICHAEL JOHN, died on January 13, a fortnight short of his 62nd birthday. Mike Marqusee was a cricketing exotic: an American Marxist who moved to Britain, became obsessed with its most distinctive game, and started writing about it. One of his books, Anyone But England, was his answer to the question "Who do you support in Test cricket?" His zeal was not that of the average convert, as he admitted when he was naturalised: "Becoming British was for me a process laden with irony and the odd embarrassment." Perhaps his best work was War Minus the Shooting, a perceptive and original travel book written during the 1996 World Cup. It was one of the first to place Indian cricket squarely in its social context, and drew comparisons with C. L. R. James. However, Anyone But England, published two years earlier, typified the weaknesses of the
Marqusee approach, in which the facts always had to be filtered through his political preconceptions; his unyieldingness reduced his influence. He also wrote a cricket-themed novel, Slow Turn, and books on Bob Dylan and Muhammad Ali.
MARRON, PETER, who died on May 4, aged 59, was for 25 years the head groundsman at Old Trafford, where he established an enviable reputation for fast and bouncy pitches that made for compelling cricket. Whatever his secret - and he played his cards close to his chest - his work was appreciated by generations of domestic and international cricketers. Marron liked to joke that he made Shane Warne's reputation by producing the turning surface on which he bowled Mike Gatting in 1993.
One of the best demonstrations of Marron's skill came in the Test against Pakistan in 2006, when the contrasting skills of Steve Harmison and Monty Panesar were both able to prosper on a typically hard, true pitch: they shared 19 wickets. Pakistan's coach Bob Woolmer had invested in a granite slab that he used in the nets to help his batsmen cope with Old Trafford's extra bounce, but it was to no avail.
Marron was not overly concerned by how his pitches looked - "What do you want to do, kiss 'em?" he once asked Mike Atherton - but how they played. Paul Allott recalled a Championship match against Worcestershire in 1989, when he bowled alongside Patrick Patterson and Phil DeFreitas, while the visitors' new-ball attack was Graham Dilley and Neal Radford: "It was one of the best games you could wish to see." Marron was a friendly, welcoming figure with a quick sense of humour. But he could be stubborn if the Lancashire committee tried to influence him. "He was very protective of his domain," said Allott. The ECB once tried to recruit him to produce pitches of Old Trafford standard around the country. Marron would not divulge his formula, though one acknowledged innovation was his use of glue to bind cracks. He left Lancashire in 2008 to become head groundsman at the multi-sports Bowdon Club near Altrincham. "One thing I won't miss is everyone telling me how to grow grass," he said.
He was a passionate critic of the failure of local authorities to provide proper sports pitches, and of private schools for not offering their facilities to local communities. And he was clear on the best advice for aspiring groundsmen: "Go into golf."
MARTIN, ERIC JAMES, who died on September 30, aged 90, hit three centuries for Nottinghamshire - all at Trent Bridge - in a ten-year career from 1949. His best season was 1954, when he was awarded his county cap after making 977 runs, including a hundred against a Yorkshire attack comprising six Test bowlers. Although Martin did well for the Second XI, consistent first-team runs proved elusive, and he was released after the 1959 season, despite making his highest score - a rapid unbeaten 133 - to pilot Nottinghamshire to a four-wicket victory over Leicestershire after they were set 240 in 140 minutes. Martin became a heavy scorer for Steetley in the Bassetlaw League for almost 30 years, captaining the league's representative team from 1969 to 1981.
MENDIS, LIONEL, who died on October 9, aged 80, was a celebrated coach in Sri Lanka. He supervised the strong Ananda College team for many years, bringing on the future national captain Arjuna Ranatunga, and had run a coaching school at Colombo's Nondescripts CC since 1986. Mahela Jayawardene, one of his charges there, called him "the best teacher I had". In 2000, Mendis wrote Cricket Huruwa, the first coaching manual
in the Sinhala language.
MEYER, BARRIE JOHN, who died on September 13, aged 83, was a genial, quietly authoritative figure who became one of the world's leading umpires. He stood in the World Cup finals of 1979 and 1983, and in the fabled Headingley Test of 1981. "He had just the right temperament for the job," said his colleague David Constant. Meyer, known as BJ, was never above offering a discreet word of advice or congratulation to a player. When Ian Botham began his match-turning Headingley innings of 149 in skittish fashion, Meyer suggested England might have a better chance of saving the game if he had a look at the bowling first. "But BJ," Botham replied, "that's exactly what I've just done."
Meyer was reprimanded by the TCCB for apologising to Viv Richards after giving him out leg-before in the Lord's Test of 1984, but he maintained he had done the honourable thing, and was backed by a Daily Mail leading article which compared his actions favourably with those of politicians. There were more column inches when he gave Graham Gooch not out in a one-day international against Australia in 1989. "Chumpire", read The Sun headline. He fell into cricket almost by accident. Meyer came from a staunch football family in Bournemouth and, although he was good enough to captain his school team, he regarded cricket as "what you played in the summer when it was too hot to play football". He joined Bristol Rovers, where he became a quick and effective forward, who was nevertheless profligate in front of goal. "He used to joke that his nickname was 'Curly Toes' because he shot over the bar so often," said Constant. Even so, he scored the second goal when Rovers, then in the second division, thrashed Manchester United 4-0 in the third round of the FA Cup in 1956.
It was common for Rovers players to spend the summer months doing odd jobs at Gloucestershire's County Ground, while playing occasional matches for the club and ground team. Meyer kept wicket in some of these games and, although his only previous experience had been while on national service, his potential was noted: he quickly became the Second XI wicketkeeper. He progressed to a Championship debut against Essex at Romford in 1957, and the following summer became first choice, after Peter Rochford was sacked and Bobby Etheridge was forced to prioritise his football career with Bristol City.
Meyer never looked back. He became a highly competent keeper, and displayed particular expertise to off-spinners John Mortimore and David Allen on dusty Bristol pitches. "For Barrie there was never the need for showmanship," wrote Jim Parks. "His work behind the stumps was done with the quiet efficiency of a man who knows what true professionalism is all about." He was less competent as a batsman, but was called upon to open the innings against the Indians at Cheltenham in 1959 and made a career-best 63.
He continued as Gloucestershire's first-choice keeper until 1971, playing in 259 successive Championship matches and making 406 appearances overall. He took 707 catches and made 119 stumpings, third on the county's all-time list. These were largely unsuccessful and sometimes turbulent years for Gloucestershire, but Meyer became the embodiment of the uncomplaining club man who did much for dressing-room morale.
He joined the first-class umpires list in 1973, and stood in his first Test in 1978 after a one-dayer between England and Australia the previous year. In all he umpired 26 Tests and 23 ODIs until 1993. In 1983, he officiated with Constant in the Second Test against New Zealand at Headingley, after England had won a thumping victory in the first match. The umpires used the same facilities as the New Zealanders and, as they celebrated a first
Test victory in England, Constant recalled: "When we went in there they were all still in the showers, singing to the tune of "Bread of Heaven": Barrie Meyer, Barrie Meyer - what a difference you have made!"
