Armchair Cricket: A Summary of Huddersfield Cricket (1937) by Circ

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& SUMMARY

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ARMCHAIR CRICKET

All communications ta. be addressed Advertiser, Préessy Etd.; Page> Street, tiuddersfeld

FOREWORD.

Had it not been for the kindness of the ‘many advertisers. it would have been impossible for this book to have been printed. To the enthusiasts who may derive pleasure from the contents of the book I would respectfully ask for their co-operation with the

firms who have so kindly assisted in the publication.

To the proprietors of ‘‘The Huddersfield Examiner’? I would express thanks for the loan of many photographic blocks, and also to several friends for various contributioris. “Particularly to my friend. Mr. Alfred M. Lee would I express thanks for. kindly:

assistance, helpful advice, and many practical suggestions.

It is the earnest wish of the compiler of this beok that Hud-— dersfield cricket should prosper, and its object is to keep alive

interest in the game during the winter months.

The labour entailed in the publication has been a joy and if a thousandth part of the pleasure is dcrived by the reader this effort to further the interests of loca! cricket will not have been

in vain.

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INDEX.

1.—Patrons 2.—Preface 3.—Editorial a 4.—Winter Shed ... Coaching and Practice 6.—Looking Back 7.—Three Promising Young'sters 8,.—Talents 9.— Youth

LQ; —Professionals for Season 19388

_ om

11.—Sam Livesey 12.—Concrete Wickets 13.—Suggestions to the League 14.—The Eight Ball Over 15.—Two Centenary Clubs 16.—Umpires 17.—The Question of Poaching ... 18. Armitage Bridge 19.—Three Professionals a Club ... 20.—Players and Personalities 91,.—Honours List, 1937 22,.—Marsden’s New Pavilion nr oe ie 293.—Paddock and. Rastrick, A. and B. Division Champions, 1937 24.—Two Newcomer’s to the League 25.—_Proposed Memorial Pavilion : 26.—At the Winter Shed 27.— Broad Oak’s Opening Pair ...

ev

»8.—Here’s to the next time

Epilogue

22 24 25

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PATRONS.

The following @entlemen have kindly interested them— O° 2 selves in the publication of ‘‘Armchair Cricket,’’ and. I ] 9

greatly appreciate their assistance :— ERNEST WOODHEAD, Esq., M.A., J.P. SIDNEY ABBEY, Esq. HENSHAW, -Esq, CHRIS. BEAUMONT, Esa. WALDO R. BRIGGS, Esq. JAMES DITCHBURN, Esq. ALTE To Hea.

H: BOLT.

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“ARMCHAIR CRICKET’’—A PREFACE.

distinguished foreigner once issued a warning that A social historians of the future would bitterly blame England for having taught the rest of the world a hundred different ways of wasting time, and that posterity would be appalled at the millions of ‘‘work-years’’ that had been lost owing to the popularity of the ball-games this country had invented. I do not know who did invent the game of cricket—and the point is immaterial—but certainly the cricket that we know is indigenous to this country, of the marl of England, and just as certainly has cricket played no small part in the shaping of our national character,

It would be pleasant on this dank, foggy and thor— oughly disagreeable November evening to pursue the theme, to trace cricket to its origins (were that possible) and toy with theories on the reactions of the man to the game and so forth, but that would not be to capture the spirit of this book, which deals primarily with the present, and next with the future, using the past as a means to an end—and that end is the betterment of the noblest of ball-games and the fuller enjoyment of it.

The author, ‘‘Cryc,’’ has struck a new line, and in do- ing so has, whether he knew it or not, whether he intended it or not, shifted the focus to its rightful place, which is not big cricket, but the game that is played by thousands on village pitches or grounds snatched from the builders and soulless town-planners who are festering a once comely land with bungaloid growths, and who think in terms of bricks and mortar when the youth of the land ts crying out for somewhere to breathe and run and play. Big’ cricket is big business nowadays, and there are those of us who believe that some League cricket is moving too much in that direction. If this little publication helps, however little, to bring the minds of the people back to the simpli- cities of the game, and helps them to recapture something of the spirit of cricket’s palmier and more spacious days, it will have served a most useful purpose,

Test cricket has assumed such proportions that defeat in an ‘‘Ashes’’ rubber has every appearance, almost, of a national calamity. Incidents can arise in an_ inter- national series that require the subtle aids of diplomats to straighten out. But cricket is bigger than its personalities and its sensations, too noble a game to be wrecked on the rock of international strife and jealousy, and were Test

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matches unhappily to be ended the game would go on, and would still have its roots and its strength and its susten— ance in the village green and in clubs such as we know them in these parts.

Village green cricket and the League game are not, of course, one and the same thing. On the village green there are more leisurely circumstances and a different sort of competition, but the two are near enough akin to be erouped together as the source from which the counties and countries must go on drawing so long as the game is played. The national calamity would not be that England lost the ‘““Ashes,’’? but that all was not well with the Huddersfield and District League and the many similar organisations throughout the country,

They tell us, and I believe them, that cricket is not what it used to be. I doubt if it ever will be, not because of anything inherent in the game itself, but on account of the changed habits of the people, particularly in the matter of entertainment. We are living in a mechanical age, and it is already possible, and will become increasingly so, for a man to have a diversity of entertainment without leaving his own fireside. He can listen to canned music while he eats a canned meal, and in the future may be able to sit at home to watch his cricket. But one thing is certain, he will not be able to switch the atmosphere of the cricket field on to his television set. Nor will he ever feel con- strained to write to the Press, as a man has done this week, to ask how many old cricketers are left who can recall G. J. Bonner’s wonderful hit, and G. F. Grace’s marvellous catch in the Australian Test Match at the Oval tn 1880! Just imagine that! Two generations ago, and a hit and a catch still linger in the memory. Of such stuff is cricket made.

But, while conceding the point that cricket is not what it used to be, I am reminded of the inevitable reply, that of ‘‘Punch’s,’’ to a similar complaint—‘‘It never was.”’

Read this extract :—

‘‘In conclusion, one word about what I consider to be cricket’s greatest enemy—the insatiable love of the sensational that is so fostered by present-day journalism. There is no gainsaying the fact that this craving for novelty and excitement helps to deplete county cricket club exchequers. Just as this wave was coming over the paying sporting public, cricket—batting in particular—was dull, and in con-— sequence matches were frequently drawn in_ fine weather. Happily batsmen are beginning to

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realise that they must use the dash that is in them, even the most lethargic of them, if they wish to se- cure public patronage; for without that county cricket must go to the wall. The situation may yet be saved. Cricket qua cricket is still just as inter- esting to the great British public, despite the de— pleted county coffers. But times are hard, and many keen followers of cricket of ten years ago, instead of paying eighteenpence or a shilling at the turn- stile, as they formerly did, now stay at home and read the papers. It is a very simple expedient.”’

That was not written in 1937, or during the body-line controversy, as you might think, but in a review of cricket in 1904, a year in which George Herbert Hirst had a ‘‘bene- fit?’ of £3,500, and F. S. Jackson, Rhodes and Haigh were in the Yorkshire team with him; when Ranjitsinhji was at the head of the batting averages; C. B. Fry was ‘‘as good as ever’’; A. C. Maclaren was captaining Lancashire; and Noble, Trumper, Gregory and Armstrong had been picked, among others, for a tour to this country in the following year.

Then there was a picture in ‘‘ Punch’’ of the village patriarch watching a cricket match. He is made to say: ‘Ah; that were cricket when a man guarded his wicket with the bat, and not wi’ two piller cases round his legs.’’

That, again, did not appear in Larwood’s day, but in 1858—eighty years ago. The one unchanging thing in cricket would appear to be its critics.

To ‘‘Armchair Cricket’? I wish a good innings. Its publication is coincident with a revival in Huddersfield League cricket, and if those who sit back in their arm- chairs conning these pages can emerge determined and en- thusiastic when summer comes again, that revival will go on gloriously. In that case ‘‘Cryc’’ will have done a good day’s work, and, knowing him as I do, no one will ‘‘thoil”’ it more, 3 |

ALFRED. M. LEE,

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EDITORIAL.

In presenting this book of Huddersfield cricket I must confess to being eullty, to a certain extent, of thinking of its usefulness as propaganda. There is still, happily, a big and intelligent following for cricket, but we are living in a rapidly changing age. No longer is it possible to consider the cricket field to be the centre of almost every village attraction, but cricket still holds a great attraction for the men and women who follow the game as spectator or from newspaper report.

The difficult period of the War years 1914-1918 left a mark on local cricket which has taken years to erase. Not only was playing strength reduced, but clubs and grounds did not escape the effects of that disastrous period. Perhaps the work of those who kept the flag flying through the war years and the years of trade depression which followed will never be fully acknowledged. During these difficult times all clubs in the Hudders- field and District League carried on with the exception of Linthwaite Hall. Naturally, play deteriorated, the weekly professional was superseded by the Saturday man, and players found themselves left to their own devices.” As the old-time players were playing themselves out a new and hardly fledged cricketer was coming into the game. From 1918 to the present day local cricket has made slow progress, but improvement there has been, and to-day we are on the threshold of a new and fuller cricket era.

Young players of great potential ability are in the making, giving promise that augsurs well for the. future. Benches are being filled on Saturday afternoons, and keen, animated discussion is heard in place of desultory and apathetic grumblings. As one who commenced his play as a fill-gap in the ranks of a war depleted side I may claim to have seen the changes of post war cricket. I have seen clubs in seemingly hopeless circumstances and have watched those wbstacles surmounted. T have seen the pre-war cricketers play until eyesight failed and limbs lagged. and I raise my hat to those great local players who proved in- valuable to their clubs during time of turmoil and stress,

I am sure to omit many of these players in attempting to revive memories of the. giants of local cricket, who will surely be honoured for helping to keep alive our game, our league and our clubs.

I have played against Harry Bates, Ernest Flint and ‘Bill’? Gawk- rodger. I treasure the memory cf opposing Herbert Thewlis, Fred Dodson, Joe Haley, Frank Woodhead and Andrew Canby. Against Sam Fletcher, “Bill”? Ellis, Sam Hirst, sam Kilburn and “‘Tommy’’ Jones I plaved.as a “‘rabbit,’? and I looked upon Walter Bedford, Wright Jessop and ‘“‘Billy”’ Lancaster as great. men of the game. One could write of many others whose memory remains so fresh in my mind. To the boy these mature cricketers looked so imposing. Each appeared to be a_ tremendous personality, and with several players of their calibre in each local side cricket was certainly different from local play of the last few years.

Still, there has been marked improvement. Players of ripe experience are giving balance to club elevens. A higher standard of professional is being engaged by many clubs, which means distinct prcgress. However, a great deal more progress has yet to be made before something approach- ing the standard of pre-war play is achieved, and I hope in subsequent chapters to discuss in candid manner some of the problems that arise. The game is still the greatest of all national games, and there is a large and enthusiastic public available for attractive cricket that embodies the principles of fairness, brightness and sportsmanship, which one expects from those who play the summez zame.

From the ranks of local cricket young men have gone forth to win fame the world over. Unhappily that direct association with County and

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International Cricket has been broken, but it is confidéntly lioped it is no wore than a temporary parting of the ways, and that ere long we shall see again in Yorkshire and England teams men who learned their cricket in ltuddersfield and District League.

So much for the game as played in our League; what of cricket itself ? I have often tried to analyse the appeal which is made not only to players but also to the many who have never been proficient at the game. Some- how it has a hold over its adherents that no other sport possesses. I ootball, despite the multitude attracted week by week, and the fanatical character of many of its supporters, does not command the devotion which cricket inspires. ‘Lhe words of Andrew Lang, a famous cricket writer of yesteryear, deals with the subject in a manner more apt than ever I could achieve :—

‘‘Cricket is simply the most catholic, and deepest, the most innocent, kindly and manly ot popular pleasures It is a liberal education in itself, and demands temper and justice and perseverance. There 1s more teaching in the playground than the schoolroom, and a lesson better worth learning very often. For there can be no good or enjoy— able cricket without enthusiasm—without sentiment, one may almost say: a quality that enriches life and refines it, gives it what life more and more is apt to lose, zest.”’ |

To many who sit in their armchairs with this little book in hand active participation in the game will be but a memory. JT he ground will have receded further and further, the flight of the ball be less easily followed now- adays, muscles less supple and responsive.

