Multicultural Lions: Pioneers-All Toss

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As a sport consumed by extremely sad racial scandals, it is easy to forget the outstanding contributions of black and Asian players to the English Test. In light of recent events, in view of the routine provocations they must face, their achievements seem to be even more compelling. Wearing three lions on the chest should be the pinnacle of any British cricket player. But for the trailblazer, the multicultural lion who broke the barriers in the first place, how difficult is this?

The first Asian player to represent England was the high-sounding Kumar Shri Ranjitsinhji, later His Royal Highness Jam Saheb of Nawanagar. Lange Australia was first tested in the ashes in 1896. He was the first of two Indian princes representing England and set multiple records in the first game at Old Trafford. He became the second batsman to score a century on his debut after WG Grace; and the first player to score a hundred before lunch. Ranji compiled an undefeated 154, but could not prevent the three defeats. This was the first of 15 tests, and it was a considerable achievement at the time, because the selectors liked experimenting.

For Ranji, this was a remarkable achievement during the heyday of British rule in the late Victorian era. Unsurprisingly, his choice of the England team caused controversy and polarizing opinions. Sussex’s impressive first season allowed him to compete for a place in the Ashes series. However, the MCC committee ignored him in the first test in the House of Lords. Lord Harris may influence this decision. He has just finished a colonial mission in India. Ranji continued to perform well and received media support. A different committee is responsible for the 2nd In the test, he ranked 3rd in the batting order.

Nevertheless, he still felt it necessary to seek the blessing of Australia captain Harry Trotter. Ranji will only play if the Australian team has no opposition. Trott happily agreed, but he had no reason not to. Unlike England, Australia already has a precedent. In January 1885, Samuel Morris opened the Australian game against England in his only test appearance. Morris was born in Tasmania to West Indian parents and became the first black cricket player.

Ranji enjoyed a spectacular testing career and not only earned his reputation as a Stoke batsman. He scored 175 points with an average batting rate of nearly 45 against Australia in 1897. He did this while still recovering from a severe tonsillitis (severe tonsillitis). Another cricketer lurks in the gene bank of Nawanagar’s stoic Jam Sahibs. Ranji’s nephew Kunwar Shri Duleepsinhji is a talented hitter whose career was interrupted by illness.

Like his uncle Dulip Playing for Sussex, with beautiful lines in the dazzling stroke play. He made his debut in the 1929 game against South Africa and scored an impressive average of 58 points in 12 tests; the highlight was his 173 points against Australia in 1930. Despite frequent illnesses, the Cambridge Blues have scored more than 15,000 games in top-notch cricket matches. He has scored 333 points in 5 hours against Northampton County and has been the county average for six consecutive seasons. Sadly, Dulip was forced to quit cricket at the age of 27 when he was painfully young. Poor health caused England to lose a good batsman who was just approaching the peak.

Iftikhar Ali Khan Pataudi played cricket for England and India, which is rare. In 1931, he was crowned as Pataudi’s Nawab; in the same year, he scored 1,307 runs at Oxford University, with an average score of 93. He later joined Worcestershire and was selected for the Ashes Tour of Australia in 1932/33.This is notorious Body line The series and Captain Douglas Jardin’s active use of leg theory. In the first test in Sydney, he scored 102 points in England’s 10 wicket victories. However, he is known for his contempt for Jardine and refuses to take a position on the side of his legs.The captain watched sourly “I think His Royal Highness is a conscientious objector” But Patoudi has made his point. He was eliminated after the second test and reappeared in 1934. Although Patoudi is an excellent cricketer, his influence is even more prosaic. During the Bodyline Tour, he became the conscience of the England team, which obscured his more obvious talent.

The postwar years were a low period for county-level black and Asian players, which made their chances of representing England even slimmer. It is nothing new in domestic competitions, and the barriers were broken early. In addition to the Indian trio, Charles Ollivierre became the first black player in county cricket in 1901. The St. Vincent spent six years in Derby County and scored a top score of 229. However, in the 20 years after the end of World War II, progress was slow.

