Chapter 15 Footnotes

PAGE 261

One suspects he was fit to play…

Hutton thought one of the striking features of the series was ‘the virtual fade-out of Valentine after the first innings of the Second Test’ (Fifty Years, p.104), implying that the English batsmen had found better methods against him.

On the other hand, Valentine does seem to have had genuine problems with his finger throughout the season. White reported Valentine ‘cannot get the torn quick on his spinning finger to heal’ (News Chronicle, 17 March 1954, p.10).

The especially proud seam on the balls used in Trinidad may have been another factor. The next winter the Australian spinners had problems in the colony game against Trinidad with a ball ‘which had been stitched by hand locally and which was harder than those to which the Australians were accustomed. It was hard and unfriendly, made to endure contact with the matting wickets which had hitherto been used in Trinidad’ (Landsberg, Kangaroo Conquers, p.66).

on condition he maintained ‘his on and off-field manners as well as his play’

Rostron, Daily Express, 17 March 1954, p.8.

Wardle was unlucky

Swanton, Adventure, p.140: ‘I assume that Lock can have got only a narrow preference over Wardle’; Bannister, Cauldron, p.144: ‘In my view Wardle, with his chinamen and googlies, would have been better suited to the jute surface [than Lock].’

However, Bray thought Wardle’s knee problems had ‘weighed against him’, as he looked ‘tremendously’ slow in the field in the tour match against Trinidad (Port of Spain Gazette, 10 March 1954).

‘At least they will not finish the game with wickets to get…’

Swanton, Adventure, p.143.

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But he did look ostentatiously at the square-leg umpire, Ellis Achong…  

Bray, who thought ‘neither batsmen liked’ Trueman’s bumpers, noted ‘Stollmeyer looked most ostentatiously at the square-leg umpire as if to say “it’s up to you to stop it”’ (Daily Herald, p.10). Bannister also interpreted the way the captain had ‘looked enquiringly’ as his way of saying ‘How many more do I have to take before you declare this form of attack intimidation’ (Cauldron, p.139).

It should however be added that, while Stollmeyer’s discomfort is evident from various reports, in 14 balls received during Trueman’s second spell (including the two no-balls), he scored off six as follows: 422221.

He is widely reported to have ‘snatched’ his cap from Woods…

Ditton, Gleaner, p.10; Hall, Mirror, p.13.

The report by the ‘Gleaner Sports Desk’, which may have been pieced together from radio commentary, states Trueman ‘snatched’ and ‘roughly grabbed’ his cap (p.10). And a letter to the Trinidad Guardian (22 March 1954, p.12) by a correspondent annoyed by English press bias, complained about the way Trueman ‘dragged his cap from the umpire at the end of the over’.

Fingleton admitted Lindwall took his sweater ‘rather brusquely’…

Ashes Crown The Year, p.85.

Knox (Bradman’s War, p.248) also relates an incident in the third Test at Old Trafford in 1948 when Dai Davies no-balled Lindwall for dragging: ‘At the end of the over Davies threw Lindwall’s sweater at him. Lindwall remonstrated, and the umpire fobbed him off.’ There ensued further head-shaking from the bowler – and then quite a few fast bouncers.

which Bray felt made him look like a ‘petulant six-year-old’

Daily Herald, p.10.

And what did Trueman do? He caught his cap…

Worrell, Cricket Punch, p.79.

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Stollmeyer’s reputation for paying ‘a fair amount of attention to the clock’

Dick Murray, Trinidad Guardian, p.12.

‘dazed, bruised and angry’

Hall, Daily Mirror, p.13.

a ‘picture of disappointment’

Bannister, Trinidad Guardian, p.12.

Graveney, relatively new to this position, always felt he had to be ‘alert’…

Graveney, Cricket Through the Covers, pp.119-20.

Hutton remembered that one of the ‘small but important developments’ of the tour was Graveney ‘emerging as a slip fielder’ (Fifty Years, p.106).

‘I pocketed the ball gratefully and in the same movement…’

Graveney, Cricket Through the Covers, pp.119-20.

Compton gave a similar account… ‘a little stronger’

End of an Innings, p.119.

