Great Keepers

12th July 2016

Around the World in 2 – a few occasional off-breaks

Regularly 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‘:

“Eng won the only T20 v SL – but Spare a Thought for the tourists who lost the 9-match multi-format super-series by 20 pts to 4 – & depart the country win-less. Eng now face Pak in the 1st of 4 Tests at Lord’s on Thurs. Meanwhile, Eng’s women bt Pak’s ladies 3-0 in their T20 series.

“Elsewhere, Afghan, after a 1-0 series win over Scot, are in Ire to play 5 ODIs – the 1st of which was abandoned without a ball bowled, with the 2nd being played today.”

A Few Birthdays & Anniversaries:  

“140 yrs ago today, the greatest WK of the 1st half of the 19th century, Tom Box, died. Post-playing he’d been groundsman at Middx’s Prince’s Club in Chelsea – where he was scoring the game v Notts in 1876 when he dropped down dead. The match was immediately abandoned. 

“This Sun will be the 75th birthday of another of the game’s great ‘keepers. Bob Taylor took 2,069 dismissals in top-class cricket – the most in history – & played 84 times for Eng between 1971-84; but would’ve appeared many more times if he hadn’t overlapped with Alan Knott. But Did You Know that in 1986, 2 yrs after his last Test, he was working in hospitality at Lord’s when he was suddenly called upon to ‘keep for Eng again when Bruce French was injured? NZ capt Jeremy Coney allowed Taylor to act as substitute – & aged 45, with borrowed kit, & his old gloves from the boot of his car, he did so perfectly.

“Other birthdays this week include the 41st today of Dominica’s Adam Sanford; & the 44th of Guyana’s Neil McGarrell. Larry Gomes will be 63 tomorrow; & on Thurs St Vincent’s Deighton Butler will be 42. Former T&T leg-spinner, Harold Joseph, who was one of the WI Cricket Annual’s 5 Cricketers of the Yr in 1981, will be 60 on Fri. On Sat, Dale Richards, who scored over 4,000 runs for Barbados, will be 40; while Carlos Brathwaite will be 28 next Mon; & on Sun, Anguilla’s all-rounder-turned-singer/songwriter, Omari Banks, will be 34.

“The same day, Barbados’ Rashidi Boucher will be 26. He’s been playing with success in Eng for Hornchurch in the Essex League (where my brother, Keith is co-incidentally an umpire). Last Sat, Boucher helped his side to their 6th win of the season – & 2nd place in the table – with 114 off 99 balls with 5 6s & 9 4s.

“Sun is also exactly 25 yrs since the passing in 1991 of former Barbados umpire Jackie Roberts, who stood in 2 Kensington Oval Tests: v Eng in 1960: & India in 1962.

“& finally, next Mon is 15 yrs since the death of Jamaica’s fearsome fast bowler, Roy Gilchrist. Legend has it that his 1st ball in Tests, a bouncer, soared over the head of both batsman & WK to the boundary – & rebounded to the middle from the sight-screen. Gilchrist took 57 wkts in 13 Tests between 1957-59, when he was banished by his skipper for his aggressive behaviour both on & off the field. He wasn’t afraid to use the bouncer liberally, nor for that matter the beamer – to the consternation & condemnation of spectators, opposition & team-mates alike. In one incident, having been hit for 3 successive fours by India’s Kripal Singh, he over-stepped the crease by about 12 foot & targeted the batsman’s head – knocking his turban off. Soon after, when being disciplined, he allegedly pulled a knife on his captain Gerry Alexander – & was sent back to the Caribbean in disgrace. He was 24. It was a sad end to a promising career. Michael Manly wrote of him: ‘He was difficult, insufferably so at times. He was also potentially, a very great bowler.'”

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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