4th November 2015
Around the World in 2 – a few occasional off-breaks
Each week for ‘Mason & Guests’ I put together a brief summary of cricket events outside the Caribbean, round-up the week’s notable WI birthdays & anniversaries, & throw in a few ‘Did You Know?’ facts:
“Hello! This is David Oram taking you ‘Around the World in 2‘:
“Today was the 3rd day of the final Test in the UAE with Pak 1-0 up & Eng needing a win to level the series.
“Meanwhile, Afghan won the 2nd T20 v Zim to take the series 2-0 to add to their historic ODI series win. Zim now visit Bang for 3 ODIs & 2 T20s.
“On Thurs the 1st of 4 Tests between India & SA gets underway while the 1st of 3 Tests between Aus & NZ kicks off in Brisbane. But spare a thought for the tourists, who were robbed of valuable practice when their warm-up match was abandoned. When the Cric Aus XI declared shortly before lunch on Day 2 of what was originally a 4-day fixture, the game was cancelled with the pitch deemed unsuitable & potentially dangerous. Brendan McCullum had refused to use his front-line bowlers as the surface deteriorated, giving 10 men a bowl with only WK BJ Watling missing out. The official result was a draw, with the final batting scorecard reading: Cric Aus XI 503-1 dec; RGL Carters c Watling b Latham 209; AJ Finch not out 288.”
A Few Birthdays & Anniversaries:
“Today is Kirk Edwards’ 31st birthday. 14 short of 1,000 Test runs, hopefully signing for the Jamaica Scorpions for this season’s regional 4-day competition will help produce form good enough to earn an intl recall. Jamaica’s 1st match is v Barbados at Kensington Oval on Fri.
“Other current players with birthdays include Wanderers team-mate & WI captain, Jason Holder who’s 24 on Thurs. He’s copped a 1-match ban for a slow over-rate in the 1st ODI v SL & will miss tomorrow’s 2nd game. Meanwhile, Devendra Bishoo, who’s 30 on Fri, has been added to the T20 squad after Samuel Badree copped a dose of dengue & is ruled out of joining the tour.
“Anniversaries to note include the birth today in 1892 of Trinidad all-rounder Joe Small who played in WI’s 1st ever Test in 1928; & also today in 1902 was born Charles Jones, whose 1st Test in 1930 was WI’s 7th.
“Further back, Stanley Sproston who was born in 1872 next Mon, was a member of WI very 1st touring team to Eng in 1900. He had a useful tour, scoring 600 runs at 22 with 1 century & led the side in several matches while Aucher Warner was suffering from malaria.
“Fri is the anniversary of the 1927 birth of Eric Atkinson who played in 8 Tests in 1958/9; while the anniversary of his brother Dennis’ death in 2001 follows on Mon. The pair (whose name adorns the pavilion stand at the Dayrell’s Rd Ground) were the 3rd brothers to appear together for WI after Jackie & Rolph Grant & Vic & Jeff Stollymeyer. Jeff’s great opening partner was Allan Rae, & his father Ernest was born in 1897 this Sun. A useful batsman, his only 1st-class hundred was for Jamaica v a strong touring Eng XI in 1929.
“Sun is also the 70th birthday of Aus leg-spinner Tony Mann. He took only 4 wkts at 79 in his 4 Tests but made his mark in history when he became only the 2nd nightwatchman to make a Test century. His 105 in the 4th inngs v India at Perth in 1977 led his side towards a successful pursuit of 339.
“Sat marks 15 yrs since the death aged 103 of Englishman Jim Hutchinson, the longest living 1st-class cricketer & only one to live throughout the 20th century. A middle-order batsman & good cover-point, he was born in 1896 & appeared 255 times for Derby between 1920-31 – playing twice for them v the WI tourists of 1923 & 1928, scoring 4, 26 & 3.
“Former WI players with birthdays include T&T asst coach David Williams, who kept wkt in 47 intls. He’ll be 52 tomorrow; & fellow ‘keeper, Barbados’ David Allen who played 5 Tests between 1962-66 is 78 on Thurs. On Sun it’ll be the 55th birthday of Mark Neita. A regular contributor to ‘Mason & Guests’ he represented Jamaica from 1979-92 & made 67 v the English tourists of 1981 & 66 v them in 1986 – both times against attacks including Ian Botham & John Emburey.
“& finally, Mon is the 72nd birthday of John Shepherd. Born in St Andrew he made his Barbados debut in 1965 aged 21 v an Intl Cavaliers side including Trevor Bailey, Godfrey Evans & Jim Laker; & his final appearance in 1987 aged 43 alongside Courtney Walsh for Glos. He played 5 Tests for WI, including all 3 of the 1969 tour of Eng when he led the bowling with 12 wkts ahead of both Sobers & Gibbs. His last Test was at P-o-S two yrs later when, as Reds Perreira recalled in our recent ‘Willow in the WIndies’ podcast, he was barracked by a spectator after a misfield: ‘You, John Shepherd boy! You’re a real all-rounder boy! You can’t bowl, you can’t bat & you can’t field!’ Most of his subsequent long career was played in Eng including over 500 matches for Kent for whom he was one of their genuine greats. In all he hit well over 10,000 1st-class runs & took more than a thousand wkts – including 72 in 1984 aged 40. He was a Wisden cricketer of the yr in 1979; became regional cricket development officer for the Americas in 1988, & was Kent President in 2011 – the county where he retired, residing in Herne Bay – the same seaside town which I’ve made my home in Eng.
“Until next time, this has been ‘Around the World in 2′ with David Oram.”
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. To catch up on previous broadcasts, click on this link to the show’s archives.
David Oram is an Englishman following West Indies cricket from Islamabad. When I lived in the region, I was the resident ‘statto’, co-host and sometime presenter of ‘Mason & Guests’ – http://www.vob929.com/ weekly cricket talk-show, the sport’s leading radio show in the WIndies – hosted by the Caribbean’s principal radio commentator, Andrew Mason. You can tweet me at DavidOram@colblimp1983.