‘not an easy man to shock’ … ‘shouted his view on the matter’

Statham, Cricket Merry Go Round, p.93.

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‘Somebody then realised it was time for lunch…’

Barker, Trinidad Guardian, p.1.

‘the members stood up and jeered us all the way to our dressing-room …’

Compton, End of an Innings, p.119.

‘with everyone airing his version of what occurred’

Swanton, Adventure, p.144.

described by Hammond as ‘a fine bloody way to start a series’

Another canonical saying, where the swearword is sometimes either elided or amplified: Hutton himself quotes Hammond as saying ‘What a bloody way…’ (Fifty Years, p.28); according to Christopher Sandford, Compton – closest to the incident – confirmed Hammond actually said ‘That a fine fucking way…’ (Final Innings, p.*). Martin Chandler pulls together the many accounts of the incident in this 2013 article.

Holt had ‘turned to walk to the pavilion’ before having second thoughts

Barker, Trinidad Guardian, p.1.

‘as if it had suddenly become white hot or diseased’

Bannister, Cauldron, p.130.

‘the dignified, the elegant, the graceful and the much-criticised’

Barker, Trinidad Guardian, p.1.

A letter to the same paper had suggested Worrell should be dropped for a second fast bowler, given that the West Indies selectors had already given ‘a severe enough jolt’ to cricket-lovers by selecting Headley for the first Test (7 March 1954, p.6).

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a couple of ‘do or die overs’

Statham, Cricket Merry-Go-Round, p.97: ‘I tried a couple of “do or die” overs at Frankie Worrell as soon as he came in and almost got him, before going to hospital for injections which instead of numbing the pain made me light-headed.’

‘kept up his pace and fire, heat or no heat’

Swanton, Adventure, p.145.

Hayter, on the other hand, thought Trueman was ‘losing his fire’ after Statham’s injury (Times, p.11).

‘there was the sort of appeal for a catch behind the wicket…’

Swanton, Adventure, p.145.

Bray reported ‘the English players near the wicket maintained Weekes hit the ball hard enough for six!’ (Herald, p.10) – he toned this down, but only very slightly, in his report syndicated to the Port of Spain Gazette (p.1).

‘the thickest under-edge you ever saw’

Graveney, Cricket Through the Covers, p.120.

Rostron, in his next day’s report, referred to Weekes’s ‘own admission’ that he was out (Express, 19 March 1954, p.8).

‘gazed abstractedly over the distant hills’

Barker, Trinidad Guardian, pp.1-2.

In 2018, he said he could not remember the specific incident…

Sir Everton Weekes, telephone interview with the author, 31 January 2018.

‘I heard it at extra cover … it must be a different game we are playing out here’

As reported by Hall in the Mirror, p.13, corroborated by Compton’s own recollections in End of an Innings, p.120. May records a similar reaction when Holt had been given not out: ‘Denis said something to the effect that bump balls must be different in Trinidad from anywhere else and went into lunch’ (A Game Enjoyed, p.60).

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with a curious-looking overhead slash

Barker uses this phrasing (Trinidad Guardian, p.1); in the Argosy’s report, Weekes ‘smashed a bumper’ (p.6).

complete masters of the bowling

It was Hayter in The Times who described the Barbadian pair as ‘complete masters of the bowling’. Rostron in the Express characterised the period immediately after tea as a ‘dazzling spell of scoring’, but the run-rate dropped below a run-per-minute later in the session as England adopted more negative tactics.

Trueman sportingly came down the pitch to shake Weekes’s hand

A gesture recorded by Bannister, Trinidad Guardian, p.12.

In As It Was, Trueman remembered that he and Weekes were already ‘great friends’: he seems to have identified with the Barbadian as the least well-educated and therefore ‘relatively unsung’ member of the Three Ws (p.167). But he tells another rather tall tale (p.168), claiming that Weekes had already nicked through to Spooner three times before the Bailey incident:

…As Everton walked past me to the pavilion I grinned at him.
‘Well done, Everton, lad,’ I said. ‘Not bad, 206 from four innings.’
Everton grinned back.
‘Five!’ he said. ‘I got a nick when I was in the sixties but none of you guys appealed.’

