The current Kent county membership was shaped in 1870, though there had been a membership way back to 1842. The lengthy historical past of the membership is chronicled within the Historical past of Kent County Cricket Membership by Lord Harris. The ebook first appeared in 1907 and a lot of additional appendices have been issued over time, and in 1997 all that materials was gathered collectively and republished.
A much less bold mission was Dudley Moore’s 1988 contribution to the Helm sequence of county histories, and likewise a largely pictorial ebook by EW Swanton and CH Taylor that was revealed in 1984, Kent Cricket: A Photographic Historical past. Kent do nonetheless get nearer to being updated than many of the counties due to Clive Ellis and Mark Pennell. Their 2010 revealed Trophies and Tribulations seems again over the previous forty years.
Different historic books embrace two detailed seems again at early Kent County Championship wins. Clive Porter revealed Kent Cricket Champions in 2000, wanting on the 1906 marketing campaign. Seven years later, within the penultimate summer season earlier than The Nice Warfare, the county gained once more and that season was the topic of A Half-Forgotten Triumph, co-written by Tony Quarrington and Martin Moseying and revealed in 2013. A a lot later facet was celebrated in Dennis Fowle’s Kent: The Wonderful Years 1967-1979, revealed in 1979.
The principle focus of those articles is on the comparatively latest historical past of the counties, however often it’s a must to take a nod backwards and with Kent meaning to Fuller Pilch, a batsman who was at his finest within the 1840s and who was often called ‘The Lion of Kent’. The story of Pilch’s attention-grabbing life is properly informed by Brian Rendell in a ebook within the ACS Lives in Cricket sequence. Fuller Pilch: A Easy Man was revealed in 2010.
George Robert Canning Harris, higher often called merely Lord Harris, is a reputation usually recognised primarily due to the autocratic means wherein he ran the county membership for a few years. In actual fact nonetheless Harris was additionally a nice batsman, adequate to play for England 4 instances between 1878 and 1884. Harris’s autobiography, A Few Brief Runs, was revealed in 1921, and a totally researched biography was subsequently written by James Coldham. Lord Harris was revealed in 1983.
The England captain who went to Australia in 1882/83 to hunt to recuperate the Ashes was a Kent participant. The Honourable Ivo Bligh had a comparatively modest taking part in profession, however his place within the sport’s historical past is safe and, virtually eighty years after his dying, a biography appeared in 2006. Cricket’s Burning Passion is a nice ebook, which isn’t shocking on condition that the authors are the superb Scyld Berry, assisted by Rupert Peploe, Bligh’s nice grandson.
The subsequent Kent participant to be the topic of a biography additionally had a relative to thank for the ebook. Jack Mason is the forgotten stars of the ‘Golden Age’. An all-rounder who performed all 5 Assessments within the 1897/98 Ashes sequence Mason’s life story was informed by his grandson, John Lazenby, in Test of Time in 2005.
Within the final yr of the nineteenth century Colin ‘Charlie’ Blythe made his Kent debut and, as an orthodox sluggish left arm bowler, was prodigiously profitable at each Take a look at and county degree between then and the beginning of the Nice Warfare. Killed at Passchendaele two days after the battle ended Blythe was denied the prospect to boost his figures additional as soon as peace returned. The sport’s writers then left him alone till 2005 when Christopher Scoble’s biography, Colin Blythe: Lament For A Legend appeared. Simply 4 years later a second biography appeared, The Actual Colin Blythe, written once more by a descendant, John Blythe Good.
In 1906 one of many longer county careers started when Frank Woolley made his Kent Debut. It will be 32 years earlier than he lastly retired, at the same time as a 51 yr previous scoring virtually 1,600 runs for the season. Two years earlier than that retirement, in 1936, Woolley’s autobiography, The King of Video games, had appeared and it’s maybe shocking that since then he has attracted little curiosity from biographers. Within the autumn of his years, 1976, his second spouse wrote a slim ebook, Early Memories of Frank Woolley, however that and a slim Nineteen Fifties ebook aside solely Ian Peebles has tried to jot down a biography of Woolley. Woolley: The Satisfaction of Kent was revealed in 1969.
