Monday 25 April 2011
Further to your obituary of Gerry Alexander (20 April), I was fortunate while at Cambridge to have played in the Caius 1st XI with Gerry in1950 when both Oxbridge University sides were very strong, writes
Cambridge included several Test players: May, Doggart, Dewes, Shepperd of England and McCarthy of South Africa; John Warr and Robin Marlar subsequently made the England side, and Trevor Bailey had just gone down.
On merit Gerry should not have had to wait until the next year to gain his blue, but the delay might have been because he didn't don the wicketkeeper's gloves till half-way through the 1950 season during an inter-college game. The Caius wicketkeeper had injured a hand batting and our captain, David Evans, asked Gerry – a magnificent close-to-the-wicket fielder – to take the gloves.
"Oh man," protested a slightly reluctant Gerry, "I haven't kept since I was at school!"
"You're on," ordered the skipper. After my first over of brisk medium-paced outswingers Gerry asked me if I'd mind if he stood up. As that was what Godfrey Evans did to Alec Bedser in the opening overs of Test matches I didn't feel my pace belittled by the request and was soon rewarded by a stumping and a leg-side catch off one of my (rare) inswingers. These, and some other smart glove-work impressed a couple of blues in the opposition and Gerry made the University side the next year.
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