England also indulged in some blatant time-wasting towards the close

Ditton, Gleaner, p.1: ‘In the final half hour of the day, Bailey bowled negatively down the offside, and after Lock had taken nearly three minutes to bowl one over there was so much discussion about field placing for the next by Bailey that in the end there was no time for him to bowl it.’

‘What a terrible day…’ … ‘Well, you saw it…’

Hutton, Fifty Years, p.177.

‘on the wireless’ in the ‘dreary’ Queen’s Hotel …

Evans, Gloves are Off, p.141.

Whereas to a young V.S. Naipaul, the Queen’s Park Hotel was ‘to us the last word in luxury and modernity’ (Middle Passage, p.56).

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pumped ‘full of aureomycin…’

Evans, Gloves are Off, p.141.

Despite what he recollects in his memoirs, some press reports suggest Evans was given dispensation, once it was clear he could not play in the Test, to fly on to Jamaica in order to recuperate there – so it is quite possible the player in the hotel was another squad member.

provide his critics with a ‘field day’

Hutton, Fifty Years, p.97.

‘a totally unnecessary incident’ … ‘total’ blame … ‘The batsman…’

Hutton, Fifty Years, p.97.

‘foreign to his whole nature’

Worrell, Cricket Punch, p.88.

‘not normally demonstrative’ … ‘referred to as such in an age when, alas…’

May, A Game Enjoyed, p.60.

For his own part, Graveney thought his ‘outburst of temper’ was ‘absurdly trivial’ in comparison to the behaviour of modern cricketers (Heart of Cricket, p.157).

the previous summer Miller threw the ball down in disgust

Fingleton, Ashes Crown The Year, p.207.

And perhaps those who complained about a decline in player behaviour were being too nostalgic about the golden age of cricket. O.R. Borradaile, Essex secretary, joined Lloyd Harris in contributing to a cricketing manual in 1900: ‘Neither is it good form for the bowler to throw down the ball in disgust whenever one of the fields men run foul of it, or makes an attempt at a catch and fails’ (Collins [ed.], Cricket, p.103).

West Indians referred to Archer behaving ‘à la Graveney’

Landsberg, Kangaroo Conquers, p.90.

One Trinidad Guardian journalist, Alkins feared that the gesture was an attempt at the same kind of ‘intimidation of the umpires’ which he thought MCC had planned the year before; another, Barker, was prepared to accept the explanation that Archer had dropped the ball accidentally.

He supposed he ‘shouldn’t have done it’…

Graveney interviewed by Christopher Martin-Jenkins, in England’s Finest film, just before the 27-minute mark.

the ‘inevitable’ Holt

Graveney, Cricket Through the Covers, p.118.

‘That’s the fourth bloody time’…

Graveney, Cricket Through the Covers, p.120.

‘hard enough for the sound to be heard all over the ground’

Wardle, Happy Go Johnny, p.123.

In Action in Cricket (p.81), Evans also remembered Holt being given not out off a ‘hard snick’ on 33 before going on to make 152: ‘Oh dear, was I sorry’.  But the wicketkeeper then reports with equanimity the umpire’s explanation that his view was obscured.

PAGE 268

‘morally wrong’ and also ill-advised given the ‘electric’ atmosphere of the series

Graveney, Cricket Through the Covers, p.120.

‘The criticising of umpire’s decisions, whatever your private opinions…’

Barker, open letter to Hutton, Trinidad Guardian, 18 February 1954, p.1.

Palmer remained rooted to the crease until the umpire raised his finger

Of course, Palmer may not have got a touch – but the English journalists were on the look-out for any umpiring bias and did not report any doubts about the decision.

The Trinidad Umpires’ Association made a formal complaint…

Crawford White noted Achong ‘is well remembered’ in England and opined his appointment ‘seems an excellent idea’ – but not as far as the local association was concerned: ‘They feel that one of their regulars should have been given the job’ (News Chronicle, 11 March 1954).