MHONDORO, PADDINGTON, died in a road accident in Zimbabwe on March 13, while returning home from watching a Logan Cup match in Kwekwe. He was 28. Mhondoro had captained the Chegutu club in central Mashonaland, and played one List A match against Southern Rocks in December 2013, taking two wickets but later becoming one of five Mid West Rhinos players out for ducks as they were skittled for 55.
MINNAAR, NORMAN PHILIP, died on March 15, aged 57, while visiting his son's school in Grahamstown. Minnaar played 22 matches for South Africa's Border province over five seasons from 1982-83, scoring 82 against Natal B in East London on New Year's Day, 1984. He worked as sponsorship manager for South African Breweries, who underwrote the 1981-82 rebel England tour.
MOIR, IAN MALCOLM, who died on September 5, 2013, aged 79, was the general manager of Time Inc., Australia for 20 years. He collected a trove of cricket books and memorabilia, including a complete run of Wisden, mostly originals. His son, Malcolm, said the collection provided his father with the raw material to feed his passion for cricket statistics: "It was the numbers which told the story more than the tears or the heartbreak." The collection, unusual for Australia in its breadth and depth, attracted spirited bidding when it was put up for auction in August 2015.
NASIM HASAN SHAH, who died on February 3, aged 85, was president of the Pakistan Cricket Board from 1992 to 1994. A tiny (4ft 8in) lawyer, he was a member of the Supreme Court bench which in 1979 upheld the death sentence handed down to Pakistan's former prime minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.
NAYSMITH, ANNE, who died on February 10, aged 77, was for many years a familiar and well-liked presence at games held at Chiswick House's cricket ground. Her dishevelled appearance made her an unlikely figure in such grand surroundings, but Naysmith - or the "car lady of Chiswick", as the press called her - was something of a celebrity in the west London suburb. She had lived in the area during her promising career as a concert pianist in the 1960s, and remained there after she turned her back on music and was evicted from her home. She was simply Anne Smith, but added the "Nay" in later life, some thought as a reference to her unmarried status after the end of a relationship with a choral singer. She spent 26 years living in an ever more dilapidated Ford Consul, before it was towed away in 2002 and she was forced to move to a patch of ground near Stamford Brook Tube station.
She regularly watched Old Meadonians at Chiswick House and would score using a stub of old pencil. No one understood her method and she did not know the names of the players or their opponents, but she still sometimes pointed out mistakes - and was usually found to be correct. At the start of each season she would push a note under the dressing room door wishing the team luck, and enclose a dozen postage stamps as a donation.
Graham Hall, vice-president of Chiswick and Whitton, successors to Old Meadonians, recalled: "One afternoon, when she was sitting in her usual place at the foot of a tree, she was struck on the forehead by the ball, which split her open, with much blood. While she allowed us to help a little to stem the flow, she was absolutely adamant that she would not go to hospital or let us call an ambulance - part of her total mistrust of the State in all of its forms."
NEETHLING, JOHN JAMES, died on June 10, aged 82. "Coetie" Neethling followed Basil D'Oliveira, another star performer in South African non-white cricket, to the Lancashire leagues. Neethling toured East Africa under D'Oliveira in 1958-59 and, after D'Oliveira's success for Middleton, was signed up by Colne for 1962. A lively mediumpacer and a handy batsman, he collected 150 wickets over two seasons, once scoring 50 not out against an Accrington side spearheaded by the West Indian fast bowler Wes Hall, before taking seven for 39 himself. In the 1970s he played 13 matches now considered first-class for Western Province's non-white team, despite being in his forties, and took five for 51 against Natal in Cape Town.
NOBBS, DAVID GORDON, who died on August 8, aged 80, was a novelist and scriptwriter most associated with the 1970s sitcom The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin. Nobbs's passion for cricket began when The City of London School, where his father was a teacher, was evacuated to Marlborough College. It was cemented by the friendship he struck up with Peter Tinniswood, future author of several humorous cricket books, when
both were trainee reporters on the Sheffield Star. Nobbs, who went on to write about contemporary cricket matters on his blog, loved introducing it into his writing: in the first Perrin novel, Reggie rediscovers an old scorebook from his matches of dice cricket. In one fixture, England take on My Girls, an XI made up of "all the girls I'd got a crush on". Scorecard entries include: Jill Ogleby c Leyland b Larwood 2, and Angela Borrowdale c and b Verity 0. The Tall Girl on the 8.21 made a match-winning 92 not out.
PANDIT, BAL JAGANNATH, who died on September 17, aged 86, was a popular cricket commentator in India for more than 40 years, usually on All India Radio's Marathi service. His lively delivery, which included several cricket terms of his own invention, was credited with popularising the game in Maharashtra. He also wrote several books, and translated Sunil Gavaskar's early autobiography Sunny Days into Marathi. Bal Pandit played one
Ranji Trophy match in 1959-60, going in first against Gujarat and scoring 25, and was later secretary of the Maharashtra Cricket Association.
PATHMANATHAN, BAVALAN, died on July 7, two days after being struck on the chest while batting in a club game in Long Ditton in Surrey. He was 24. Playing for Hersham's Manipay Parish in the British Tamil League, Pathmanathan collapsed at the crease after being hit by a rising delivery. He was taken to Kingston Hospital by air ambulance, but never recovered.
PAYNE, IAN ATTWOOD, who died on September 13, aged 65, was an opener who played 19 matches for Western Province, mainly for their B team. He had a purple patch in 1976, hitting 132 against Border, 52 and 77 not out against Orange Free State, and 97 and 65 against Northern Transvaal in successive innings. Payne added another century, against Griqualand West in January 1977, but his highest score for the A side was 20. He later worked as director of sport at Herzlia High School, on the slopes of Table Mountain.
PETHERICK, PETER JAMES, who died on June 7, aged 72, was the first New Zealander to take a Test hat-trick - in his first match, at the age of 34, less than a year after being hoicked out of the garage where he worked in Alexandra to make his first-class debut for Otago. At Lahore in 1976-77, off-spinner Petherick had Javed Miandad caught at square leg off a top edge, before Wasim Raja drove back his first ball uppishly. "Amazingly, he caught it," said Warren Lees, the wicketkeeper. "He couldn't even catch it when I threw it back to him, so this was quite a surprise." Then Intikhab Alam flicked one straight to Geoff Howarth at bat-pad: Petherick had completed a hat-trick - only James Franklin has since done so for New Zealand in Tests - although Pakistan already had 336 by then, and the 19-year-old Miandad, also on debut, 163. They won easily. "Most of his bowling was flight and guile, and he had a wee bit of outswing with his slower arm-ball," said Lees.
"There was minimal effort in his run-up: it was a three-metre shuffle." But, as the Otago Daily Times noted, "Petherick could make the ball turn square on any pitch which gave him help." That ability brought a record 42 wickets in his belated first season for Otago, including nine for 93 against Northern Districts and six for 36 in his next match, against the Indian tourists, both at Dunedin. When Hedley Howarth, New Zealand's incumbent spinner, was unavailable for the tour of Pakistan and India the following year, Petherick was called up: including the hat-trick, he collected 16 wickets in five Tests.
