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The 606v2 Cricket Hall of Fame - Part 3

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skyeman
ShankyCricket
Mad for Chelsea
Gregers
Shelsey93
Mike Selig
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ShahenshahG
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Post by Hoggy_Bear Wed 28 Mar 2012, 12:23 am

First topic message reminder :

Well obviously, while Headley's achievements statistically outweighed those of Constantine, I do think that Constantine, from what I have read, had a massive impact, especially in England. His whole philosophy was to entertain because, by playing entertaining cricket, the WIndies were more likely to draw crowds and guarantee that they would be invited back. Again, according to Swanton "he indeed personified West Indian cricket from the first faltering entry in the Test arena in 1928 until the post-war emergence of the trinity of Worrell, Weekes and Walcott."

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Post by Mike Selig Wed 11 Apr 2012, 10:06 pm

Aw, thanks guys, much appreciated.

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Post by ShahenshahG Wed 11 Apr 2012, 10:29 pm

Mike Selig for our hall of fame?

Genuine congrats and Keep it up!!!

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Post by Fists of Fury Thu 12 Apr 2012, 9:28 am

Haha, maybe one day Shah!

Mike, excellent that you are gaining recognition for your hard work.

I'll try and tally these votes today gents.

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Post by Corporalhumblebucket Sat 14 Apr 2012, 9:55 pm

I'm assuming there is no need for a count for Dravid, d'Oliveira, Ames, Arlott and that they are clear cut entrants to the HoF.

For Constantine I think he is probably a no based on the following:

YES

Shah
CF/Guest
Hoggy
Fists
Gregors

NO

Shelsey
Corporal
Alfie
Dummy
Guildford
Mike
Kwini

I can't see an actual vote from Mad. So it looks like 7 - 5 aqainst. Unless I have missed something.... As far as I am aware no one else is queuing to get into the polling station.... Wink But of course we await the verdict from the returning officer.

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Post by guildfordbat Sat 14 Apr 2012, 10:40 pm

Corporalhumblebucket wrote:I'm assuming there is no need for a count for Dravid, d'Oliveira, Ames, Arlott and that they are clear cut entrants to the HoF.

For Constantine I think he is probably a no based on the following:

YES

Shah
CF/Guest
Hoggy
Fists
Gregors

NO

Shelsey
Corporal
Alfie
Dummy
Guildford
Mike
Kwini

I can't see an actual vote from Mad. So it looks like 7 - 5 aqainst. Unless I have missed something.... As far as I am aware no one else is queuing to get into the polling station.... Wink But of course we await the verdict from the returning officer.
The Corporal clearly trying to take his mind off the state of play in the Middlesex v Surrey game. Whistle

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Post by Corporalhumblebucket Thu 19 Apr 2012, 10:00 pm

guildfordbat wrote:The Corporal clearly trying to take his mind off the state of play in the Middlesex v Surrey game. Whistle
Didn't work very well tho! Crying or Very sad
Hope there has been no tampering with the ballot boxes in the meantime.... Erm

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Post by ShankyCricket Fri 20 Apr 2012, 11:55 am

Corporalhumblebucket wrote:I'm assuming there is no need for a count for Dravid, d'Oliveira, Ames, Arlott and that they are clear cut entrants to the HoF.

For Constantine I think he is probably a no based on the following:

YES

Shah
CF/Guest
Hoggy
Fists
Gregors

NO

Shelsey
Corporal
Alfie
Dummy
Guildford
Mike
Kwini

I can't see an actual vote from Mad. So it looks like 7 - 5 aqainst. Unless I have missed something.... As far as I am aware no one else is queuing to get into the polling station.... Wink But of course we await the verdict from the returning officer.
No mention of myself Sad

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Post by Corporalhumblebucket Fri 20 Apr 2012, 11:23 pm

shankythebiggestengfan wrote: No mention of myself Sad

Shanky - I think your ballet paper must have got stuck to one of the other votes - or maybe is sitting somewhere in a pile of postal votes. Either way I couldn't see it. But no doubt Returning Officer Fists will be happy to have his attention drawn to any corrections to mistakes in the above list.... Very Happy

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Post by Hoggy_Bear Wed 25 Apr 2012, 6:22 pm

Has this thread bit the dust?

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Post by Shelsey93 Wed 25 Apr 2012, 8:33 pm

Hoggy_Bear wrote:Has this thread bit the dust?

In the efforts of keeping the momentum going I will try and progress things here - Fists is extremely busy so I'm sure he won't mind if I step in on this occasion

The results from the last round:

Ames - 12 Yes, 0 No = 100%
Arlott - 11 Yes, 1 No = 92%
Constantine - 5 Yes, 7 No = 42%
d'Oliveira - 11 Yes, 1 No = 92%
Dravid - 12 Yes = 100%

So, Dravid, Arlott, d'Oliveira and Dravid in to the Hall of Fame and Constantine misses out completely.

The next four candidates are:

Clem Hill
Sanath Jayasuriya
Stan McCabe
George Lohmann
Bill Ponsford

An interesting set, as unlike most recent groups, there is probably at most one candidate (Lohmann) here with an unequivocal case

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Post by guildfordbat Wed 25 Apr 2012, 8:45 pm

Hoggy and Shelsey - thanks for giving this valuable vehicle a quick push start. I'm sure the momentum will return.

