13th 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‘:
“A new cricket season is here: In India, the IPL has begun. Dwayne Bravo is playing for the Gujurat Lions – 1 of 2 new teams this yr – & he took 4-22, & his 300th T20 wkt, as they kicked off with a win over Kings XI Punjab. But Did You Know that senior Indian commentator, Harsha Bhogle was sacked just before the competition by the BCCI without a reason being given.
Meanwhile in Eng, the County Championship got underway, with Ravi Rampaul taking 5 wkts on debut for Surrey; & Wisden Cricketer’s Almanack has been published. Its 5 cricketers of the 2015 English season are: Johnny Bairstow, Brendon McCullum, Steve Smith, Ben Stokes & Kane Williamson. But Spare a Thought for Eng’s James Taylor who’s had to retire suddenly from the game after being diagnosed with a serious heart condition.”
A Few Birthdays & Anniversaries:
“Today is Dwayne Smith’s 33rd birthday. He’s in the same Lions squad as Dwayne Bravo, but may struggle to get a game in a star-studded line-up.
“40 yrs ago today India made the highest 4th-inngs score to win a Test: 406-4 in P-o-S. WI had 3 spinners, including Raphick Jumadeen, who’s 68 today. It was literally a turning point in Caribbean cricket. After the defeat, capt Clive Lloyd moved to a 4-pronged pace attack for the decider at Sabina Park, which was won – & in their 2nd inngs a retreating India had 5 men ‘absent hurt’.
“Other birthdays this week include Adrian Barath who’s 26 on Thur & played 31 times for WI; the 85th on Thurs of Bruce Pairaudeau who played 13 Tests between 1953-57; & the 38th on Fri of Daren Powell, who played 97 times for WI between 2002-09 – & who recently contested a seat in the Jamaican general election for the PNP, but lost out to the JLP candidate.
“Fri would also have been the 80th birthday of Trinidad’s Jack Noreiga, who holds the WI record for the best bowling figs in Tests. He took 9-95 v India at Queen’s Park Oval in 1971; but despite 17 wkts in the series, wasn’t picked again. He died in 2003, aged 67. Noreiga’s spin partner in his final Test was Barbados’ David Holford, who is 76 on Sat.
“Mon is the 53rd birthday of WI’s victorious coach, Phil Simmons, who himself featured in 169 intls; Mon is also the 72nd birthday of Dominica’s Irvine Shillingford who played 6 times for WI in 1977/78; while Mon would also have been the 58th birthday of the late, great Malcolm Marshall, who appeared 217 times for WI.
“Thur is the centenary of the 1916 birth of fast bowler Commandur Rangachari, who played 4 Tests for India. At Delhi in 1948 he quickly removed Stollmeyer, Rae & Headley to leave WI 27-3. But 100s from Walcott, Weekes, Christiani & Gomez WI recover to 631 all out. Rangachari finished with 5-107 – his last wkts in Tests.
“Fri is exactly 30 yrs since Sir Vivian Richards’ 56-ball record fastest Test ton v Eng in Antigua. King Viv plundered 110no off 58 balls, & the Master-Blaster’s master blast was unsurpassed until eclipsed by Brendon McCullum earlier this yr.
“& finally, Mon sees the 7th oldest living Test cricketer reach 90. Eng’s Doug Insole grew up, like me, in East London & attended Sir George Monoux school in Walthamstow. He made his Test debut v WI in 1950, but was bamboozled by Sonny Ramadhin. Insole’s 9th & final Test was 7 yrs later, again v the WI – & once more Ramadhin spun him out for 20, & in the 2nd inngs, 2nd ball for 0. The next pair, May & Cowdrey then added 411… In 1st-class cricket Insole hit 54 centuries & was an upholder of the game’s good name. Once, when bowled by slow-left-armer Tony Lock – whose quicker ball was a notorious pelt – he asked the square-leg umpire, ‘How was I out? Run out?’ Insole was also a talented footballer, featuring in an FA Amateur Cup Final; & played alongside WI capt Gerry Alexander (who died 5 yrs ago this Sat). Post-playing, Insole had greater impact: as Chairman of Selectors in 1967 he dropped Geoff Boycott for “selfish” batting after the opener scored a slow 246no v India. & in 1968 he was caught up in the controversy surrounding the initial non-selection, & later inclusion of Basil D’Oliviera for the tour of SA. Doug was also a popular manager of Eng on tour; was a Wisden Cricketer of the Yr in 1956; made a CBE in 1979 & was President of MCC in 2006/07. Here’s wishing him a very happy 90th birthday.
“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.