Early in 1977 he took seven for 65 against the Australian tourists, and played the Auckland Test that soon followed - but he failed to strike there, and was never chosen again, despite breaking his own Otago record with 45 wickets in 1977-78. Petherick then moved to Wellington, and signed off in 1980-81, aged 38, by dismissing Stephen Boock with his final delivery in first-class cricket. He became an accomplished player of lawn bowls, reaching the national pairs final in 2006, and later joined his son in Australia.
PHILIPS, STANLEY IAN, died on October 27, aged 95. Not long after leaving Brighton College, 18-year-old Ian Philips played twice for Northamptonshire in 1938; he made four more appearances the following year. His death brought the number of surviving pre-war first-class players to two (see page 65). He hit a highest score of 22, but exceeded that in his only other first-class match, in the Bombay Pentangular tournament. Philips scored 26 and 42 for the Europeans, who were up against it after the Parsees had amassed 532 at the Brabourne Stadium in December 1941. The previous year he had made 178 for Oxford University against a British Empire XI, and played a few trial games on returning to Oxford after the war, without making the first team. He followed his father as headmaster of Eaglehurst College, a private school in Northampton, then taught nearby
when Eaglehurst closed in 1972.
RALPH, LOUIS HENRY ROY, died in April, aged 95. Roy Ralph was a latecomer to county cricket. A heavy wicket-taker for Ilford, he made his first-class debut for Essex against a Commonwealth XI at Romford in 1953, when he was already 33, and dismissed Everton Weekes and Frank Worrell with his deceptive swingers. The following season Ralph fitted in a few more games around work at the family's East End tailoring business; he collected 36 wickets, and asked if he could join the staff full-time. He soon became an important and popular member of the Essex attack: in 1956 he took seven for 77 against Worcestershire and a career-best seven for 42 in an innings victory over Gloucestershire, both within a week at Romford.
"He bowled away swingers at a steady medium-pace, but he swung the ball significantly," remembered his captain, Doug Insole. Indeed, Ralph's
big outswinger occasionally provoked jovial shouts of "Ripe bananas!" from the slips. In 1957 he took 102 wickets, demolishing Somerset at Colchester with six for 33. He also claimed six for 56 against the 1958 New Zealanders, and five for 33 against the 1959 Indians, both at his old club ground at Ilford. Ralph was an enthusiastic tailender whose runs, said Insole, "included a high proportion of boundaries". His highest score was 73, with four sixes, as nightwatchman against Northamptonshire at Leyton in 1960. He played on until he was 41, and was still good enough to take five for 23 against Worcestershire in 1961, his final season. After leaving Essex he had a spell as a professional in the North Staffordshire League, before returning to Ilford.
RAMPRASAD, KALADEVANHALLI MURUDEVAGOWDA, who died on November 22, aged 82, was president of the Karnataka State Cricket Association from 1998 to 2007, and had also been a vice-president of the BCCI. He played four games for the state (then known as Mysore) as a medium-pacer, including the 1959-60 Ranji Trophy final defeat by Bombay; against Kerala in October 1961 he took six for 26. He managed the Indian team at the Champions Trophy in Sri Lanka in 2002.
RASDIEN, HASHIM, died on March 7, aged 80. "Rosie" Rasdien was a talented allround sportsman who played representative cricket, rugby and soccer for the South African Malays and for Transvaal's non-white teams. A hard-hitting batsman, useful seam bowler and superb fielder, Rasdien made 112 against Eastern Province in the Dadabhay Trophy in Johannesburg in 1961-62. In 2014 he was one of the inaugural recipients of Cricket
South Africa's Heritage Blazers.
REYNOLDS, BRIAN LEONARD, who died on February 7, aged 82, was at the heart of Northamptonshire cricket throughout his life - as player, coach, cricket development officer and elder statesman. He was staunch in his belief in the sport's verities and in his affection for his home county. As John Arlott wrote in his benefit brochure: "In his own mind he is not only a cricketer, he is a Northamptonshire cricketer." Born and rooted in Kettering, Reynolds joined the club in 1950. Over the next 20 years he made 426 first class appearances, becoming a fixture at the top of the order, and occasionally keeping wicket. "He was very correct, good on the drive and determined," said his team-mate Peter Arnold. "He got runs when you needed them and he made himself into a very good county cricketer." Reynolds was particularly prolific in the early 1960s, when he passed 1,500 runs five years running. Occasionally, he surprised even himself, hitting 141 in three hours off Lancashire's Brian Statham, Ken Higgs and Sonny Ramadhin at Old Trafford in 1964.
He was always immensely fit and, as a coach, expected to see his charges match his own national service-honed standards, which was not always appreciated by later generations. He loved the game - but hated the reverse sweep, players who failed to remove their headgear to acknowledge applause, and Twenty20. He liked it when those games were played inside a few weeks: it was the ideal time to take his wife on holiday.
RIDGWAY, FREDERICK, died on September 26, aged 92. Fred Ridgway carried the Kent new-ball attack on his muscular shoulders from immediately after the Second World War until the early 1960s. He was not one of the tallest fast bowlers on the circuit - he was about 5ft 9in - but he could be one of the quickest and, summer after summer, charged in for his adopted county. In an era when the selectors could call on Bedser, Trueman, Statham, Tyson, Bailey and Loader, international opportunities were scarce, but Ridgway toured India with an understrength England team in 1951-52.
He played in all five Tests, taking only seven wickets on painfully unhelpful pitches. "Sheer bloody hard work," was his verdict. In a 16-year career for Kent, Ridgway took 955 wickets - second only to Derek Underwood since the war, and eighth on the county's all-time list. He accepted his prodigious workload uncomplainingly, even though it hampered his ability to bowl flat out. He was seen to best effect at the start of the day or an innings. "All the openers around the country would try to keep away from Fred," said his team-mate Derek Ufton.
"His opening overs were devastating." Ridgway was born in Stockport, and at school discovered his aptitude for fast bowling almost by accident, having initially kept wicket. He served in the RoyalMarines at Deal during the war and, after marrying a Kent woman, stayed put. In May 1946, he attended Kent's first post-war trial. "There was this fellow who seemed to knock down the stumps every time he bowled," said Ufton. "He wasn't tall but he had a beautiful run-up and a long final stride. By lunchtime he had a contract." Ridgway made his debut against Lancashire at Maidstone, and in his third match took six for 59 against Hampshire. With Norman Harding claiming four at the other end, it looked as if Kent had chanced upon a potent new-ball pairing. But Harding died in the 1947 polio epidemic, and Ridgway was left to toil with a succession of medium-paced partners. His pace came from that lengthy, rhythmical approach and delivery stride, and he moved the ball late, mainly away.
"Fred would have challenged Trueman and Statham if he had been six inches taller," said team-mate Bob Wilson. "He was as accurate as Statham, but because of his height he did not get the bounce. His consistency and his pace were as good as either." On the subcontinent, Ridgway operated alongside Statham and Derek Shackleton, and in five months bowled more than 400 overs, taking 41 wickets at 26. Recalling the tour with Andy Bull of The Guardian in 2012, Ridgway tapped the top of a table to demonstrate the consistency of the pitches. "The pitches were like this - brown, no grass, no movement at all. The longer you bowled, the slower it'd go. And the sweat. I bowled one over in Bombay and thought 'Oh crikey,' the ground was wobbling under my feet. So I said to Nigel Howard [the captain], 'I can't bowl on this, mate, it's too hot.' But someone had to. So I cut my run down and bowled for another hour."