Grateful if those who made these latest nominations could make or remind us of the case for each candidate. Suspect that involves some more work for you, Hoggy. Smile

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 25 Apr 2012, 8:52 pm

"one candidate with an unequivocal case"?
That's what I thought about Larwood and Woolley!

I know nothing of Jayasuriya so ask you to accept an abstention for my vote on him. Thanks!

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Post by Corporalhumblebucket Wed 25 Apr 2012, 9:14 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:"
I know nothing of Jayasuriya so ask you to accept an abstention for my vote on him. Thanks!
I would hope the facts and the arguments will be of such a quality that we'll all be able to form a view. There's quite a few here on which I start neutral...

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Post by Hoggy_Bear Wed 25 Apr 2012, 10:55 pm

As, so I believe, I was the one who put forward the names of Clem Hill and Stan mcCabe, maybe I can get some discussion going with a quick profile of the two of them, including a few reasons why they might be considered for our HoF.

Clem Hill

“Sir Clement of the flashing blade,
the pride and joy of Adelaide”

Though somewhat overshadowed by Victor Trumper, Clem Hill was a hugely consistent batsman who scored more runs in tests, at a better average, than his more famous contemporary. A childhood prodigy (he scored 360, then the highest score ever made in Australia, during a school match when he was 16), Hill was a gritty left-hander with a somewhat awkward looking, stooped stance. He was, however, a superb player of fast bowling able to pull “with surprising certainty”, according to Arlott, “even from outside the off-stump” and whose “Brilliant square and late cutting” made him, according to Wisden “delightful to watch”. In addition “in defence his style claimed admiration while his patience was unlimited”. Such was his skill against pace that it is reported Tom Richardson, Surrey and England fast-bowler, once remarked to him, “You make me feel I took up fast bowling for your benefit.”
At the time of his international retirement he was the leading run scorer in test cricket with 3,412 runs at 39.21, a record he held for twelve years until he was overtaken by Jack Hobbs. He was also the first man to score 1,000 test runs in a calendar year, a feat which was not equalled for 45 years, and he was the only Australian to score 17,000+ first class runs before the introduction of covered wickets.
Among his notable test innings were his 188 against England in Melbourne in 1898 (when he was still less than 21 years old) which helped lift Australia from 58/6 to a position from which they won the match, his 135 in partnership with Trumper (who made the same score coming in at 6), at Lord’s in 1899 and his 160 at Adelaide in 1908. This last innings was scored in between bouts of throwing up on the wicket after he’d been in bed with gastric flu for three days and England were well on their way to victory. Afterwards dubbed “Clem ‘Ill” by the press, he batted for 5 hours 19 minutes, pulling Australia from the mire of 180 for 7 with a record eighth wicket partnership of 243 (still the Australian record) with Queensland’s Roger Hartigan. England were beaten by 245 runs.
Hill also had scores of 96, 99, 98 and 97 (the last three in consecutive innings) against England, as well as his 4 hundreds. He is, as far as I’m aware, the only Australian batsman to be dismissed twice in Tests for the traditional Australian unlucky score of 87.
As well as being a great batsman, Hill was also an extremely good fielder who once, during a match at Leeds during the 1902 tour of England, threw a ball from near the boundary which knocked down the stumps at one end and rebounded to hit the stumps at the other. During the same tour at Old Trafford, Hill made a catch that Wisden claimed "will never be forgotten by [those present]". A Dick Lilley hit to square leg looked likely to clear the boundary. Hill himself said he raced 25 yards (23 m) for it with a view simply to save a boundary. In the event, he ran round 'close to the boundary' from his position at long on, aided by the wind seemingly holding up the ball to take the catch low down in front of the pavilion in his outstretched hands; one that Wisden said "few fieldsmen would have thought worth attempting".
As a personality Hill was regarded as honest and straightforward, traits which made him popular with his fellow players, but which may have contributed to his eventual retirement from test cricket which followed a stand-up brawl with one of his fellow selectors and his refusal, along with five others, to tour England in 1912. He is, however, still highly regarded in Australia, as is shown by the fact that he was elected to the Australian HoF in 2005, and that, in 2003, the South Australian Cricket Association named the new southern grandstand at the Adelaide Oval the "Clem Hill Stand" in recognition of his contribution to South Australian cricket.
During the latter part of the 19th and early part of the 20th century, Clem Hill was the most successful and consistent batsman in the world. While others, like his fellow Aussie Trumper, may have been more stylish or spectacular, if you wanted someone to bat for your life, Hill, the early 20th century’s answer to Allan Border, would, in all likelihood, have been your man.

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Post by Hoggy_Bear Wed 25 Apr 2012, 10:59 pm

