Franchise Squad From The Before The White Ball Era

I name a franchise squad comprising entirely players from before white ball cricket was played – and challenge cricket fans among my readers to do likewise.

INTRODUCTION

I am deviating briefly from my coverage of my stay in Cornwall because mention was made of players from the past who would have been useful in franchise cricket during this morning’s BBL commentary on Test Match Special, and I got thinking about a franchise squad comprised of players who flourished before white ball cricket was played.

RULES

To be eligible for consideration under my rules players must have retired before the inaugural T20 cup took place in 2003. Also, unless a very good reason can be found players considered for this must have had some international experience. At least one recognized wicketkeeper must be in the squad.

THOMAS’S SQUAD

I have named 15 for my squad, an envisaged first XI and four reserves.

GILBERT LAIRD JESSOP

The most consistently fast scoring batter in the game’s history (he reached 100 in less than an hour at the crease 11 times in first class cricket, and in a career that included 53 centuries he only once batted as long as three hours in), a gun fielder (his credits include a direct hit run out of Victor Trumper in a test match) and a crafty pace bowler. If one had a time machine to fetch him in his prime into the present day he would send an IPL auction into meltdown.

GARFIELD ST AUBRUN SOBERS

Quite simply the most complete cricketer who ever played the game – a batter capable of hitting six sixes in an over and who averaged 57.78 in test cricket, three bowlers in one (left arm seam and swing, slow left arm orthodox and slow left arm wrist spin, the latter of which would be especially useful in T20) and a brilliant fielder.

ISAAC VIVIAN ALEXANDER RICHARDS

The best batter in the early days of ODI cricket and a brilliant fielder. In view of who else is available to bowl in this squad his off spin would be unlikely to be called on.

ROBERT GRAEME POLLOCK

He averaged over 60 in test cricket, and although he never played ODIs due to South Africa being in isolation by the time that form of cricket took off he averaged over 50 in List A cricket with a best of 222 not out.

FRANK EDWARD WOOLLEY

The only cricketer to have achieved the career triple of 10,000 runs (58,969 no less), 1,000 wickets (2,066 of those) and 1,000 catches (1,018) in first class cricket, and the only non-wicketkeeper to have pouched 1,000 catches.

BASIL LEWIS D’OLIVEIRA

An attacking middle order batter and the sort of medium pace nibbler who would be very useful in T20.

LESLIE ETHELBERT GEORGE AMES

The only recognized wicketkeeper ever to score 100 first class hundreds, and he won the Lawrence trophy for the fastest hundred of the season twice in the first three years of its existence.

GEORGE HERBERT HIRST

He achieved the double of 1,000 runs and 100 wickets in a first class season 14 times in his career, including the only occasion on which anyone managed the ‘double double’ (1906, 2,385 runs and 208 wickets). An aggressive right handed bat and left arm pace bowler, he was also like Jessop what is now termed a gun fielder.

JAMES CHARLES LAKER

Probably (sorry Nathan Lyon fans, I do not buy your claims on his behalf) the best ever at what he did, namely bowling off spin. In 1956 he took 46 wickets in the Ashes series, including 19-90 in the 4th match at Old Trafford), and also helped his county to beat the Aussies by taking 10-88 (off 46 overs on a good wicket in the first innings of the match) and 2-42 in the second Aussie innings.

ALFRED SHAW

He bowled more overs in first class cricket (no List A in his day) than he conceded runs (25,699 overs bowled, 24,873 runs conceded), and captured just over 2,000 first class wickets. His impeccable length and canny variations of pace would make him an excellent option in T20. I also choose him as captain – he proved himself good at the job at a time when few professional cricketers got the chance (most captains in his era were, nominally at least, amateurs who did not get paid to play cricket).

