In the postwar years of austerity there were few more attractive sights in English cricket than the Nottinghamshire batsman Reg Simpson. With a quick eye and the natural gift of timing he developed a back-foot technique that seemed to give him more time than anyone else against the fast bowlers. If they bowled bouncers he swayed effortlessly out of the way. If they pitched it up he drove them elegantly. Always he played with a positive spirit, prepared to embrace risk in pursuit of victory.
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Sunday 22 March 2009
There have always been Australians in county cricket. They have frequently, like Stuart Clark last week, prompted a fuss. Take Billy Midwinter. WG Grace did. Born in England, Midwinter emigrated to Australia (like Darren Pattinson of more recent vintage, but that is another can of worms). He played for Australia in the first Test match of all in 1877 and became the first bowler to take five wickets in a Test innings in the Aussies' 45-run victory. Later that year, missing Gloucestershire where he was born, he became the county's first professional. But the following summer Australia were touring and Midwinter, offered oodles of cash, agreed to play for them. As they prepared to take on Middlesex at Lord's, WG Grace, the captain of Gloucestershire, stormed the dressing room and kidnapped Midwinter to play in the county's match at The Oval. He stayed awhile and toured Australia with England in 1881-82, playing four Tests. But he changed allegiance again and played another six Tests for Australia. From the 1950s on, there has been a steady flow of Australians in county cricket – the spinners Bruce Dooland and George Tribe among the first, miffed at being overlooked by the Test selectors – and recently it has turned into a flood. Thanks to the polarising acquiescence of counties, five of Australia's team in the Third Test against South Africa have played county cricket, many for several clubs. Clark has played for two counties already. Middlesex will be Phillip Hughes's first, but probably not his last. Loyalty is of no consideration, they are merely professionals being professional. They should all be welcomed as guests, but to suggest they do not hinder the development of English cricketers is folly. Perhaps they should be kidnapped.
Thursday 19 March 2009
Tuesday 20 January 2009
Lord Marland of Odstock may find the past coming back to haunt him in his campaign to lead English cricket into a brave new world. Upon entering the hustings yesterday to try to unseat Giles Clarke, the present chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board, Lord Marland claimed the current regime had systematic problems.
Tuesday 02 December 2008
The coroner at the inquest of Jean Charles de Menezes today ruled out a verdict of unlawful killing.
Sunday 30 November 2008
When Stephen Chalke proposed a book about 1950s cricket, publishers were united in their indifference. So he published it himself, to great acclaim. In the ensuing 11 years he has written a further 10 – two named as 'Wisden' Books of the Year – and this latest is a collection of his magazine and newspaper articles, focusing mainly on county cricket between 1946 and 1969.
Friday 10 October 2008
The former cricketer Sir Ian Botham will dust off his walking shoes and set off on another fundraising expedition today taking in nine towns across the UK.
Monday 06 October 2008
Mark Ramprakash has been suspended for the first two LV County Championship matches of next season for repeatedly swearing at an umpire.
Monday 15 September 2008
Wednesday 10 September 2008
Worcestershire will honour Graeme Hick by naming the new £2m pavilion at New Road after the veteran batsman.
Tuesday 09 September 2008
Monday 18 August 2008
Marcus Trescothick, one of England's finest cricketers, spoke for the first time yesterday of the clinical depression that forced him to abandon his international career.
- 1 Gurdwaras-turned-food banks: Sikh temples are catering for rise in Britain’s hungry
- 2 Council bans use of word ‘Commie’ – but ‘fascist’ and ‘Nazi’ are fine
- 5 'I'm experiencing austerity as well', says Princess Michael of Kent