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The 606v2 Cricket Hall of Fame - Part 3

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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 Guest Fri 06 Apr 2012, 4:41 pm

im considering constantine.

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Post by ShahenshahG Fri 06 Apr 2012, 4:43 pm

Got a yes for all hoggy,

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Post by Guest Fri 06 Apr 2012, 4:49 pm

infact make that 5 yes's from me Smile

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Post by Hoggy_Bear Fri 06 Apr 2012, 7:27 pm

Glad to see I'm not alone in considering Constantine a worthy HoF'er thumbsup

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Post by Corporalhumblebucket Fri 06 Apr 2012, 9:49 pm

Hoggy_Bear wrote:Looks like I'm the only one considering voting for Constantine so, although I doubt it will make much difference .... one of the greatest ever professionals in the Lancashire League .....
I'm struggling to see how Constantine's actual playing record can get him anywhere remotely near the HoF entry point! Erm I would have thought the only realistic argument related to his important wider contribution to social history, where there is a decent case - if you accept that it is sufficiently closely related to his cricketing role....

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Post by ShahenshahG Fri 06 Apr 2012, 10:38 pm

Corporalhumblebucket wrote:
Hoggy_Bear wrote:Looks like I'm the only one considering voting for Constantine so, although I doubt it will make much difference .... one of the greatest ever professionals in the Lancashire League .....
I'm struggling to see how Constantine's actual playing record can get him anywhere remotely near the HoF entry point! Erm I would have thought the only realistic argument related to his important wider contribution to social history, where there is a decent case - if you accept that it is sufficiently closely related to his cricketing role....

I think you need to research a fighter called jack johnson, who amongst other things both good and bad denied black fighters a right to fight him for his titles - he was the first black heavyweight in history. Then you look at constatine who it was often said, didnt look at the opportunities england afforded him but the opporutnites that werent afforded to other west indians, The spirit of cricket? He is one of those who embody it.

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Post by Shelsey93 Fri 06 Apr 2012, 10:41 pm

Hoggy_Bear wrote:Looks like I'm the only one considering voting for Constantine so, although I doubt it will make much difference, I would just like to reiterate his plus points; an all-rounder capable of changing games with either his batting or bowling at any level; one of the greatest ever professionals in the Lancashire League; a trailblazer for West Indian cricket; epitomized West Indian cricket throughout his career; the greatest fielder of the pre WWII period and one of the greatest fielders ever.
Food for thought?

You left the question open here at the end and I'm going to say to say that whilst your post has indeed got me thinking it has mostly reaffirmed my decision to vote No to Constantine. I'll look at each of the things which you've stated form a positive case for his inclusion:

"An all-rounder capable of changing games with either his batting or bowling at any level"

Well, CMJ, who places him at a lofty 56 in the 'Top 100 Cricketers of All Time', talks about him as a "dangerous, unorthodox, magnetic attacking batsman who scored 78 out of 103 in 55 minutes on the last day of the 1939 Test at The Oval, and an uninhibited fast bowler in his youth with a bounding approach which who became an extremely canny medium-paced one later. In the same Oval Test in 1939, he took five for 75 in the first innings on a perfect pitch". CMJ goes on to add that "he took 107 wickets at 22 and made 1,381 runs" on West Indies 1928 tour of England, but "was a great disappointment in the Tests". Other strong performances, including 9-122 in West Indies first ever win against England are listed and it is obvious that he was able of changing games with his bowling at any level.

However, his Test stats indicate that he was little more than a bit-part player with the bat in both FC cricket and Tests. In an era when plenty of players (including Headley as a West Indian, on WI pitches) were scoring big runs around the world he averaged under 20 in Tests and only 24 in FC cricket. Whilst his bowling did "virtually [win] two important Tests and shape a third" (Wisden Obituary) he also only averaged 30 with the ball and so comfortably fails the all-rounder Test of averaging less with the ball than with the bat. Thus, whilst he may have been capable of changing games with either bat or ball at any level, he certainly didn't do so with anything like the regularity that should be required for a Hall of Fame inductee.

"One of the greatest ever professionals in the Lancashire League"

As competitive as the Lancashire League may have been I struggle to see this in any way aiding a player's case for Hall of Fame status. This is cricket at club level and far removed from the highest level. To put this into context, last season my club (in the Herts league) had the ex-Zimbabwe Test player Dion Ebrahim as our overseas. He scored 1313 runs @ 83 so you could argue that he was one of the Herts League's 'greatest ever overseas signings'. But you would never say that this aids his reputation as a professional cricketer as there is such a huge divide between the levels of the game.

"A trailblazer for West Indian cricket"

We've already had Headley, Lloyd, Roberts, Kanhai and some others I've probably forgotten branded as 'trailblazers' for WI cricket to the point where the word is loosing its meaning. I would argue that Headley - whose career corresponds with Constantine's quite nicely - was more of a 'trailblazer' than Learie as he was putting in world class performances whilst Learie's stats reflect somebody who struggled through his Test career.

