Rohan & the Maharajah: The King – Kanhai

23rd December 2014

Around the World in 2 – a few occasional off-breaks

Each week for Mason & Guests I compile and broadcast a brief summary of cricket events outside the Caribbean, with a few “Did You Know, Andrew?” facts thrown in. Here’s this week’s round-up:

“Aus are 2-0 up in the 4-Test series with India. Aus’s capt, Steve Smith, standing in for the injured Michael Clarke, was MoM in the 2nd Test for his 133 as Aus won by 4 wkts in 4 days.

“Alastair Cook was sacked as Eng’s ODI capt after a 5-2 series defeat in SL. Eoin Morgan has been apptd in his place.

“NZ bt Pak 3-2 in the UAE in their ODI series, with Kane Williamson named Player of the Series with scores of 10, 70no, 46, 123 & 97. NZ now host SL in 2 Tests & 7 ODIs, beginning with the Boxing Day Test at Christchurch – which along with Aus v India at Melbourne, & SA v WI at Port Elizabeth, is one of 3 Tests getting underway on Friday.” 

A Few Birthdays & Anniversaries:

“Tomorrow is the 90th birthday of Jamaican quick bowler, Roy Miller. He played 1 Test v India in 1953, but went wktless. His sole Test was one of only 8 1st-class games in which he appeared.

“Thur is of course Xmas Day – but, Did You Know, Andrew that the 1st time Test cricket took place on Dec 25th was in 1951 at Adelaide, when WI completed victory over Aus by 6 wkts? No WIndian made a 50 in the match, but 6-38 by Worrell & 6-102 by Valentine were match-winning performances.

“On Fri, Boxing Day, Rohan Kanhai will be 79. In an intl career that saw him start out in a batting order rubbing shoulders with Worrell, Weekes, Walcott & Sobers, & ended up with him in a line-up alongside Roy Fredericks, Gordon Greenidge, Kallicharran, Clive Lloyd & Viv Richards – he scored over 6000 runs in 79 Tests between 1957-74 at 47.5 with 15 100s & 28 50s. He scored 86 centuries in total in his 1st-class career at 49.4. He also captd WI in 13 Tests, as well as 2 ODIs – the 1st 2 WI took part in – in Eng in 1973. 2 yrs later at Lord’s in his last ODI, & approaching his 40th birthday, he made 55 & rescued WI from 50-3 in a stand of 149 with Clive Lloyd – all the more important because this was the 1st ever World Cup Final. That stand was the basis of WI’s 291-8 as WI ran out winners over Aus, at 8.52 in the evening of June 21st 1975, by 17 runs.

“Sat is the anniversary of the 1925 birth of Guyana’s Glendon Gibbs. He played just 1 Test, opening the batting v Aus at Sabina Park in 1955, making 12 & 0. But, Did You Know, Andrew that for British Guiana in 1951 at Georgetown, Gibbs & Leslie Wight made the highest ever stand for the 1st wkt in 1st-class cricket in the WI? Gibbs made 216 & Wight made 262no as they added 390 v Barbados.

“Sun is the anniversary of the 1920 birth of Trinidad’s Nyron Asgarali, whose 2 Tests were at Lord’s & the Oval in Eng in 1957. Mostly opening the batting, his scores were a disappointing 0, 26, 29 & 7. But on the tour as a whole he scored over a 1000 runs with 100s v Notts & Kent.

“& finally, Sun is also the anniversary of the 1905 birth of one of the most controversial Test capts. The Maharajah of Vizianagram was a poor cricketer, but immensely wealthy. He built a cricket pitch in his palace grounds, & paid to be capt of India’s 1936 tour of Eng. In 3 Tests he scored 19no, 6, 6, 0no, 1 & 1, avging 8.2. The tour was a disaster – India won only 5 matches, drew 14 & lost 14 – during which the Maharajah fell out with his players, sent his best player, back home, & even bribed an opposing captain to bowl him full tosses & long hops. Years later the Maharajah became a dreary and pompous cricket broadcaster. He once bragged to Rohan Kanhai that he’d bagged over 300 tigers in hunts with his expert shooting. Kanhai replied: “Really? I always assumed you switched the radio on when you were commentating, & bored them to death!”

The Mason & Guests show is broadcast live every Tuesday from 6.15-8pm ECT (10.15pm-midnight GMT)  on Voice of Barbados 92.9fm, and can be heard by clicking on ‘LISTEN LIVE’ on the website page via the link provided, or via numerous internet tune-in services.

David Oram

David Oram is the resident ‘statto’, and sometime presenter of ‘Mason & Guests’ – Voice of Barbados’ weekly cricket talk show, the leading cricket radio show in the West Indies – hosted by the Caribbean’s principal  radio commentator, Andrew Mason. You can tweet me at DavidOram@colblimp1983.

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