‘Tich’ Freeman made his Kent debut in 1914. He made a modest begin after which, for the last decade after peace returned established himself sufficiently to be chosen for the MCC events that went to Australia in 1924/25 and South Africa in 1927/28. It was the summer season after he acquired again from South Africa that Freeman took one other step ahead, taking a document 304 wickets, and he took not less than 200 for the following seven summers. That Freeman will not be higher remembered is as a result of he achieved little towards Australia, and it could not be till 1982 that Tich Freeman and the Decline of the Leg Break Bowler appeared, its creator David Lemmon. It stays the one biography of Freeman.
AJ Evans, a batsman who earlier than the Nice Warfare had additionally been a greater than helpful seam bowler was a kind of plucked from county cricket to sort out the velocity of Jack Gregory and Ted MacDonald in 1921. He didn’t let himself down, however was clearly out of his depth and performed for England solely the as soon as. His solely common county cricket got here in 1927 when, only for that summer season, he captained Kent. In 1961 Evans privately revealed Heir to Adventure, sub-titled Notes for an Autobiography. There’s a lower than a web page of cricket content material, however the ebook continues to be an interesting one.
Two males who first appeared for Kent in 1924 have been future England captain Percy Chapman and, one other newbie, Charles ‘Father’ Marriott. Chapman was an excellent athlete, who in time paid a heavy value for his good residing. Marriott alternatively was a schoolmaster who appeared nothing like a high class sportsman. He was nonetheless a top quality leg spinner who performed in only a single Take a look at, however took eleven wickets in it. Each males are the topic of a single ebook. Percy Chapman: A Biography got here from the pen of David Lemmon in 1985 and from Marriott in 1968 there was The Full Leg Break Bowler, half tutorial and half autobiography.
Wicketkeeper Les Ames performed for Kent for quarter of a century after his debut in 1926, giving means so far as the retaining was involved to Godfrey Evans after the battle. Each of those two England greats have been the topic of books, two for Ames and 4 for Evans. Ames’ autobiography, Shut of Play appeared in 1953 and he was the topic of a biography by Alan Hill in 1990. For Evans there have been, within the nice publish battle ebook growth, as many as three autobiographies; Behind The Stumps in 1951, Motion in Cricket in 1956 and The Gloves Are Off in 1960. A biography by Christopher Sandford appeared on the identical instances as that of Ames, 1990.
In 1946 Oxford Blue Tony Pawson made his Kent debut and, over the following seven years, loved some success as a batsman. Pawson was additionally a helpful footballer and a champion fly fisherman. After a profession in journalism he revealed an autobiography in 1980, Runs and Catches, after which one other one in 2005, Indelible Reminiscences.
After which we had the Kent batsman who has impressed extra books than anybody else, Colin Cowdrey. Two books have been avowedly autobiographical, the primary the slightly modest Time For Reflection in 1962 and the second, MCC: The Autobiography of a Cricketer, a a lot better ebook, in 1975. As for biographies there are three. In 1990 Ivo Tennant wrote The Cowdreys, which in the principle is anxious with Colin, in 1999 Mark Peel wrote The Final Roman and, lastly up to now, Andy Murtagh produced Gentleman and Player in 2017.
David Sayer was a quick bowler who performed for Kent from the mid Nineteen Fifties to 1970. His document is an efficient one even when he by no means was chosen for a Take a look at match and his biography, Slayer, written by his very long time good friend Ian Lambert, appeared in 2018, a yr after Sayer’s dying.
Within the Nineteen Sixties a gaggle of Kent gamers got here collectively that was, by way of the Nineteen Seventies, to be one of many strongest in English cricket. The opening batsmen have been Brian Buckhurst and Mike Denness, England gamers each, the latter as captain. Each wrote autobiographies. The title of that by Denness was I Declare, revealed in 1977 while he was nonetheless taking part in. Luckhurst’s ebook, From Bootboy to President, had a slightly longer gestation interval, being revealed in 2004. In respect of Denness a full biography appeared solely final yr, The Tale of the Scottish Dexter, self revealed by Andrew Bee.
With the ball the Nineteen Seventies facet had the metronomic Derek Underwood whose bowling was at all times managed and, on a useful wicket, unplayable. Maybe at some point Underwood will deal with us to a protracted look again at his life, or alternatively an expertise biographer will go for him as a topic. As it’s we have now solely his personal 1975 effort, Beating The Bat. Quite a bit occurred to ‘Lethal’ after that.