It was perhaps the memory of his fruitless endeavour that provoked a rare show of temper when the Indians played at Canterbury in 1952. Unable to disturb Polly Umrigar's serene progress towards a double-century, Ridgway blatantly threw a short-pitched delivery at him (Umrigar calmly collected another four). The incident went virtually unreported, but he was summoned by the Kent committee that evening. Another batsman whose constant aggression could disturb his equilibrium was Dickie Dodds of Essex. "One year," said Wilson, "Fred refused to bowl at him any more."
Ridgway passed 100 wickets once, in 1949, while his best season for Kent was 1958, his benefit year, with 98 at 14. He took eight for 39 against Nottinghamshire at Dover in 1950, and the following summer four wickets in four deliveries against Derbyshire at Folkestone after being reluctantly persuaded to take the second new ball.
RIGG, HERBERT WILLIAM HARDY, died on March 16, aged 91. A member of a prominent sporting family, Bert Rigg had to wait over a decade from his first appearance for Western Australia - against the 1946-47 MCC tourists - to play his only full season of state cricket. A steady middle-order batsman, he scored 76 against Queensland at Perth. Rigg later had a long career as an administrator, chairing the WACA executive for eight years and spending a decade as his state's representative on the Australian Cricket Board.
ROSENDORFF, NEIL, who died on September 12, aged 70, had a long career with Orange Free State, scoring nearly 5,000 runs in 67 matches spread over 16 seasons from 1962-63. The highest of his 11 centuries, 178, came against North Eastern Transvaal - who had two Test opening bowlers - in Pretoria in 1964-65, when he was 19. A graceful left-hander, Rosendorff might have improved his chances of Test selection if he had moved to a bigger team, but he stayed put in Bloemfontein. The 1968-69 and 1969-70 seasons both brought him more than 500 runs, and he was named as one of the South African Cricket Annual's cricketers of the year in 1969. But this was a golden age for South African batting, and the call never came; he was still only 25 when the country's cricketing isolation began. Rosendorff was also a handy change bowler, recording figures of 29.1-19-16-6 against Griqualand West at Kimberley in 1971-72. He had been less economical against the Australian tourists two seasons previously, Ian Redpath clobbered him for 32 in an over (666644). Rosendorff's son, Craig, also played firstclass cricket.
RYAN, MELVILLE, who died on November 16, aged 82, was a tall, physically imposing seamer who won four County Championship titles with the formidable Yorkshire team of the late 1950s and '60s - a useful strike-rate for a player who made just 150 first-class appearances. Ryan, usually known as Mel, made his debut in 1954, but had to wait seven years to become a regular. Born in Huddersfield, he showed early promise at football and cricket. He had little interest in schoolwork, knowing he would eventually run the family news agency business if he did not realise his sporting ambitions. He was first invited to Yorkshire nets - as a batsman - aged 14, and played league cricket in his home town for Bradley Mills, before joining Eccleshill in the Bradford League. On his Yorkshire debut, against Combined Services at Harrogate in 1954, he had the pleasure of watching a Len Hutton century. His appearances were sporadic, but against Warwickshire at Edgbaston in 1958 he took a career-best seven for 45.
He had, in the words of team-mate Bob Platt, a "busy and effective run-up", and bowled at a lively pace. "He did not bowl bouncers. His main thing was line and length." In 1959, when Yorkshire won the Championship under Ronnie Burnet, he took 21 wickets in five appearances. He was a more regular presence in later title-winning sides, taking 37 wickets in 1960, then 73 in 1962 and 57 in 1963. Ryan's final season was 1965, and he retired with 413 wickets at just under 23. "He was a great bowler, straight-talking, and a kindly and generous man," said team-mate Ken Taylor.
Ryan loved opening the bowling with Fred Trueman, but recalled: "He had the best end. It was uphill and against the wind for the rest of us. The only time it would change was if we were getting wickets and he wasn't. I would say 390 of my wickets were batsmen one to six. I would probably have taken another 100 if I'd been able to bowl at nine, ten and eleven, and from the right end. And no question, I would have been more successful if
Fred hadn't been at the other."
SALIWA, MARIO NGQIUYOMIZI, died on May 31, a few days after being stabbed in an incident in Mdantsane, the major township on the outskirts of East London in South Africa. He was 31. Saliwa was a fast bowler, once likened to Makhaya Ntini; he took 65 first-class wickets, most of them for Free State, including five for 56 against Griqualand West at Bloemfontein in October 2007. "He was one of the most feared bowlers of his generation," said Lions coach Geoffrey Toyana, who recalled Saliwa's "bounce and unbelievable pace". He had a successful spell with Kidderminster in the Birmingham League, and spent a season as Walsden's professional in the Central Lancashire League.
SCOTT, DEREK, who died on July 20, aged 86, was a tireless historian of cricket in Ireland, and served the Irish Cricket Union for more than half a century as assistant secretary, secretary, and president. During his time Ireland developed from a cricketing outpost into a thriving Associate Member of the ICC. A genial man with a twinkling smile, Scott painstakingly researched all their fixtures back to 1855, after discovering the official records went only as far as 1933. He wrote about Irish cricket in The Cricketer for 20 years, and in Wisden for 50: "It was a delight to have him as a contributor - a lovely man," said the former Almanack editor Matthew Engel. Scott had been a modest player, a source of irritation being that he never managed a fifty in senior cricket, but his leadership skills were clear when he led Railway Union to the Leinster Senior League title in 1960.
SHORT, CAPTAIN PETER DESMOND BOWEN, who died on August 4, aged 89, was intimately involved in West Indian cricket administration for 32 years, with the Barbados Cricket Association and the West Indies Cricket Board of Control. Both teams have never been stronger, before or since. West Indies' subsequent decline began when "Control" was erased from the board's title. Born in Trinidad, Short spent most of his life in Barbados, where he was educated and was vice-captain of The Lodge. On leaving school, Short joined the British Army, and served in Malaya. Twice mentioned in despatches, he rose to the rank of captain, a title by which he was respectfully addressed for the rest of his life. In 1950, he hit 56 for the Royal
Artillery against the Royal Engineers at Lord's. Back in Barbados, he was a reliable middle-order batsman for Wanderers, the island's oldest club; he captained them to the first of a hat-trick of championships in 1959, with four former or future Test players in the team. Short was also a commentator on local radio, which led to his name being included in the title of the media centre at Kensington Oval, and he received Barbados's Silver Crown of Merit award in 1989.
During his time as head of the West Indian board he persuaded Brian Lara to return after walking out during the 1995 England tour. He was criticised for encouraging Lara to believe he was greater than the game; Short saw it as saving Lara from himself. At a time of marked changes in all aspects of West Indian life, a white Barbadian with an enormous handlebar moustache who had served in the British Army was regarded by some as an anachronism. It was a misleading stereotype. "Peter Short, I believe, was misunderstood," wrote Sir Hilary Beckles, now vice-chancellor of the University of the West Indies, in The Development of West Indies Cricket in 1992. "He was part of the respected nationalist network of civic society that believed in cricket as a cultural activity for gentlemen, part of the infrastructure of high moral values and social contact."