To others, who have lost neither their suppleness nor youth, cricket will be nearer and more real, even though it is a cold, ccld wind that blows out of doors. Tackle is not so far away, and the ‘‘feel’’? of the turf and crack of the bat are so recent that they have not yet been tucked away in memory’s storehouse. The past may have a greater appeal for one; the ‘future awaited with impatience by another. ‘To all, however, the glories of the game are rich.

I have still to hear the most progressive of enthusiasts desiring the game to become part and parcel of commercial enterprise, with results of games used for purposes of the gambling element. Let us be thankful that it does not lend itself to these base uses, and determined that that can never be the case. So long as the term ‘“‘It isn’t cricket’? is in common usage, so long as the principles of the game are kept on the highest plane, so long will fair dealing be a thing of which Britishers may be proud. Cricketers have a right to be proud of the traditions of the game, and they have a duty, which is jealously to guard its reputation and so hand to future generations a glorious inheritance.

* * *

-In one of those memorable duels between Lancashire and Yorkshire, Haigh and Hirst bowled unchanged throughout the Lancashire innings, the full total being only 61. Hirst came very near to doing what every first-class bowler hopes to do once in his career—take all ten wickets in an innings. Haigh, however, prevented him from having the record by taking one wicket later on.

After the innings had finished, George Hirst suggested that he should have the ball as a memento, because, as he said, ‘‘I don’t suppose I shall ever take nine wickets in an innings again. ‘“‘Aye,’’ replied Haigh, agree the ball should be kept, but it ought to be cut in half, and part given to me. After all, George, we bowled them out, didn’t we?” * * ¥%

As we go to press the news of Harold Beaumont accepting an engage~ ment with Shepley comes to hand.

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INTERIOR

OF WINTER SHED.

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THE WINTER SHED.

‘The idea of indoor coaching had often been thought of, but the sibility of Huddersfield cricketers having opportunity to practice in Winter months appeared very remote.

In 1933, however, Mr. D. M. Henshaw, with the expert assistance of Mr. George Herbert Hirst and Major J. F. Best, erected a Winter Shed in Glebe Road for private practice.

It is a long wooden structure built in part from, a disused army hut provided by Messrs. W. C. Holmes & Co., Ltd., and lighted by means of ten electric lamps. The interior is encased with string netting, and a full pitch of 22 yards is marked out. The bowlers are allowed a 10 yards run, and there is sufi- cient room for wicket- keepers to practice. A perfect wicket is avail- able, and batsmen may keep their eye in and . improve their strokes while the storm rages FRED METCALFE. without. It is possible for a bowler to “swing” and spin the ball, and despite the easy play of the wicket (the ball comes perfectly true) diligent practice enables him to try out his cunning devices. A medium paced bowler becomes fast at the Shed, but it is a difficult matter to make the ball above wicket height. Extra pace is thus discounted by the inability to make a batsman lift his chin. Shed practice certainly favours the batsmen, but the pace of the wood floor compels quick footwork | and quick thinking.

The facilities are available for any cricketer, irrespective of league or town. Naturally the requests for Winter practice are sometimes more than can be accommodated, and there has to be a system of membership and allocation which is fairly worked. During the holidays organised practices are arranged for schoolboys.

The Secretary and Manager of the Shed is Fred Metcalfe, last season’s professional at Shepley. Metcalfe may rightly be described as the most practiced player in local cricket, and much of the success attributed to the Shed can be traced to the enthusiasm of this genial cricketer.

The benefits from Shed practice are considerable. Many players who showed little, if any, ability have shown marked improvement. The critic is occasionally heard who makes capital out of the difference in pace of grass and wood wickets, but it is the humble view of the writer that so long as a batsman learns to make the correct stroke with confidence, it matters little what kind of a wicket he practices upon. Good practice wickets are few, and even in Summer one can find evidence of batsmen having played on bad practice wickets in the manner in which they are inclined to “‘edge.”?

The Winter Shed has been a great boon, and the use made of it is gtatifying to those who have successfully organised the practices. Careful study of various Shed players’ performances on the field go to show that those who have Winter practice are invariably a good deal better for it _ in Summer,

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COACHING AND PRACTICE.

Some time ago it fell to the writer’s lot to introduce a proposal of collective coaching. Little support was forthcoming from the powers that be, the League Committee, but I feel certain it is only a question of time before the scheme will receive more sympathetic consideration. It is admitted by official and supporter alike that practice is not indulged in to the extent many would like to see, and the progress of many promising young players is being impeded by a lack of coaching and facilities for practice. It was with the idea of stimulating practice, of correcting faults and giving hints for the improvement of play, that the scheme was mooted. Obviously the adoption of such an enterprise would cost money, but each club, for the payment of £2 per season, would have the satisfaction of knowing that thei1 promising young players would be receiving tuition on correct lines,

Often the present day method of practice is of haphazard nature. Few clubs possess weekly professionals, and often players are left to their own devices, little, if any, effort being made to improve weakness of stroke play. It may be argued that self teaching 1s valuable, that ability will out, but it must be granted that the skilled nand can often polish sound workmanship.

Let us consider the scheme. The League would be split into four groups in order to minimise travel. The Holme Valley group would consist of Holmfirth, Thongsbridge, Honley, Armitage Bridge, Meltham and Meltham Mills; the Colne Valley group Marsden, Golcar, Slaithwaite, Linthwaite, Broad Oak and Paddock clubs; the ‘‘Town’’ area would be Lockwood, Primrose Hill, Bradley Mills, Huddersfield, Elland and Rastrick; and on the Wakefield side of the town Dalton, Almondbury, Kirkburton, Kirkheaton, Lascelles Hall and Shepley could be catered for. The most central club of each group would be responsible for providing practice wickets, and two members of each club would form a nightly practice squad under a qualified coach. Each area would receive a fort- night’s special practice in turn until the end of the season. It would mean, therefore, that 1f in each week there were four nights practice 16 players from each club in the group would receive special instruction and coaching. This would occur every five weeks, and would give the coach ample time to consider if his methods and advice were being correctly’ followed.

With regard to finance, the twenty-four clubs would contribute £48, and with £2 from the League the total revenue for the fund would be £50. A first-rate coach could be paid £30 for his services, and the four clubs be given £5 each for the use of their ground.

It must be remembered that only Slaithwaite, Elland and Huddersfield engage a weekly professional, and few clubs go to the expense of a coach. The advantages of such a scheme would be manifold, and though a suitable coach may not be easily found I think that that difficulty could be overcome. club would receive equal representation, every player have individual tuition, and the standard of coaching shouid become much higher than at present.

To be successful the player must practice, and his practice must be on correct lines. The earlier a fault is discovered the easier it is to overcome. Many young players are handicapped through iack of correct guidance, and surely, for such a small sum, the scheme should be given a trial, for its own sake and as a stimulus to practice,

The plea of financial difficulty is hardly tenable, for it needs but one special effort on the part of each club to defray the entire expense for a season. A whist drive, a ‘‘smoker,’’ or even a ‘‘raffle’? would result in the fee being provided. 16

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LOOKING BACK. By GEORGE WALKER.

(I could think of none more suitable for contributing an article on local cricket which would appeal to a former generation than George Walker. He joined the Paddock club in 1887, and retained a continuous membership until 1924. He was secretary of the club from 1907 until 1916, and held the dual role of secretary and treasurer from 1914 to 1916. He was secretary and treasurer of the old Alliance League from 1896 until 1914, and from}1914 to 1920 was secretary to the Huddersfield and District League. From 1921 until 1931 he occupied the secretaryship of the cricket section at Fartown).

GEORGE WALKER.

What memories these words, ‘‘Looking Back,’’ conjure up. No attempt at giving a chronological list of events will be made in these few notes; I shall merely try to record some of the events which have occurred during the time that I can cover, which does not go back to the formation of the

The League has been very fortunate in the administration of its affairs, having had a succession of very capable Presidents, and also in having a change of Hon. Secretary only twice in a period of over thirty

One has also very: pleasant memories of some who have sat on the

League Committee and helped to make the League what it is to-day, but

are now no more,

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A few of the names which occur to me are Messrs. Arthur Shaw (of Golear), J. H. Preston (Meltham Mills), J. Schofield (Paddock), H. Johnson (Huddersfield), and Warwick Mitchell (Kirkburton). Happily, some who have done very good work on the League Committee and in other direc- tions are still with us. We have in Mr. Bolt a President who is devoted heart and soul to the interests of the Huddersfield Cricket League, and bids fair to beat the record for length of service as President. Then we have our hard working Secretary, who was appointed at the end of 1920 and is still going strong. Mr. Ernest Flint, of Dalton, although not now in active service, did good work as Umpire Secretary and also used to lend a touch of humour to our deliberations. Others who have made their in- fluence felt are Mr. J. J. Lodge, of Meltham Mills, and Mr. Herbert Sykes, of Slaithwaite, who to the League Committee fresh enthus- iasm and good ideas,

Various changes have been made from time to time in the constitution of the League. Originally it consisted of twelve clubs, was first enlarged to fourteen, then, after the War, to twenty, and later still to twenty-four, which is the present number. The time during which the War raged was a time of great difficulty, and most of the clubs had hard work to carry on through lack of players and other difficulties arising from Government restrictions. Linthwaite Hall dropped out altogether in 1916, and Paddock very narrowly escaped the same fate in the early part of 1917. To add to our trials, a fair number of the best players who were left were tempted by considerations of various kinds to assist clubs in the Bradford League.

The League Committee had to economise by cutting out everything possible, including printing the League handbooks. In order to shew what work this entailed for the Secretary (who happened to be myself), I may say that in 1919, besides arranging the fixtures, copies had to be made, as well as copies of each club’s registered players and umpires, and sent to each club.

After the season 1919, when conditions were becoming a little more normal, it was felt by some members of the League Committee that some- thing was needed to create enthusiasm, and a Cup Competition was talked about, but nobody knew how we were going to get the Cup. The late Schofield Haigh often mentioned to me the interest there used to be when the League Clubs played for the Lumb Cup.

However, after.a meeting in the early part of 1920 a few of us were talking the matter over, and some one, I believe it was Mr. Herbert Cheetham (Bradley Mills), suggested that Sir Charles Sykes might pos- . sibly give us a cup if we asked him. After consideration, and as I had known Sir Charles a great many years, I wrote to him, and was very pleased to have a reply from him promising to give us a trophy. I was thus able at our next meeting to give the Committee a very pleasant sur- prise by the reading of Sir Charles’s letter.

The Sykes Cup Competition has been the means of raising a con-— siderable sum of money for the Huddersfield Royal Infirmary, besides providing some very exciting matches from time to time, and, inciden- tally, some surprises The only drawback is when Cup matches, through any cause, cannot be finished on a Saturday. Most clubs find a difficulty in getting their players off from work during the week; but even this difficulty is lessened by that boon to sportsmen, daylight saving.

There have been many’ discussions during the past years with regard to the finances of the Cup Competition. While these notes have been in progress I have had Sir Charles’s personal assurance that he was wishful, after the payment of expenses, that the local charities, especially the Royal Infirmary, should benefit.

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Once or twice since the War attempts have been made by a few of the clubs, mostly in the Colne Valley, to break away from the League. For- tunately, these attempts ended in failure, but after season 1930 the League Committee decided to form two divisions to take effect in Season 1932. Briefly, the scheme was for the first twelve at the end of season 19381 to be Division ‘‘A,?? and the last twelve to be Division ‘‘B’’ for Season 1932, and afterwards the two top clubs in Division ‘‘B’’ to go up into Division ‘‘A,”’ and the two bottom clubs in Divisin ‘‘A’’ to go down.

One of the biggest problems which I think the League Committee has had to deal with was provided by Lockwood in 1926, and caused quite a sensation at the time. For some reason, the circumstances of which I do not remember, Lockwood were without professional during the latter part of the season. Having to play Huddersfield at Lockwood on August 28th, they applied some time previously to the Emergency Committee for per- mission to engage Cecil Parkin, the former Lancashire County’ player. The application was turned down by the E.C., and also later by the full League Committee. Notwithstanding this, however, the Lockwooq Club decided to defy the League, and they engaged Parkin to play. Naturally, this caused great excitement in the district, and a very large crowd as- sembled to see the match. I well remember as I went into the ground be-. fore the match (-a very large crowd was already in attendance), one of the Lockwood officials said to me, *‘This is our answer to the League.” It did not seem to occur to him that the Teague would have the last word, which came in the shape of a fine of £50, and very nearly expulsion from the League. The fine was given to the Royal Infirmary: and other charit- able institutions. The match in a win for Huddersfield, in spite of some good bowling by Parkin.