Stan McCabe

A perusal of Stan McCabe’s stats would show anyone that he was a very fine player. Averaging 48 in tests puts him up there, in statistical terms, with the likes of Harvey, Kanhai, May and Mohammad but, as he batted in a period dominated by batting giants such as Bradman, Hammond and Headley, it might be argued that his figures were not quite up to scratch. Like a number of other players already included in our HoF, however, with Stan McCabe stats are not everything.
Len Hutton said of him that he “Had qualities that Bradman hadn’t got” and that “It would be harder to think of a greater Australian batsman". According to John Arlott, McCabe “Had nearly all the virtues that could reasonably be asked of a batsman. … he was technically sound, brave, enterprising, entertaining, brilliant in stroke play, yet a shrewd judge of batting risks; a splendid team man, who rose to the major challenge; a pleasing personality; a capable all-round field and, to cap it all, was good enough to open the bowling for his country.”
As Arlott’s comments suggest, McCabe should not be judged solely on how many runs he got, but on how he got them and when he got them. As a batsman he was a master stylist. Fellow state and Australian batsman Bill Brown described McCabe as the "finest strokeplayer I ever saw", further adding "When Stan was in command, he was so magnificent to watch, and he left everyone, including Bradman, for dead. Certainly Bradman scored more runs, but Stan was the batsman you most wanted to be." Neville Cardus was also a fan, saying of him that "Genial, friendly, Stan was Australia’s most gallant and knightly batsman since Victor Trumper. In his brilliant strokeplay there was a certain courtliness. In his most aggressive innings, there was no brutality; his bat was never used as a bludgeon.”, while E. W. Swanton said that McCabe was from "the heroic mould" that his innings "like those of Hobbs, Macartney and Woolley were essentially qualitative" and that he "came as near as any player to one’s conception of the perfect cricketer".
Yet not only was he a scintillating batsman to watch, he was also someone who produced, more often than not, when he was most desperately needed to, a fact reflected in his three most famous innings. Innings which remain among the most famous in test match history.
The first of these innings took place at Sydney in 1932. Coming in after Larwood and Voce’s Bodyline had reduced Australia to 82/3, he conjured an innings of 187 not out, hooking and cutting the bowling all over the park. 25 fours, a s/r of 80 and a 10th wicket stand of 55 with Tim Wall of which Wall’s share was only 4, all achieved under intense mental and physical pressure, show how great an innings this was. Being a humble man, however, McCabe refused to read the next day's newspapers because they'd only contain "a lot of exaggerated praise that it wouldn't do me any good to read".
The second of his great innings came at Johannesburg in 1935. Chasing 399 to win, without Bradman and with Bill Brown already out, McCabe fashioned an innings of 189* on a spiteful 4th innings pitch. On the final day, having been advised by his captain to try and deal solely in boundaries as he was feeling unwell, McCabe added 130 to his overnight 59* while Jack Fingleton and Len Darling managed only 57 between them. Eventually, with storm clouds gathering and gloom descending, the South African captain appealed against the light in order to save his fielders from possible injury, such was the power of McCabe’s shots.
Perhaps the greatest of McCabe’s triumvirate was his 232 at Nottingham in 1938. On the start of the Monday of that test match Australia were 520 runs behind England’s 658/8 dec. with Fingleton, Brown and Bradman already out. McCabe was on 19* overnight. By the time Australia had reached 194/6 McCabe was easing into the 60s. At lunch Australia were 261/6, McCabe having scored 88 of the 120 runs made from the bat in the session. Immediately after lunch Australia were reduced to 263/7, with only McCabe and the bowlers left. O’Reilly made 9, McCormick 2. At the other end, in 47 minutes, McCabe scored 53. When Fleetwood-Smith came in at number 11, McCabe scored 72 out of the 77 runs they put on together IN 28 MINUTES.
In three and a quarter hours on 13 June 1938 seven Australians made 50 runs, Stan McCabe 213. Don Bradman said that he wished he could have played an innings like it. S.F. Barnes called it the best innings he ever saw, and added that he didn’t think even he’d have been able to keep McCabe quiet. What greater praise could you ask for?
Stan McCabe ticks all the boxes required for entry to our HoF IMO. He was a great batsman. A glorious strokeplayer hailed as a great by friend and foe alike. Yet also a man who was at his best when the chips were down and who played almost miraculous innings in such conditions not once, but a number of times. Add to that the fact that he was a good enough bowler to take Wally Hammond’s wicket 4 times in tests and you have a magnificent player.
Yet he was also a humble and popular man who, when once asked why he had never written his memoirs, replied “I don’t hate anyone enough”. Ray Robinson summed up his popularity by saying that "In McCabe the cricketer, you saw McCabe the man—urbane, sociable, unpretentious, straightforward, incapable of anything mean-spirited. In all the pre-war Test series he was the best liked by both his own team and his opponents."
Ladies and gentlemen I present to you Stanley Joseph McCabe a man who, to me, undoubtedly belongs in the exalted company of our Hall of Fame.

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Post by Fists of Fury Thu 26 Apr 2012, 9:04 am

Shelsey, thanks for doing that buddy. Appreciate it.

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Post by Hoggy_Bear Thu 26 Apr 2012, 9:28 am

I believe it was me who also put forward the name of Bill Ponsford so, in the interest of fairness.