SHRIMPTON, MICHAEL JOHN FROUD, died on June 13, aged 74. Mike Shrimpton had a tough task in his first Test, against England at Wellington in 1962-63: he entered at 40 for four, after a lively spell from Fred Trueman, but applied himself for a tenacious 28. He had been selected on the back of a career-best 150 for Central Districts against Canterbury, and continued to do well at domestic level, but could never nail down a Test place; his highest score, in ten games spread over 11 years, was 46, against England at Auckland in 1970-71. An attractive batsman and a handy leg-spinner - he bamboozled Otago with six for 40 at Dunedin in January 1970 - "Shrimpo" played on to 1979-80, latterly as Central Districts' captain. He then won arguably greater fame as a coach, his most notable achievement coming when New Zealand's women's won the World Cup at home in 2000-01.
Haidee Tiffen, one of the side that edged out Australia by four runs in the final in Lincoln, remembered "a wonderful coach and mentor. Mike made cricket fun for everyone. He had a really dry sense of humour and made people laugh." He was also a (men's) Test selector for a while, coached the New Zealand A team, and worked at schools at home and in England.
SHUKLA, ANAND, who died on February 2, aged 74, scored more than 4,000 runs and took nearly 400 wickets in Indian domestic cricket with his leg-breaks, chiefly for Bihar and neighbouring Uttar Pradesh. His career started in 1959-60, and ended with the Ranji Trophy final in April 1978. Shukla was unlucky to be plying his trade in the golden era of Indian slow bowling: one giant obstacle to Test selection was Bhagwat Chandrasekhar.
Shukla took seven for 91 in his third match, for Uttar Pradesh against Vidarbha in January 1960, and the following season allied ten wickets in the match against Rajasthan to an undefeated 168. In 1969-70 he took 42 wickets at 16, including a career-best eight for 50 in the Moin-ud-Dowlah Cup. Although he could be devastating against the weaker teams - he took 71 Ranji Trophy wickets against Assam, and 69 against Orissa, both at under 11 apiece - he was less of a force against stronger opposition, and in the Duleep Trophy zonal tournament his wickets cost around 35. And so a national call never came, even though Shukla was a much better batsman than his rivals. He hit nine first-class centuries, the highest 242 not out for Bihar against Orissa at Cuttack in December 1967, after taking five for 68 in the first innings. His younger brother Rakesh Shukla, another leg-spinner, played one Test for India in 1982-83.
SINGH, CHARRAN KAMKARAN, who died on November 19, eight days short of his 80th birthday, was a left-arm spinner from Trinidad whose Test debut - against England at Port-of-Spain in 1959-60 - was marred by the first serious crowd disturbance at a match in the West Indies. England had made 382, and West Indies had struggled to 98 for seven in reply before Singh was run out for a duck. Angered mainly by the batting failure, many of the estimated 30,000 crowd - the largest for any sporting event in the Caribbean at the time - started throwing bottles, then streamed on to the ground. The riot squad and the fire brigade were summoned, and play was abandoned for the day. Cricket resumed next morning, and England rolled on to win by 256 runs, the only outright result of the series. Singh's fleeting Test career ended after his second match, at Georgetown; his five wickets overall included Colin Cowdrey, Ted Dexter and Peter May. He had been selected after five-fors in his first two matches for Trinidad, against Jamaica in October 1959 and the England tourists the following January. "A 21-year-old messenger on the Aranguez Estates, Singh bowled 34 overs on a perfect batting pitch to take five for 57," wrote Alan Ross of that second game. "He has a gently curving flight with some late dip, though no evident sharpness of spin."
Singh's first-class career was brief: he appeared in only 11 matches, in which he took 48 wickets, including seven for 38 against Barbados at Port-of-Spain in 1960-61. He played Second XI cricket for Leicestershire and Northamptonshire in 1962, and later had several seasons in the leagues in Scotland, where he lived for 34 years before returning to Trinidad.
SMALES, KENNETH, died on March 10, aged 87. Of all Nottinghamshire's distinguished bowlers, only Ken Smales managed ten wickets in an innings. It happened over two days against Gloucestershire, in the first Championship match at the Erinoid Ground, Stroud, in June 1956, a month before Jim Laker's feat against the Australians at Old Trafford. Smales took four for 12 on the first evening, then returned on Monday morning to finish with ten for 66; Wisden put it down to "accuracy and judicious use of spin and change of pace".
Smales was an off-spinner who sometimes had to switch to medium-pace and open the bowling when Nottinghamshire's resources were stretched. He arrived at Trent Bridge in 1951 after 13 appearances for Yorkshire, including five for 44 against the 1950 West Indians at Bradford. He played for Nottinghamshire for the next eight summers, and finished his career with 389 wickets at almost 31. His hat-trick against Lancashire at Trent Bridge in 1955 was the first for the county since the war.
At the end of the 1958 season he accepted an offer to become assistant secretary of Nottingham Forest, taking over as secretary three years later and becoming one of football's most respected administrators. He worked closely with manager Brian Clough during Forest's extraordinary run of success in the late 1970s; it was a partnership cemented by a shared love of cricket. Duncan Hamilton, who covered Forest for the Nottingham Evening Post, said: "You would go down to the City Ground in the summer, and find BC and Ken in the office watching the Test match on television together." The pair would sneak over to Trent Bridge whenever possible. Smales's signature was on football's first £1m transfer, when Forest signed Trevor Francis from Birmingham City in 1979. He played club cricket for Bulwell and meticulously compiled their records, bringing the same attention to detail to a published complete record of Forest.
His heroics at Stroud had not been enough to earn victory after Gloucestershire fast bowler Frank McHugh took six wickets in Nottinghamshire's second innings. "I remember when we congratulated Ken on taking all ten wickets," recalled McHugh. "He surprised us by saying that it was only seven. When I queried this, he replied, 'Yes, seven batsmen and three rabbits, one of them a king rabbit.' Bomber Wells asked who this was, and Ken, with a smile on his face, pointed at me."
SMART, LAWRENCE MAXWELL, AM, died on October 13, aged 87. A seam-bowling all-rounder (and a state baseball pitcher) Lawrie Smart played five matches for South Australia in the 1950s, split by a seven-year absence in Britain doing postgraduate studies in dentistry. He became a Member of the Order of Australia in January 2015 for "significant service to dentistry in the field of clinical orthodontics".
SMITH, DONALD JAMES, who died on April 7, aged 81, was a low-slung but nippy seamer who took 73 wickets for Cambridge University, all but two of them in 1955 and 1956, when he won Blues. That included seven for 55 against Gloucestershire at Bristol in his first year, and match figures of eight for 72 against Warwickshire at Fenner's in 1956. By the time he went up to study law at Cambridge he had already been capped for Cheshire, and continued to play for them in the Minor Counties Championship throughout the 1960s, after rejecting offers from first-class sides. Smith took eight for 26 (and 13 for 78 in the match) against Staffordshire at Neston in 1960.