Some years ago the Huddersfield League joined the Yorkshire Cricket Federation, which includes, I believe, all or most of the principal cricket leagues in Yorkshire, and is a body which has great possibilities. One of its main objects is to try and get the rating assessments for cricket erounds reduced. I believe it has already been of considerable benefit to some clubs in this direction.

Another interesting innovation was the institution of the Inter-League matches with the Bradford and Leeds Leagues. These have, however, failed in their original object of giving our young: players an opportunity of appearing in important matches. Owing to the other Leagues from the very first selecting sides which included professionals, we had to follow suit, and the matches have now developed into mere trials of strength. ‘As a matter of fact, the Leeds League dropped out a few years ago. In the two years immediately after the War we arranged two 2-day matches against Yorkshire Second and selected teams, mainly of our. younger plavers, with an older player as captain. Owing to the weather the first match was curtailed to one day, and ended in a draw. The second match, in which our team was captained by Mr. Hiram Whitwam, ended in a satisfactory win for our League team.

One of the most enjoyable functions in connection with the League is the annual dinner, which of late years has increased very much in im- portance owing to the attendance of gentlemen who hold important posi-— tions in the Town, as well as the Presidents of the Bradford and Leeds Teagues, the Cricket Federation, etc., as well as members of the Yorkshire County team. past and present. As some of these gentlemen are very eloquent speakers, and always have something important to sav, I look forward with pleasure to this event. Added to which, there is also a humorous note struck by our genial President, ‘‘Billy’? Bolt, when he relates his tale about the shopkeeper who wore a “‘square round hat.”’

I had almost forgotten to mention the Umpires’ Association, which now seems to be quite firmly: established, and has, I think, already done much (and will do more in the future) to give the umpires a better standing

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in our local cricket. Mistakes will be made, but I would earnestly ask all who read notes to remember that the Umpires are doing a very exacting work and not always in the best conditions as to weather.

And now I must make some reference to some of the players who figured on our cricket grounds in the past. First in importance, of course, come the great trio, Hirst, Haigh and Rhodes, who gave such wonderful service to English and Yorkshire cricket, as well as Bob Moorhouse, of Armitage Bridge. ‘Later came ‘Drake, Bates and Holmes to assist in keeping our League’s connection with the County team, and I might mention that the three latter were at various times recipients of League medals for batting, fielding and batting respectively. And we do not forget that in recent years we have provided the captain of the County team, in the person of Frank Greenwood, for a couple of seasons.

It is quite impossible in the space allowed me to mention all the

players who were notabilities in the past, as every club in the League of

forty years ago, and for some years later, had one or more players who were real personalities. Who that saw him can forget the brilliant cutting of Herbert Thewlis, of Lascelles Hall? And there was the slow bowler, Tom Stringer, of the same club. There were the two Dawsons, of Lockwood, Charlie and Fred, and Herbert and G, H. Lee, also Arthur Ellis, of Primrose Hill and Lockwood. Dalton were very well served in the past by’ such players as Harry Bates, Sam Wilson, Sam Kilburn, W. Gawkrodger and Ernest Flint. Also Laddie Wood, who later in his career assisted Golcar, which club had in its ranks at various times such players as Tommy Ashton, Dian Priestley, Arthur Schofield, Pete Hall, Tom Jones, and Harry

Pearson (Whistler).

Huddersfield also, when they came into the League, brought a good drray of talent. A few whose names occur to me were James Stubbings (prof.) and later Walter Bedford (prof.), Harry Johnson, F. E. Woodhead, J. W. Clegg, Charlie Bradley, Harry Wilson, Andrew Canby, C. W. Hallas, who came to such an untimely end, and a few years later, Percy Johnson.

There were the three Eaglands and Fred Dodson at Slaithwaite; W. Emmerson, W. W. Lancaster, Wright Jessop, Percy France, Lewis Linaker, of Paddock, Percy Holmes, of Paddock and Golcar. Armitage Bridge had a fine team in the early nineties, including E. R. Benson, G. Moorhouse, B. Hawkyard, T. E. and W. A. Oldfield. The writer had the misfortune to have to do a good deal of bowling for the latter while he was getting his famous score of 236 in the Lumb Cup tie with Paddock in 1893.

One could go on almost indefinitely recalling the names of players who made their mark in local cricket, but space will not permit. I cannot, however, leave this part of my subject without recalling the names of a few of the outstanding professionals we have had, whose names have not already been mentioned, and whose best work was done before the War. ‘There was Harry Wallace, of Lascelles Hall and Slaithwaite. Sam Fletcher, of Linthwaite Hall and Slaithwaite; Bill Ellis, of Linthwaite and other clubs in the League; Sam Malthouse, Meltham Mills; and Arthur Shaw, Holm- firth, among others.

Since the War we have had Herbert Haigh (prof. at Huddersfield), in my opinion the best all-rounder since the War; Arthur Booth, prof. at Lockwood, Marsden and Huddersfield; F. Webster, the fast left arm bowler, and St. Hill, the West Indian, both at Slaithwaite; R. V. Ward, Huddersfield; W. Dennis, Elland; Harry Hinchliffe and W. Mitchell, Broad Oak. All have been very successful. The Friarmere Club, although

not now members, were very successful in their last period of membership,

and it must not be forgotten that it was their staunch supporter, the late

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Mr. |. L. Byrom, who pteseated the very handsome Shield to the League in its early days. | Many of the older generation will remember the old Huddersfield United and Clitt End Clubs, whose protessional, J. M. Preston, along with Billy Bates, played such an important part for Yorkshire in the match against Lancashire at round about the middle eighties if I re- member the time correctly. I think the United had to close down for lack ot support, and I believe the latter’s ground was taken for building.

I believe it was his bowling against Cliff End in the Lumb Cup Final of 1889 by our friend, George Hirst, which really brought him a trial with the Yorkshire County team, Singular things happen at cricket as in other games, and Lockwood and Paadock supporters of a little over twenty-five years ago will remember with what persistency John Ardron obtained Willie Lancaster’s wicket on nearly every occasion when they met. Albert Mortimer, prof. for Paddock and tiudderstield, although a tast bowler mainly, could bowl a very’ effec- tive slow leg dolly with which he got the wicket of the iate Bill Ellis with great regularity. Plenty will remember how Percy Johnson, slow left arm bowler in his first season with Huddersfield first eleven, was wonderfully successful and then just as suddenly faded away, but he developed into a very useful batter.

I also remember that in 1916 Percy Holmes, who was getting plenty of runs as protessional for Spen (1 think), assisted Paddock on three occasions during the season, one a semi-final at Slaithwaite, but failed to score a run.

To come down to present conditions I think that it can now be said that although we had rather a lean time for a while after the War our local cricket is gradually improving. At the same time, to be quite can- did, 1 certainly do not think we have yet attained the pre-war standard. In one thing 1] certainly do think there is a great improvement, and that is the much better feeling which prevails among the players of opposing teams. Speaking generally, there is not the bitterness that used to mark some of the matches in the old days. What potential cricket ability we lost during the War we cannot, of course, estimate, but I am afraid that except in a few isolated cases there is not the same interest in practice that there used to be in the old days.

I am aware that a great many’ young men who might have made good cricketers are playing at bowls, and then there are other attractions in the way of cinemas, which we of the older generation did not have. But when all is said and done, if a boy or young man wants to have a place in a cricket eleven he should, in all fairness, by constant practice try to make himself a real help to the eleven rather than be what is commonly called a passenger. And what pleasanter way is there of spending a nice summer evening, when we do really get one, than on the cricket field? In bringing these somewhat disjointed notes to a close, I wish to say that I have had to leave out the names of a great many players who were outstanding in their day, and sincerely’ hope that no one will be offended, but I should have had to go quite beyond the scope of this little book to mention all the people 1 should have liked to mention. I hope that the cricket season of 1938 will be a forerunner of still better things to come.

% * %

“There is no talk, none so witty and brilliant, that is so good as cricket talk, when memory sharpens memory and the dead live again—the regretled, the unforgotten—and the old happy days of burned-out Junes revive. We shall not see them again.’’—Andrew Lang.

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TH

REE

BB HAROLD BEAUMONT

ROMISING Y

CLIFFORD WAEKER

OUNGSTERS.

WILLIE WATSON.

Page 25

CLIFFORD WALKER.

‘To this young Slaitnwaite player fell the honour of winning the League batting prize for the past season. Statistics are not available for a definite statement that Walker is the youngest player since the League’s inception win such honour, but that seems likely. It is, nevertheless, gratifying to be able to record such a feat by a youngster of seventeen.

Clifford plays a steady, studious game, is quick on his feet, and careful ‘o position himself for stroke play. A glorious cover—drive gives colour to his display. Playing well over the ball, he imparts power into this stroke which results in his scores being increased by many runs. He has not yet acquired the physique which is necessary for daily play, but with care and patient practice a bright future should be forthcoming. His play is free from frills, and he has a solidity in defence which makes him ideally suited for a first wicket batsman.

Not only does he possess ability with the bat, but he should develop into a useful bowler. At present his action shows room for improvement, although he bowls a steady length of ‘‘stock’’ variety. In the field he may be relied upon to allow few chances to go a’begging, and he has a keen, enthnsiastic outlook on the game.

HAROLD BEAUMONT.

A strong, forceful player, Harold enjoys his cricket, which is for him a great entertainment. His strong play is rather remarkable for so youth— ful a cricketer, and if, at times, the impetuosity of youth results in the loss of his wicket, it is a fault that experience will doubtless remedy. All round the wicket he plays with ease and care-free abandon. Perhaps he may ‘‘feel’? for the turning ball, and find the wiles of the spin bowler more troublesome than the pace of the fast bowlers, but he dances to the attack and hits the half volley with refreshing vigour. He certainly is a live wire, and his play pulsates with the spirit of youth, without its recklessness,

He is most at home with the bat, but his medium paced deliveries contain a certain amount of ‘‘devil,’’ and his fielding is full of keenness. He comes from a family of cricketers with an inherent love of the game, and in his ‘‘world’’ of ‘Thongsbridge he lives, enjoys and radiates the spirit of cricket. During the past season he had the privilege of playing with the Huddersfield Kleven against Bradford League, and should he continue to improve higher honours are certain to be forthcoming.

WILLIE WATSON.

Since the days of John Allen Meal and Aibert Whitehead the League has been somewhat barren of promising left-handed batsmen. It is, there- fore, most encouraging to note the delightful batsmanship of Willie Watson. A product of the Paddock Council School, he not only represented the Huddersfield Boys, but also the Yorkshire Schoolboys, and at the age of 15 was opening the innings of the Paddock second eleven. Unruftled, he employs a variety of strokes with confidence and assurance. If fault may be found with his play it must be a suggestion of heaviness of footwork and a tendency to ‘“‘lift’? the ball on the leg side. Practice will be expected to remedy such faults, and many good judges anticipate a successful cricketing career. His cricketing worth is enhanced by the possession of a delightful disposition, a willingness to learn, and a gentlemanly demeanour. A little slackness in the field has been tightened to such an extent that rarely are ‘‘chances’’? neglected. Opportunity may present itself next season in an invitation from the County authorities to take part in ‘“‘colts’? games, and in such event a County career may be his.

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Wi he

TALENTS.

(A prominent local enthusiast has contributed the following article, which expresses a most interesting point of view, not necessarily, however, that of the compiler of the book.) |

Those responsible for the conduct of cricket in Huddersfield have always prided themselves on their progressive spirit and concern for the game, which cause them to consider seriously any suggested innovation likely to stimulate interest or lead to an improvement of play itself.

Their claim is justified to a certain exient—by their adoption of time limits and compulsory declarations, which are likely to maintain the interest of the crowd to a greater degree than used to obtain in the old days when a side could bat on for an indefinite period, and by their new readiness to consider such matters as the lbw rule, the larger stumps, boundary hits for six (1n which they have been quite out of step with M.C.C. laws) and even so far-reaching a change as the eight-ball over.