"Epitomized West Indian cricket throughout his career"

Here we get to territory similar to that covered in the Woolley debate. With Woolley we concluded that being remembered for aesthetic quality rather than runs suggests style being preferred to substance. Some quotes on Constantine: a "joyous talent", "an inspiration" (both CMJ), "no man ever gave or received more joy by the mere playing of cricket" (Robertson-Glasgow), "Crowds recognised and enjoyed him as a cricketer of adventure" (Wisden Obituary), "plays in a delightfully happy and carefree, and yet enthusiastic manner" (Plum Warner). I don't see how this adds much value to Constantine the cricketer as these type of descriptions could be applied to many players of all abilities.

"The greatest fielder of the pre WWII period and one of the greatest fielders ever"

Plum Warner agrees, saying that,

"He is the finest fieldsman the world has ever seen. This may sound extravagant praise, but men like Hammond and Hendren, who know all there is to know about fielding, are emphatic that Constantine stands alone. His activity has to be seen to be believed - he can literally catch anything anywhere and he throws with the speed of a bullet. He is twice as active as the proverbial cat, and as lithe as a panther. To see him in the field is sheer joy. He is supreme in any position, and to attempt a run until the ball is past him is suicide, for the amount of ground he can cover is amazing".

High praise indeed but I would warn that judgment of who the greatest and most innovative fielders are is a very subjective business. Even today, in an era of televised matches from all around the world and the internet, if you ask ten different experts you will probably get at least five different answers as to who the best fielder in the world is. Indeed, the best fielder in the world might not be playing at the very highest level and so his performances might not get noticed by any of the experts. How is Warner, or Hammond for that matter, expected to make that judgment in the days before TV? Thus, without any stats it is difficult to use fielding as a criteria other than as a secondary or tertiary factor behind a player's batting and bowling in my view. And, as I see it, Constantine's batting and bowling were not good enough to get him anywhere close to this exclusive Hall of Fame.

As a final point I would add that, as far as I can see, his political significance in fighting racism took place once his career had finished and was not in any way cricket-related. Therefore, it shouldn't make much difference at all to his case to be in the Hall of Fame.

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Post by guildfordbat Fri 06 Apr 2012, 11:38 pm

Shelsey93 wrote:
.... I would warn that judgment of who the greatest and most innovative fielders are is a very subjective business .... Indeed, the best fielder in the world might not be playing at the very highest level and so his performances might not get noticed by any of the experts.
Shelsey - I'll leave others for now to comment on your specific concerns about Constantine.

However, I do agree with your general point above about fielding. I actually made very similar comments myself some months ago. A brilliant fielder (particularly in the past) would only be likely to be widely noticed if he was playing Test cricket due to also being a superior batsman or bowler.

One of the best fielders I've ever seen over the last forty odd years was Jim Foat. Who? Exactly. Throughout the 1970s he was a jobbing lorry driver in the winter and a county cricketer for Gloucs in the summer. He was a fairly ordinary middle order batsman who largely owed his county place to his excellent fielding. The Corporal recalled him when I posted before but I wouldn't expect many others to remember or even have heard of him. That rather proves our point.

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Post by kwinigolfer Fri 06 Apr 2012, 11:51 pm

You bid Jim Foat, I'll go with Andy Murtagh.

Sorry about that, back to Augusta!

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Post by guildfordbat Sat 07 Apr 2012, 12:00 am

kwinigolfer wrote:You bid Jim Foat, I'll go with Andy Murtagh.

Sorry about that, back to Augusta!

Kwini - in many ways, two very similar cricketers. Same era. Ordinary batsmen. Very fine fielders. Largely now unknown.

Enjoy the golf!

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Post by Hoggy_Bear Sat 07 Apr 2012, 2:02 am

Shelsey
Just on your last point. According to C.L.R James, Constantine lectured widely about West Indian life and culture during his time as a professional in Lancashire. It is unlikely that he'd have been afforded the opportunity to do so had it not been for his fame as a cricketer. It could also be suggested that, just as d'Oliveira's dignity during the 'd'Oliveira Affair', did much to get the British public on his side, Constantine's dignified bearing and the way he behaved did a great deal to forestall any racism that was present in Nelson and the rest of the Lancashire area and led to him being accepted by locals despite him being one of the very few black-men to have lived in the area at that time.
Finally, Constantine used money earned from cricket to pay for the publishing of a number of James' books, including 'The Case for West Indian Self-Government'.
So I do think that Constantine was involved in confronting racism (or, at least, in educating people about the lands and peoples of the West Indies, which may amount to the same thing), during his career, and that he used his fame as a cricketer and the money that he earned through it, to further that aim. As I alluded in an earlier post as well, I think his success as a cricketer, (as with Headley), was, in itself, a means of confronting racism but, having read James, (who knew both men well), I would argue that Constantine was the more concious of the two of that notion.

