The pundits of the press are convinced that 2016 has been the Grim Reaper’s most successful year ever as celebrity after celebrity has been taken from our midst.
The cricketer must look soberly at these claims – 2016 may have been cruel but the Grim Reaper’s stats were better in 2015 as far as removing test cricketers from the crease of life. He bagged 15 in that year. It would after all be hard to top the year which seized Richie Benaud, Tom Graveney and Clive Rice. But in 2016 the Reaper had a good go – and strangely enough he dismissed exactly 11 cricketers who played at Test Level. It is time to celebrate them.
|top l-r - Carr, Maddocks, Warr, Nanan; middle Hanif, Gleeson, Crowe; bottom Ganteaume, Goddard, Higgs, Walker|
Not a bad side with a couple of true greats:
Trevor Goddard dismissed 25 November 2016 – S African skipper in the 1960s and one of the greatest all rounders ever – 41 Tests – 2516 runs at 34.46 and 123 wickets at 26.22. Goddard became an evangelist preacher after his retirement.
John Gleeson dismissed 8 October 2016 – Australian mystery spinner of the late1960s bowled leggies with an off spin grip 29 Tests 93 wickets at 36.20
Max Walker dismissed 28 September 2016 – Australian swing bowler of the 1970s - his unconventional bowling action – “right-arm over left earhole, legs crossed at the point of delivery” – earned him the nickname “Tangles” or “Tanglefoot” 34 Tests 138 wickets at 27.47.
Len Maddocks dismissed 27 August 2016 - Australian wicket keeper who will always be remembered as the man Jim Laker trapped leg-before to complete his famous ten-for at Old Trafford in 1956, 7 Tests 19 dismissals.
Ken Higgs dismissed 7 September 2016 – fondly remembered for one of the biggest bottoms in cricket - so great a bowler for England that he has previously featured in Fantasy Bob’s blog – 15 Tests – 71 wickets at 20.74
Hanif Mohammad dismissed 11 August 2016 – the original little master - played the longest innings in Test history - 970-minute 337 against West Indies in Bridgetown in 1957-58 - then followed it a year later with the highest first-class innings to that point, 499 – 55 Tests 3915 runs at 43.98
Donald Carr dismissed 12 June 2016 – more noted as Secretary of the MCC during the D’Oliviera controversy – a school boy wunderkind who played only 2 Tests, skippering on one occasion, but skippered Derbyshire with distinction.
J J Warr dismissed 9 May 2016 – played only 2 Tests in the 1950-51 tour of Australia and sadly retains the worst of any England Test player at 1-281. He went on to skipper Middlesex and be President of the MCC.
Rangy Nanan dismissed 23 March 2016 - an off spinner from Trinidad at a time when W Indies were committed to a pace only attack he played only one Test taking 4 wickets.
Martin Crowe dismissed 3 March 2016 – a true great – elegance itself at the crease - and the only one of this select that FB has seen play – 77 Tests for New Zealand 5444 runs at 45.36
Andy Ganteaume dismissed 17 February 2016 – the man with the Test batting average of 112. He had one Test innings – but couldn’t force his way into the W Indies batting line up of the time dominated the 3 Ws. Timing is everything they say – he may have had it in the middle but not elsewhere.