The title of Alan Knott is synonymous with that of Underwood, and one of many nice wicketkeepers began his Kent profession a yr after Underwood, in 1964. A Take a look at debut got here for Knott in 1967 and his first autobiography, Stumper’s View, was revealed in 1972. A second, It’s Knott Cricket, got here 13 years later however in any other case, as with Underwood, the cricket world nonetheless awaits a definitive account of Knott’s life.
There have been additionally a few all-rounders in that nice Kent facet, each of whom performed Take a look at cricket, John Shepherd for West Indies and Bob Woolmer for England. Shepherd performed for Kent for fifteen seasons and in 2009 his profession was marked by the publication of John Shepherd: The Loyal Cavalier, an early quantity within the ACS Lives in Cricket sequence by Paddy Briggs. As for Woolmer he penned two autobiographies, Pirate and Rebel in 1984 and Woolmer on Cricket in 2000.
The ability of the good Kent sight was beginning to wane a little bit by the late Nineteen Seventies however there have been nonetheless some good days left for an additional Cowdrey, Christopher, to get pleasure from. He’s partly the topic of Ivo Tennant’s ebook already talked about within the context of his father, and in direction of the tip of his personal taking part in profession he wrote an autobiography, Good Sufficient?
Additionally making his debut for Kent in 1977 was a younger quick bowler, Graham Dilley, who went on to play a lot of Assessments for England albeit by no means fairly fulfilling early expectations. After 9 years with Kent Dilley moved on to Worcestershire for the 1987 season and that yr revealed an autobiography, Swings and Roundabouts.
Just one man who first performed for Kent within the Nineteen Eighties has been the topic of a ebook and that’s Steve Marsh, who was the poor soul who needed to exchange Alan Knott in 1986. By no means fairly his predecessor’s equal Marsh was nonetheless a nice wicketkeeper batsman and, for 2 seasons, county captain. His autobiography was revealed in 2001 – its title was The Gloves are Off, one we have now heard earlier than.
Present Nationwide Selector Ed Smith made his debut for Kent in 1996, and left for Middlesex in 2004, the yr an autobiography, Off And On The Field, was revealed. A few years after Smith started his profession Rob Key adopted him to the Kent facet the place he remained till 2015. ‘Oi Key’ was revealed in 2020, and is a wonderful ebook, regardless of its not significantly engaging title.
So far as collections of pen portraits are involved there are two. The primary was Dean Hayes Kent Cricketing Greats, that appeared in 1990. A ebook within the Tempus 100 Greats sequence adopted in 2006. There have been three authors of that one, David Robertson, Howard Milton and Derek Carlaw, and the identical trio have been behind the Fifty of the Most interesting Matches sequence as properly, in 2005 and 2006. Change John Evans for Howard Milton and you’ve got the group who put collectively the Pictures of Sport quantity on Kent in 2000.
A lot as we right here at Cricketweb don’t imagine in digital books there may be one which deserves point out, a mighty ‘tome’ from Derek Carlaw, the 555 web page Kent County Cricketers A-Z that appeared, free to all, on the ACS Web site in 2019. The mission will finally embrace a biography of all who’ve performed for the county. These 555 pages take the story to 1914.
And, to complete, there are three extra Kentish titles that I’ll point out. The primary is 66 Years Reminiscences of Kent Cricket by Charles Igglesden that was revealed in 1947. It’s a sequence of quick essays, some only a paragraph or two, from one of many county’s loyal supporters. Subsequent of the trio is Clive Porter’s 1981 revealed The White Horse And The Kangaroo which, because the title suggests, is a have a look at Kent’s contests with the Australians. Lastly is the 2006 revealed A Legend Dies by David Robertson. The ebook is a tribute to the well-known Lime Tree which, for so long as anybody may keep in mind, had till a storm felled it in January 2005, stood simply contained in the boundary on the St Lawrence floor in Canterbury.
Which brings me to my two selections for Kentish historians. The primary is simple, and that may be a full biography of the exceptional AJ Evans, a person awarded the Army Cross for his exploits within the air within the Nice Warfare, who then had a bar added to it for his exceptional escapes as a prisoner of battle. The second will not be such an easy alternative however, after a lot consideration, I select a biography of one of many county’s abroad participant. Regardless of that tag Asif Iqbal spent a decade and a half with the county, and if that doesn’t make him an honorary Kentish Man then Farokh Engineer have to be Indian.