Bill Ponsford

Bill Ponsford was one of the greatest run accumulators and scorers of ‘Daddy hundreds’ that the cricket world has ever known. The only man other than Brian Lara to have scored 400+ twice in First Class cricket (429 vs. Tasmania in 1922-23 and 437 vs. Queensland in 1927-28) , he scored 200+ 13 times during his career and averaged 83 in Sheffield Shield matches, 65 in all first class cricket and 48 in tests. Some of the series of colossal scores he strung together were truly remarkable, particularly in Shield cricket. In 1926-27 for example, his innings in Shield matches were 214 and 54, 151, 352, 108 and 84, 12 and 116, 131 and 7, producing an aggregate of 1229 runs at 122.90, while in 1927-28 he produced 133, 437, 202 and 38, 336, 6 and 2, and 63 - an aggregate of 1217 at 152.12. His 336 against South Australia in January 1928 was his eleventh first-class hundred in consecutive matches in Australia.
Ray Robinson described Ponsford as the "founder of total batting, the first to make a habit of regarding 100 as merely the opening battle in a campaign for a larger triumph." Ponsford’s hunger for runs is illustrated by the story that, after he’d edged the ball onto his stumps, having scored 352 against NSW in 1926, he turned to the ‘keeper in disgust and remarked, ‘How unlucky can you get?’.
A big, heavy set man, Ponsford was, however, remarkably quick on his feet and dominated spin and medium pace bowling. Perhaps surprisingly for someone who usually opened the batting, he had something of a weakness against extreme pace, sometimes moving too far across his stumps and getting bowled behind his legs. This didn’t stop him playing some fine innings at the highest level, however. He scored centuries in his first two test matches, and 7 in total with, perhaps his most famous innings being his 266 at the Oval in 1934 when he put on 451 for the 2nd wicket with Don Bradman (still an Australian record, I believe), and his 181 in the test prior to that when he and the Don added 388 for the 4th wicket. Ray Robinson said of his partnerships with Bradman that Ponsford “was the only one who could play in Bradman's company and make it a duet.", while Bradman himself said that "There were more beautiful players, but for absolute efficiency and results where can one turn to equal [Ponsford]?"
While Ponsford’s partnerships with Bradman were often remarkable it is, perhaps, for his partnership with Bill Woodfull that he is best remembered. For both Victoria and Australia, "the two Bills", "Willy Wo and Willy Po" and "Mutt and Jeff” , as they were variously known, made 23 century partnerships, 12 of which exceeded 150 runs.
A quiet, shy man, Ponsford who, according to Bill O’Reilly, "spoke rarely and even then only if he could improve on silence.", was also one of the best Australian baseball players of his time, retiring from both games at the relatively early age of 34, in 1934 (although he continued to play club cricket until 1939).
However, despite his baseball career it is as a cricketer that he is best remembered. A Wisden cricketer of the year in 1935, he was awarded an MBE for services to cricket in 1982, was elected as one of the ten inaugural members of the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame in 1996 and, along with Arthur Morris, was chosen to open the innings for the ACB’s Team of the Century, in 2000. Despite being somewhat eclipsed by Bradman, (and he wasn’t alone in that),it can be seen that he is still highly regarded in his home country, and remembered as one of the greatest batsmen in Australian, and indeed world, cricket history.

I'll leave others to champion Lohmann and Jayasuriya


Last edited by Hoggy_Bear on Thu 26 Apr 2012, 10:16 am; edited 2 times in total

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Post by dummy_half Thu 26 Apr 2012, 10:13 am

Shelsey
Thanks for the new list - mostly players I know little about (other than Jayasuriya), so am looking forward to a bit of research and more eloquent arguments like those Hoggy has put above.

From those, my initial feeling is that McCabe is a probable and that I would have to look a bit more closely at Hill and how his performances compared with his contemporaries.

Ponsford is an interesting candidate - very good (rather than excellent) Test record but in a fairly short career, and outstanding at FC level in Australia and with a capacity to make big innings and partnerships that was only out-shone at the time by Bradman. Scored big runs on both occasions where Victoria broke the record for highest innings scores (429 out of 1059 against Tasmania, then 352 out of 1107 against NSW). Was one of the players who struggled with Bodyline, initially getting out bowled behind his legs, and making one decent score at the cost of a large number of bruises on his back and shoulder.

Lohman - a ten year Test career (although missing two of those years because of the ill health that claimed his life at only 36) included only 18 Test matches but yielded 112 wickets at just 10.75. The lowest average of any bowler to have taken more than 15 Test wickets. His First Class career was almost equally stellar, with 1800+ wickets at 13 and multiple seasons of taking over 200 wickets.

Jayasuriya - If statistics were the entire story, Jayasuriya would fall short of HoF level. A Test batting average just over 40, aided by 98 wickets (@ 34) with his more than occasional left arm spin are figures of a good player and certainly a valuable one for his team. However, it was in one day cricket that his reputation was made - even there the stats are good but not exceptional, averaging 32 with the bat and 36 with the ball. The main issue though was how Jayasuriya made his runs, his leading Sri Lanka to the World Cup in 1996, and how this has changed the approach to one day batting. Before Jayasuriya, teams approached a 50 over innings similar to a Test, with openers playing steadily and picking off runs where safe before an acceleration in the later overs. His approach was to hit out and particularly to hit over the infield, to build the momentum at the start of the innings while the fielding restrictions applied; this approach was so successful on the fairly predictable wickets of the sub-continent that almost all teams have duplicated this around the world. Without Jayasuriya, we wouldn't have had Gilchrist opening innings in ODIs and we'd not have Sehwag. So, based on this impact on the game, more than for career stats, I think Jayasuriya is a very strong candidate for the HoF.

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Post by guildfordbat Thu 26 Apr 2012, 5:31 pm

Hoggy - thanks for the overviews. Very informative and helpful.

I was very surprised that Hill had scored more runs and at a higher average than Trumper. I believe it's fair to say that Trumper now considerably overshadows Trumper. Any thoughts as to why? Purely style?