CLARENCE VICTOR GRIMMETT

Clarrie Grimmett (aka Scarl, Old Grum or Fox) the New Zealand born Aussie leg spinner took 216 wickets in only 37 test matches (he had to wait until he was 33 to get the call), and a record first-class tally for someone who never played County Championship cricket (1,424, again at just about six wickets per game). He was exceedingly economical, commanded a range of variations (and was forever experimenting with new types of delivery), and as such would seem made for T20 bowling (although like Shaw above he would probably not have been best pleased at being restricted to four overs per innings).

WALTER REGINALD HAMMOND

A stroke playing batter with a formidable record (over 50,000 first class runs including 167 centuries), a superb slip fielder and a very capable bowler (and in T20, knowing that he would not be bowling more than four overs at any one time he may have been a little less unenthusiastic about this aspect of his game than he was in first class and test cricket). He once hit the first five balls of a days play, bowled by no less a personage than Ted Macdonald, for fours, and according to reports it was only a good bit of fielding that stopped being six fours out of six for the over.

MULVANTRAI HIMMATLAL “VINOO” MANKAD

A slow left-arm bowler, a fine batter (he regularly opened for his country in test cricket) and a capable fielder. He was the first bowler in test cricket to run out an opposition batter for backing up too far, causing a controversy that continues to flare up every time something similar happens (my sympathies are exclusively with the bowler – the batter who gets run out is trying to gain an unfair advantage). If he were to be in the team it would be fun to have Ashwin in the ranks of the opposition!

MICHAEL JOHN PROCTER

An aggressive middle order batter, a fine fielder and a fast bowler who could also bowl off breaks, Procter could come in for anyone save Ames without the side as a whole suffering.

WILLIAM JOSEPH OREILLY

A very different type of legspinner to Grimmett, bowling at around medium pace and generating extra bounce (he was tall, unlike Grimmett), O’Reilly (though he would be voluble in expressing his dislike of the format, and I am quite certain that what he would have to say about The Hundred/ Harrison’s Harebrained Have a Hit would be unprintable) would be excellent at this form of the game.

This squad gives me a plentiful supply of attacking batters, a huge range of bowling options including every style of bowling and plenty of excellent fielders.

CONCLUSION, CHALLENGE AND PHOTOGRAPHS

For ease of references here is my squad listed without comments: 1)Gilbert Jessop, 2) Garry Sobers, 3)Viv Richards, 4)Graeme Pollock, 5)Frank Woolley, 6)Basil D’Oliveira
7) +Les Ames, 8)George Hirst, 9)Jim Laker 10)*Alfred Shaw 11)Clarrie Grimmett, Reserves: Wally Hammond, Vinoo Mankad, Mike Procter, Bill O’Reilly.

For the cricket fans among my readers here is a challenge: name your own franchise squad comprising players from before T20 cricket started, either directly in the comments, or in a post of your own which you link to in the comments below.

Here are a few Cornish photos to finish…

P1290156 (2)
Two shots showing waves crashing over the breakwater that is visible from my parents living room.

P1290157 (2)

P1290158 (2)
A few shots from Cawsand, the closest village to my parents home.

P1290159 (2)P1290160 (2)P1290161 (2)P1290162 (2)P1290163 (2)P1290164 (2)P1290165 (2)P1290166 (2)

P1290167 (2)
Three views of Fort Picklecombe from Cawsand.

P1290168 (2)P1290169 (2)P1290170 (2)

P1290177 (2)
A heron standing on the breakwater (two shots)

P1290179 (2)P1290182 (2)P1290183 (2)

P1290186 (2)
The officers mess at Fort Picklecombe (permission for the building was given on condition that this part be modelled on Warwick Castle).

 

Side By Side

Some musings on the county championship (cricket), and an acknowledgement of King’s Lynn’s latest effort to advertise its heritage.