The Port of Spain Gazette had reported five days earlier that the local umpires were going to hold an emergency meeting, as they strongly objected to any umpire not being taken from their shortlist of six, and because ‘Mr Achong has never officiated at any big games in Trinidad’ (6 March, p.1).

he had recently caused an umpire to walk off the field…

This ‘unpleasant umpiring incident’ was reported in the Port of Spain Gazette, 9 March 1954, p.9. Achong had taken four wickets in the first two overs of a ‘brilliant bowling spell’, when he appealed for a stumping which appeared ‘cleanly’ done. After further appeals by ‘all the fieldsmen’, the umpire walked off, although he eventually ‘resumed his position’ after entreaties by spectators.

Achong went on to take nine for 45 in the innings.

PAGE 269

‘Fancy being done by a bloody Chinaman’

A canonical story, even cited by Christopher Frayling in The Yellow Peril when he discusses how stereotyping of the Chinese evolved in the early twentieth century.

This may be a tall story as the expression was already in cricket parlance

See this summary on the Old Ebor website, which also calls into question whether Achong bowled any wrist-spin.

‘one or two of the more redhot words of the parade-ground’

Constantine, Cricket in the Sun, p.40.

In fairness, Hendren had just been dismissed c Constantine b Achong 96 but one senses the West Indians had been playing some mind-games as he approached his century.

He was a Trinidad selector in 1954…

Arrangements reported several times by the Trinidad Guardian: for example on 5 January 1954, p.12.

The irrepressible Achong was also the editor of an ‘MCC Brochure’ for sale at 48 cents (advertised in Trinidad Guardian, 7 March 1954, p.12).

‘Pudsey needed four to win and Hutton needed four for his 50…’

Howat, Len Hutton, p.60.

PAGE 270

Bailey began with more ‘off-theory’ which caused some adverse reaction…

The Gleaner’s sports desk (p.12) reported Bailey ‘was loath to throw anything directly on the bat’.

‘once they had played themselves in you had to reconcile yourself…’

Graveney, Cricket Over Forty, p.134.

Barker, perhaps to amuse himself as the Weekes-Worrell stand passed 300, came up with a similar observation: ‘England was frankly bowling for a “Run Out”. Failing this, or one of these two breaking a leg or dying from exhaustion, or having a stroke of another kind, there seemed to be no legal way of parting them’ (Trinidad Guardian, p.1).

a ‘swift and tigerish’ late cut off Lock

Barker, Trinidad Guardian, p.1.

‘whether inadvertently or not one could hardly say’

Swanton, Adventure, p.147.

Bray awarded them ‘full marks’ for some superb ground-fielding

Port of Spain Gazette, p.1: ‘full marks must be handed out to the toilers for some of the finest ground fielding I have ever witnessed’. Although Trueman missed a difficult chance at third man – when Worrell, on 113, sliced Lock down there – the fast bowler was often mentioned in dispatches, chasing the last ball of the session right down to the boundary to save a run.

PAGE 271

Bailey … took a brilliant diving catch – and all the skin off his elbow

Bailey had also skinned his elbow when taking the diving catch to dismiss Walcott in the first Test (Gleaner, 29 January 1954).

Gomez joined several Trinidad stars past and present…

Such collections were an integral part of cricket in the Caribbean and the leagues of the north of England – one of Worrell’s biographers, Ivo Tennant, says he had a collection bag specially made for such occasions (p.19) – but they were unusual in Tests.

unwanted centuries

Bray, Port of Spain Gazette, p.1: ‘Meanwhile the crowd gave a great cheer to each of England’s four regular bowlers, Lock, Laker, Trueman and Bailey, as they in turn got a century they did not want.’

Swanton presumed Hutton wanted to be ‘humane’ on his bowlers…

Adventure, p.148.

‘I played all the shots – it’s just they kept stopping them.’

Telephone interview with author, 15 February 2015.

Swanton provides some corroboration: ‘Pairaudeau’s arrival brought England some more relief than they could have hoped for, since he struggled vainly for more than half an hour to get off the mark. The field spread deep to give Walcott singles, then contracted for Pairaudeau, who middled the ball well enough but just could not get it through’ (Adventure, p.149). Murray praised ‘good tactics by Hutton and splendid fielding’ (Trinidad Guardian, p.12).