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Post by Hoggy_Bear Thu 26 Apr 2012, 6:12 pm

Guildford.
I certainly think style has a lot to do with it. As was mentioned when we were discussing Woolley, during the late 19th and early 20th centuries style was often given far more weight when assessing a batsman than it would be today. I'm not saying that Hill was a better player than Trumper, certainly Trumper showed on damaged pitches that he was a genuine batting genius, and he was probably more of a match-winner than Hill was, but I think that Hill was probably closer to Trumper (as were others) than was generally acknowledged at the time.

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Post by guildfordbat Thu 26 Apr 2012, 6:53 pm

Thanks, Hoggy.

I want to read up more on all three but you you certainly present strong cases.

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Post by Mike Selig Sat 28 Apr 2012, 6:38 am

Gents I'll be joining the debate with my thoughts and in particular the case for Jayasuriya soon, but no time at the moment (away for work...).

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Post by Shelsey93 Mon 30 Apr 2012, 9:18 pm

Finally got round to reading your summaries Hoggy. They are superb clap Ponsford is unlikely to win my vote at this stage, but on your evidence, Hill and McCabe have a strong case.

George Lohmann

George Lohmann is a statistical anomaly. In 18 Tests, he had a bowling average of 10.75, including 35 wickets in 3 Tests against South Africa. The rest of his Tests were played against Australia, against whom he took 77 wickets at 13. This matches his first-class bowling average of 13.73, achieved over a 13 year period for Surrey and, for a time, Western Province, and 293 matches between 1884 and 1897. Yes, conditions at the time would have been in his favour. But were he a batsman he would have been lauded as one of the top 10 greatest ever. He was something of an all-rounder though, averaging 19 in FC cricket with 3 100s and 29 50s at a time when batting was very difficult. I feel he is the ICC's most significant omission from their Hall of Fame, and somebody that should be an essential part of ours. He died of TB aged just 36.

Christopher Martin-Jenkins places him at No. 50 in his list of the 'Top 100 Cricketers of All Time':

- "What he achieved in cricket before tuberculosis killed him at the age of 36 was fabled, unprecedented and in one respect unsurpassed"
- "A bold, attacking batsman, a genius of a slip fielder and bowler whom both W.G. Grace and C.B. Fry rated as the finest exponent of medium pace they had ever seen"
- "He had complete control, clever variations of pace and the ability to spin and cut the ball at will. To his ultimate cost, he was also tireless until burning himself out after a mere ten years at the top*"
- "The pillar of Surrey's Championship winning sides in the late 1880s and early 1890s, he took 200 wickets three seasons in a row from 1888 to 1890"
- "At Port Elizabeth [in 1885-86] his figures were seven for 38 and eight for seven"
- "Among other astonishing performances, he took seven for 36 against Australia at the Oval in 1886, eight for 25 at Sydney in 1886-87 and eight for 58 on the same ground on the last of his three tours there in 1891-92"
- "Lohmann's health first broke down in 1892 and he was advised to go to South Africa to recover. It became his winter home and he played a major role in the development of the game there as coach and administrator"

* This is a strange comment from CMJ. I would hardly describe contracting TB and being "far from a well man" (Cricinfo biography) as a result of burning himself out.

Interestingly, CMJ also sees him as a "forerunner" to SF Barnes. However, I'd say that it is difficult to split the pair. In that sense Lohmann is a "trailblazer". Part of his lack of recognition as a first rate great, both by the ICC and CMJ, is probably the fact that he was a medium-pacer: the bowling equivalent of Sutcliffe and Boycott, rather than Gower, Lara and Woolley. This is a theme also seen in our discussions so far - genuine fast bowlers such as Larwood and Garner have received a more excitable response than the generally luke-warm response to the likes of Roberts and Walsh. The other factor is that he only played 18 Tests. But that is certainly an acceptable number in that era - when England, Australia, and occasionally South Africa were the only participants. In any case it is only a few less than George Headley, Graeme Pollock and Harold Larwood, and considerably more than Barry Richards. If Richards's reason for not playing Tests is considered, then Lohmann's career being cut-short by illness should also be.

Plum Warner, in his book first written in 1911 (though the copy I have was printed in 1944), talks extensively about Lohmann. Some of this isn't about Lohmann the cricketer but Warner's account entertained me so I've left it in:

"In any chapter on bowling it would be impossible to omit the name of George Lohmann, probably the greatest medium-paced bowler that ever lived. I actually played against him but twice, for his career was almost at an end when I was beginning first-class cricket; but as a little boy he was my cricketing hero, and many was the hour I spent at the Oval watching him bat, bowl, and field. His action had a suspicion of strain about it, but he made the most of every inch of his six feet, and he was the most 'flighty' bowler I have ever seen. The ball was constantly dropping feet shorter than one anticipated. Lohmann combined with this deceptive flight a quick off-break, and occasionally a faster ball that went just a little with his arm, and which he was very fond of bowling on sticky wickets. He loved cricket, and his bowling was a constant source of joy to him; he simply revelled in his art. In addition to his bowling he was the greatest extra-slip of his time, his activity being catlike and his hands supremely safe, while he was a free, dashing and most attractive bat. The first time I saw him play was at Lord's in June 1887 for England v MCC, when Stoddart and Arthur Shrewsbury played innings of over a hundred; and in the great matches of those days, Surrey v Notts at the Oval on the August Bank Holiday, I saw him take a wonderful catch at extra-slip off Bowley's bowling. I was very little boy in an Eton jacket and collar, and I remember being handed over the turnstile and taking up my position in the front row on the grass, where I was politely requested to remove my 'topper.' The crowd kept on increasing all the morning, and after lunch was twenty yards inside the ring. The police were powerless, and J. Shuter, the Surrey captain, had to come and ask us to go back. 'If you want Surrey to win will you please go back'. We all cheered him, and somehow went back a bit. These were the palmy days of the Oval. A year or two later I saw Lohmann and Maurice Read get 66 each on a bad wicket against Lancashire. Surrey had followed on, and five wickets fell before Barlow and Briggs for 25 runs, then Lohmann joined Maurice Read and we had our money's worth. The wicket was still difficult, and Barlow, Briggs and Mold were at their best. Mold made the ball jump every now and then, and both batsmen were hit; bat the batting was perfect, and the Surrey crowd, always so keen and appreciative of any good thing, yelled with delight at every run-getting stroke. Lohmann has been much criticized for his action at the time of the 'strike' of the English professionals on the eve of the Test Match at the Oval in 1896. He was undoubtedly ill-advised in the position he took up on that occasion, and subsequently he fully admitted it. Lohmann went as manager of Lord Hawke's team in South Africa in the winter of 1898-9, and I got to know him very well and to like him very much. He used to talk cricket with an enthusiasm that was positively delightful. He was an intelligent man with nice manners, and every one who knew him felt keenly his early death from consumption in December 1901. He is buried at Matjesfontein, in Cape Colony, where he lived during the last few years of his life, and his death did not pass unnoticed even amid the clash of a great war. The Surrey Cricket Club have erected a handsome memorial over the grave of the greatest all-round cricketer that ever did battle for them"

Now we have established, that he was a Surrey legend, I fully expect guildford and Corporal's support Very Happy

So, to summarise. Statistically, and in the opinion of contemporaries and near contemporaries, one of, if not the, greatest medium-pace bowler of all time. A good fielder and useful batsman to boot. And a Surrey player. Died at 36, but still found time to manage an England tour and coach cricketers in South Africa. What more could you want for the Hall of Fame?

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Post by Corporalhumblebucket Mon 30 Apr 2012, 9:59 pm

Shelsey93 wrote:
Now we have established, that he was a Surrey legend, I fully expect guildford and Corporal's support Very Happy

Shelsey - you have unerringly found my weak spot there! Wink But in any case the case for Lohmann which you present very well is a strong one. When it comes to comparisons Underwood comes to mind in that Lohmann bowled on some fairly dodgy pitches and he knew how to exploit them perfectly.

Excellent cases have also been put forward for Ponsford, McCabe and Hill. Much food for thought.... cake cake

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Post by guildfordbat Mon 30 Apr 2012, 10:49 pm

Shelsey93 wrote:

Plum Warner, in his book first written in 1911 (though the copy I have was printed in 1944), talks extensively about Lohmann. Some of this isn't about Lohmann the cricketer but Warner's account entertained me so I've left it in:

".... Surrey v Notts at the Oval on the August Bank Holiday .... I remember ,,,, taking up my position in the front row on the grass, where I was politely requested to remove my 'topper.' .... ''
Some things at the Oval never change. You hear the stewards politely saying that to our supporters all the time! Wink

If the rain ever stops and allows me to go to the Oval again on a match day, I'll see if I can dig anything out of the library there about Lohmann.

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Post by dummy_half Wed 02 May 2012, 10:14 am

GB
While it will be interesting to hear more about Lohman (assuming the Oval library hasn't floated away), I think he's probably the most straight-forward candidate of this lot.

Having had another look at Hill, and the statistical comparison with his virtual contemporary and HoF member Trumper (Hill coming out just ahead on both runs scored and average), and with England's batsmen of the turn of century to WW1 period (e.g. Warner, C B Fry - he's miles ahead of either), I think it's reasonable to conclude that Clem Hill was up there setting the standard (along with Trumper) in the era that preceded Hobbs and the improvement of pitches. Certainly now looks like a strong HoF contender to me.

McCabe and Ponsford had almost identical Test averages in overlapping periods, although McCabe's career included nearly twice as many matches - at 48.2, it is definitely the record of very good Test batsmen, but borderline for our HoF. Both were clearly over-shadowed by the greatness of Bradman, but both were clearly fine players able to prodce big innings when it really mattered. McCabe's record is enhanced by the fact that he was a useful bowler (taking about 1 wicket per test at an average of 42) and his outstanding innings in a crisis, while Ponsford's is built on his ability to make big innings (as alluded to earlier, only he and Lara have exceeded 400 on two occasions).. As I say, for me they are both marginal candidates, and I can't see how I can vote one way for one and the other way for the other.

Jayasuriya for me is a good HoF candidate principally because of how he changed the approach of teams at the start of innings in ODI cricket. It's just then a question of whether this is sufficient to justify his inclusion given that otherwise he was a very good rather than truly great player at both Test and ODI level.

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Post by Shelsey93 Mon 14 May 2012, 9:07 pm

Lets not let this die!

Votes by Friday, though we haven't had a case for Jayasuriya from Mike yet!

I'll try and post something on some of the Aussies tomorrow...