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Post by Hoggy_Bear Sat 07 Apr 2012, 11:59 am

And just another couple of points.
First, it's true that a number of West Indians have been lauded as 'trailblazers' in this discussion, but that shouldn't detract from the fact that that is what Constantine was. Apart from being the first black West Indian cricketer to inbed himself in the conciousness of English cricket fans he was also, as far as I can tell (though I may be wrong), the first black West Indian to play as a professional outside of the West Indies, a move he made almost as a protest against the discrimination that blacks were subjected to back home.
Second, it's true that today there would be no concencus as to who is the best fielder. That was not the case with Constantine however, who was almost universally acknowleged as such. It's also true that the best fielder may not have played at the top level, but it must be remembered that there was a lot smaller pool of players in Constantine's day and a lot less international cricket. Therefore the likes of Hammond,Hendren, Warner, and Bradman (who described Constantine as the greatest fielder he had seen in 1950), played and watched far more county/state cricket and so would surely have been aware of any greater fielders playing at that level. True, there may have been greater fielders playing in South Africa or India or in club/grade cricket, but it would seem to me to be unlikely.
Third, with regard to 'epitomizing' West Indies cricket, many of those phrases you quote describing Constantine, or phrases much like them, were used to describe West Indian cricket as a whole up until the 1970s. The fact is that the West Indian reputation for entertaining, ebullient, unorthodox cricket stemmed, to a large extent from Constantine's personal performances and, while the tag of 'Calypso Cricketers' eventually came to be almost resented by West Indian players, it can be argued that that reputation helped the West Indies to become an established test cricket nation.
I understand and appreciate the concerns about Constantine's overall stats, but I would argue that the way in which Constantine used cricket as a means through which to confront racism, to correct misconception and to raise the profile of Black cricketers, and the extent to which he suceeded in that, allied with his greatness as a fielder, makes him a worthy member of our HoF.

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Post by kwinigolfer Sat 07 Apr 2012, 2:22 pm

guildford,
One a millionaire and one a famous father (or father of a more famous son at any rate)!

Oops, play resumed in Augusta.

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Post by guildfordbat Sat 07 Apr 2012, 3:09 pm

Kwini - amazing how Foat turned his fortunes round.

Believe Andy Murtagh is Tim's uncle rather than his dad. Anyway, I'll let you get back to the golf. Smile

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Post by kwinigolfer Sat 07 Apr 2012, 4:40 pm

Rats! You're right of course! Back to the golf . . . . .

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Post by alfie Sun 08 Apr 2012, 3:15 am

Off away from Internet access for a few days so had better get voting done...

Dravid. Yes
Ames. Yes. Have already agreed both these on previous pages.

Arlott. Yes ... If Fists has outlined that non playing but significant off field contributions to the game are fair qualifications I can think of no better man to start with.

But I must regretfully decline the other two nominations , though I won't mind at all if I am outvoted.
Constantine was a pioneer as a West Indian cricketer , but his Test record seems to me inadequate , and although he certainly had massive achievements in other parts of his life they are not really connected enough to cricket , for me at least.
So a No for him.

More controversial perhaps also a No to D'Oliveira. I feel almost guilty saying that as I admire the man so much , and indeed I also liked him as a cricketer , having witnessed at least one of his Test centuries . Just feel his record falls a little short of HOF standard , and his iconic status as the man who provoked the total isolation of SA from international cricket until long overdue reforms changed that country for ever was a by product of his personal journey rather than any crusade on his behalf. Top marks for courage , dignity and just plain human decency , but not quite a "top sixty" or whatever of international cricket.

As I say , I really don' t have a problem if others disagree with the above. Will see the results when I get back...

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Post by Shelsey93 Mon 09 Apr 2012, 12:47 pm

John Arlott

The only candidate that I haven't joined the discussion on so far is Arlott. And he is a particularly difficult one for me, given that I am too young to have heard any of his commentaries (other than archive snippets), or read enough of his writing to judge him. However, I can't dispute that he is undoubtedly one of the greatest cricket broadcasters and journalists, and probably, along with Brian Johnston one of the two greatest Britons to fall into the retired/dead category making one eligible for this Hall of Fame for their contribution to the cricketing media. He was also a good friend of a close family friend of ours, the cricket photographer Patrick Eagar and Patrick says that he was a perfect colleague of his, sharing an interest in cricket and perhaps a greater shared passion for wine.

From the articles I can find, he did indeed play a significant part in the d'Oliveira affair. Though I would assert that it was Basil, through his cricketing ability, that forced his own way into the English game.

Nevertheless, my personal view is that he would sit better in a broadcasting Hall of Fame than a cricketing one. I am not contesting Fists's ruling that non-players (or those whose contribution was mainly as a non-player) can be inducted. Indeed, I would champion the suggestion that coaches and umpires might have a place. However, I would not like to see the Hall of Fame opened up too much and feel that that could happen if we let Arlott in - if Arlott's in then Johnston will surely have to be considered, and then there are writers like Neville Cardus and you would surely want to consider John Wisden for founding the Almanack.