SMITH, VIVIAN IAN, died on August 25, aged 90. Ian Smith played nine Tests for South Africa, with diminishing success after his big-turning leg-breaks and dipping top spinners claimed seven wickets on his debut, at Trent Bridge in 1947. His victims included Bill Edrich - twice bowled soon after reaching fifty - and Godfrey Evans in both innings. England escaped with a draw after following on, then won the next three Tests as Edrich and Denis Compton hit their stride in their record-breaking season. Smith was a fresh faced 22-year-old at the time: John Arlott called him "almost delightfully the boy of the party, with the perfect rebellious schoolboy's forelock". He was hamstrung by the lack of a serviceable googly, but could be devastating on helpful pitches: he took seven for 65 at Derby, then ripped out six for one - including a hat-trick - in the second innings as Derbyshire folded for 32. That helped him top the tour averages with 58 wickets at 23.
But, after that Test debut, eight further matches produced only five wickets, and on his second England tour in 1955 he was a back number behind off-spinner Hugh Tayfield. Smith had come to prominence in 1946-47, when 33 wickets in his first full season for Natal included nine for 88 against Border at Pietermaritzburg. He played on to 1957-58, and made his last Test appearance that season, dismissing Australia's Colin McDonald in both innings at Johannesburg.
STAPLETON, HAROLD VINCENT, who died on September 16, aged 100, was a lefthanded all-rounder who played one first-class match for New South Wales, against South Australia at Adelaide in February 1941. Also skilled at tennis and table tennis, he was the oldest Australian first-class player at the time of his death, a position that passed to the Western Australia leg-spinner Dave Watt.
STEYN, GODFREY EDWARD, who died on June 14, aged 80, was a slow left-armer called into the South African squad after only three first-class matches in his debut season of 1957-58. He was named in the XII for the Second Test against Australia at Cape Town, a few days after taking seven for 32 there for Western Province against Border. "He does not spin the ball a great deal, but relies on an accurate length," wrote the South African batsman Roy McLean, who also noted "a strange hesitation at the top of his action when delivering his arm-ball". Steyn was summoned partly because Clive van Ryneveld, South Africa's captain and a leg-spinner, was recovering from a hand injury. But van Ryneveld passed himself fit, and Steyn was told he would be twelfth man - by whom, it is not clear.
McLean thought the selectors seemed aggrieved that Steyn had been informed already, as if they had intended to choose him in the XI. He never did play a Test, even though he took another seven-for in his next match, against Eastern Province. Steyn played on at provincial level for various teams until 1963-64, finishing with 92 wickets at less than 20.
THWAITES, DR IAN GUY, who died on September 30, aged 72, played for Cambridge University in 1963 and 1964 under the captaincy of Mike Brearley. He won a Blue in his second year, during which he made his highest score, 61, against MCC at Lord's. He later played for Sussex's Second XI. After a spell as a flying doctor in Rhodesia, Thwaites worked as a GP in Horsham from 1970 to 1990, before concentrating on sports medicine;
his patients included Christopher Martin-Jenkins.
TORRENS, WARWICK WILLIAM, who died on August 18, aged 80, was an indefatigable researcher into the history of Queensland cricket, particularly its early years. He produced several books and pamphlets, of which his Queensland Cricket and Cricketers 1862-1981 is arguably the most important.
TOWNLEY, DAVID CHARLES, who died on June 29, aged 63, was a hard-working advocate for blind cricket during years of great change. Born in Hereford, where he played mainstream club cricket, Townley moved to London for art college, and worked in several fields until his eyesight began to fail him in his mid-forties, eventually leaving him with light perception only. But he continued to paint and take photographs, and taught art to visually impaired children. He discovered blind cricket with London Metro; his 46 against Essex at Edgbaston in 2009 remains the highest score by a B1 (totally blind) player in the final of the domestic 40-over competition. And, in the inaugural Blind Ashes of 2004, Townley's 40 not out in the fourth match was crucial to England winning the series 3-2.
He helped set up Blind Cricket England & Wales as a dedicated charity to run the game and, as chairman from 2007, was quick to embrace the ECB's increased support for disability cricket, realising the greater opportunities it could give the elite players. In later years, Townley - clad in trademark black shirt and Panama hat - made several trips to the West Indies with Cricket for Change, and was the first Englishman appointed president of
the World Blind Cricket Council; some felt other countries did not give him the support he deserved. After his death, a round of league fixtures was postponed, and the Twenty20 competition renamed in his honour.
TURNER, FRANCIS MICHAEL, MBE, died on July 21, aged 80. Mike Turner's title at Leicestershire changed over time - from secretary to secretary/manager to chief executive - but for 33 years there was never much doubt who was in charge at Grace Road. He exercised such control that he would sometimes forget even the pretence of collectivity, and refer to the club as "I". He got away with it because he was a brilliant administrator who improved every aspect of Leicestershire: their cricket, finances, facilities and reputation.
Turner was a Leicester boy who tried to make his way at the club as a leg-spinning allrounder. He played ten first-class games in six years, but was about to give up when he was invited upstairs to help out in the office. Within two years he had studied enough about business on day release to beat off 86 outside applicants and be chosen, at 25, as the county game's youngest-ever secretary. And just two years later, in 1962, he invited three other Midland counties to join in an experimental mini-knockout cup, a success which persuaded Lord's to initiate the Gillette Cup the following season.
Success on the field took a little longer, but in 1966 Turner appointed Tony Lock captain after a few games the previous year, a role he fulfilled with such laughing, snarling exuberance that in 1967 Leicestershire finished joint-second, at that stage their best position. After Lock came Ray Illingworth and a host of other retreads and discards, ready to be refurbished and given a new lease of life. For the rest of his time the club were almost always competitive: in the mid-1970s they won four one-day trophies in six seasons and, in 1975, their first Championship. "He was a talented guy who knew his stuff and he made good signings," recalled Martin Johnson, who covered almost half the Turner era for the Leicester Mercury. "And he had his hands on everything. If the flush broke in the ladies' toilets, he had to know. He would bollock people for planting the tulips the wrong way." Turner was also very skilful at making sure he could declare an annual profit, even if it was tiny.
He was often seen as half of a double act with his namesake and counterpart at Northamptonshire, Ken Turner, who adopted similar techniques to keep a small club afloat. But whereas Ken was gruff and did not worry about tulips, Mike was normally urbane and had a better sense of public relations. But his power started to grate on a new generation of committee men. In 1990 he was obliged to bring in a cricket manager: Bob Simpson was chosen after Illingworth turned him down. This did not arrest the team's decline, or halt the outflow of talent now leaving Leicestershire. Internal relations grew more strained, and Turner was forced out in 1993. He remained active in cricket, and specialised in helping clubs large and small get access to Lottery and other funds. The indoor school at Grace Road bears his name.
