One hundred years ago to the day, MCC, as they then were styled, were led onto the Sydney Cricket Ground by JWHT Douglas in the second day of the first test of the Ashes series. England lost that match by 146 runs but went on to win the series by 4-1. It was probably the efforts of the bowlers, primarily SF Barnes and FR Foster (only one middle name each) who between them took 66 wickets in the series, which was the difference between the sides. England's batting was dominated by Jack Hobbs (one middle name) and Wilfred Rhodes (no middle name) who shared an opening stand of 147 in the third Test at Adelaide. They exceeded this with 323 at Melbourne in the next Test, which remains the record for England's first wicket against Australia. England had depth in their batting - Frank Woolley (only one middle name) came in at 8.
|Douglas - boxer|
He has the unique distinction not only of having skippered England at cricket but also having been Olympic middleweight boxing champion. (Johnny Will Hit You Today). His family was prominent in the Amateur Boxing establishment and his younger brother became a leading referee in the professional sport in the 1930s.
Johnny Won't Hit it Today puts Fantasy Bob in mind of another sportsman with multiple initials. For many years in the 1970s the leading amateur golfer in Britain was RDBM Shade - known as Right Down the Bloody Middle Shade, for self evident reasons.
|Right Down the Bloody Middle|
But these days it is the Sri Lankans who put everyone into the middle name shade. Several of their current squad have 3 middle names, Herath Herath has 4 (but maybe they don't all count for his christian name and surname are the same) but the all time record is left arm seamer - U W M B C A Welegedara. Five middle names - a man of destiny. Fantasy Bob understands there to be no truth in the rumour that the Sri Lankan cricket authorities are offering a prize for the best nick name using his initials. But don't let that stop you trying.