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Post by Shelsey93 Tue 15 May 2012, 9:45 pm

Stan McCabe

McCabe is ranked 65 in Christopher Martin-Jenkins's Top 100 Cricketers of All Time:

- "Usually it took a crisis to bring out the champion in him, and that he was a great player was not in doubt"
- "He proved it against the best fast bowling, and in three innings especially that transcended the prosaic and lived forever in the memories of witnesses"
- "renowned not only as a beautiful driver of the ball but also as one of the boldest of all hookers"
- "From his first Test in 1930 to his last in 1938 he was not left out of an Australian side, not least because of his ability to bowl fast-medium well enough sometimes to be given the new ball"
- "The astonishing fast googly that bowler Walter Hammond in the deciding Test at the Oval in 1930 was arguably the most important ball of the series"
- "At Sydney in the opening Test of the 1932-33 series, when Australia found a fresh Harold Larwood too good for them, McCabe was the exception. Cutting and hooking with relish, he steered his side from 87 for four to 290 for five by the close of the first day, scoring 130 not out. The next morning, as the tail crumbled, a series of thrilling strokes took him to 187 not out. He scored 60 of the team's last 70 runs"
- "On a tour of England in 1934 he scored eight centuries and more than 2,000 first-class runs, upstaged only by Don Bradman, and in the Tests scored 483 runs at 60"
- "There followed in 1935-36 in Johannesburg a sensational innings played with such ferocity in such poor light after a dust storm that South Africa's captain, Herbie Wade, appealed against the light on the grounds that McCabe's assault was threatening the safety of the fielders. Australia had been set 299 to win on a turning pitch, but on the final morning McCabe made 100 before lunch. Play was called off three hours early, with McCabe 189 not out in a total of 274 for two"
- At Trent Bridge in 1938 he was "Nineteen not out at the start of the third day, and in the face of a huge England total, McCabe took his score to 232 in 235 minutes with 30 fours and a six. He was last out, having scored 72 of a last-wicket partnership of 77 with 'Chuck' Fleetwood-Smith."

Richie Benaud adds that the Bodyline ton he scored was his maiden Test hundred. He says that,

"It was said to be the greatest exhibition of hooking ever seen on that ground. Mind you, the England bowlers gave him every opportunity to practise the stroke"

A short contemporary biography is offered by Plum Warner:

"S. J. McCabe has a splendid variety of strokes and is a most attractive batsman to watch. He is a particularly fine straight driver and hooker; and the manner in which he hooked short-pitched deliveries of Voce in a Test Match in Sydney was tremendous. To keep him quiet it is necessary to 'bowl tight' - as the Australians put it - that is a good length. He has a slight weakness outside the off-stump, but he should develop into a great batsman. McCabe is a very accurate medium-pace right-handed bowler with an occasional googly, who can keep an end going while the stock bowlers are being rested, and enjoys the reputation, in Australia, of being a capable slip. He has a natural flair for the game, and he may well become a big figure in the future"

It should be noted that like so many cricketers of the era his career was cut short by the war.

Does he qualify for the Hall of Fame? I don't know. At the moment I am tempted to say that he was a very good player, but not a proven legend of the game. However, anything that could change my mind would have to be considered carefully.



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Post by Corporalhumblebucket Tue 15 May 2012, 10:00 pm

I must admit some of the best bits of the thread are the quotes about the older players. One of my all time favourites is the one about Ponsford:

A quiet, shy man, Ponsford who, according to Bill O’Reilly, "spoke rarely and even then only if he could improve on silence.",....

Not far behind is the Stan McCabe quote:

Yet he was also a humble and popular man who, when once asked why he had never written his memoirs, replied “I don’t hate anyone enough”.

A very different generation.....

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Post by Shelsey93 Tue 15 May 2012, 10:17 pm

Corporalhumblebucket wrote:I must admit some of the best bits of the thread are the quotes about the older players. One of my all time favourites is the one about Ponsford:

A quiet, shy man, Ponsford who, according to Bill O’Reilly, "spoke rarely and even then only if he could improve on silence.",....

Not far behind is the Stan McCabe quote:

Yet he was also a humble and popular man who, when once asked why he had never written his memoirs, replied “I don’t hate anyone enough”.

A very different generation.....

Very Happy Writers like Cardus, Warner and others write in a way which most modern journos can only dream of!

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Post by Hoggy_Bear Tue 15 May 2012, 10:39 pm

Shelsey, just on your last point about McCabe.
Personally, I reckon that when you've got the best batsmen who ever lived and two of the best bowlers (Barnes and O'Reilly) saying that McCabe played the best innings they ever saw, especially when you consider that Barnes and O'Reilly are talking about DIFFERENT innings, then you are talking about a bone fide legend

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Post by guildfordbat Fri 18 May 2012, 11:01 am

guildfordbat wrote:
If the rain ever stops and allows me to go to the Oval again on a match day, I'll see if I can dig anything out of the library there about Lohmann.

Shelsey - I went to the Oval yesterday for the first time since the opening day of the season. A lot warmer!

Although the library was closed*, I managed to grab a word with the librarian about your nominee and asked her about Lohmann being an 'unknown great'. She said: ''George Lohmann? Definitely a great but I wouldn't say he was unknown. He's buried in South Africa, miles off the beaten track. The Club is regularly sent photographs of his gravestone from cricket followers who set out to found it or travellers who just stumbled across it. They all think they're the first to do this. I thank them and gently point out the Club already has quite a few similar photos.''