‘a grotesque contrast to the general orgy’

Swanton, Adventure, p.149.

‘slight disappointment’ … ‘eased day by day…’

Wardle, Happy Go Johnny, p.137-38.

PAGE 272

‘Even the infamous 1932 tour of Australia couldn’t have been as bad as this’

Hall, Mirror, 19 March 1954, p.13.

the ‘sensation’ …had made the front page of the Mirror back home

Daily Mirror, 18 March 1954, p.1.

‘the astonishing departures from all canons of good taste and good sportsmanship…’

Barker, open letter to Hutton, Trinidad Guardian, 18 February 1954, p.1.

While May was assigned to make pleasantries with the Governor’s wife

There is a photograph of them in conversation, sitting in armchairs, in the Port of Spain Gazette.

an expatriate Lancastrian to ‘either shut up or step outside’

Reported by Statham, Flying Bails, p.94.

PAGE 273

the man Swanton was now calling ‘the everlasting Lock’

Adventure, p.149.

Lock recalled that the ‘sole of the boot was ripped off at the end of a long spell’ on the mat, forcing him to wear a steel toe-cap, ‘similar to that found on a miner’s boot’ (For Surrey and England, p.62). He and Laker, already struggling with the occupational hazard of raw spinning fingers, also had to deal with the proud seam of the local ball.

Bannister reported ‘dead silence’ from the crowd…

Trinidad Guardian, p.10.

 PAGE 274

‘notably serene and free from strain’

Swanton, Adventure, p.152.

Bailey never enjoyed opening after a long spell in the field

‘I liked opening, and it never worried me. The only time I didn’t like it was if I had been fielding all day and then had to open, especially if you’d been bowling’ (Bailey, interviewed in Dellor, Lost Voices).

a nasty throat-ball … which he could only fend off one-handed

Barker, Trinidad Guardian, p.2: ‘There was a shock of silence, then a terrific roar.’

Statham thought one of Hutton’s few technical problems was caused by the fact he ‘was, if anything, too correct’ to play straight rising balls comfortably: he had a tendency to get himself tucked up trying to meet these deliveries ‘with an orthodox back-foot defensive shot, with elbow held high’.  Keith Miller makes the same sort of point, very briefly, about two minutes into this BBC interview. Statham felt King ‘recognized this weakness and used to pepper him with this type of delivery’ (Flying Bails, p.122).

‘the crowd, packed as they were and grilling under the sun…’

Swanton, Adventure, p.155.

The Queen’s Park Oval crowd was not as patient the next season when there were rain delays against Australia.

‘a skipper you could scarcely accuse of being naive’

Statham, Flying Bails, p.96.

PAGE 275

Bailey, who accompanied Hutton on his inspection, suspected ‘foul play’

Wickets, Catches and the Odd Run. See also Graveney, Heart of Cricket, p.3.

by trying a bouncer, followed by a beamer which went for four byes

Barker suggested Ramadhin contracted the ‘bouncing fever’ from King and described the ball which eluded McWatt as a ‘beamer’ (Sunday Guardian, p.1). Swanton thought ‘it was as though Ramadhin was suddenly smitten by the sun’, although he politely referred to the offending deliveries as ‘a fast long-hop’ and ‘a fast full-pitch’ (Adventure, p.156). Graveney also remembered this passage of play when Ramadhin ‘released a bumper and a beamer’ at May – ‘something of a feat for a spinner’ (Heart of Cricket, p.111).

‘his imagination seemed to be limited to bouncers and full tosses’

Dick Murray, Sunday Guardian, p.1.

reminding Swanton of the way ‘he used to hook Lindwall and Miller’

Adventure, p.156.

Even Compton’s running was impeccable

Compton, interviewed by Ralph Dellor: ‘I was never a great judge of a run, although there were one or two people I could run with. Peter May, always…’ (Lost Voices).

May became ‘fascinated’ by his partner’s expert handling of Ferguson…

A Game Enjoyed, p.61.

PAGE 276

acrobatically caught by Atkinson at backward square leg

In a series notable for some excellent catches, this sounds like one of the very best: May thought Atkinson had reacted ‘miraculously’. Bannister called it the ‘catch of his life’.

