15th March 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 a few ‘Did You Know?’ facts:
“Hello! This is David Oram taking you ‘Around the World in 2‘:
“India’s match v NZ today kicked off the World T20 – Group 2 also featuring Pak, Bang & Aus – who won their final warm-up with SA to take the series 2-1 – despite the decider suffering a lengthy stoppage due to a squirrel running wild on the outfield. Bang topped qualifying Group A ahead of Oman, Ire & Holland – but Did You Know the dutch side included Logan Van Beek, who was born in NZ & is the grandson of former WI Test wkt-keeper Sammy Guillen?
“Afghan sprung a surprise in Group B, defeating Zim after wins over Scot & Hong Kong. But Did You Know that Hong Kong’s side included 43-yr-old Ryan Campbell – appearing for them for the 1st time in intl cricket – 13 yrs after playing 2 ODIs for Aus in 2002? Meanwhile, Spare a Thought for the Scot fans who travelled almost 5,000 miles to watch their side’s game v Zim – only to be turned away from almost-empty Nagpur stadium because they were not selling tickets at the ground. Afghan are in Group 1 alongside Eng, SA, SL & WI – whose 1st match is v Eng tomorrow at 10am ECT. At the same time, WI’s women play their 1st game v Pak. The ladies lost their final warm-up with SA to lose the series 2-1, but still go into their competition with high hopes.
A Few Birthdays & Anniversaries:
“Today is the 63rd birthday of WI’s 1979 World Cup winner, Colin Croft. The great Guyanese quickie was described by Geoff Boycott as the ‘nastiest’ fast bowler he ever faced.
“Another who appeared in the 1979 World Cup was Trinidad-born Charles Baksh – who played for Canada. He’s 76 today. In his only ever ODI he was bowled for 0 by Aus’s Alan Hurst.
“Tomorrow is the 64th birthday of Louise Browne. 1 of 3 sisters who played for WI women, she appeared for them 17 times between 1973-79.
“Other birthdays this week include former WI coach, Ottis Gibson who’s 47 tomorrow: fellow Barbadian, Hendy Bryan is 46 on Thur; Jamaica’s Danza Hyatt is 33 the same day; while Roger Harper is 53.
“Fri is the 80th birthday of Edward Hallam Cosmo Griffith. Son of the great Herman Griffith (who sadly died on his son’s 44th birthday in 1980), Teddy played in 25 1st-class matches between 1954-67, initially for Barbados & later for Jamaica, hitting 1,690 runs at 35.9 with 3 centuries, & nipping in with 25 wkts with his medium pacers. The attacking, left-handed opener was 1 of the players Tony Becca recalled in a fine article last August ‘who never wore the maroon cap even once… (but) who, were they playing today, would walk into the West Indies team’. In 2003, Griffith succeeded Sir Wes Hall as President of the WICB; & in 2014 he received the Board’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
“Sat sees the birthdays of umpires Norman Malcolm, who stood in 14 intls between 2008-2011, who is 61; & John Holder, who officiated in 11 Tests & 19 ODIs from 1988-2001. John was recently honoured as the 1st President of the newly formed Pennine Cricket League in Eng.
“Sat is also 101 yrs since the 1915 birth of former Eng capt Norman Yardley, who skippered his side in the historic defeat to WI at Lord’s in 1950 – & is commemorated in Lord Beginner’s famous ‘Victory Test Match – Calypso’ thus: ‘Yardley tried his best, But Goddard won de Test, They gave the crowd plenty fun, 2nd Test & West Indies won.’
“Mon is the 67th birthday of Guyana’s Alvin Kallicharran; while the day is also the anniversary of the 1908 birth of fellow countryman, Berkeley Gaskin, who appeared twice for WI in 1948. He was later a Test selector, WI’s manager, a member of the WICB & President of the Guyana Cricket Association. Former WICB CEO, the late Steve Camacho, believed history had unfairly forgotten the contribution of Gaskin, & that it ‘should have been far more generous to his memory’.
“& finally, Sun marks 150 yrs since the birth in Ire in 1866 of Robert Montagu Poore. A major in the British army, Poore 1st played cricket while serving in India, learning to bat from his assiduous study of coaching manuals. He moved to SA & was picked to play for them against Eng in 3 Tests in 1896 – all of which were lost with Poore having little success. He went on to Rhodesia & served in the 2nd Matabele war – before returning to Eng to play for Hants in 1899 – scoring 1,399 runs (including 304 v Somerset) at an avg of 116.5 – shattering the then record for a season’s avg. He went on to fight in the Boar war, earning a Distinguished Service Order in 1901. He went back to Eng, but a broken arm effectively ended his prolific run-scoring career. Major Poore was also a skilled swordsman, crack shot, polo player, & lawn tennis champion of West India. His record avg for a season stood until broken by Bradman, & when the Don was briefly tamed by Bodyline, the major was asked how anyone could effectively counter Harold Larwood? He answered: ‘Charge him, sah. Fix your bayonets & charge him!’
“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.