At their public functions these leaders of local cricket frequently state their satisfaction with the healthy state of the game, but at the same time they have to deplore the fact that Huddersfield is without representation in the County side, and has, in fact, in recent years, had only one man, Albert Sykes, on the fringe of it.

The simple fact is that cricket in Huddersfield is by no means as good as it was or should be, and there is a responsibility facing the League Com— mittee and the clubs themselves to restore it lo its pristine glory. In this connection I wonder how long they will tolerate and countenance such illogical practices as collections and talent money, which seem to me to be based on considerations which are anything but true. It appears to be accepted that an ‘‘amateur’’ cricketer is entitled to some recognition for services rendered, though in other sports, where there is a more stringent definition of amateurism—i.e., swimming—such things would not for one moment be allowed.

I strongly doubt whether collections for fifty and a hat trick, and talent money based on the number of runs scored, wickets taken, or catches held are likely to help in any progressive development of cricket at the preseut time. The fact that these things have been in operation from time im— memorial, and have come to be regarded as part and parcel of the game, is neither here nor there. A game must shed its old habits some time, and in the old days the general standard of cricket was so good that these practices could not have quite the same effect as they have to-day.

Ilow can the full value of an innings be measured in terms of runs scored? Does it follow that the bowler who takes the most wickets is necessarily the most valuable attacker of his side in a given match? And when one comes to fielding (a much neglected art in Huddersfield, where the standard is only moderate) the assessment is even more ridiculous. Whereas the best fieldsman should get the reward, what usually happens is that the most successful catch-taker takes it, irrespective of the number of chances he gets and the position he holds in the field. No wonder distin-- guished fielding is at a premium in the district at the present time.

Collections for batsmen who score 50 have little to commend them. Where is the sense of proportion which permits this to be done while a bowler or a fielder goes unrewarded in a match in which he may have performed just as valiantly? One cther point in connection with collections. A spectator, having paid his admission fee, is surely entitled to see the whole of the match without incurring any other lability, forcible or persuasive, or at least to ask that if his good nature is appealed to to show some recognition of a valiant feat it shall not be in the favour of one of cricket’s arts at the expense of another.

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Talen ts—continued.

. ..Captaincy has piten eek criticised, too, in Huddersfield, and from a conversation I had with a captain it would appear that talent money may -be responsible in no small measure for weaknesses. here. This particular player’s club paid talent money for any bowler taking four wickets, and during last season it twice happened that, in the captain’s opinion, the best interests of his side were served by a change of bowling, in each case the substitution of a bowler who had at the time three wickets to his credit by another player. He took the only course open to him, kept to his own convictions, changed the bowling, and uitimately saw his manoeuvre successful and his side victorious. But he had hard things to hear in the meantime for depriving a player cf his few shillings,

It may be that such a happening is rare, but one can understand the quandary which faces a captain in such circumstances, and how some good- natured leader (too good-natured, in fact) must hang on in the hope that both player and club will be rewarded. Collections and talent money would be abolished in a perfect cricket world. That may be too much to hope for, but it is surely not unreasonable to hope that those who stand to gain most by an improvement in the standard of play—those upon whom the, glory will reflect, the governors—will somie day introduce some logic end a sense of proportion into practices which are at the moment so far removed from both qualities that they are apt to be absurd.

Sy

YOUTH.

When searching amongst my papers I came across the following words written by an Unknown Author. I paused in my labours to read once again and appreciate the beauty of the prose. I decided to use them, for who are more capable of appreciating their than those who. play and follow the game of cricket?

Youth is not a time of life; it is a state of mind, it is not a matter of ripe cheeks, red lips and supple knees; it is a temper of the will, a quality of the imagination, a vigour of the emotions. It is the freshness of the deep springs of life.

Youth means a temperamental predominance of courage over timidity, of the appetite for adventure over the love of ease. This in a man of fifty more than a boy of twenty.

Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years. People grow old only by deserting their ideals.

Years: wrinkle the skin; but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul. Worry, doubt, self-distrust, fear and despair—those are the long, long years that bow the heart and turn the greening spirit back to dust.

Whether sixty or sixteen, there is in every human being’s heart the lure of wonder, the sweet amazement at the stars and at starlike things and thoughts, the undaunted challenge of events, the unfailing, appetite for what next, and the joy of the game of living. You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope, as old as your despair.

In the central place of your heart is an evergreen tree; its name is love. So long as it flourishes you are young. When it dies you are old. In the central place,of your heart is a wireless station. So long as it re- ceives messages of beauty, hope, cheer, grandeur, courage and power from God and from your fellow-men. so long are you young.

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PROFESSIONALS FOR SEASON 1938.

With the exception of Kirkburton and Shepley every club in the League have already engaged their professional for next season. It is ‘doubtful Whether Kirkburton will engage one, and if such proves to be the case they will be the only club in the League to lack professional services. George Senior, who joined them last season, is returning to Baildon Green. Shepley are searching for a bowler to fill the position vacated by Fred Metcalfe, a search that is proving one of difficulty. It may be safely assumed, however, that a professional will be found before the start of next season, and the announcement of their ‘‘capture’’? 1s awaited with interest.

In perusing the list it will be noted that twelve of next season’s pro- fessionals have previously played in the League as amateurs. ‘The latest recruit is Frank Barlow, who has left Paddock to join Lascelles Hall. Thirteen clubs have re-engaged the men who did service for them last season, while eight clubs are engaging new professionals, three of them néw to local cricket.

Golcar, in securing the services of V. J. Evans, have made an important addition to their playing strength. Their new professional has played with Essex, and the acquisition should prove advantageous. Paddock have engaged J. M, Crossley, a forceful batsman and fast bowler, who last season assisted King Cross, who are members of the newly-formed Yorkshire League. Kirkheaton have been successful in persuading Elijah Haigh, a well-known Bradford League cricketer, to assist them. They played an all amateur eleven last season, and had the unenviable task of applying for re- admission to the League. J. Thornton, a left-arm fast bowler, who has had previous experience in local cricket, (he assisted Slaithwaite a few seasons ago), takes the place of ‘‘Eddie’’? King at Holmfirth.

F. Metcalfe leaves Shepley to join Huddersfield in place of Stanley Brogden. The appointment will be followed with interest, as Metcalfe had two fruitful seasons in his first efforts in local cricket as professional. George Curry is well remembered for his consistent all-round play when with Golcar, and his appointment should prove of help to Slaithwaite. TF. H. Berry goes from Paddcck to Thongsbridge, who last season suffered and will be called upon to play at least one season in the ‘‘B”’ division.

The list is certainly a good one. Analysis shows that three of the professionals are engaged for a special proficiency in batsmanship, ten for their bowling, and nine are regarded as all-rounders.

DIVISION FAL?

Bridge’... ee ae as =~ Beaumont Broad Oak oe ae bik os H. Hinchliffe Elland. ..2 eS ee cape ae oe Cashes oe ws W. “Dennis: Golcar ee si a a a 4, vans Hoelnfirth ... ee a be a =~. J. | Huddersfield. ... aa os ah «. Lascelles Hall a a ae ae F. Barlow Lockwcod ... ae mae ist ba UA. Ls, Marsden _... vei oe we a ioe Lae UES Paddock ... ae fi 17M. Crossley Rastrick vi fee a Le. A. fatter Slaithwaite ... an - 138 iS nat GO 26

Page 29

DIVISION. ; Almondbury _ ... 9 fe 2 oe an CW, AU Paley

Bradley Mills... ses ee aes A AORN. Dalton tae ae si ad ie tr, Haigh Honley fer me ig on ae H. Webster Kirkburton ee ies i (still to be selected) 4 ee ee Linthwaite —.:. ae ns ce sis 7 A. Bastow

Meltham Mills oa es a Cy atte: Meltham =: hee oe .. F, Q. Woodhead Primrose Fe ae Se We Eo Ngee Shepley. a se in (Stall to. be Thongsbridge ... iy og aes oe ee Ee ek.

In the following table of statistics last season’s performances by pro- fessionals in League and Sykes Cup games are given :—

BATTING. Highest Total Inns, Not out, Inns. runs. Avge. A. Carter (Rastrick). ae 23 8 910 60.66 J. Beaumont (Armitage: Bridge): ... 21 3 104. 738 42.38 S. Monks. (Thongsbridge) 3.3. 21 3 g4* 480 26.67 Gs. Senior:{ Kirkburton). 23 2 98 534 25.42 FO; Woodhead 21 1 89 508 25.4 H.. Hinchhiffte (Broad: Oak). ee 2 57 369 24.6 A. -H. Noble (Primrose: Hill) 15 4 72* 249 22.63 AV... Dennis {Elland): ee 19 6 58* 289 22.23 HH, Berry (Paddock) 15 7 34. 176 22.0 EP. King (Holmarth) 25 1 74 527 21.95 *Denotes not cut. | BOWLING. O. M. R. Ww. Avge. Re ad. Berry (Paddock), «aise 483.5 146 883 95 9.20 A. spastow 391.4 OL 948 89 10.65 H, Hinchliffe (Broad Oak) ae 407 59 1177 99 11.87 A: Coxon’ (Bradley. Mills)... 323.2 83 855 70 12.21 Métcalfe lehepley). 3. 418.2 87 1019 83 12.27 C. Carter (Meltham Mills) 2. 3... 341 65 872 iO 12.31 A. H. (Primrose, 257.3 61 715 57 12.54. Te Hirst {Maraden) 319.1 76 779 61 12.77 W. Uttley (Almondbury) 280 68 750 57 13.15 F.2.Q. Woodhead (Meltham) ...,....: 284.2 52 761 57 13.35 W. Deunis 477.2 97 1235 86 14.36 A. L, Claughton (Lockwood) ...... 327 48 987 68 14.57 P.. Sharples {Goltat): ce 466 104 1068 73 14.63 Fi, Haigh’ (Dalton). 324. 70 788 53 14.86 G. Nodder (Slaithwaite) 7 325.5 61 843 53 15.9 5. Brogden. 224.2 43 685 37 18.51 S. Monks (Thongsbridge) ......... 323.3 50 1017 45 22.6

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‘at- the: age of seventy.

| de gn Memoriam. a

SAM LIVESEY.

It is with a sorrowful heart that I pen these words to the memory of a sporting gentleman. Sam was full of character, blunt of speech and direct in action; he loved the game of cricket, the Club in which he was in- terested, and the County in which he was born. He was a Yorkshireman who believed that Paddock was the finest place in the world, and the cricket field was his spiritual home. A lifetime of active interest, hard, genuine work, and splen- : did endeavour for the Paddock: Club, won for him the.thanks and ad- miration of a _ host of friends. No matter what small honour came _ the way: of the he gloried in the success, He was the ‘“‘cart horse’’ in the shafts of the roller, the guardian of the tip, and. the ‘‘doler?’ out<of tuppences to boys who re- trieved lcst balls. For .many ‘years he acted as League _ repre- sentative and it was with reluctance that he retired

On the day of his wed- ding he left his bride at the Church door in order to play football for Paddock, and never dur- ing the whole of his fifty years of membership did he falter in his support. Te packed the club bag week by ree locked up after evening practices, worried about lost balls, and cared for a thousand and one things ‘asso- plac with club hfe.

Committee he expressed his views in few words that were always to the point. He never could understand why anyone preferred another club

_after assgciation, however brief, with Paddock; his amazement at such preference was almost comical. T could write of scores of incidents con-

nected with the time when I had set myself a task which appeared to be chock full of difficulties. He was always behind like a prop, a guardian, and a true friend. Sam is no more, but he has left behind him a record of sterling service and fearless devotion. The word Paddock was surely

stamped across his heart.

A few days before his death Sam was asking about the progress of this book. ‘‘A little too slowly, I told him, and I received the char- acteristic reply, ‘‘Tha’ allus wants to go too ‘fast, but tay thi time, lad, tay thi time.’’ Paddock have lost a great friend,

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CONCRETE WICKETS.

