23rd February 2016
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 the odd ‘Did You Know?’ fact:
This week I was in Barbados, and provided the round-up live on the show, which you can listen to here.
“Thank you, Andrew, & may I say a big ‘hi’ to Ingrid & also to my great friends at The Rum Shop, especially Courtesy, who’s a big fan of this round-up; but do remember, we take our time here in Barbados, & don’t hurry to go ‘Around the World in 2‘:
“Aus appear to be on the verge of victory in the Christchurch Test, to wrap up a 2-0 series win. This, despite NZ Capt, Brendon McCullum hitting a new fastest Test hundred – his 54-ball century eclipsing Sir Viv Richards’ 56-ball ton v Eng in Antigua almost 30 yrs ago. McCullum’s world record came in his 101st & last Test, only 1 match after the rare disappointment of scoring a duck in his 100th Test. For Aus, Joe Burns hit 170 & Capt Steve Smith 138 – his 12th Test 100 since the start of 2014 – & Did You Know in that time he’s hit 2,829 runs at 78.5? A win takes Aus back to the top of the ICC Test rankings.
“SA bt Eng in both T20 intls ahead of March’s World Cup; although Eng’s women fared better, winning their series v SA 2-1. SA now play 3 ODIs in the ICC women’s championship v WI, beginning tonight. Meantime, India’s women bt SL 3-0, & are 1-0 up after the 1st of 3 T20s. Aus & NZ’s women are locked at 1-1 & are playing the decider as we speak.
“Elsewhere, in the Asia Cup in Bang, UAE topped the table in the preliminary stage, with Afghan 2nd, but the biggest controversy of the competition came when Oman’s Aamir Kalem ‘Mankaded’ Hong Kong’s best batsman, Mark Chapman – the run out helping Oman to a 5-run win. The tournament continues tonight with India, Pak, SL & Bang joining the fray.”
A Few Birthdays & Anniversaries:
“30 yrs ago today WI completed a 3-day destruction of Eng at Sabina Park. After a victorious 1985 Ashes summer, Capt David Gower had joked that ‘WI would be quaking in their boots’. The 10-wkt thrashing in Jamaica was the 1st win in a 2nd successive blackwashing of Eng – campaigns that were described as ‘cricket’s equivalent of the Somme’.
“Today is Robin Bynoe’s 75th birthday. The Black Rock opener played 4 Tests between 1959-67; & for Barbados hit over 2 & a half thousand runs at 45 with 6 centuries, including 190 in his final season in 1972 v T&T.
“Other birthdays include Guyana’s Travis Dowlin who’s 39 tomorrow; St Vincent’s Kenroy Peters is 34 the same day; & Anguila’s Cardigan Connor, who had a long & successful career for Hants, is 55. On Sun, Barbados’ Hartley Alleyne is 59; & on Fri, Sir Everton Weekes turns 91. Sir Everton this week became WI’S 2nd oldest living cricketer, as we Spare a Thought for the passing of Trinidad’s Andy Ganteaume, who departed the crease last Wed after registering 95. Jamaica’s Roy Miller, who featured in 1 Test v India at Bourda in 1953, is now WI’s oldest living Test cricketer at 91 yrs & 61 days.
“Sun would have been the 100th birthday of Aus’ Ross Gregory, who in 2 Tests v Eng in 1937, aged only 20, helped Aus come from behind to take the Ashes 3-2 with scores of 23, 50 & 80. In WWII he was a pilot officer in the Royal Aus Air Force & was killed in action in East Bengal in 1942, aged only 26. In 2003, the great cricket writer, David Frith wrote a biography of Gregory, publishing for the 1st time his honest & inspiring wartime diaries.
“Sun is also the 70th birthday of NZ’s Graham Vivian. He played 4 of his 5 Tests in the Caribbean in 1972, scoring only 66 runs at 16, & not taking a wkt in a tiresome, 5-Test series which was drawn 0-0. His previous Test had been 7 yrs earlier in 1965 when at 19 he was picked to make his Test debut without ever before playing in a 1st-class match – because he’d ‘looked good’ in the nets. He batted at 9; top-scored in the 2nd inngs with 43 – & was dropped.
“& finally, Mon is this leap yr’s Feb 29th – so is understandably thin for events in WI cricket history. It is the 43rd birthday of Montserrat’s Lesroy Irish who played 5 games for the Leeward Islands – but it’s also exactly 20 rs since WI’s ignominious defeat by Kenya in the 1996 World Cup. Thank goodness Feb 29th doesn’t come round very often; & thank goodness we have far more recent & victorious World Cup memories to reflect upon.
Until next time, when I’ll be back in Islamabad, this has been David Oram taking you ‘Around the World in 2’.”
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.