Death of a Gentleman’s Gentleman

19th 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‘:

“Pak won the 1st Test v Eng at Lord’s, with leg-spinner Yasir Shah MoM for his 10-141. He’s gone to no. 1 on the ICC’s Test bowling rankings; while skipper Misbah-ul-Haq rises to 9th in the batting list after his 1st inngs century. For Eng, Chris Woakes was on the losing side despite taking 11 wkts & scoring 58 runs. The 2nd Test begins at Old Trafford on Fri.

“Meantime, Did You Know that 19-yr-old Aneurin Donald playing for Glam v Derbys equalled Ravi Shastri’s world record of 123 balls for the fastest ever double-hundred in 1st-class cricket? He hit 234 off 136 balls, with 15 6s & 26 4s. Incredibly, it was his maiden Championship century.

“Meanwhile, Spare a Thought for Hants batsman Michael Carberry, who’s been diagnosed with a cancerous tumour. Carberry, who’s of Bajan & Guyanese descent, played 13 times for Eng between 2010-14.

“Elsewhere, Afghan won the 4th ODI v Ire to take a 2-1 lead into today’s final game. But the match was overshadowed by the controversial run-out of Ed Joyce: having hit a shot towards the boundary, & believing it had gone for 4, he was chatting with his partner mid-pitch when the ball was returned & the bails removed. The umpires accepted that the fielder had intercepted the ball before reaching the rope; but asked Afghan’s capt to withdraw the appeal. He refused – & Joyce had to go. Subsequent photos have shown the fielder was well over the line. 

“Coming up soon is NZ’s short 2-Test tour of Zim; & Aus’s tour of SL, featuring 3 Tests, 5 ODIs & 2 T20s. Aus unveiled David Saker as their new bowling coach – he was Eng’s bowling coach for 5 yrs from 2010 after Ottis Gibson left the position to be WI coach. Gibson has of course since resumed the Eng role.”

A Few Birthdays & Anniversaries:  

“Today is the 35th birthday of Jamaica’s Dave Bernard; while tomorrow is the 43rd birthday of Nixon McLean, who was the 6th WI intl to emerge from St Vincent. The 1st was Alphonso Roberts, who died of cancer 20 yrs ago this coming Sun, aged 58. Roberts was only 22 when he finished his playing – emigrating to Canada & becoming a highly respected & influential political activist – helping to foster social, political & philosophical thinking in the Caribbean. 5 yrs after his death, the Alfie Roberts Institute in Montreal was founded – named in his honour.

“Roberts may have been St Vincent’s 1st intl cricketer, but the island’s 1st cricketer to make an intl impact was Charles Ollivierre – & Wed will be the anniversary of his birth 140 yrs ago in 1876. Olivierre was a pioneer of Caribbean cricket: he was a member of WI’s pre-Test era 1st touring side to Eng in 1900, & was so successful that he was asked by Derbys to stay on & sign for them – & becoming the 1st black West Indian cricketer in the County Championship. He played 110 times for the county until 1907 when failing eyesight hastened his retirement aged 31. He continued in club games, & made an annual trip to Holland from 1924-39 to coach in Dutch schools. The writer JN Pentelow likened Ollivierre to the great Ranjitsinhji as a stylist, saying ‘his strokes & movements had real grace.’ He died in Yorks in 1949 – having never apparently returned to either St Vincent or the Caribbean.

“Fri will be the 35th birthday of Sulieman Benn; while the same day the late Runako Morton, tragically killed in a car crash 4 yrs ago, would’ve been 38. On Sat, former WI capt Floyd Reifer will be 44; & on Sun former WI WK Alfie Binns will be 87.

“& finally, Fri will be exactly 100 yrs since the death aged 28 in 1916 of W’wick’s Percival Jeeves. He was killed in action during the Battle of the Somme. While the nascent career of many a promising player was cut short on the WWI battlefields of France, Percy Jeeves gained immortality of sorts when PG Wodehouse named Bertie Wooster’s valet, butler & perfect ‘gentleman’s gentleman’ Jeeves after the fallen all-rounder.

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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