I also struggle to find what the impact of a journalist on the game itself is - he didn't change the way the game was played (as a coach could) or ensure that it took place in a fair manner (as an umpire could). This is not to belittle the role of a journalist - I have journalistic aspirations myself and so it would be stupid of me to do so. But his influence is largely on the other side of the boundary rope and I personally believe that the Hall of Fame should be kept to the players themselves, and perhaps key figures that influenced the way in which cricket progressed. For me a commentator does neither.

Thus, at this moment I'm looking at a NO for Arlott. However, if somebody convinces me that he influenced the way cricket was played that might change, as I cannot dispute his greatness amongst the ranks of cricketing media.


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Post by guildfordbat Mon 09 Apr 2012, 1:47 pm

The following editorial appeared in the Guardian last November shortly after Basil D'Oliveira's death. It was headed 'In Praise of ... John Arlott' although it acts as a fine tribute to both men. It may also give Shelsey a helpful career pointer as to the progress that good journalism can bring to the world of cricket and beyond.

''In the life story of the cricketer Basil D'Oliveira, rightful recipient of many tributes upon his sad death this weekend, an invaluable role was played by the journalist John Arlott. The son of a tailor in 50s Cape Town, the mixed race D'Oliveira had outstanding ability - but no coaching, nor any access to the best, white-only, grounds. He would have given it up to become a printer, were it not for Arlott. As his biographer, Peter O'Borne notes, Dolly sometimes listened to the cricket commentator on the World Service and wrote him a pleading letter in green ink: ''I daresay this is only a minor detail compared, I presume, to your other escapades ...'' (imagine such politesse from Pietersen). Arlott not only read the letter; he lobbied John Kay at the Manchester Evening News to help: ''Asking him over here might change the sporting and ... the political face of South Africa, which seems to me to be very worthwhile.'' A job came up at Middleton cricket club - and D'Oliveira was on his way to becoming an England cricketing legend. This was not the only time British journalism would rally behind the allrounder. When he was omitted from the 1968 side touring South Africa, a Guardian leader thundered: ''Anyone who would swallow that would believe the moon was a currant bun.'' Dolly was many things: a good man, a beautiful cricketer and a symbol of hope at a bleak time. He was also a reminder of the good journalists can do - and that letters in green ink can be worth reading.''

Off now to witness Woking's triumphant return to the Football Conference. I'll write a bit more about both Arlott and D'Oliveira this evening.

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Post by Guest Mon 09 Apr 2012, 3:43 pm

think we need a new thread lol..

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Post by Shelsey93 Mon 09 Apr 2012, 4:30 pm

cricketfan90 wrote:think we need a new thread lol..

Why?

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Post by Guest Mon 09 Apr 2012, 5:10 pm

because usually on this site when it gets to 20 pages a new thread starts..

when we first started this thread we had to make a new thread...thread 1 is archived somewhere

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Post by Corporalhumblebucket Mon 09 Apr 2012, 9:42 pm

My votes confirmed as NO for Constantine (for reasons given) and YES for the other four.

Thinking about entry to HoF for reasons largely not connected with their cricket playing my starting point would be to go only one person in each category that is identified. Arlott would have my vote as the most noteworthy commentator, and then perhaps there would be one cricket writer, one umpire, maybe one outstanding manager.

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Post by ShahenshahG Mon 09 Apr 2012, 10:29 pm

David Shepard is already in yes?

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Post by Shelsey93 Mon 09 Apr 2012, 10:34 pm

ShahenshahG wrote:David Shepard is already in yes?

No, don't think so.

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Post by ShahenshahG Mon 09 Apr 2012, 11:32 pm

Lets kick everyone out so we can put him in first.

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Post by guildfordbat Tue 10 Apr 2012, 1:12 am

guildfordbat wrote:The following editorial appeared in the Guardian last November shortly after Basil D'Oliveira's death. It was headed 'In Praise of ... John Arlott' although it acts as a fine tribute to both men. It may also give Shelsey a helpful career pointer as to the progress that good journalism can bring to the world of cricket and beyond.

''In the life story of the cricketer Basil D'Oliveira, rightful recipient of many tributes upon his sad death this weekend, an invaluable role was played by the journalist John Arlott. The son of a tailor in 50s Cape Town, the mixed race D'Oliveira had outstanding ability - but no coaching, nor any access to the best, white-only, grounds. He would have given it up to become a printer, were it not for Arlott. As his biographer, Peter O'Borne notes, Dolly sometimes listened to the cricket commentator on the World Service and wrote him a pleading letter in green ink: ''I daresay this is only a minor detail compared, I presume, to your other escapades ...'' (imagine such politesse from Pietersen). Arlott not only read the letter; he lobbied John Kay at the Manchester Evening News to help: ''Asking him over here might change the sporting and ... the political face of South Africa, which seems to me to be very worthwhile.'' A job came up at Middleton cricket club - and D'Oliveira was on his way to becoming an England cricketing legend. This was not the only time British journalism would rally behind the allrounder. When he was omitted from the 1968 side touring South Africa, a Guardian leader thundered: ''Anyone who would swallow that would believe the moon was a currant bun.'' Dolly was many things: a good man, a beautiful cricketer and a symbol of hope at a bleak time. He was also a reminder of the good journalists can do - and that letters in green ink can be worth reading.''

