Tuesday, 7 April 2009

And you thought your captain was bad!

As your skipper is trying to pull a team together for the first games of the season (and trying to make sense out of the rambling replies he's had to his simple request "do you want a game of cricket at the weekend"), spare a thought for Major Nigel Harvie Bennett.

Good old Major Nigel Harvie Bennett was captain of Surrey in 1946 ... by mistake.

The Times had a small piece about him on Monday (here). Major Nigel turned up at Lords one Spring morning in 1946, to renew his membership. It was all a bit chaotic there at the time and the ground had been used by the military during the war. Surrey had decided that a certain Major LEO Bennett should take over the captaincy that season. It just so happened that when Major NIGEL Bennett turned up, the clerk took his papers in to the Secretary, who happened to have the club Chairman in the room with him, and they gladly took the opportunity to offer Bennet the captaincy there and then: Major Nigel Bennett accepted.

His lack of knowledge ruffled a few feathers. In his first game, he repeatedly rolled the new ball back to his opening bowler. Apparently, on another occasion he asked Jim Laker to open the bowling, saying "But you bowl quick too, don't you?"

There's no mention of how Major Leo Bennett coped during that season. But I do have a great deal of sympathy for Major Nigel. Good on him for accepting the challenge.

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