Tom Graveney dies aged 88

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Tom Graveney dies aged 88

Post by sirfredperry on Tue 03 Nov 2015, 5:27 pm

Sad news that Tom Graveney has died at the age of 88. I was lucky enough to see him play for England and Worcestershire. All the obits will speak of his classic, graceful style. He seemed to just ease the ball away through the covers and also played the hook shot - off the front foot.
He scored a memorable 96 on his return to the Test team against Hall and Griffith at Lord's in 1966. It was little short of scandalous that he was in and out of the Test team so much in the 50s and 60s. He was one of the best of the post-war England batsmen and possibly the most stylish.

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Re: Tom Graveney dies aged 88

Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 03 Nov 2015, 5:48 pm

You beat me to it, sirfred, just took my post down.

Arlott talks about Graveney as being a pillar of England's golden generation of batsmen, a cricketer full of class and courage in equal measure.
Never saw him play for England - was locked out of a packed Oval in August 1966 so missed his wonderful innings vs Sobers and his attack, Hall, Griffith, Gibbs and the rest. (Had to rush across London to see Hurst, Moore, Peters playing Chelsea in their first League match following the World Cup win instead!)
Favourite childhood memory is listening mesmerised to his 250-something vs 1957 West Indies, Alston, Swanton and the rest crackling from a radio in the kitchen.

Never met him but he must have had a treasure trove of stories; influential in Basil D'Oliviera's choice of Worcestershire.

Ironic perhaps that such a "Player" should become President of MCC; but speaks volumes about the character of the man, a true Gentleman.

PS: Hadn't realised his brother Ken died last week.

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Re: Tom Graveney dies aged 88

Post by Corporalhumblebucket on Tue 03 Nov 2015, 7:30 pm

Thanks, Sir Fred.  I really only "saw" Tom Graveney's graceful batting style via the radio commentary back in the 60s. But it still sounded wonderful.  I particularly remember a lengthy partnership with JT Murray, the wicket keeper, in which they both scored centuries against the rampant WI side.

I also recall that Graveney himself had a superb voice for commentary - wonderfully rich and "gravelly" - maybe not quite like John Arlott, but very distinctive and mellow.

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Re: Tom Graveney dies aged 88

Post by Corporalhumblebucket on Tue 03 Nov 2015, 8:04 pm

The obits point out that Tom Graveney was unlucky not have received more England caps. Even so, Graveney was capped 79 times - which at the time of his death was equal highest number for any living test cricketer over the age of 80 (jointly with Neil Harvey and Lance Gibbs - making an extremely fine trio).  This rather demonstrates that it was much more difficult for players to get anywhere near 100 caps in these former times.

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Re: Tom Graveney dies aged 88

Post by guildfordbat on Tue 03 Nov 2015, 8:45 pm

Similar memories as the Corporal concerning Tom Graveney's batting and commentary styles. Elegant in all he did.

Unlike Kwini, I was aware that his brother Ken died only the other week. However, I didn't know about Tom's death until I saw Sir Fred's thread. A great shame for the Graveney family.

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Re: Tom Graveney dies aged 88

Post by alfie on Wed 04 Nov 2015, 7:25 am

A wonderfully elegant batsman : I had the pleasure of watching him a few times. And it really was a pleasure.

Must admit when I saw the news about his brother's passing recently I originally assumed Tom was the Graveney mentioned...alas he did not long survive the loss of his sibling.

A fine career. And from all accounts a true gentleman.

RIP

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Re: Tom Graveney dies aged 88

Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 04 Nov 2015, 2:09 pm

It looks as if, with Graveney gone, and Tyson's recent departure, all the members of the 1954/55 touring party to Aus/NZ have left us.
Not important to most of you, but that's the first time I ever took an interest in cricket . . . . . Oh dear!

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Re: Tom Graveney dies aged 88

Post by Corporalhumblebucket on Wed 04 Nov 2015, 3:11 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:It looks as if, with Graveney gone, and Tyson's recent departure, all the members of the 1954/55 touring party to Aus/NZ have left us.
Not important to most of you, but that's the first time I ever took an interest in cricket . . . . . Oh dear!

Kwini - sobering thought indeed.  The last three wickets fell quite quickly in the end - Appleyard, Tyson and Graveney. Sad

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Re: Tom Graveney dies aged 88

Post by Corporalhumblebucket on Wed 04 Nov 2015, 5:47 pm

In contrast, the Australian innings from that 1954/55 series is still going quite strong!  Those yet to be dismissed are:

Len Maddocks (89*)
Neil Harvey (87*)
Colin McDonald (86*)
Alan Davidson (86*)
Bill Watson (84*)

Those Aussies were tough cookies!

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Re: Tom Graveney dies aged 88

Post by sirfredperry on Wed 04 Nov 2015, 7:51 pm

Of course Harvey still survives from Bradman's 1948 tour of England ! He, McDonald and Davidson were among the bogeymen for me in the late 50s and the 60s as England went years without winning the Ashes.
Now, perhaps if Graveney had been playing more, the England Ashes record would have been better.

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