Off now to witness Woking's triumphant return to the Football Conference. I'll write a bit more about both Arlott and D'Oliveira this evening.

Three more points for the mighty Wokes and now a bit more about Dolly and Arlott.

In the words of cricket writer John Thicknesse:
''One of broadcaster John Arlott's most worthy deeds was saving Basil D'Oliveira from half-life as a Cape Colored in South Africa by persuading Middleton, the Central Lancashire League club, to take him on as their professional in 1960 ... Arlott's initiative was the making of D'Oliveira, and a source of joy to all who loathed apartheid.''

Thicknesse goes on to lament:
''If only he'd been spotted at 19 rather than 29. Then D'Oliveira would have put the runs and wickets in the book that would have shown future generations what he undoubtedly was - one of cricket's greats.''

Worth noting here that it is now widely thought that Dolly was actually a few years older than the 29 he claimed. He apparently understandably feared that a professional career in England would be denied him by acknowledging he was already in his early thirties.

I saw Dolly in the first Test I ever attended. England v Pakistan at Edgbaston in June '71. Pakistan batted first and we were soon under the cosh. The Test started on a Thursday (as all Tests here did then) and Pakistan batted on and on, finally declaring during Saturday morning having amassed over 600. Dolly was not a star with the ball but he was always reliable (he conceded less than 2 runs per over throughout his Test career). Never more so than during those first two days. Upon checking the records, I see that he bowled 38 overs for just 78 runs and took a couple of the six wickets to fall (Underwood, whom we've discussed at length previously, bowled more overs at greater cost and ended up wicketless). When our turn came to bat, we were soon in trouble at 46-3 (Hoggy's heart Amiss, Corporal's heart Edrich and my heart Cowdrey all back in the hutch). Dolly then brought a calmness to the proceedings in making 70 odd and with a century from the great Knott saved the game. Dolly's Test batting average was just over 40 as it was in first class cricket.

The above is of couse just a snapshot of Dolly's career but I believe it is a representative one. However, even if you don't and consider Dolly not to have been a great player, I think you're missing the point. Basil D'Oliveira was the central figure of the most famous and momentous cricketing situation ever. It ultimately changed cricket and life for many, many thousands. The impact of that can never be determined by Dolly's career stats. For me, his admittance to our Hall of Fame is an easy call and one made even easier by Dolly's impeccable conduct at the time and throughout the rest of his life.

As hopefully shown above, Arlott is intrinsically linked to all the good elements of the D'Oliveira story. For that alone, Arlott would merit serious condideration as an entrant to our Hall of Fame. However, once you add his work as a brilliant commentator and writer it is beyond question for me. Others with far more standing in the game showed their appreciation at Lords' more than thirty years ago when Arlott delivered his final commentary during the final Ashes Test of 1980:

''Upon finishing his stint at the microphone, his hand over was without fuss and typically modest. At the end of the next over play was halted. The crowd rose to their feet and along with the players on the field , they applauded this great man. It was one of the most emotional moments in cricketing and broadcasting history.'' - from the 'Bring Me Sunshine' blog I stumbled across during this research. It's described as ''a tribute to the good, the great and the downright brilliant' which certainly fits Arlott in my view.

Finally, it is irrelevant to me that D'Oliveira may not have been a proven great player and that Arlott was not a player at all. They have both, in different ways, given so many people a greater appreciation and enjoyment of cricket and life than would otherwise have been the case. That is far more important and why we should be honoured if they would consider joining our Hall.

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Post by dummy_half Tue 10 Apr 2012, 9:52 am

OK, time for my votes:

Ames - easily a YES. A wicket keeper averaging 40 with the bat at a time when keepers were picked as specialist glovemen and runs weren't considered important. Some initial suggestions that his keeping was inferior don't appear to be borne out by either statistics or anecdotal evidence.

Dravid - YES, although in fairness to Mike's points earlier we have probably been a little generous in our praise of him. Second highest test runs scorer at an average of just over 50 is enough to justify an HoF spot but mostly for long-term consistency as a very good to great player rather than being a world leading performer during his career (as I said earlier, a bit the batting equivalent of Courtney Walsh - capable of outstanding individual performances but very often the number 2 in their respective teams and disciplines).

D'Oliveira - YES. Not from a purely playing perspective, although this may have been different if he had been discovered 10-15 years earlier, as his FC and Test careers almost certainly started when he was past his prime. However, his significance extends from the cricket pitch through the political landscape of both his home and adopted countries - can you imagine a current England selection panel bowing to political pressure from the Government of the country they were going to tour?

