My attention was drawn to a news item, appearing in the Island News Paper of March 23, 2018 , which reported that England scored only 58 runs against New Zealand . I had been interested in cricket from childhood days. My father was one of the few persons who bought the daily news papers, especially the Ceylon Observer, a Lake House newspaper. Incidentally, pending my entering university in 1953, I worked as a proof reader at Lake House for six months. My elder brother and I used to cut out the cricket pictures and sell these for about five cents each: now perhaps, amounting to about Rs. 100/*. As time passed, I played cricket for my college, St. Anthony’s, Wattala, and for the Peradeniya University.

When I read the above mentioned news item, my mind immediately switched back to 1948, when the then MCC were all out for 52, in the fifth Test match against Australia. Len Hutton scored 30 runs. The Australian team was captained by Don Bradman (not Sir then), and included Arthur Morris, Ray Lindwall, Lindsay Hasset, Sid Barnes , Neil Harvey, Keith Miller. etc. If I remember correct the MCC team was captained by Walter Hammond and included Alec Bedser, Dennis Compton, Washbrook,etc

These memories of mine goes back to the days when I was about 15-years of age . We did not have a radio, as radios were very rare and in any case we could not afford to buy one. One of my cousins set up what was called a crystal set. This had a crystal stone and two ear phones attached to the crystal. I used to listen to most Test matches on this contraption.

It was reported that Ray Lindwall was the next fastest bowler after Harold Larwood of Auatralia , who was known for his controversial ‘bodyline’ bowling . In this test match, Lindwall got five wickets for eight runs and finished with six wickets for 20 runs in 8.1 overs. The Australian team won this match by an innings and 149 runs.

Interestingly, at this match, the commentators remarked that an elderly lady, who was listening to the commentary, had contacted them and inquired as to who this peculiar man, Lindwall was; who had a short fine leg, a fine leg, a square leg and a long leg, mistaking Lindwall’s fielding positions.

Please refer ‘ Australian Team in England 1948 – Wikipedia and Harold Larwood -Wikipedia

Elmo de Silva. E-mail: elmodesilva6@gmail.com

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