VAN SCHOOR, RAYMOND, died on November 20, aged 25, five days after collapsing during Namibia's match against Free State at Windhoek in the South African one-day competition. Namibia were 16 short of their eventual victory when, on 15 not out, van Schoor fell into the arms of his batting partner, Nicolaas Scholtz, and was rushed to hospital. He had suffered a stroke. A batsman who often kept wicket, van Schoor had played a record 265 matches for Namibia in all formats since his debut at 17 in 2007, appearing five times alongside his father, Melt. "He was a sensational fielder and could basically do anything," said the former national coach Doug Watson. "If you asked him to play wicky, he'd probably be the best wicketkeeper in Namibia. He was just as brilliant in the slips as he was at backward point." Van Schoor was the player of the tournament in the World Twenty20 Qualifier early in 2012, scoring 323 runs as Namibia won all seven of their group games. He also hit five first-class centuries, including 157 - during an
opening stand of 348 with Ewald Steenkamp - against Bermuda in the ICC Intercontinental Shield at Windhoek in April 2010.
WEBB, ALVIN BERNARD, died on January 25, aged 79. Al Webb was an American journalist who was decorated for bravery during the Vietnam War, after being injured by shrapnel while trying to help a wounded marine. Later assignments included Guyana, where he reported the Jonestown Massacre in 1978: "The exact number [of dead] turned out to be 913," he said later. "It's a number I've never forgotten." Webb had first spied cricket during a posting to London, and eventually returned there to live. He rekindled his fascination for the game, becoming a member of MCC and qualifying as an umpire. "It became his passion," said his wife Elizabeth. "He went to all the big matches".
WELD, WILFRID JOSEPH, JP, DL, who died while on holiday in Tahiti on December 3, aged 81, was a long-time supporter of Hampshire, joining their committee in 1973, serving as president in 1990 and, from 2002, as patron. The head of the Lulworth Estate in Dorset, which had been in his family since 1641, Weld was hugely influential in Hampshire's move from Northlands Road to the Rose Bowl in 2001. "I have never known Hampshire
cricket without Wilfrid," said county chairman Rod Bransgrove. "I will miss his enthusiasm, ebullience and good humour."
WESTAWAY, COLIN EDWARD, died on October 15, aged 79. A leg-spinner who took six for 88 against New South Wales at the Gabba in 1960-61 - his victims included Brian Booth, Neil Harvey and Grahame Thomas - Col Westaway was poorly treated by Queensland's selectors, who cast him aside for good two years later. He was a member of a cricket-playing family who owned a pineapple farm at Moggill, near Brisbane.
WHITCOMBE, PHILIP ARTHUR, who died on August 11, aged 92, was a 6ft 6in seamer briefly mentioned as an England possible during the fast-bowling drought of the immediate post-war years. His name came to wider attention when, playing for Middlesex at Lord's in 1948, he dismissed Don radman for six; in his previous match, for Oxford University against Yorkshire, Whitcombe had twice bowled Len Hutton. "He took full advantage of his great height, and used the wicket most intelligently," wrote Bradman.
"Whilst there was any moisture and greenness in it he made the ball move towards slips and to the leg side. One of the latter deliveries found the inside edge of my bat." But the ever-shrewd Don also spotted a potential problem: "Sometimes these extremely tall athletes find the strain of bowling too severe."
And so it proved: bothered by injuries to ankle and shoulder, Whitcombe played only one more county game, later that season. He did return to Oxford to win a third Blue in 1949, and finished with 80 wickets for them at 19. In 1948, not long after outfoxing Bradman, he had cranked up his inswinger to good effect for a career-best seven for 51 - including future Test players Trevor Bailey, Hubert Doggart and Doug Insole - as Oxford won the Varsity Match by an innings. In the 1950s, though, constrained by those injuries and the need to work for a living - first as a shipping agent, then as a Surrey sheep farmer - Whitcombe confined his first-class appearances to MCC and the Free Foresters, for whom he claimed five top-order wickets for 62 against Cambridge in 1954. Cricket had long been part of his life: his father, a major-general who played briefly for Essex, had taught him to bowl as a boy, aiming at a handkerchief placed on a good length on the lawn at home. Whitcombe married the daughter of Lord Clydesmuir, the last Governor of Bombay.
WIGHT, PETER BERNARD, who died on December 31, aged 85, was one of the most attractive batsmen in English county cricket in the late 1950s and early '60s, his runs a vital part of a Somerset revival that followed four successive years at the foot of the Championship table. With Scottish and Portuguese ancestry, he was part of a large sporting family in Georgetown, British Guiana. His cousin Vibart was vice-captain of the West Indies team that toured England in 1928; his brother Leslie played one Test, at Georgetown in 1952-53; and other family members represented British Guiana (now Guyana) at cricket, hockey, tennis and football.
In March 1951, the 20-year-old Wight made his debut, against Jamaica, scoring 39 before being given caught behind, to his annoyance. It was his only match in the West Indies: within days he was on a cargo boat to England, linking up with fellow countryman Bruce Pairaudeau at Burnley. He planned to become an engineer, but England did not impress him - the cold, the rationing, the outside toilets - and his employer refused to give him time off for his night-school exams. However, his cricket prospered in the Lancashire League, and he met his future wife Joyce.
"Why don't you play for Somerset?" his sister's husband suggested when he visited them in Bridgwater in 1953. "They've got no players." Next day they were on the bus to Taunton, and soon enough he was making his debut against the touring Australians. Out for a duck, and feeling low during a skittles evening, he was consoled by Richie Benaud: "Don't worry, you'll get a century in the second innings." And he did.
A waif-like figure, Wight gained a reputation for hypochondria. "I kept fit running down the chemist for him," one twelfth man recalled. But, with a bat in his hands, he was no weakling. "His perfect timing," wrote John Arlott, "invests his most delicate strokes with a power remarkable for one so slightly built." His team-mate Graham Atkinson recalled: "There was always a lovely ring to his bat. I used to stand at the other end and drool."
His way of playing the quicks - backing away and freeing up his arms - gained him an unwarranted reputation for being vulnerable against pace. Yet at Blackpool in 1959 he made a fine 106 against Brian Statham; and, at The Oval in 1956, when Peter Loader skittled Somerset for 159 and 196, he hit 62 and 128, both unbeaten. Only Fred Trueman consistently got the better of him. When, in 1962 the Yorkshire captain Vic Wilson dropped Trueman for arriving late at Taunton, Wight celebrated with the second double-century of his career. In all, he hit 16,965 first-class runs for Somerset, a total exceeded only by Harold Gimblett.
He also enjoyed occasional success as an off-spinner, most notably at Chesterfield in 1957 when, on as fifth change, he won the match with six for 29. After his retirement he set up a cricket school in Bath, where he spent his winters coaching, and became an umpire, standing for 30 summers until 1995, but never in an international; in fact he never saw an international day's cricket in his life. His total of first-class appearances in England (328 as player, 567 as umpire) is a post-war record.
Never losing his high-pitched Caribbean accent, he was not one for the coarser aspects of English cricket - the drinking and the swearing - and perhaps as a result his contribution has been undervalued. "He's done so much for cricket," Somerset's Brian Langford once said. "He doesn't get the recognition he deserves."