Arlott - YES. TMS is an institution, and the main reasons for that were Arlott and Brian Johnson. To describe either as just commentators is to understate the importance of the broadcaster in the promotion of the game. I just about remember Arlott's commentaries - I certainly remember we used to watch the pictures from the TV coverage but would be listening to the radio commentary both for its friendly tone and the ability to paint the pictures with words. Add to this Arlott's role in the D'Oliveira story and the case for his inclusion in a HoF meant to include the entire cricketing family is overwhelming.

Constantine - NO. With some regrets, as he was clearly a great man and a significant figure in the development of cricket amongst the black population of the West Indies. The on field performances at FC and Test levels are not HoF level on their own, even allowing for his significance to the development of the game (compare with Hanif Mohammad for example, whose career numbers were those of a good to very good player and were then enhanced by his role in the development of Pakistani cricket). Now, if we were discussing a Lancashire League HoF the story would be very different...

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Post by Shelsey93 Tue 10 Apr 2012, 10:52 am

Ames - a fine record as a batsman, making him the best pre-Gilchrist keeper/batsman statsistically, and regarded as a very good gloveman as well. An undersung great who won't be ignored on this occasion - a YES.

Arlott - Clearly a legend of cricket broadcasting and a great man to boot. Given a NOfrom me as I want to keep the Hall of Fame to those who were exceptional cricketers and/or changed the way cricket was played, and in any case it would be wrong of me to vote YES to a commentator purely on hearsay that he was the greatest. Admirable contribution to the d'Oliveira affair, but my belief is that Dolly's cricketing talent, rather than Arlott's insistence, ensured that he got his chance in England.

Constantine - His record doesn't really stand up, excluding a handful of exceptional performances, and I don't feel his role in fighting racism is that relevant in this case. A NO.

d'Oliveira - Arguably played a massive role in the eventual demise of Apartheid, by displaying through his cricketing ability the stupidity of the regime. His cricketing performances should not be under-estimated either - if they were only average Middleton, Worcs and England wouldn't have taken a risk of him. A grand edition to the Hall of Fame - YES.

Dravid - Chose a good time to retire for this Hall of Fame, and his performances across his career certainly merit inclusion. He was also one of cricket's great statesmen. A YES.

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Post by Hoggy_Bear Tue 10 Apr 2012, 11:48 am

Ok then, I think I'm going to have to give five yes votes again.
Ames and Dravid both have exceptional career stats and are pretty easy to say yes to.

Arlott is one of (if not the) greatest commentator cricket has ever known and has contributed much to the game.

Constantine was a pioneer for West Indian cricket who set out, through cricket, to raise the profile of black men, to combat discrimination and racism and to tackle misconception. Through his performances on the field and his dignity and intelligence off it, he achieved that. For me, he should be in of HoF.

d'Oliveira was the most difficult yeas for me. Like Constantine his record alone isn't good enough for the HoF and, unlike Constantine, I don't neccessarily believe that d'Oliveira saw his career in terms of combatting racism in his home country. But, whether that was the case or not, that is what his career ended up doing. And his determination and dignity during what proved to be a pivotal affair in terms of the world's attitude to the apartheid system should, IMO, be enough to see him selected.

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Post by Fists of Fury Tue 10 Apr 2012, 1:55 pm

5 yes votes from me, too.

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Post by Gregers Tue 10 Apr 2012, 2:02 pm

Yes to all 5, especially Dravid

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Post by guildfordbat Tue 10 Apr 2012, 5:00 pm

My votes. Found two of these - and one in particular - a lot more difficult than fellow posters.

Ames - clearly a very fine and successful Test batsman which was unique for a wicket keeper in his era. However, his batting alone should not gain him admittance to our Hall so the question needs to be asked - how good a keeper was he? This is an interesting one. When 606 v2 chose it's best keepers of all time back in November, Ames was nowhere near the top ten. However, his (keeping) career stats and related comments / articles available suggest he was very good indeed and that we got it wrong last year. In fairness, it should be noted that such comments / articles seem pretty thin on the ground. His Wisden obituary refers to him on the Bodyline tour taking ''the thunderbolts of Voce and Larwood with quiet efficiency''. The term ''quiet efficiency'' seems to sum up well both his keeping and his personality. He appears to have avoided publicity like the plague, always steering clear of any hint of self-promotion. This is confirmed by both Brian Johnston and Henry Blofeld when referring to the quiet tact and diplomacy which he successfully used whilst managing MCC tours later in his career. Shelsey refers to him as ''an unsung great'' - I think that's probably right. I just wish there was more documented evidence so I could be more certain. Difficult but I believe there's still enough to invite him in. YES.

Arlott - nominated by myself and already covered. YES.

Constantine - I side with the Corporal and Dummy here. An entertaining and motivating cricketer who had only modest success at the highest level; attempted much good in his life but not really close enough to cricket for this Hall of Fame. Interesting that Shahenshah refers to The Right Reverend Lord David Sheppard. I thought of Sheppard when Constantine was first nominated - I suspect an earlier generation or two would have canvassed strongly for Sheppard's inclusion but again think that would have been wrong (not for anything negative about Sheppard, his beliefs and work) due to the cricket connection being too distant. A decent cricketer and man - yes, a cricket great - no. NO.