‘King bowled more bouncers in one day’s cricket…’

White, Chronicle, p.8.  Compare Cauldron, p.139.

Graveney showed some aggression…

Barker, Trinidad Guardian, p.1: ‘Graveney took over the mantle of Compton with the utmost despatch and got thoroughly violent with practically everybody.’

Worrell won plaudits for ringing changes…

Argosy, p.6: ‘Worrell, looking very sure of himself, rang quick changes in a determined effort to break the partnership.’

PAGE 277

the fast bowlers’ convention

On the next tour, Ross noted that the ‘Fast Bowlers’ Union’ did come into operation when Watson and Trueman did not bowl bouncers at each other (Through the Caribbean, p.94).

‘Jim, lad, I’ve had a look …’ … ‘It was a pretty fair assessment of the situation…’

I have taken the liberty of splicing together two versions of this anecdote by Don Mosey, in his biographies of both men: see Fred, p.* and Jim Laker, p.103.

Bailey recalled that the stricken batsman’s exit from the arena was so ‘swerving’…

Wickets, Catches and the Odd Run, p.*.

initially ‘looked funny’ … ‘spatters of blood everywhere’

Statham, Flying Bails, p.95.

‘brought modern Test cricket to the West Indian public for the first time…’

Tony Cozier, Fifty Years of Test Cricket, p.29.

The English cricket historian Michael Down likewise thought that in the 1953/54 series ‘the blueprint for so many of our modern tours was set’ (p.109).

‘Freddie reacted to this unseemly treatment by standing…’

Statham, Flying Bails, p.94.

to borrow a phrase from Viv Richards, had the ingredients on it

As quoted by Lister in Fire in Babylon, p.126.

an ‘inch’ away … ‘I played it one-handed with the handle of the bat…’

Statham, Flying Bails, p.94.

he ‘sloshed with the bat like a buccaneering pirate…’

Rostron, Express, p.8.

PAGE 278

Gomez … was quoted as saying ‘the whole thing today was disgusting’

By Hall in the Mirror, p.15.

‘silly’ … ‘not keen that our tactics…’ … ‘the damage had already been done’

Walcott, Island Cricketers, p.94.

England were ‘rather too tired to think in terms of the miraculous’

Swanton, Adventure, p.163.

 PAGE 279

Hutton … would dismiss Richie Benaud

Alan Ross: ‘England’s captain, stoically denying himself the luxury of a smile, took his cap, and walked from the field with the air of one who could have taken wickets as easily as that at any time he chose’ (Australia 55, p.226). It has to be recorded that Benaud played an awful slog – perhaps happy to surrender his wicket in the same way Bailey had gifted Lindwall his earlier in the game (to ensure Lindwall’s hundredth wicket in Ashes Tests).

‘an unhappy, unpleasant game’

Compton, End of an Innings, p.120.

Badge Menzies … was brought in from British Guiana

According to the Trinidad Guardian, Menzies, ‘sometimes referred to in WI cricket circles as the miracle man of Bourda’s turf wicket’, arrived in Trinidad in early April at QPCC’s invitation, on a month-long assignment to prepare a grass wicket for the upcoming BG-Trinidad ‘East Indians’ match (8 April, p.10).

Although, if Stollmeyer is to be believed, there were still problems with the grass square before the Test against Australia and this time ‘Son’ Waldron, the Spartan groundsman, was brought in from Barbados (Everything Under the Sun, p.152).

PAGE 280

the ‘modern “battlefield” atmosphere’ … go to Jamaica as an ‘observer’

Dos Santos, as reported in Trinidad Guardian, 24 March, p.2.

‘to resolve any troubles…’ …  ‘MCC will always work as it has done in the past…’

Palmer, as reported in Trinidad Guardian, 24 March, p.2.

‘the mistake England made in sending a team out to the West Indies…’

Brunell Jones, Sunday Guardian, 26 March, p.2.

‘some good’ … ‘to pay little attention…’  … ‘I know Jeff Stollmeyer thinks…’

Hutton, as reported in Trinidad Guardian, 24 March, p.2.