WILLIAMS, ALVADON BASIL, died on October 25, aged 65. Known as "Shotgun" for his approach to opening the batting for Jamaica and West Indies, Basil Williams played seven Tests in the absence of those signed up by Kerry Packer for World Series Cricket. He started superbly, with a rapid 100 in the second innings of his debut, against Australia at Georgetown in April 1978. He added a more sedate 111 against India at Calcutta in December, and averaged 39 overall - but had to make way on the return of Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Haynes when WSC was disbanded the following year.
That 118-ball 100 at Bourda typified his attitude. "A fascinating duel between [Jeff] Thomson and Williams held the crowd's attention," reported the West Indies Cricket Annual. "Although beaten several times for pace, Williams kept on going for his shots, cutting and driving with relish and having 11 fours in 60 when stumps were drawn on the second day." He collected eight more boundaries within an hour on the third morning to reach his hundred, then hooked the next ball, from Wayne Clark, straight to fine leg.
Strong off the back foot, and an especially ferocious cutter, Williams made five first class centuries, the highest 126 not out against Karnataka on the 1978-79 Indian tour. After retirement he became a Jamaican selector, board member and team manager. One of his sons, Germaine, became an entertainer in a different sphere in the United States, as the popular rap artist Canibus.
WILLIAMS, KENNETH MARK, died on June 4, aged 70. Mark Williams was a cricket loving naval-officer-turned-diplomat who became chief executive of the Lord's Taverners and an MCC committee member. His diplomatic tasks included persuading prime ministers John Major and Bob Hawke to open the batting together in a match against schoolboys during a Commonwealth summit in Zimbabwe. He also wrote about Zimbabwe for Wisden
1993. Williams ran the Taverners between 1999 and 2007, ensuring cricket remained at the heart of the charity. "He was very efficient, very committed," said the former chairman Neil Durden-Smith. "He ate, drank and slept the Taverners." Later he became an equally passionate opponent of the MCC establishment in the complex long-running argument about the land above the railway tunnels at the Nursery End. In 2015 he failed to regain
his place on the committee when the club resurrected an old system of putting stars on the ballot paper beside their four preferred candidates; this was interpreted as a move to keep Williams out. However, his supporters believe the resulting furore helped bring about a change of tack, even though he did not live to see it.
WOOD, MARTIN JOHN, who died on February 10, aged 66, was one of the first specialist sellers of cricket books, turning a youthful passion for collecting into a business, which started when he sold duplicate copies of Wisden. By 1970 he had filled the basement of his parents' home in Sevenoaks with cricket paraphernalia, and became a familiar figure at county grounds, often lugging books around for signature by the authors to increase their value. He was also a diverting presence at book sales, occasionally surprising suave auctioneers by barking out a bid for an unexpected amount: "He could be very animated in the auction-room," remembered David Frith.
Wood's distinctive shuffling gait was the result of a polio-like disease which afflicted him from the age of eight, but was never satisfactorily diagnosed. It left him with left-side paralysis; but to visit his book-lined basement and watch him expertly wrap a parcel using one good arm and one good leg was spellbinding. He was a shrewd negotiator, once crossing swords with Robert Maxwell about the price of a complete set of Wisden: Wood never blinked, and Maxwell paid up in full. After the death of his father, he moved to a nearby bungalow, where the garage was fitted with shelves and filled with books. But he never mastered the internet, which changed the habits of buyers, and ill health began to intrude. Still, as his brother Andrew said: "He never complained about his lot, and his bravery was inspirational."
WOODCOCK, ROY GORDON, who died on August 15, aged 81, was a left-arm spinner who won Blues at Oxford in 1957 and 1958. Forced to operate on what were in the main good batting tracks, Woodcock kept the runs down, but was not a prolific wicket-taker. He never took five wickets in an innings, although he did manage four lots of four, his best return including three past and future Test players - Bill Edrich, Eric Russell and John Murray - against Middlesex in the Parks in 1957. Woodcock was also a useful lower order batsman, who made 57 against the New Zealand tourists the following summer.
He never appeared in county cricket, although he did play a few matches for Worcestershire's Second XI. He taught geography at his old school, Worcester Royal Grammar, and wrote several walking guides, including one to the nearby Malvern Hills.
WYATT, JOHN LEONARD, died on January 29, aged 95. Len Wyatt was part of the first Northern Districts side to compete in New Zealand's Plunket Shield, in 1956-57, and was their oldest surviving player. His four matches all came that season, which he rounded off with 54, opening against a Wellington side containing several Test players. Wyatt played club cricket until he was 59, and claimed to have scored 42,175 runs, with 128 centuries, and taken 1,165 wickets. His brother, Ivan, played first-class cricket for Auckland.
YAWAR SAEED, who died on October 21, aged 80, was the manager of Pakistan's troubled tour of England in 2010, which was tarnished by the spot-fixing controversy, in which Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir, under the instruction of their captain Salman Butt, bowled deliberate no-balls in the Lord's Test. Yawar saw the tour out, but stepped down shortly afterwards, ending a career in cricket administration which had featured long stints as a board member and selector, and managing overseas tours, including the only Pakistan team to win the annual triangular one-day series in Australia, in 1996-97. Yawar's father, Mian Mohammad Saeed, had been the first captain of independent Pakistan, skippering them in unofficial Tests - but he was sidelined by the autocratic Abdul Hafeez Kardar, who may have stymied Yawar's international career too.
A handy medium-pacer, he had two seasons with Somerset. According to Peter Roebuck's county history, "Yawar was apt to ask colleagues, 'Don't you think I'm quick?' but wisely he rarely waited for the answer." He took 76 wickets for them, including a career-best five for 61 against the 1955 South African tourists. The previous year he had played against the Pakistan team on their first Test tour of England. He took five wickets in the match at Taunton, but was upset his compatriots did not speak to him, apparently under orders from Kardar, their captain. It might not have helped that Pakistan's star bowler Fazal Mahmood, with whom Kardar had an uneasy relationship, was his brother-in-law. Yawar played only nine first-class matches at home in Pakistan, although he did claim five for 133 for Punjab against the 1955-56 MCC A team, and five for 89 the following season to help Punjab beat Karachi Whites in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy final.
ZAFAR ALTAF, who died on December 5, aged 74, was secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in Pakistan between 1972 and 1975, and later the board's chairman and a national selector. He was assistant manager of Pakistan's tour of England in 1974, and manager in 1999, when they reached the World Cup final. He had also been a fine batsman, scoring 99 in his third match and 111 in the fourth, in 1958-59; two years later he toured India under Fazal Mahmood's captaincy, but did not play a Test. For Lahore Greens against Bahawalpur in the Ayub Trophy in 1965-66, Zafar scored 268, and shared a stand of 346 with Majid Khan, who made 241. An economist, he joined Pakistan's civil service, and was the Federal Secretary for Agriculture for ten years.
ZEESHAN MOHAMMED, who was 18, died after he was struck by the ball in a club game in Pakistan on January 25. "He was hit in the chest by a fast bowler while batting and collapsed on the pitch," said a doctor at the Orangi Town hospital near Karachi.
The obituaries section includes those who died, or whose deaths were noted, in 2015. Wisden always welcomes information about those who might be included: please send details to email@example.com, or to John Wisden & Co, 13 Old Aylesfield, Golden Pot, Alton, Hampshire GU34 4BY.