Ron Headley moved to England at the age of 11 and became the second of three generations of cricketers. As the son of the legendary George Headley, good genes are guaranteed. The Jamaican-born opener had a long and distinguished career in Worcestershire. In 1961, he was awarded the county cap and went on to get 21,000 first-class running results. Headley is eligible to play for the England team, and his father discourages him from choosing the West Indies. Headley Snr believes that the West Indian Cricket Committee treats players poorly. Nevertheless, Little Headley’s only test appearance was in the West Indies in 1973.

© David Morton

The next important milestone was in 1966, when Basil D’Oliveira was selected as 2nd Tested on the West Indies. 44 Testing career was overshadowed by the crisis caused by apartheid and his choice. Dolly Born in Cape Town, with Indo-Portuguese ancestry, he became a pawn in a fierce political debate. But at least another taboo has been broken and challenged. The 1970s were turbulent times for cricket and general sports, as the poison of apartheid was infiltrating. In 1974, when the British Lions toured South Africa, rugby was troubled; two years later, the Montreal Olympics were boycotted by 28 African countries. The actions triggered by the All Blacks tour in South Africa proved that sports can be used to make political statements; but apartheid continued for another 20 years.

With the advent of the 1980s, Middlesex had three players ready to pick up clubs. Roland Butcher was born and raised in Barbados and made his first appearance in the county in 1974. He quickly proved that he is an excellent intermediate batsman, outfielder and occasional goalkeeper. Butcher made history in March 1981, when he became the first black player to represent England at the Test level. Ironically, his debut was in Georgetown, Barbados.With the emergence of the headlines, the local media jokingly took full advantage of it “Our boy, their bat”Despite his aggressiveness and ability, Butcher’s testing career was short. In 3 tests, he averaged only 14 points, with a maximum score of 32 points. Inconsistency will cost him a painful price, but he will always be “The first’.

Norman Cowans’ career trajectory is similar to Roland Butcher, but his testing career is longer. Born in Jamaica, he quickly became a bowler with raw power. He was selected to participate in the 1982-83 Ashes Tour, but his lack of experience is obvious. You can see captain Bob Willis pacing Cowens’s stride pattern during the game; but the on-the-job training quickly paid off. flash He was devastated when he made 6 of 77 shots in Game 4day Tested in Melbourne. This performance won 3 consecutive victories for the England team and won the best player of the game award. However, Cowens was cursed by the inconsistency and only got 51 wickets in 19 tests at an average cost of 39.

The last Middlesex player to break the glass ceiling was Wilf Slack. The left-hander from St. Vincent made his debut in the county in 1977, but failed to fully establish his position. It wasn’t until Mike Brearley was recalled to the test team in 1981 that Slack had a chance. He has achieved a lot of results, including 248 unbeaten times against Worcestershire. Although he had toured Sri Lanka with the England B team, the injury of his county colleague Mike Gatting gave him a chance to get a test level. But a career of 3 tests will not allow Slack to maintain his county status at the international level with an average of 13 points. His untimely death at the age of 34 was a devastating blow; however, being buried in his England suit jacket is a measure of the great pride he must feel as an England international.

The mid-80s seemed to be a turning point, as Gladstone Small and Phil DeFreitas made their first test appearances in 1986. They all enjoyed a rich international career, and DeFreitas won the 44 test cap. David Lawrence became the first black British cricket player to test cricket for England in 1988. The speed bowler has great potential, but his career ended with a really terrible knee injury against New Zealand.Devin Malcolm became the ultimate assault cavalry and gave birth to the immortal line ‘You are history’In the game against South Africa, he took over the bodyguard from Fanie de Villiers and made a perfect counterattack. Malcolm defeated the South Africans with a devastating 9 points of 57 points.

In the next few years, players of West Indian and Asian ancestry appeared frequently. Nasser Hussain and Mark Ramprakash created a successful testing career, but recently few black players have entered the testing level. Jofra Archer seems to be an increasingly rare exception. People may construct various explanations, and racism is at the core of the discussion. But there is a possibility that young black players may simply choose football instead of cricket as a more profitable option (although racism is common in both sports). In contrast, players with Asian ancestry can be said to be more likely to prefer cricket if they make a decision. Of course, no assumptions can be made about such a complex subject, but we can conclude that there is still a long way to go.

Brian Payne



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