Whilst I haven't managed to lay hands on the book, I know that the cricket writer and Surrey scorer Keith Booth wrote a biography of Lohmann, ''Pioneer Professional'', which has been highly commended.

*Btw, the reason the library was closed was that the room it was in previously has been converted into a bar and space still needs to be allocated for its new site. As this action will bring in more money, I'm sure most posters will support it. mad

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Post by Hoggy_Bear Fri 18 May 2012, 4:34 pm

Are we supposed to be voting on this today, or has the thread just died?

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Post by alfie Fri 18 May 2012, 4:51 pm

It does seem to have gone to sleep , rather...

Just in case : I will record a YES for Lohmann , Ponsford and McCabe , but no to the other two.

(while feeling a little guilty for having rather neglecting this project lately. I claim overwork...)

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Post by Shelsey93 Fri 18 May 2012, 5:26 pm

Well, we haven't had anything on Jayasuriya, and I have myself been lazy in not getting round to Ponsford and Hill yet.

So I suppose we will have to delay voting for a few days... hopefully I will get something done at the weekend.


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Post by alfie Fri 18 May 2012, 5:33 pm

Fine.

In that case I reserve the right to change either of my "no" votes if anyone can convince me before the new deadline...

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Post by Corporalhumblebucket Fri 18 May 2012, 11:05 pm

Lohmann is a clear YES.

The others are finely balanced. Voting now as probably wont be around much
when the polling station closes.

Jayasuriya NO, McCabe YES, Ponsford YES, Hill NO.

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Post by guildfordbat Sun 20 May 2012, 11:37 am

On the basis of the fine cases made out for them, I'll say YES to Hill, McCabe, Ponsford and Lohmann.

It's no criticism of the nominees (or those making the nominations) but I do find it very difficult assessing players from eras I know little about. That may be one factor for such limited discussion this time round.

I'll need to see the case made for Jayasuriya before considering his admittance. At the moment, he has to be a NO.

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Post by Guest Mon 21 May 2012, 12:24 pm

Jayasuria is a tough one IMO.

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Post by Shelsey93 Mon 21 May 2012, 12:38 pm

CF wrote:Jayasuria is a tough one IMO.

Definitely. I think Mike will have a tough job to convince me to vote Yes.

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Post by Mad for Chelsea Mon 21 May 2012, 1:18 pm

just so you know, Mike has been busy recently (was on a work trip, then doing some coaching over the last four days when he got back), but I'm sure he'll be around soon to make the case.

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Post by Mike Selig Mon 21 May 2012, 6:15 pm

Mad for Chelsea wrote:just so you know, Mike has been busy recently (was on a work trip, then doing some coaching over the last four days when he got back), but I'm sure he'll be around soon to make the case.

Indeed. During the last 4 weeks I have spent exactly 4 hours at home (from 2 til 6 AM Thursday) which explains why I haven't been that present on these boards. I'll try to get my thoughts about Jayasuriya done sometime this week.

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Post by Shelsey93 Mon 21 May 2012, 6:35 pm

Mike Selig wrote:
Mad for Chelsea wrote:just so you know, Mike has been busy recently (was on a work trip, then doing some coaching over the last four days when he got back), but I'm sure he'll be around soon to make the case.

Indeed. During the last 4 weeks I have spent exactly 4 hours at home (from 2 til 6 AM Thursday) which explains why I haven't been that present on these boards. I'll try to get my thoughts about Jayasuriya done sometime this week.

thumbsup

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Post by Guest Mon 21 May 2012, 7:28 pm

Shelsey93 wrote:
CF wrote:Jayasuria is a tough one IMO.

Definitely. I think Mike will have a tough job to convince me to vote Yes.

what i meant was, im on the fence at the moment.

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Post by Guest Tue 05 Jun 2012, 5:48 pm

has this just come to an abrupt end now?

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Post by Shelsey93 Tue 05 Jun 2012, 8:20 pm

CF wrote:has this just come to an abrupt end now?

We are waiting for Mike's much-needed defence of Jayasuriya. As it happens a break isn't really doing us much harm, at a time of year where we all seem to be very busy. I am sure the debate will kick-start again when we have some more debatable cricketers. The issue with this lot is that, perhaps other than Jayasuriya, none of us have seen them play, nor are they particularly controversial.

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Post by Mike Selig Tue 05 Jun 2012, 11:38 pm

Shelsey93 wrote:
CF wrote:has this just come to an abrupt end now?

We are waiting for Mike's much-needed defence of Jayasuriya. As it happens a break isn't really doing us much harm, at a time of year where we all seem to be very busy. I am sure the debate will kick-start again when we have some more debatable cricketers. The issue with this lot is that, perhaps other than Jayasuriya, none of us have seen them play, nor are they particularly controversial.

Apologies. I really did think I'd have got this done by now, but between coaching, travelling then catching up on actual work, now exam duties and other stuff... Just not that much time ATM.

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Post by Guest Wed 06 Jun 2012, 1:36 pm

i will put together an argument for having Jayasuria inducted into HOF.

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Post by Guest Mon 11 Jun 2012, 7:06 pm

my case for inducting Jayasuria should be up tomorrow Smile

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Post by Corporalhumblebucket Sat 16 Jun 2012, 11:56 am

Trying to make the case for Jayasuriya seems to have defeated many a 606v2 poster.... Very Happy

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