Gentlemen play Players at Lords

Thursday 27th July 1950 was the middle day of the Gentlemen vs Players cricket match being played at Lord’s and this day’s Hull Daily Mail headlined: ‘Brown shows all-round ability’

F R Brown who hit a hurricane 100 for Gentlemen against Players at Lord’s yesterday – and established himself as England’s likely captain for Australia – followed with a fine spell of bowling today which made his choice even more certain. In seven overs he dismissed Gimblett, Parkhouse and Kenyon at a personal cost of 10 runs’.

In those three days there were two declarations, 1,110 runs scored and 32 wickets taken. In his innings Frederick Richard “Freddie” Brown scored 122 runs out of a ‘stand’ of 131 in 1¾ hours. In the end the match was drawn with the Players wanting 11 runs for a victory while the Gentlemen had just one of D.P.V Wright or W. E. Hollies to get out for them to be victorious. I’m sorry if you are not a cricket follower – or are, but are too young to recognise the names above. For an old guy like me, who was still in short trousers when this match was played, it really puts the modern game in perspective.

Freddie was made captain for England’s 1950/51 tour of Australia and New Zealand – a team that was considered by many as the poorest team ever sent ‘Down-under’.  He later managed two England tours: South Africa in 1956–67, in which the Test series was drawn 2–2; and Australia and New Zealand in 1958–59, in which England lost the Ashes to Australia 4–0.

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