There are stili a number of clubs in locai cricket who, because of lack of a water supply direct on the ground, are prevented from the use of a sprinkler during dry spells. In such cases the hard—worked practice wickets become a danger, and the batsman must either decide to risk the rearing ball or refrain from practice. Although one or two clubs have laid down concrete practice pitches the idea is not in general favour, despite the fact that if a conciete siab is covered with green coconut matting the ball comes off at corrcct speed and rises to a reasonable height. I firmly believe that to practice on a true wicket, be it wood or concrete, is much more advan-— tageous than attempting to play correct cricket on a ‘‘bumpy’’ wicket. I have recommended the use of a concrete wicket to many clubs who find their practice facilities to be inadequate, and should any club officials wish to provide such means of practice they may find the following formula to be of interest.

I recommend the practice slab to be 2 yds. x 9 yds. A layer of fine clinker or sand should be spread and rolled to a finished depth of 3in. Timber forms, 5ins. deep x 2ins. wide, should then be laid around the area to be concreted, care being taken that the forms are laid true to line and level, and are prevented from lateral movement by pegs driven well into the ground. '

The clinker should then be well soaked with water; or covered with a layer of waterproof paper, and the concrete, consisting of 1 part of cement, 25 parts of sand, and 4 parts of coarse aggregate, should then be deposited, well tamped, and screeded to a smooth and true surface. The mix should be kept as dry as possible, and the whole of the concrete in the slab should be deposited in one day.

The construction of a practice pitch by the club members is a feasible proposition, for the work can be easily carried through with satisfactory results. The cost of materials would amount to approximately 30/-. On the other hand, if the work were let to a concreting firm a cost of approxi- mately £4 is likely,

In many cases it is possible to construct the wicket on ground entirely apart from the playing area, and club members are allowed io obtain a good deal of practice which would not otherwise be possible owing to the effect of the weather on the turf. It will be admitted that this is particularly valuable at the start of the season, or on fine evenings following a day of heavy rain which does not permit turf practice.

A well-known local cricketer, who shall, for the purposes of this story remain nameless, had attended six cricket functions on successive nights. On the seventh night he found it possible to spend the evening at home. When he was comfortably settled his wife paraded his family in front of him and addressed them as follows :—

we have with us to-night a guest of whom you have all heard, even if you do not know him personally. He is a man who has a reputation for good cheer in every Cricket Club in the district, and this evening we are to have the honour and pleasure of being numbered among the admirers of his entertaining qualities. It is with the greatest pleasure that I present to you-—-your father.”’

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a

SUGGESTIONS TO THE LEAGUE MANAGEMENT.

(Local cricket counts many enthusiasts for the game who are not officially connected with any Club.

Week by week they are to be found visiting various grounds in the League’s two sections.

In order to give opportunity for candid expression an invitation was extended to a most enthusiastic supporter who enjoys the game and visits many local grounds during a season’s play. His views may be of a controversial nature yet possibly open new channels of thought.—Ed.)

My’ greatest quarrel with the Huddersfield & District League is that their interest in the sport obviously and rapidly disappears during the Winter months, and it is left to a small body of enthusiasts, not officially connected with. the League, to sponsor an undoubted interest in the game from October to March. I refer, of course, to the Winter Shed at Marsh, and I commend this idea to the League proper as being worthy and cap- able of great extension in the future. The Huddersfield District is the greatest cricket nursery in England ; it has a cricket tradition second to none, and the ability is there if it is only cultivated and encouraged in the manner that it ought to be.

The provision cf facilities for practice in Winter is only one point; another, and equally important, is the provision of facilities to enable the development cf young boys from the ages of say' 13 to 16, when their en- thusiasm fcr the game is at its highest, and when they are most emenable to coaching. I would suggest that each Club cffer free membership to, boys of this age, and that the Club or the League institute a system of coaching. When I say system, I mean that some regular form of coaching be pro- vided by every Ciub, and this can perhaps best be done by arrangements at Headquarters, that is, the League. The system should be organised properly’ and pursued wholeheartedly. I can call to mind many _ local players, old in experience if not in years, who would make admirable coaches to the young idea.

As to contemporary League ae we have, I think, in Huddersfield, the best amateur talent in the North, and if we do not achieve the pro- minence in the press of other Leagues, it is due rather to the lack of imported ‘‘big names’? than to any lack of ability. This provision of star professionals has always been a vexed point, and as each Summer comes around, the argument breaks out afresh. Granted that a_ well-

- known player will increase gates and encourage interest for a time, but

will those increases be permanent? I think a team which is almost wholly amateur will create just as much interest and enthusiasm provided that team will play wholeheartedly’ and will encourage the young idea. There is nothing mcre interesting to a spectator than to watch the development of a promising cricketer, and the institution of the nursery system as men- | tioned earlier in this article will do more to create outside interest than | the importation of a host of star professionals,

The League.are to be commended on the institution of divi- sions of the table. This has been their most progressive step in recent

years, and has resulted in an increase of enthusiasm wholly warranted

by their enterprise. It can be taken a step further and in this way. We

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have, in addition to the League proper, the Central League and the Asso- ciation, both of which are independent organisations. Is it beyond the realms of possibility to amalgamate the three, calling the Central League Division 3 of the Hudderstield League, and the Association Division 4, with/ promotion and relegation as in the present Divisions | and 2? With all due respect to the two Leagues named, the spirit of enterprise has been dormant for many years, and if they and the League would ‘‘get together”’ on this suggestion, it would eventually lead to a greater competitive spirit, which, after all, is the essence of all games, and, what is more, would result in better playing areas. With the prize of appearing in higher company before them, the less prominent Clubs would be encouraged to provide better grounds. I do not mean by this that they, would have to seek new grounds, but that they would put in work on their present grounds to bring them into a condition compatible with the type of cricket provided. This is surely a suggestion with possibilities.

The powers that be must realise that they can only go forward by showing enterprise; new ideas are necessary if local cricket is to maintain and increase its hold, and if what I have said is open to criticism, and I think it is, it is offered from a sense of indebtedness to the game and in the hope that we in Huddersfield will go from strength to strength and not sink into a slough of inactivity, content to rest on our laurels.

THE EIGHT BALL OVER.

By the narrowest possible margin the League Committee turned down the proposition to introduce the eight ball over. The voting reflected the conflicting views which are held regarding this interesting proposal.

The case for the proposal is based on the desire to prevent waste of time and to speed up the game. Not only would the time occupied by changes be reduced by’ one-third, and irritating stoppages reduced, but no excessive strain would be imposed on the bowler, as he would be given longer rests between overs.

The case appears sound and reasonable, but it is countered by the suggestion that fast bowlers in particular would find the extra exertion to be greater than the benefit of the extra rest, and there may be a danger of the young bowler taxing his strength to the limit. No material advan- tage, it is argued, would ensue. The game would not be brightened to any appreciable extent, for a bowler, often by the unnecessary length of his run and negative type of delivery, creates much more waste of time than does the change over after every six balls.

Possibly the change would not be of great advantage; on the other hand its adoption would cause little disadvantage, and probably the reason for many Clubs voting against it was chiefly because six balls had so long been considered an over that the substitution of an over of eight balls would appear somewhat foreign to the game. =

There is, however, one great thing in such proposals. It shows that effort is being made to speed up the game and so counter the encroachment af other ball games. Summing up, one is almost inclined to regret that the proposal did not. meet with better fate, for little harm could ‘have come of the experiment, and it would certainly have proved decidedly interesting. It is dangerous to adopt the mantle of prophet, but sooner or later the eight ball over will be tried out, not only in League but in higher circles of cricket in England, |

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TWO CENTENARY CLUBS.

LASCELLES: HALL.

No reference to local cricket would be complete without mention of Lascelles Hall. What cricketer can play on the old ground without some feeling akin to awe, and sensing the glorious tradition of this famous Club. It would only be repeti— tion of the words of many sports writers to quote the Club’s wonderful history, to mention names that have become legendary, and to quote games that won fame. Sufficient to express the pride which is felt by local cricket lovers to have within the League a Club that undoubtedly is the oldest in Yorkshire.

The spirit of a century ago still exists, and if players lack the brilliance of their antecedents of palmier days, the officials

have maintained the enthusiasm of the old hand-loom weavers of Lascelles Hall. Loyalty, pride and dogged persistence—keep—

the fiag of the Club flying, and while such spirit exists there is little fear of cricket ceasing to play’ its part in village life. It

_matters little if individual brilliance is incomparable with that of a generation ago if there remain those who are able and

determined to keep the flag flying. We thank Lascelles Hall for all that it stands for.

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a9

less colourful than Lascelles Hall’s

DALTON ith Lascelles Hall the distinction of having celebrated their centenary.

Dalton share w ) The history of the Club may be , but cricketers of ability have learnt their game on the old ground. If the limelight of outstanding success has nct been won, hard work, self—

: sacrifice and great endeavour have played their part in the develop— ment of local cricket. The once flourishing Club has suffered during changing times, and many obstacles have loomed up

before the hardy crew of officials, who tackle problems akin to those of the Club’s early days with steadfast resolution.

Dalton may not be playing quite the part in village life they used to play, but they have an important place still in the affec* tions of many, and in League cricket :

On lcoking back over the long history of the Club one realises that countless hours of unadulterated enjoyment have been given to those who have ha associations with the Club. May recent years, which have proved so depressing, be quickly followed in the cycle of events by a fuller measure of success, and renewed life for their old and honoured organisation.

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UMPIRES.

Since the formation of the Umpires’ Association there has been a good deal of improvement. in their important contribution to cricket. There was a time when clubs observed ‘‘the letter of the iaw’’ by sending registered officials to a match; but it could not always be said that their representa- tives were fully qualified. Matters are worked somewhat differently nowa- days, are required to undergo a test of efficiency. I do not suggest that this test is the prime cause of the improvement, although in- directly it has had a bearing on it. Rather do I hold the opinion that ‘umpires, through amaigamation, have acquired a bigger measure of im- _ portance, a fuller authority, and, withal, a certain. dignity. Further,-the whole subject of umpiring has received greater attention, individual and collective, and in consequence a higher standard of efficiency has been achieved. T heory tests in themselves do not necessarily make the complete umpire. A sound knowledge of the laws of the game he must have, of course, but other qualifications—tact, judgment and temperament among them—are also essential,

It has taken a long time for the League Committee and the umpires themselves to realize that the two associations are indispensable, But while improvement has been marked the system of allocation of umpires is still rather unsatisfactory. Which umpires have qualifications suitable for appointments in division ‘‘A’? are not specified. Surely some definite system could be devised whereby umpires could receive appointments entirely on merit. Recently I had conversation with an umpire of experience who stated quite definitely that while he officiated no left-arm bowler would receive an ].b.w. decision. Such a statement was nonsensical, and showed the unsuitability of the man who made it to officiate in any class of cricket.

It is the umpire’s duty to apply the laws of the game, and while mis- takes will never be totally erased, it is possible to make the game more enjoyable by careful jurisdiction, ‘‘Without fear or is a splendid maxim, and, happily, it, is observed by the umpires of this district. When. all is said and done, had they not the interest of the game at heart the monetary reward would not in itself help them in their duties, ard there seems not the slightest reason why they should not enjoy their task and their association with the players.

Umpiring is no ordinary or simple ed old players do not necessarily make the best umpires.

What gives greater confidence to the piayer than complete faith in an umpire ? What should give greater pleasure to the umpire than to realize that he enjoys the confidence “of the players? When such a state of affairs exists 1t can be said that umpiring has reached the highest point of satisfaction,

Irom reports of umpires’ meetings and the remarks of guests who have expounded their views, one might be led to believe that Huddersfield cricket is suffering from that doubtful ailment, complex.’’ Nothing is further from the truth, though there are several of our umpires who consider the refusal to adopt the new l.b.w. rule to be an unwise step. Indeed, it has even been suggested that such a step has not been considered on account of Jack of faith in the umpires to execute the new ruling. Sucn is not the case, and I would unhesitatingly state that although the local association is younger than similar organisations of other leagues the standard of its members compares favourably with any. If we refuse to adopt the new I.b.w. rule it is because we have sufficient courage to stick to the opinion that the change was not intended for league cricket, that the remedy is intended to stop something that is not practised in our game.

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The umpires hold a commanding position in the game and not only . should they be fully represented on the management side of the League, but the League should appoint a representative to the Association Committee. | When appointments are being made it is absurd that the officials of the Association are not invited to give their opinion. In time there may be complete co-operation between the two organisations, and I feel it is essential that such co-operation should be brought about. By all means keep the Associations separate, but at the same time pool ideas for the betterment of the game. It is impossible to run a successful organisation and keep a most important branch in a state of isolation. Such action creates discord, and only the happiest of relations should exist between the League and umpires.

