Tour Diary: So what's in a name? Not enough just yet

Click to follow
The Independent Online

One of the most enduring sights of the First Test was that of Ian Bell. It was nothing to do with his batting, intelligent though it was at times; it arrived when he dived to stop a ball at cover. Having been spreadeagled across the sponsors' logo on the pitch Bell came up looking as though he had changed into England's one-day outfit. This series is named after the sponsors, a bank, but it has no proper commemorative name. The Ashes, of course, is the original and best, but it has been joined by the Wisden Trophy for matches between England and West Indies. Australia play India for the Gavaskar-Border Trophy and West Indies for the Worrell Trophy. But it seems a woefully haphazard arrangement. It is time for countries to try to give commemorative names to all series. Pakistan played their first away Test against England. Perhaps it could be the Kardar-Hutton Trophy after the two legends of the game who captained the sides in the inaugural 1954 series. Or the Compton-Mahmood Trophy after the two players who produced the most notable performances in that rubber.

A PLACE IN HISTORY: Shaun Udal, who won his first Test cap in Multan, is the 24th oldest player to have made a debut for England at 36 years and 239 days. Thus he moves down to 25th place Sir Henry Dudley Gresham Leveson Gower, who was a day younger when he first played (and captained) in South Africa on New Year's Day 1910. Leveson Gower (pronounced of course Leeson Gore) played only three matches for England (there is a target for Udal) but was associated with the game all his life. He was president of MCC and Surrey, chairman of the England selectors, picked Scarborough Festival teams for 51 years, played cricket in America, Portugal, Gibraltar and Malta and was knighted for services to the game in 1953, a year before he died at the age of 80. Udal, incidentally, is the first Hampshire- born man to play for England since Arthur Hill in 1895. He, too, played three matches.

CARR'S MISSION: John Carr, England's operations manager, has arrived in Faisalabad from India. There, he had failed to change England's harsh-looking itinerary for their tour early next year. It embraces few of the big centres except Bombay and includes Agartala, venue for only 29 first-class matches, and Dharamshala, where first-class cricket has never been played. But the latter is the home of the Dalai Lama, whose help England might need. "Nothing has yet been finalised," said Carr. But time is running out.

Comments