D'Oliveira - also nominated by myself and also covered. YES.

Dravid - very difficult for me. I haven't followed Test cricket that much in recent years (this forum is re-introducing me to it, thanks) so know Dravid less well than other posters. I also have a concern with the timing of this nomination. Less than ten weeks ago this man was playing Test cricket. Whilst I think we sometimes over emphasise the importance of a player's legacy, can we be sufficiently sure of Dravid's legacy after such a short time into his retirement? His biography on CricInfo casts doubts on his captaincy and shows him with an ODI batting average below 40 and a strike rate a shade over 71. I would also make the point that he had the all time batting great Tendulkar alongside - as I've often said to the Corporal about any young Surrey hopeful trying to make his way as a batsman, it's much harder when you're surrounded by players in the habit of failing. Dravid clearly wasn't. That all said, he emerged with a Test batting average in excess of 52 and certainly played his part in making India an international team to be respected. That probably edges him very close to a 'yes'. Then comes the clincher on CricInfo: ''... he became the cement that held the foundations firm while the flair players expressed themselves''. Shades of a latter day and, statistically, even more successful Larry Gomes. Few can be more honoured than that. The question is settled. YES.

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Post by Mad for Chelsea Tue 10 Apr 2012, 6:29 pm

I thought Ames wasn't in the greatest keepers because he was pre-war? Otherwise he would certainly make my top ten, possibly top 5.

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Post by Mad for Chelsea Tue 10 Apr 2012, 6:30 pm

by the way, I'm still somewhat undecided on Dolly. Mainly because I'm worried my huge admiration for the man is getting in the way of an attempt to be as objective as possible when examining the candidates...

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Post by ShahenshahG Tue 10 Apr 2012, 6:51 pm

Are we talking about David Shepard the cricket umpire or someone else guildford?

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Post by guildfordbat Tue 10 Apr 2012, 6:54 pm

Mad for Chelsea wrote:I thought Ames wasn't in the greatest keepers because he was pre-war? Otherwise he would certainly make my top ten, possibly top 5.
Mad - you're entirely correct. I forgot that our top ten was post WWII, apologies. I do suspect that Ames might still have struggled to get in due to him being an older and less well known name but certainly have nothing to back that up.

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Post by guildfordbat Tue 10 Apr 2012, 6:59 pm

Mad for Chelsea wrote:by the way, I'm still somewhat undecided on Dolly. Mainly because I'm worried my huge admiration for the man is getting in the way of an attempt to be as objective as possible when examining the candidates...
Mad - I don't think you should be dismissive of huge admiration when casting your vote for anyone.

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Post by guildfordbat Tue 10 Apr 2012, 7:45 pm

ShahenshahG wrote:Are we talking about David Shepard the cricket umpire or someone else guildford?
Aaarrggghhh!!! I now see where you're coming from. Second b*lls up this evening from yours truly - I'll get my coat! Rolling Eyes

I was referring to David Sheppard, the Bishop of Liverpool. He remains the only person to have played Test cricket whilst also being an ordained minister. He was an England batsman and played 20 odd Tests from the start of the fifties to early sixties.

I saw a similarity between Sheppard and Constantine due to their commendable efforts to improve life for others. Furthermore, both were decent cricketers but neither was great.

I now realise you're talking about the distinguished umpire, the late David Shepherd. He's not currently in our Hall nor been nominated as far as I'm aware. Worth a shout.

Apologies for confusion!

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Post by Corporalhumblebucket Tue 10 Apr 2012, 9:46 pm

However, (at risk of going off piste) mention of the Rev David Sheppard is very appropriate as, in his fight against racism, he provides quite a link between issues concerning Arlott, Constantine and d'Oliveira. An obit for the late Bishop of Liverpool says:

"As early as 1960 he [Sheppard] had made it public that he would not play an all-white South African touring side and in 1968 he returned to cricketing prominence in the wake of the D’Oliveira affair. He was asked by a group of MCC members – angered by the club’s handling of events – to propose a motion of no confidence at a special meeting in December. It was an acrimonious time and he suffered personal abuse, as he did again in 1970 when he campaigned for the cancellation of the next South African tour to England. But he drew strength from the words of Isaiah – ‘Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet’ – and, as events unfolded across his life, though he regretted deeply the loss of his friendship with Peter May, he never regretted the position he had taken up."

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Post by guildfordbat Tue 10 Apr 2012, 10:10 pm

Excellent pulling together there, Corporal. clap

Now can you also fit in the burly figure of Shepherd? Wink

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Post by Mike Selig Tue 10 Apr 2012, 11:27 pm

Gents, can I ask for a postponement on voting until tomorrow at least?