+ % *

THE QUESTION OF POACHING.

Poaching of players remains a topic of discussion. So persistent grows the demand for some alteration of present arrangements that fuller consideration should be given to the matter. However, I doubt whether some of the talk about poaching is more than imagination; on the other hand concrete instances could be given of players being approached and asked to transfer to other clubs. The demand for a successful side grows every season. There is a large ‘‘floating’’ population which follows clubs which play bright cricket. The clubs with good elevens receive a large share of their support, and officials of such clubs are keen to hold their patronage. It is impossible for ‘‘star”’ attractions to be introduced into local cricket, for the population does not warrant the engagement of high-salaried players. The alternative would seem to be to find leading local amateurs who play the game in attractive manner. ‘The strengthening of one club means the weakening of others, hence the bitterness felt against clubs which entice players from organisa-— tions which look on the players concerned as ‘‘home products.’’ That clubs in the First Division may offer inducements to players helping clubs in the lower section is undisputed. Better facilities, larger ‘‘gates,’’ and unproved playing conditions are some of the baits, and local products often find it difficult to find a place on account of the selection of ‘‘comers-in.’’ I can well understand the resentment of clubs which cccupy' lowly’ posi- tions, who find it hard to make ends meet. A youth who shows promise is carefully watched, and facilities for improvement provided, after which he leaves ‘‘for his own betterment.’? One player does not make a good cleven, but the loss of one player can leave a gap which proves harder to fill than the departure of five other members of the side. Lightly or wrongly the boy who is coached by his own club is regarded as the club’s property from a playing point of view, and is expected to give his services to them. I find no objection raised against the player who accepts a pro- fessional engagement, but a point that should not be overlooked is that acceptance by a local amateur of a professional appointment in the League is not strengthening the League. Players have had differences with their clubs ever since the game started, and I suppose such happenings ‘will continue so long as the game is played, but the point at issue is the:poaching of players. Will cricket im— prove if it is stopped by legislation Will the game deteriorate in the long run by allowing poaching methods to continue? There is, of course, a vast difference in poaching methods. To break the rules of the League calls for unmediate and drastic attention, but on the other hand, if a player can be offered fuller facilities for advancement can it be called poaching to offer them to him? .One solution to the present trouble is that transfers be subject to the approval of a special committee set up by the League,

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ARMITAGE: “BRIDGE In 1939 the Huddersfield and District Cricket League will have three Clubs who have been in existence for 100 y Two seasons hence the Armitage Bridge Club will celebrate their centenary, and already effo the event a fitting one. A subscription list is open, headed by a donation from Lord Hawke, and a happy band of workers

ears. rts are being made to make

are enjoying the hard work entailed in the provision of a long felt want, a new pavilion, which it is hoped will be ready for the Club’s Hundredth Birthday. If it were only for the fact that the late Schofield Haigh commenced his play on the old ground, there should be incentive enough for all to work hard to secure success. In addition to that fine cricketer a long list of distinguished players can be traced through the Club’s history. The ground is delightfully situated, and the proper spirit of cricket prevails. Here is a Club who depend upon their players playing for the game itself, with talents and ex-

~

penses a secondary consideration. It is a place where cricket retains the village green touch

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THREE PROFESSIONALS A CLUB.

time to time there have been suggestions that the Huddersfield and District Cricket League ought to follow the example of the Bradford League and permit clubs to have more than one professional. Three, as compared with Bradford’s four, is the maximtim suggested. This is not a frivolous suggestion thrown out recklessly for the purpose of effecting a change for change’s sake; it comes from men with the interest of local cricket at heart, who ask that the idea be discussed on its merits. Per- sonally' I am opposed to the idea, for the reasons set out below.

League cricket in Huddersfield, I think it will be fairly generally conceded, is not of the standard that was once the case. There have been many explanations offered for this decline, and many remedies suggested, but if the writer may be allowed to express a private opinion—but one which he knows would carry the support of many who have had a long association with the game—a prime cause is that League cricket in Hud- dersfield is not pursued by players as a whole with that earnestness which characterised the attitude of the men of an earlier period. In proof of | this one has but to hear old-timers tell of the hours spent at practice in their day, of the endeavours aspirants made to fit themselves for places in a team, and the keenness to keep their places. There were not the rival diversions then that exist to-day.

‘Another point is that too many of our young players, after a good season—sometimes after a moderately good one—succumb to the lure of professionalism before they are really and truly equipped for the respon- sibilities of such jobs. The man who accepts a post as professional feels in honour bound to do his very best. and that extra responsibility fre— quently compels him, intentionally or otherwise, to alter his style, often with dire results. With the immature player this is likely to happen. to a greater extent than with one who by experience has become seasoned. The writer has personal knowledge of young men whose cricket, after leaving amateur ranks, has by no means made the progress that otherwise would probably have been made,

The proposal of three professionals a club would not meet either of these points. It would not of necessity bring a new and abounding en- thusiasm for the game’s sake—and that is the only safe way to a healthy State of affairs—nor would it stimulate the younger players to fit them-— selves thoroughly for the resvonsibilities of professionalism. On the con- trarv. it would encourave them to forsake amateurism, and would tend: to introduce a most disturbing state of affairs for clubs, flooding the League pessibly with apvlicants for positions as ‘‘ten bob’? professionals, with all the undignified hargaining. ill-feeling and heartburnine that such a pro- cedure invariably involves for some of the unvaid members of the eleven would almost inevitablv entertain a feeling of envy for the other three. Tew clubs would be able to afford a really good class professional and two “‘useful’’? ones besides. and the club with a good amateur side would be at the mercy of everv club which had money, and would be placed in a quand-- ary as to which of their own men to pay in order to keep them.

There have been many players from this district in the Bradford Teague. and some of them, I am given to understand. receive more than the average professional in the Huddersfield League. They. at all events. wonld not have been tempted back by 10s. notes. and if clubs could not afford. to engage them in the ordinarv way of things, how could they be exnected to do so with vayments to be made for two others in addition? The nick of the present League plavers would not by anv means he certain to stay here if the new plan were, adopted, but manv clubs would be driven

[continued at foot of page 40. 37

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PLAYERS AND PERSONALITIES.

(Che following pen pictures of prominent players and officials are taken. at random. It would be impossible in the space allotted. to mention the many prominent players associated with the League, therefore, I trust the omission of many outstanding enthusiasts will be pardoned.—Ed.)

Wi. BOLT;

“Billy” Bolt, as he is familiarly known, has been President of the League for several years, and has been a most popular leader. His cheery optimism, love of the game and readiness to do all he can to further’. its interests help to make what might be an onerous position one of pleasure. Fis happy knack of imparting humour into serious dis- cussion, his diplomacy when dealing with the impetuous, and the facil- ity with which he finds solutions to ‘* dead- locks’? are; . in. Jarge measure responsible for League Committee Meet-— ings being free from Mecenes. "He ‘also. -takes a practical m the game as .a_ player with Bradley Mills, with whom he thoroughly en- joys himself, whether with--. first or second eleven. He would not exchange his position of ‘‘“General Manager’’. of thé. “poorest. Club = 1m with an asso- ciation with any’ other Club in existence. Coun- cilor Bolt (we can now apply this dignified ap- pellation since his return to the Town Council), has a otund of humorous stories which stand him in good stead at the numerous and varied sport- ing occasions which demand the attention of this ‘“‘thoroughly good sportsman.”? The stream of criticism which is inevitably levelled at the leadership of such organisations as the League is countered in good humoured fashion, but he can be relied upon to stand his corner and hit back in forceful manner should the occasion demand strong action. May “Billy”? long continue to hold the reins of leadership,

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F. E. GREENWOOD.

Frank Greenwood, former Yorkshire County captain and present skipper of the Huddersfield Club, is a splendid cricketer. His strong, forceful play to the on is a feature of his batsmanship. he ease of his stroke play’ is chiefly the result of clever footwork. He revels against bowling of pace, but a certain hesitancy is noticeable when he plays slow type bowling. His partiality for ‘‘ covering up’? often results in the umpire’s: “finger “being raised, yet frequently his bat ‘appears to take on dimensions’’ to perspiring bowlers long before his innings are ended. In: the “he sets a splendid example to his colleagues, and at cover-point he delights with clean handling and swift, accurate returns. The sharp. single is rarely attempted when the ball travels in his direction.

It is regrettable that business prevented him from continuing his duties as captain to the connty: side, for possesses, in addition to his cricketing ability, a likeable disposition and a keen enthusiasm for the game. While the Slaith- waite Club claim him on account of prior service with them, Huddersfield as. “one ® of their No matter with whom he plays he enjoys the game and gives enjoyment to those who watch him. He is always willing to give a helping hand, and his services are in great demand, so that he finds himself busily engaged during the summer months.

May: he long continue to lead the Fartown eleven and retain a keen, active interest in local play.

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Sa

ETT as 7

HARRY WEBSTER.

Tt is a good many years ago since I first referred to Harry Webster, the Honley professional, as the “mighty atom.’? TI do not think I could improve upon the description, for his small stature and boundless energy create an impression of the David ever-ready to meet a host of Goliaths. He possesses the patience of Job, and many bowlers have been “‘rattled”’ when ball ‘after ball has been carefully and methodically played without anv attempt to force the pace. Like many players on the small side he concen- trates on defence, but he rejoices in the opportunity to move swiftly across. to the short pitched ball and employ the “‘pull’’ shot with power,

If his rate of scoring be slow his value to a side cannot be over— estimated. Realizing his inability to employ the full-blooded drive, he wisely places the ball in confident and clever fashion, and is always ready for the “‘risky’? single in a manner which brightens up play which some, wronglv I believe, regard as rather painstaking. He bats left-handed with a confidence and assurance which enable him to face bowlers of pace with care-free ease. ; |

He bowls and his right-arm leg—breaks often result in some impetuous batsman attempting to hit across the spin—with disastrous consequences. The spacious Honley ground suits his style of bowling, and often the attempted long hit falls short of the expected, boundary, and the waiting fieldsman is able to complete the work done by the bowler.

In the field he is keen and reliable, and never relaxes his effort to play hard during the progress of the game. He first commenced to play with Lascelles Hall, and his progress has been all the more remarkable when it is realized that he did not attempt to play until he was 21 years of age. He likes to recall the occasion when he registered a century, but bemoans the fact that time-limit cricket will never enable him again to accomplish the feat. A really delightful player with a rich sense of humour.

Three Professionals a Club—continued from page 37.

to paying, or losing, men who are now helping them as amateurs. In the main local professionals are recruited from amateurs of the district. An extension such ag is suggested would mean more local amateurs turned into professionals, and that, in effect, would be paying for what you have al- ready got or being deprived of their services.

It is difficult to see how the good-class professional from outside is going to be encouraged to come into the district by this means, for clubs would have less money to spend than before. It may be argued that public interest would be so whipped up that clubs would have more to spend on paid men, but that is a view which will not be generally accepted on pre- sent evidence, and if the plan has the effect of disabling clubs from engag- ing one really good man, or substituting three moderate ones for one of real ability and personality, public interest will actually dwindle. There is nothing more disheartening than for a club to lose its good players. Would not this proposal tend towards bringing about that undesirable end? One or two clubs with ample bank balances may: benefit. but at the expense of ee A.M.L.

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HERBERT SYKES.

Despite the fact that Herbert Sykes, of Slaithwaite, no longer actively participates in the management of League affairs, he retains a keen and active interest in local cricket. As a student of the game he quickly sums up the ability of a player, and his judgment is reliable and sound. As a legislator his absence from the League Committee is sadly missed, for he possessed sense of fairness reasoning powers which were in- valuable in the building up of Cup and League reserves. A leader often receives a great deal of adverse criticism how- ever valuable the work he contributes. Ht is the unmerited reward generally meted out to those who take active in- terest in the manage- ment of any association. Criticism there has been of the subject of these notes, but it is admitted in local cricket circles that for keen, unbiased administration the work of the League’s former President was marked by good judgment and much foresight.

