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Don Wilson

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Post by guildfordbat Sat 21 Jul 2012, 11:12 pm

Very sorry to hear of the death today of Don Wilson.

The name is unlikely to mean much or even anything to younger posters. However, his effectice slow left arm spin made him a prominent member of the Yorkshire team that dominated the county championship in the late 1950s and through the 1960s. They won the title a highly impressive seven times between 1959 and 1968 when it was regarded with far more importance and respect than today. Yorshire team mates included Geoff Boycott, Phil Sharpe, Jackie Hampshire, Brian Close, Ray Illingworth and Fred Trueman.

Wilson was unlucky to miss out on a lengthy Test career, often being up against England captain Ray Illingworth and 606 v2 Hall of Fame member Derek Underwood. He played only two Tests in England, both against the Rest of the World in 1970. However, even they were both shamefully deleted from the record books when the ICC retrospectively withdrew Test status for that series. He did gain six Test caps for his country - in India and New Zealand - but was too often left with the job of drinks waiter when overseas with his country.

Wilson was a member of the England squad that toured Australia in 1970-71. Like reserve keeper Bob Taylor, he never played in that series. However, skipper Illingworth went out of his way after we had won the Ashes in that series to praise both men for their support behind the scenes and contribution as 'good tourists'. To Illingworth's credit, he insisted Taylor and Wilson play in the subsequent Test in New Zealand as 'reward' for the Ashes win.

In later years, Wilson went into coaching and worked at Lord's for the MCC and later at Ampleforth College in Yorkshire. One of the lads he coached at Ampleforth was Jonny Bairstow who has tonight tweeted his respects.

Don Wilson wasn't a great but he was a better than decent cricketer whose contribution to our game deserves some recognition.


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Post by Corporalhumblebucket Wed 25 Jul 2012, 8:50 pm

Very well said Guildford. I was sorry to hear of his death. As you are perhaps implying his lasting cricketing achievement was as a member of that great Yorkshire side. (Their successful run pretty much matches that of the Surrey side immediately before them - and that is saying a lot).

Interesting to note that the Yorks side had several players who were perhaps just a shade short of international class - Sharpe, Wilson and Hampshire - who didn't play a great amount of test cricket. That may well be a contributory factor to the success of the team - to have a core of high class players able to focus on their county cricket.


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Post by guildfordbat Sat 28 Jul 2012, 10:44 pm

Thanks, Corporal. Thought I was looking at a nil return.

Yes, I would have to say that Don Wilson's lasting cricket achievement was as a member of that great Yorkshire side.

As you suggest, having fine players who aren't regularly taken away by England plus decent reserves to come in whey are has certainly been a factor in the success of most county teams over the years.

From a Surrey perspective of around ten years ago, we then had such dependables as Brown and M. Bicknell plus quality reserves like Ratcliffe, D. Bicknell and Shahid.


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