Those who missed the bus at Lord’s (Revised in Aug 2018)

The honors board at Lord’s are well known-anyone who scores a century or takes a fiver or a tenner gets his name on them, even if it is a neutral Test not involving England. If you need to brush up, see

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord%27s_honours_boards

and for Indian players featured there, full details are here:

https://abn397.wordpress.com/2016/07/24/indian-cricketers-on-the-lords-honours-boards/

However, note this extract from the Wikipedia article:

“A number of very distinguished players such as Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting, Shane Warne, Curtly Ambrose and Brian Lara are not named on the honours boards.”

It may be recalled that there was much heartbreak when Sachin failed to score a century in 2011, which was generally understood then to be his last Test there.

We now look at the aspect of prominent players failing to reach a board-worthy performance at Lord’s despite several opportunities. And there are some visitors who simply did not get to play enough at Lord’s.

Many English players whose career lasted about 5 years would have played 10+ Tests at Lord’s. Visiting players with long careers usually manage 4 Tests, unless they miss one Test or series. So we begin by identifying those who batted in  at least 8 innings there. A further stipulation is that their batting position is 1 to 8, to eliminate tailenders without much batting ability.

So we have this for Most matches at Lord’s without a century:

Lord's batting flops

Atherton, Thorpe and Gatting played the most innings there without a century-particularly odd as Gatting played for Middlesex. Atherton did score 99 there and has the most fifties (7).

Visitors are led by Gavaskar and Tendulkar, followed by Azhar Ali,  Faulkner, AW Nourse and Ponting. Lara played in only 3 Tests and 6 innings. The highest averages here are by Dexter (51.62) and FS Jackson (47.71).

While most of the batsmen here scored at least one fifty, some did not. They include Ramprakash (HS 40 in 13 innings), bowling all-rounder Emburey, Brearley, wicketkeeper Downton, Tendulkar, Faulkner and Ponting. The lowest average here is 10.38 by Ramprakash who was a specialist batsman, unlike some of the others. Then comes all-rounder Pringle (16.11) and another famous batsman Ponting (16.87). Tendulkar at least got into the 20s.

Apart from Atherton’s 99, there are 90s by TE Bailey, JM Parks and FS Jackson.

Next, we take up bowlers who bowled at least 1000 balls (while bowling at no 1 to 5) and never took a five-for:

Lord's bowling flops-1

Hoggard has the most Tests (11) and innings (20) here with a best of 4-27. However Edmonds has the best bowling figures of 4-6, while Hoggard has the most wickets (37). Lillee (17 wkts), Kumble and Gibbs are the only visitors here.

Ambrose and Warne did not bowl enough balls here.

The best bowling average here is Laker’s 24.43, followed by Wardle’s 26.78.

And one gets similar results if we look for those who made the same effort and never took a ten-for:

Lord's bowling flops-2.JPG

Here, Anderson has the most wickets (103) with a best of 9-43. He may, of course, play a few more Tests at Lord’s. He also has the most 5-fors (6). Oddly enough Anderson has almost twice the wickets of the next bowler Willis with 47. The best bowling average is by Willis with 18.76 followed by Illingworth with 19.85.

Sir Richard Hadlee has the most wickets by a visitor (26).

 

 

Down memory lane: the cricket calypsos of 1950 and 1971

Veteran cricket watchers would have heard these at some time or the other. Now they are easily available on the net.

The most famous cricket calypso would be “Cricket, lovely cricket” composed by Lord Kitchener and sung here by Lord Beginner.

A little background here. The West Indies was then a group of colonies firmly under the Union Jack, with the general conditions as well as racial discrimination being what you would expect from the British at that time. The West Indies had been playing Tests since 1928 and had shown a lot of improvement after a whitewash in their first series. By 1950 they had won a few Tests and even a series against England in 1948. But they had never won a Test in England.

The trend looked set to continue when the first Test was won by England by a big margin: http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/62709.html

Ramadhin and Valentine made their debuts, the latter taking 8 wickets in the first innings and 3 in the second (besides a pair). Ramadhin had a less impressive 2 wickets in each innings.

Then came the second Test-at Lord’s, no less. Now hear it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06P0RdZyjT4

and see the scorecard: http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/62710.html

Or better, still, see the scorecards of the whole series here: http://static.espncricinfo.com/db/ARCHIVE/1950S/1950/WI_IN_ENG/

This famous picture was taken just after the end: http://caribbean-beat.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/style-1_0.jpg

Lord Kitchener is the one with the guitar. It is said that he composed the song within 30 minutes and led the troupe of West Indian fans dancing through London celebrating the victory. A more detailed account can be seen here: http://caribbean-beat.com/issue-100/triumph-calypso-cricket#axzz3Q7iVHLC9

Years passed and the West Indies team rose to greater heights. Most of the colonies became independent countries. But the team had its ups and downs – as in 1971. But there still was a calypso there. In case you need to refresh your memory, see the series scorecards here: http://static.espncricinfo.com/db/ARCHIVE/1970S/1970-71/IND_IN_WI/

It was, in a sense, Indian cricket’s coming of age as it was the first time they had won a Test series against one of the big powers away from home. There was, of course, the 3-1 victory in New Zealand in 1968 which was not given much importance.

In fact, India had never won a Test (let alone a series) against the West Indies until then. And they did not win a Test against them in India until 1974-75 and a series against them in India until 1978-79.

Here is the calypso, composed by Lord Relator:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0V2UUuKcIeA

and the lyrics:   http://andynarell.net/calypso/lyrics/1gav.html

(Note the PJ about Uton Dowe)

Do not pay too much attention to the visuals as they seem to have been hastily put together much later-you can see Roberts, Holding and Chandrashekhar and others (Alan Knott!) who were not part of the series.

There may have been other cricket-based songs later on, but these are probably the best known. There are a few famous poems as well.