While the League Committee may be = un- fortunate in the loss of his services the Slaith- waite Club have the , advantage of his enthusiasm which makes itself felt on the ground and in the Club. His active and unbounded energy is a feature of the progress of the Hill Top Club, and the well-equipped, and financially sound organisa- tion is the envy of many’ local associations. It is, however, the work of Herbert Sykes for local cricket as a whole that he is now appreciated. He is able to discuss the merits of every player of note in the League, and many players in adjoining Leagues are equally well known to him. The youth of the district, irrespective of Club, have a warm hearted enthusiast to foster their ambitions, for no trouble is too great for one who may be described as the premier cricket enthusiast of the town.

* * *

‘‘When, George Hirst first played for Yorkshire,’’ said David Hunter, Yorkshire’s greatest wicket-keeper, to the late A. W. Pullin, ‘‘he was just a little man, I might almost say a lad, who bowled fast and straight; nothing more. When he developed the swerve it was only slight at first, but he learned to use the breeze, and I have seen him make the ball between wicket and wicket swerve fully four feet time and time again. And this at beautiful pace and with a splendid length. It was not easy to take this kind of bowling, but it had to be done, though not infre- quently the stumps or the short leg fielder saved you the trouble.’’*’ *Tlistory of Yorkshire Cricket.

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GEORGE DAWSON.

‘The club with a reliable wicket-keeper can consider themselves very fortunate. Slaithwaite are in the happy position of possessing the best wicket-keeper in the League. The Hill Top ciub have been fortunate for many years in being able to call upon ‘‘top-notch’’ keepers; well does one remember ‘‘Dick’? Balmforth and ‘‘Bob’’ Byrce.

George Dawson first played with Slaithwaite as a raw youngster with an aptitude for wicket-keeping. Encouraged to utilise his ability in this direction, and given every opportunity, he has earned the premier place in the League. His safe and clean handling, his ability to take the ball with either hand, and his agility on the leg side all combine to make him a great asset at Slaithwaite. Seldom is an opportunity of dismissing a bats- man neglected. He does not indulge in ‘‘frills’? or fancy work, the manner | in which he takes the ball being always neat and stylish. He stands well up to the wicket against good paced bowling, and his comfortable manner indicates complete assurance.

The County authorities have recognised Dawson’s ability, but, though he has received invitations to assist the Colts, and has been warmly com-— mended upon his work, during the past season he appears to have been passed over. George is a likeable enthusiast, ever ready to give assist- ance in, any game which may be promoted for the benefit of others, and in | consequence merits the high regard in which he is held. During the past few years he has been the one ‘‘hope’’ of local cricket so far as the County is concerned, and a host of admirers are disappointed that greater oppor-— tunity has not been given to him. I have often heard it said that admit- tance to the Yorkshire County side is the hardest task of any that can con-, front a cricketer, a view which will be shared by this young Slaithwaite player, who knows his job and can execute the difficult art of wicket- keeping in a perfectly fair, highly efficient and modest manner.

EF; N. RIDING,

‘Freddy’? Riding is not represented in the League averages, and has had the unenviable distinction of bagging eight ‘‘ducks’’ during the past season, yet ability and promise are sufficient to justify his inclusion among the outstanding players in the League. Huis batsmanship is polished and his style suggests great possibilities. Quick on his feet he plays with the full face of the bat, and combines style and soundness in refreshing manner. Perhaps the desire to ‘‘make good’’ is responsible for the ultra—cautious methods which sometimes prove to be his undoing. He gives the impres- sion that a ‘‘stopper’’ is placed upon his play, and once he shakes off the ‘‘hoodac’’ of self-consciousness he should come into his own. In practice he bats in delightful manner, employing strokes of praiseworthy: correct- ness, and his enthusiasm for the game is unsurpassed.

With the ball he is most useful. He bowls right arm medium-paced deliveries, keeps a good length, and often is responsible for the breaking up of an awkward partnership. Not only does he bat and bowl with ability, but his work in the field is clean. Rarely is a chance allowed to escape his safe pair of hands. Riding is a fine young cricketer, and his future is one of bright pos- sibilities. He does not really lack confidence, despite his anxious care to justify the high opinion of many friends. It may be that he treats League cricket too seriously; certainly his displays with the Craven Gentlemen against strong opposition have been in marked contrast with his League endeavours. He has had invitations to the nets at Headingley, and attends practice at the Winter Shed with regularity. As he still has to reach his majority much may’ be expected from him.

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HARRY HINCHLIFFE.

I was once asked by a Bradford League club to give a candid opinion on the ability of Harry Hinchliffe. I remember replying that apart from KE. W. King, I considered Harry to be the best all-round cricketer in Huddersfield. Away went a couple of the club’s representatives to watch Hinchliffe in action, (he was then professional for Dalton) and upon their return I was told that if Hinchliffe was regarded as a good ‘“‘all-rounder’’ Huddersfield cricket must be in a poor way.

Events have since proved that the ‘‘scouts’’? under-rated the ability of the present Broad Oak professional, whose performances indicate a first- rate bowler and a more than useful batsman. In addition to bowling at fast medium pace, he is able to turn the bali from the ‘“‘off,’? and should the wicket be a little ‘‘green’’ he is often deadly. Capable of bowling for

long stretches, he maintains a consistent length, and his ability to ‘‘knuckle rap’? keeps the batsman on his toes. Rarely does he bowl in negative manner, and in consequence the batsman is kept playing.

Hinchlitfe’s batsmanship may not be polished, but it is sound, and he is all the more useful because he has a habit of scoring when runs are most required. He hits the ‘‘loose’’ ball in no uncertain manner, and heartiness and zest are infused into his play. A club victory is regarded with more delight than personal success, and at Broad Oak he has for many seasons been the right man in the right position. Harry is a grand cricketer, a popular figure, and a great enthusiast. Like so many good players he migrated from the Holme Valley, first playing with Holmfirth, although 1 was with his present club that he became the League’s leading all-rounder. A first choice in inter-league games, and a consistent, useful, enterprising player in every department of the game.

43

Page 46

TWO RASTRICK PLAYERS. E. H. HILL.

of Rastrick, has again secured the League bowling prize. A glance at the list of former bowlers who have secured this coveted trophy shows that no other bowler since such awards were instituted in 1900 has won the prize in two consecutive seasons. In the case of Hill the old theory of length being the best means. of attack holds good, for besides being able to ‘‘use’’ the new ball he con-— centrates on a commendable length which keeps the batsman continuously playing. The pace of the ball when leaving the wicket is in marked con- trast to the speed through the air, and the viciousness and “‘lift’’ find batsmen making belated strokes. is enthusiastic, a genuine plodder and big—-hearted player. On a sunlit day and cast iron ground the glorious wicket of Round Huli is sufficient to cause any bowler to ‘“‘tin,’’ yet he bowls keenly and with any amount of vim. I1is action is free and easy, and movement is not marred by failure to follow through with his delivery. Seldom does he give the batsman the relaxation of an overpitched ball. His fielding is keen, and I still have to see the most difficult of chances be placed on the ‘‘carpet.’’ He retains his amateur status in spite of lucrative offers to turn and Rastrick remains his first and only love. The value of a ‘‘club man’’ is shown by his worth to Rastrick. Despite personal honour which his bowling has brought during the past two seasons, little evidence of desire for personal success is noticeable. He bowls tor his side and victory, and mistakes of fellow players in the field are not allowed to upset him, Length and direction are his strong points, and unless batsmen are prepared to wait for the shorter pitched ball they are likely to tempt providence by forcing their play. A pair of good shoulders and a tuliness. of chest are prominent features of a bowler who plods steadily along without lowering his arm or losing his length. After a good, solid hour’s bowling the last over does not vary inuch from the first, apart from the ‘‘moving’’ of the new ball. It is strange that inter-league elevens should have been chosen without the inclusion of this great-hearted bowler, who can always be relied upon to produce a 100 per cent. effort.

ARNOLD CARTER.

Because he is professional to the Rastrick Club, Arnold Carter is debarred from securing the League batting award for the best average. Ilis consistent batsmanship has been a feature of the past season’s play as the following figures testity :— inns.. Not out... Highest Inns. Total runs. Avge. 23 3 98* 910 60.66 | An unusual feature of the past season’s play is that Carter had the best average with the bat, while his colleague, E. H. Hill, had a similar honour with the ball. Arnold uses his height to advantage, and his long reach enables him to ‘‘smother’? many good length balls. Particularly strong on off side play, he uses a cover drive with precision and force. As an opening batsman his solidity and unruffled play are a great asset, and many good scores have been registered by the Rastrick side chiefly on account of Carter being able to keep one end intact. At times he appears to be somewhat uncertain in timing his strokes, although his bat is taking the ball well in the middle. Many sighs of relief may be heard from opposing elevens when his dismissal takes place, for he gives the impression that his wicket is to remain a citadel immune from destruction. As a slip fieldsman he has few equals in the League, and here again his long reach proves an advantage. The engagement of Carter by the Round Hill Club proved to be a wise choice, and his re-engagement for next season in the ‘‘A’’ Section should materially help the Club to have a successful year in the ‘‘House of Loids.”’

44

Page 47

J. WILSON SENIOR.

The duties of a sec- retary, no matter what organisation he may be connected with, never make a bed of roses. In ithe. case at. Mia, [2 AN, Senior, the. League -sec~ retary, only tremendous enthusiasm and a great love of the game make it possible for him to. get through his multifarious and arduous duties. Add’ to” the . ordinary. duties of secretaryship the worries of finance, for he is also the League Treasurer; the problems ‘of insurance, for he is secretary and_ treasurer of the benevolent fund; the allocation of umpires, for he is responsible for the weekly engagements of umpires; the labori- ous, but highly com- mendable work of the Yorkshire Federation, of he - was a and local representative— and one realises what a busy man he really is.

In spare moments he acts as honorary secretary to the Schweppes Cup Competition, interests himself in schoolboy cricket and football, plays cricket with Armitage Bridge, attends practically every dinner of local cricket clubs, and joins a sub-committee to prepare fixtures. I must not forget to mention that in addition to all these duties Mr, Senior works for his living.

Not only are his various offices carried out with enthusiasm, but with a thoroughness that indicate a complete understanding of, and mastery over, his complicated tasks. The late result of a Saturday’ Ss game, the non- attendance of a meeting, the delayed payment of a previous fine, and the thousand and one things which occur in the running of a cricket League are never allowed ta be overlooked. The part played by the secretary in the League’s successful organisation is a most important one, which merits the highest possible commendation, and when so efficiently done, calls for bouquets. Local cricket owes a great deal to Wilson Senior, and his capabilities are recognised and appreciated by all.

* % * *

Conceit in a cricketer often is the result of a swollen head. Particu- larly good is the story of a visiting skipper when his side turned up a man short. Looking round for another man to make up his eleven a player who had made some sort of a reputation in local cricket offered his services. ‘“What sort of cricketer are you>?’? asked the skipper. ‘‘Oh,’’ replied the player, ‘‘I can do my bit. As a matter of fact, J don’t think I have made a ‘duck’ in my ‘‘Indeed,’’ replied the skipper, ‘‘Well, you can’t have played much cricket, but you can play for me if you like—and I shall put vou down number eleven.’

45

Page 48

ANDREW TAYLOR.

Andrew Taylor may be described as the best batsman in the Hudders- Ft field: League.. The hi ment may appear to be somewhat _ sweeping, especially when batsmen such as George Senior, Jimmy ”” Beaumont, Arnold Carter, Stanley Hammond and _ Albert Sykes are .taken into account, but for all round the wicket stroke play, execution of shots with masterly sureness, Andrew stands in a class to him-— self. Huis style is free and entertaining, and his quick positioning for the ‘pull’? leaves time for the stroke to be unhurried. The cover drive, with toe and bat working in He unison, sends the ball if speeding along the | ground like a_ bullet. For the ‘‘danger’’ ball his body is well behind the bat, and with effort- less positioning the safety it stroke is played. If Andrew has a weakness it is his eagerness to be scoring : runs with a powerful sweep to the leg boundary, but often he lifts the ball safely over the cinder track.

As a boy in short trousers he played his first game with Golcar, but in search of practice and coaching he went to Huddersfield, to be ‘‘adopted”’ by Walter Bedford. A sound cricket education was received from the old Iluddersfield professional, who was in his glory when instilling into a most willing pupil correct play. Leaving Huddersfield he threw in his | lot with Paddock, and his opening partnerships with Wright Jessop became. a feature of Paddock cricket. After his spell with Paddock he had the honour of playing as professional with the Lascelles Hall club during their centenary year, but the following season found him back at his native club. Now, at the age of thirty-six, he plays bespectacled, opening the innings and captaining the side.

