Give Me Arthur

6th April 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‘:

“WI’s men & women achieved a glorious double, winning both World T20 competitions. But Did You Know that despite those triumphs the ICC rankings still say India are the best men’s team, with WI 2nd; while Aus’s women are top, with WI’s women only 5th. Spare a thought for the poor fools who put these ridiculous ranking tables together.”  

A Few Birthdays & Anniversaries:  

“25 yrs ago today in Trinidad, Steve & Mark Waugh became the 1st pair of twins to appear together in a Test Match. Mark made 64 & Steve 26, & the game was drawn.

“Tomorrow is the 60th birthday of India’s Dilip Vengsarkar. He played 116 Tests between 1976-92 & scored nearly 7,000 runs at 42 with 17 centuries. Coincidently, tomorrow is also the 60th birthday of Pak’s Mudassar Nazar. He played 76 Tests between 1976-89, scoring just over 4,000 runs at 38 with 10 centuries; & also took 66 wkts with his useful medium-pacers.

“Thur is exactly 20 yrs since the final of the Singer Cup – a 3-team ODI competition played in Singapore. Pak made 215 in the final, & in reply SL opener Sanath Jayasuriya went berserk – hitting 76 off 28 balls with 8 4s & 5 6s. When his opening partner, Ramesh Kaluwitharana was out for 0 in the 6th over, SL were 70-1. But when Jayasuriya went soon after, SL collapsed & Pak won by 43 runs.

“Fri is the birthday of a couple of contributors to the Mason & Guests show: Antigua’s Kenny Benjamin is 49; while Barbados’ Franklyn Stephenson is 57.

“Sat is the anniversary of the 1893 birth of another Barbadian, Harry Ince who was a member of WI’s 1923 pre-Test tour of Eng.

“This week also sees the anniversary of a quartet of WI’s 1939 tourists to Eng: Thur marks the 1918 birth of Barbados’ Bertie Clarke; fellow Bajan Foffie Williams was born in 1914 this Sun; while also in 1914 this Fri Jamaica’s John Cameron was born; while Sat is the centenary of the 1916 birth in British Guiana of Peter Bayley, who didn’t play a Test for WI; but became better known after the War as an admired radio commentator in the Caribbean.

“Sat is the 70th birthday of Eng’s Alan Knott. Often regarded as the game’s greatest ever WK, he featured in 95 Tests between 1967-81, taking 250 cts & 19 sts – & also scoring over 4,000 runs at 32 with 5 hundreds.

“Mon is the 59th birthday of Everton Mattis who played 6 times for WI, but earned a life ban for featuring in the 2 rebel tours of SA in the 1980s.

“& finally, 160 yrs ago on Mon, Arthur Shrewsbury was born. A dour batsman for Notts, he was the man WG Grace wanted when asked who should open Eng’s batting with him: “Give me Arthur!” the great man bellowed. Shrewsbury hit 3 centuries & avgd 35 between 1882-93 at a time when a Test avg above 25 was impressive. He loved batting, & did so professionally from 1875-1902 when he was 46 – & yet still topped the English national avgs. But in the Spring of 1903 he became ill & he was so convinced that would prevent him from playing in the new season that he shot himself in the head in a fit of depression. His great friend, former Eng bowler Alfred Shaw requested that upon his own death he be laid to rest 22 yards from Shrewsbury in the same graveyard. When he died in 1907, Shaw’s family were dismayed to learn that his grave was 25 yards from Arthur’s. But they were consoled when they were informed by the rector that when he’d acquired the plot, Alfred had remembered that he always had a 3-yard run-up.

“Until next time, this has been ‘Around the World in 2′ with David Oram.”

You can listen to the above round-up here.

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

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’ – 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.


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