Third Umpire, I was at that TN Pearce's XI v S Africa match in Scarborough, as a 10-year old while you were in your pram.Well I feel old today (yesterday, by the time you read this), given that it was 55 years ago today (June 27, 1962) that as a 10-year old I attended my first County Championship match: the first day of the Yorkshire vs Hampshire match at the old Bradford Park Avenue. It was a sunny, blustery afternoon and Yorkshire won the toss but did not bat well and were all out by tea for 151 (JV Wilson, 51). However, the Tykes went on win the match by five runs when Hants collapsed from 134-5 to 157 all out on the last day, with Illingworth taking 5-34.
I still own the 1962 "Playfair Cricket Annual" I bought at the bookstall during the tea interval; but regret to this day that I didn't buy a scorecard. It is something I would have cherished. (Although I recently bought a copy of the 1963 Wisden, which of course chronicles all the matches from the 1962 season.)
And who would have known that more than half a century later I'd be moderating Yorkshire cricket's oldest and busiest discussion group via something called the "Internet?"
PS: We'd be interested in hearing about your first cricket match memories!
It wasn't my first game (that was at Park Avenue a couple of years earlier, taken by my grandad). I may have been left to watch some of the Scarborough match on my own, neither of my parents being interested in cricket, and in those days it being thought perfectly suitable to leave a 10-year old to fend for himself for a while, certainly at a reputable place like a cricket match.
Bland was the great pull -- well-known as the best fielder in the world. It may be a 'fake memory' but I do seem to have clear recall of him throwing in square from the boundary and hitting the wickets direct--thrilling everybody, because that was essentially what we had come for!
Bacher, Pollock, Bland and van der Merwe were first choice test players -- true, I don't recognise or remember any of their bowlers.
Parfitt, Knight and Murray were three of my favourite players (remember how small boys always have some favourites, for completely indefinable reasons?) so I was very pleased to see them in the 'England' team. Bill Rumsey, who seemed very round for a fast bowler, delighted me in this match.
I never did know who the hell T.N.Pearce was, or why there should be a semi-England team called after him, or indeed why he chose to be known by his initials. It seemed to be the sort of thing that went with southern, Establishment cricket, like the MCC, and Ted Dexter, whom i was learning to hate long before he stood for Parliament (sorry, no politics).
Obviously I must have communicated to my parents how much I enjoyed this match, because the next time a holiday was booked in Scarborough, it was timed to coincide with the festival. Maybe they were just pleased to be rid of me for a day or so .