INTRODUCTION

I am posting about two unrelated matters, hence the title, which is borrowed from a series of Bridge Magazine articles written many years ago by Terence Reese. The firs topic of the day is…

CRICKET

As another English season draws to a close there are two topics to cover in this section, first of all…

A THREE WAY TUSSLE FOR THE COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP

Thanks to Somerset continuing their late charge with a 10 wicket victory over Yorkshire, and Lancashire earning a draw against leaders Middlesex the final round of games will commence with Middlesex, Somerset and Yorkshire in that order all in contention for the title. Owing to the fact that a decision to alter the structure of the two divisions has meant that there is only one promotion place up for grabs the second division is now settled, with Essex having secured the promotion.

In the final round of matches Middlesex will play Yorkshire at Lord’s, while Somerset face already relegated Nottinghamshire. While my chief emotion as a cricket fan is gratitude that the championship race is going down to the wire, I cannot claim complete impartiality – despite having grown up in London and possessing a Yorkshire surname, it is my support for the underdog that wins out in this contest – I will be rooting for Somerset. Somerset have never won the championship (Northamptonshire and Gloucestershire are also in this position, although the latter were named as champion county three times in the 1870s, before the official start of the county championship in 1890). Apart from being a historic first, a championship win for Somerset this year would also be a fitting reward for Marcus Trescothick as he approaches the end of a long and distinguished career with the county.

The change in the structure of the two divisions mentioned earlier, moving from nine teams in each to eight in first and ten in the second, is not the most significant one happening in English domestic cricket, that distinction going to…

THE INTRODUCTION OF CITY FRANCHISES

Yes, it has been decided by a vote of 16-3 in favour to augment the existing domestic T20 competition with an eight-team city based competition. I am not going to say either yea or nay at this stage, waiting to see how it works in practice before making a judgement. I mark the break between this section and the second section of the post with some recent photographs from King’s Lynn…

dscn5266dscn5391

dscn5392
This is the uncropped version of a butterfly picture
butterfly-close-up
And this is the cropped version.

dscn5393dscn5396dscn5397dscn5398

A CODA TO HERITAGE OPEN DAY

Beales Department Store which is near thus bus station in King’s Lynn has recently closed down. Rather than leave the frontage as blank windows, it has been used as an opportunity to advertise our town’s heritage, as shown below…

dscn5258
Save for the planning notice at the end, these pictures are presented in the order in which they were taken.

dscn5259dscn5260dscn5261dscn5262dscn5263dscn5264dscn5265dscn5383dscn5384dscn5385dscn5386dscn5387dscn5388dscn5389-0dscn5390dscn5389

A SUNDAY SPREAD

An account of a walk, some final thoughts on the IDS resignation, some very brief comments about the six nations and some stuff about the World T20

INTRODUCTION

With my parents and my aunt away I have been left to my own devices this Sunday. So I am producing this post which features the World T20, a short section on the most despised British minister in living memory (yesterday I posted to links to pieces here and here), and today I am making my last comments on him, and what I shall be starting with…

A SUNDAY STROLL

The live commentary from the World T20 having finished and it being sunny outside I set off for a long walk, starting as so often by heading to the river via the Purfleet.

The river front, from the Purfleet to the Millfleet was, as one would expect on a Sunday, quiet, although the survey boats were still in evidence.

DSCN5353DSCN5358DSCN5359

DSCN5360
A cormorant in flight – although they fly low they fly very fast, so capturing them using this mode of travel is difficult.

The cormorant in flight above leads on to my efforts to capture a swimming cormorant (even more of a challenge, because if they are in the water they are usually looking for food, so surface only briefly between dives but…)

Old Boal Quay provided nothing of interest, but ‘cormorant platform’, the Nar outfall and the stretch of the Great Ouse adjoining Hardings Pits did…

Cormorant Platform
I had thought there would be no ‘cormorant platform’ shot, but just before leaving the river I got this one.

DSCN5362DSCN5363DSCN5364

DSCN5365
We have lift off!

DSCN5366

DSCN5367
A second capture of a swimming cormorant in one day.