I'm afraid I've had rather a busy week-end. Umpired on Saturday and was basically accused of taking bribes, so that mess had to be sorted out (reports have been written and submitted), then training session on Monday. Travelled most of the day today so only now beginning to catch up with the latest facts and opinions.

Although I tend to agree with guilford MfC, admiration is not something to try and minimise...

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Post by Fists of Fury Tue 10 Apr 2012, 11:33 pm

Mike, sure, not a problem.

Bad news re: umpiring? So, were you? Wink

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Post by Mike Selig Wed 11 Apr 2012, 2:17 pm

Cheers Fists. I shouldn't comment too much publicly as there's a disciplinary coming up, but basically we docked one of the sides an over as they were too slow and it finished as a tie. They weren't best pleased.

OK so I should take advantage of a fairly quiet afternoon here to get my votes sorted.

Dravid: I'm quietly pleased that guilford has shared one of my concerns about the lack of time passed since retirement to be able to form an informed judgement. I also stand by my assessment that good a player though he was, his playing stats alone would not be enough to warrant him automatic entry into the HoF.

I'm not sure I agree with guilford's assessment of Dravid batting alongside Tendulkar making his life easy. There was still enormous pressure on him, for certainly the first part of his career he played in a very ordinary Indian side, batting number 3 behind fairly poor openers. In fact it was his toughness alongside Ganguly's abrasiveness which went a long way to getting India on the path to becoming one of the best sides in the world.

Then there's the partnership with VVS which stopped a brilliant Australian side from claiming their 17th consecutive win. As far as supporting acts it has to rank alongside the very best. Then there's the catching record. And finally there's the image of Dravid as one of the gentlemen of the game, and his work with the ICC which I genuinely believe has been for the better of the game.

I give Dravid a YES, but by no means was it quite as straightforward as it seems to have been for many.

Ames: I am indebted to those who point out that he was ahead of his time. YES from me.

Arlott: covered by many already, a true great of the game and accepting that you can vote in non-cricketers he would be 2nd on the list. YES.

Constantine: a tough choice, but ultimately will side with guilford and the corporal. Not quite enough. NO

D'Oliveira: His role in changing not only the face of cricket but let's be honest the face of the world cannot be pushed aside. Maybe it was just a case of being the right person at the right time, but had there not been such a good, black, South African and dignified cricketer who performed as he did at the time he did, history may well have taken quite a different course. Must be a YES.

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Post by guildfordbat Wed 11 Apr 2012, 3:35 pm

Mike Selig wrote:

.... I'm not sure I agree with guilford's assessment of Dravid batting alongside Tendulkar making his life easy.
Mike - apologies for the pedantry but I was trying to suggest that Tendulkar's presence made life easier for Dravid rather than easy.

Good luck with the cricket inquiry - however much you are in the right, anything like that is always rather depressing and draining. thumbsup

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 11 Apr 2012, 8:47 pm

Apologies for not being fully engaged whilst I was down the tailors getting a green jacket altered.
Without specific testimony, but lots read up on all, including each and every one of the witnesses above:
Ames: Yes
Arlott: Yes, with something of a caveat that this doesn't become a popularity contest for broadcasters, etc, etc.
D'Oliviera: Yes
Dravid: Yes, with something else of a caveat in that electing someone to the HOF almost before their jockstrap has cooled down is challenging - no time for reflection or perspective.
Constantine: Definitely a No!

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Post by Corporalhumblebucket Wed 11 Apr 2012, 9:12 pm

[26 January 2012:] ICC Europe has today announced the European regional winners of the Pepsi ICC Development Programme Awards for 2011 with many countries and individuals across Europe being recognised.......

For the second year in a row, the Volunteer of the Year award goes to an individual from France, where Michael Selig, even though still studying for his PhD, has tirelessly involved himself in many activities in French cricket including youth cricket organisation, umpiring, and coaching whilst also serving as a member of the French Board.

Good luck Mike clap

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Post by guildfordbat Wed 11 Apr 2012, 9:27 pm

Corporalhumblebucket wrote:[26 January 2012:] ICC Europe has today announced the European regional winners of the Pepsi ICC Development Programme Awards for 2011 with many countries and individuals across Europe being recognised.......

For the second year in a row, the Volunteer of the Year award goes to an individual from France, where Michael Selig, even though still studying for his PhD, has tirelessly involved himself in many activities in French cricket including youth cricket organisation, umpiring, and coaching whilst also serving as a member of the French Board.

Good luck Mike clap
Corporal - wondered where you were going with your opening line but many thanks for sharing!

Mike - clap

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Post by Hoggy_Bear Wed 11 Apr 2012, 9:32 pm

Congrats Mike
Keep up the good work!!

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Post by dummy_half Wed 11 Apr 2012, 9:41 pm

Mike
You're putting the rest of us to shame Ale clap RedWine

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Post by Corporalhumblebucket Wed 11 Apr 2012, 10:03 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Apologies for not being fully engaged whilst I was down the tailors getting a green jacket altered.
masterpiece of ambiguity Wink

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