Taylor’s keenness is such that in practice he bowls his ‘‘donkey drops’”’ and bats with the concentration of match play. He plays every ball on its merits, and executes his strokes with a certainty which makes his play an object lesson in correct batsmanship. Never stilted or cramped in style, | he uses his feet and positions for his strokes with an ease which denotes ia complete mastery over the attack. Why Andrew has not progressed to a | higher sphere of cricket remains something of a mystery. In spite of his consistent play he received only one invitation to play for the Colts, and that was something of a Jast minute recommendation

4 46

lk i

Page 49

FRANK BARLOW.

Frank Barlow, the Paddock left arm slow bowler, achieved the dis- tinction of securing 100 wickets during last season’s campaign. For an amateur the feat is remarkable, especially when it is realised that for six weeks he was hampered ' sis by a fractured finger Although over 6ft. in height, Barlow does not deliver ‘‘straight over..”” «With. a: certain squareness. in delivery he flights and swings thee, Dall: <a clever fashion. Barlow com- mands an extraordinarily ceood length, and despite his inabihty: to straighten the ball, he sends down a variety of balls which eive the batsman food for thought. Often the innocent-looking delivery ‘dips’? in unexpected fashion, and the change of flight during the last yard finds the batsman unprepared, Tlis figures during the 1937 season are as follows :—

LEAGUE GAMES. Overs. Maidens. Runs. Wickets. Average.

329 69 911 78 11.67 CUP AND «LEAGUE, Overs. Maidens. Runs. Wickets. Average. 44,7 102 1155 104 114 SYRES CUP: AND. LEAGUE. Overs. Maidens, Runs. Wickets. Average. 480 107 1264 114 11.08

It is worthy of note that in the League game against Holmfirth on May 2 29th, he secured nine wickets for thirty-five runs, and on four occa~ sions he secured two wickets with successive balls. Barlow’s first club was Almondbury, and he received from the late Arthur Schofield many valuable lessons in ball control. Following the removal of his family to Crosland Mcor, he joined the Paddock Club, and after four seasons of steady success he joined Broad Oak, and helped them to secure the Championship of ‘‘B’’ Division and promotion. Back with Paddock the following season, he had the satisfaction of helping them to follow Broad Oak’s example of securing the ‘‘B’’? Division Championship and promotion. Further success came with the winning of the Sykes Cup and the Byram Shield. F. Barlow had the distinction of winning three championship and one cup medal in three seasons, Naturally his brilliant performances attracted much attention. ie turned down tempting offers of clubs outside the League, but finally de- cided to accept a professional engagement with Lascelles Hall, and next season should find him peur offering tempting bait to unsuspecting batsmen, 47

Page 50

ARNOLD HAMER.

Up to last season whenever Primrose Hill cricket was spoken of the name of Arnold Hamer was sure to be introduced. Despite his youth he could claim several years’ association with the Club with which he first be- gan to play, and at the early age of sixteen he was widely regarded as a cricketer of considerable promise, As an opening batsman he showed abil- ity much’ - average, and his periodi- cal visits to the nets at Hleadingley suggested early opportunity in higher cricket. Last season he threw in his lot with the Golcar Club, and continued his clever play, but one found it dificult to think of him as a Golcar player. How- ever, the saying about a change of com-— pany proving a_ wise move was in some re- spects applicable, for not only did he have a successful season, but he also had the distinction of being selected in the Colt’s: eleven.

ship is considered to be the strongest part of his play, he bowls ‘‘spin- ners’ with guile and skill. Playing with the full face of the bat, he covers the ball with easy footwork and keeps it well in the ‘‘carpet.’’ His foot- work is good, and his correct positioning en- ables full power to be imparted into his play. He combines patience and aggression and refuses to neglect scoring opportunities. His opening partnerships with Andrew Taylor have been a feature of the season’s campaign. They were associated in an unbroken first wicket stand which constituted last season’s record—229 runs in the home game with Holmfirth on June 5.

Arnold is a fine, natural all-round cricketer, with a temperament which enables him to play without being troubled with ‘‘nerves.’? May he con- tinue to improve and receive continued recognition, ultimately to be crowned with full County honours,

48

Although ~— batsman- ©

Page 51

ALBERT SYKES.

Albert is one of two players still playing in Huddersfield cricket who have accomplished the notable feat of scoring 1,000 runs in a season. He is one of the opening batsmen of the Huddersfield eleven, and his delightful play has brought recognition from County authorities, in the shape of his Colt’s Cap. A steady, reliable player, whose batsmanship is ideally suited for the opening of an innings. Seldom indulging in ‘‘Fireworks,’’ and his strong, forceful offside play produces many runs. On ‘“‘seeing’’ the ball, he employs this favourite stroke to perfection.

A tendency to “‘nibble’’ at the off ball rather marred his play, but care and concentration are gradually overcoming this weakness. His soundness is reflected in confident batsmanship, and he invariably gets the bat. in direct line with the bail. Often bowlers deplore the “‘barn door’? appear- ance of his bat, for he takes the ball plumb in the middle. As a school hay

he won recognition by the high scores he collected, and Dalton lost a fine batsman when he decided to play in the Bradford League, and later io assist the Fartown club. He has a happy disposition, and is a well liked and respected player. His play with the Coits has been consistent, and his selection a matter of much satisfaction to local cricket lovers.

In the field Sykes is reliable, and without wasting effort fields the ball clean and smartly. <A likeabie fellow who prepares for the game with thoroughness and plays the game. Those who spend much time and labour in assisting youthful cricketers to advance to a higher place in the game can see in the career of Albert reward for their labours, 49

Page 52

Champions Runners-up

Champions Runners-up

Winners Runners-up

Champions Runners-up

Champions

Runners-up

Winners Runners-up

Relegated Clubs

HONOURS LIST, 1937. FIRST ELEVEN. SECTION ‘‘A.’’

Paddock. Broad Oak and Golcar (Joint).

SECTION ‘‘B.” Rastrick. Armitage Bridge.

SYKES CUP. Paddock. Linthwaite.

SECOND ELEVENS, SECTION ‘‘A.”’ Paddock. Holmfirth,

SECTION ‘“B.” Meltham. . Dalton and Kirkheaton (Joint).

PADDOCK SHIELD. Broad. Oak. Meltham Mills.

Shepley and Thongsbridge.

Clubs to apply for - re-

election

Highest. Club Total

Lowest Club Total

Highest Individual

Score

Ten Wickets ee

Feat

Best Bowling Feat

Batsman to

Funs

Bowler _ to wickets

most

Bradley Mills and Kirkheaton,

Primrose Hill (v. Bradley Mills) 269 for 9 dec. Sept, 4

Kirkheaton (v. Primrose Hill) 25. May 8.

A. Taylor, Golcar (v. Holmfirth) June 5.

Sykes, Huddersfield (v. Thongsbridge), 10 for 51. April 24;

F. Haigh, Dalton (v. Linthwaite), 8 for 6. 17. : |

A. Carter (Rastrick), 910.

most

F'. Barlow (Paddock), 104,

50

Page 53

June 5 G, Carter, Meltham Mills (v. Dalton). 5, 22-23 H. Trower, Slaithwaite (v. Elland). July 17 S. Brown, Linthwaite (v. Dalton). ee IF. Haigh, Dalton (v. Linthwaite). 1, OL I’. Noble, Primrose Hill (v. Kirkheaton). Sept. 4 I. H. Berry, Paddock (v. Marsden). CENTURY MAKERS. June 5 A, Taylor, Golcar (v. Holmfirth) oe aaa Aug. 7. W. S. Hammond. Elland (v. Broad Oak) ... May 29 J. Brook, Meltham (v. Honley) — oe sis Pe July 3 W. Watson, Paddock (v. Lascelles Hall), (Cup) ... June 1-2 J. Brook, Meltham (v. Armitage Bridge) ... ies July 10 J. Thornton, Armitage Bridge (v. Dalton) May 1 A, Taylor, Golcar (v. Lascelles Hall) ... a May 8 N. Stead, Meltham Mills (v. Linthwaite) ... May 22 W. Watson, Paddock (v. Dalton), (Cup) : June 22-23 J. Beaumont, Armitage Bridge (v. Meltham) July 3 A. Woodhead, Broad Oak (v. Meltham), (Cup) Sept. 3 G. Knight, Slaithwaite (v. Lascelles Hall) ... May 8 E. Quarmby, Linthwaite (v. Meltham Mills) May 18 A, Woodhead, Broad Oak (v. Lascelles Hall) July 31 Hi, Beaumont, Thongsbridge (v. Marsden May 18 L, Haigh, Lascelles Hall (v. Broad Oak) ... Sept. 18 H. Outram, Elland (v. Lockwood) *Not out. INDIVIDUAL HONOURS.—FIRST ELEVENS. BATTING. Inns. Not out. Highest Inngs. Total runs. Cy Walker (S’*waite)...°: 12 3 91* 44.2 BOWLING. O. M. iN. W. E..H. Hall ... se .. 866.3 88 746 93. CATCHING. H. Berry: (Armitage Bridge). 25 catches. SECOND ELEVENS. BATTING. Inns. Not out. Highest Total: runs. G, Pletcher: (L’waite).11 3 142* OL BOWLING. QO. M. W. E. R.. Varley .(Paddock), «,. fe, -» 140 51 247. 38, CATCHING,

HAT TRICKS.

Joe Hindle (Shepley). 17 catches.

*139 * 136 *129 At *108 "107 106 *L05 105 104 104. *104 105 *108 102 *100 100

Avge.

49.1

Avge. 3.02

ee

Avge.

50.1

Avge.

6.5

H. Berry, the Armitage Bridge wicket-keeper, broke the League catching record by making 25 catches, securing the catching prize for the third consecutive season.

ol

Page 54

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Page 55

Rastrick Cricket Club. Winners of Hinchcliffe Cup, 1937, 33

Page 56

TWO NEWCOMERS '

ELIJAH HAIGH. (Newly Appointed Professional of the Kirkheaton Cricket Club).

o4

TO: THE LEAGUE.

J. M. CROSSLEY. (Paddock’s New Professional)

Page 57

=

wis

\ Nl. EIS ok tr Sess Sere CASS OLE AR ERNE RRS

~,

KMIAKHBATOM CRickKeT & BOWLING Clos y+ New ont SY a

Provosed Memorial Pavilion to mark the Association of George Herbert Hirst and Wilfred Rhodes _ with Kirkheaton Cricket Club.

At the Marsh Winter Shed. F. N. Riding batting.

Page 58

Broad Oak’s Opening Pa

H. Knight and C. Hirstwood. 36

ir.

Page 59

LAR 3 5 ia

AREY

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‘“‘Here’s To 44 Time 99

Page 60

Sap

EPILOGUE.

And so the end of the book has been reached, and as the last few words are being written I am prompted to say a word or two about how it ail began.

At the opening of the Marsden pavilion, ‘‘Reg’’ Haigh, Horace Kippax and Gilbert Varley were members of ‘‘Billy”’ Bolt’s eleven. As we changed into flannels I happened to mention a desire to compile a book on local cricket. — If comment on my journalistic endeavours had been rather pronounced prior to the statement, the remarks that fol- lowed were still more pointed. It was all good fun, and had | adopted the numerous suggestions the nature of the

book would have been totally different.

However, once the desire had been expressed there was

nothing left for me to do but to get down to business. This

I did, and while I do not expect a general agreement with the contents, | sincerely trust the effort will have been the means of promoting increased interest in local play. The offers of ‘‘Reg’’ and ‘‘Kip’’ to contribute had to be turned down, as had Gilbert’s willingness to mutilate. ‘‘Kip’s’’ stories are uncommonly good, but we will leave it at that. Similarly ‘‘Reg’s’’ additional ideas had, I regret, to be refused, and Gilbert’s suggestion of blank pages in

place of printed ones did not appeal.

To my three good friends I dedicate this book, and trust they may long continue to play the game in the happy spirit expected of them.

58

Page 61

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Page 62

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Page 65

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Page 66

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Page 67

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