DSCN5368

Neither Harding’s Pits nor the area around St John’s Walk offered very much, but I did get these pictures between the river and hitting the path along Bawsey Drain to to the town centre…

I walked about halfway along the path that follows Bawsey Drain before crossing a bridge and heading through a field and round the edge of another to a couple of ponds, from the second of which a path leads to Littleport Street, and thence a cut a know well that brings on to the train station and finally home.

DSCN5380DSCN5381DSCN5382DSCN5383DSCN5384DSCN5385DSCN5386DSCN5387DSCN5388DSCN5389DSCN5390DSCN5391DSCN5394DSCN5395

DSCN5399
The new cycle park at King’s Lynn station.

THE END OF THE 
INHUMANE DESPICABLE SOCIOPATH

Yesterday morning I woke up to news of the resignation of the most hated of all British government Ministers. His resignation statement was obviously bogus since it mentioned conscience (which he has never possessed). The most popular explanation was that it was a kind of ‘IDS of March’ act with Osborne’s being the back into which the dagger was being plunged. Others thought that it was to enable him to concentrate on campaigning for a ‘Brexit’ vote.

Signs are not encouraging as regards his replacement – Mr Crabb (for he it is – a sideways move from his previous position of Welsh Secretary – sorry about the pun) has a voting record similar to that of the man he replaces. Mr Crabb can hardly fail to be an improvement (that is not so much setting the bar low as not setting a bar at all) but he may very well not be much of one.

I will conclude this section with some of twitter highlights about the man…

IDS Resigns
The resignation picture
IDS Votes on benefits
His voting record on Welfare – a hint as to why this resignation was a matter for celebration

IDS UN Investigation

IDS Poster
Mike Sivier of Vox Political produced this offering.
IDS Pie Chart
One view of the real reason for the resignation.
IDS Epitaph
The best epitaph for IDS’s political career – this excoriation from Salma Yaqoob on Question Time was bang on the money.#

SPORT SUPPLEMENT

Sport usually occupies the back pages of print media, so I have put it at the back of this post. First a brief congratulation to England for completing their six nations grand slam (as with Wales’ obliteration of Italy – 67-14 – and Ireland’s win over Scotland the result was no great surprise). The rest of this section is dedicated to the

WORLD T20

This is going be longer than such a section would usually be because of this post which appeared on whyevolutionistrue yesterday. As you will see, this attempt at an explanation is too long to submit as a comment to someone else’s blog. We start with a glossary of a few important terms:

Innings: can either apply to an individual performance or to the team performance. In a cricket context the singular and plural are spelled the same way – ‘inning’ has no meaning.

Over: A fixed number of legal balls (these days six, though at various times in cricket’s long history four, five and eight have been favoured) that the bowler delivers before the action switches to the other end and another bowler.

Run: The unit in which a team score is measured. It is based on running the length of the cricket pitch, which is worth one. Balls that reach the boundary score four (if they bounce before doing so) or six (if they cross on the full).

Wicket: The construction, comprising three stumps and two bails that the batter defends. Cricket is generally an eleven-a-side game, so each side has ten wickets to defend (as there have be two batsman together).

The World T20 is genuinely a world tournament (unlike some sports, cricket only uses international designations when they are genuinely appropriate!), with the full member nations of the ICC qualifying automatically, and the ‘associate members’ playing a pre-qualifying tournament from which some make it to the main event. The T20 part of the format refers to the format of the matches, where each side gets 20 overs to bat, and bowlers are limited to four overs each (so you better have at least five folk in your team who can bowl decently). Scoring in these matches is generally fast, though the England v South Africa match of a few days ago in which a South Africa tally of 229-4 proved insufficient was exceptional even for this format. The India v Pakistan match that provoked the google doodle which in turn provoked the WEIT post had extra spice because of the political situation which also means that those two countries only ever play each other in global tournaments, never in bilateral series. For the record India won, not without a few scares along the way. This morning GB time there was a match between South Africa and Afghanistan, won by South Africa but with the Afghans giving a very good account of themselves.