|Test Cricket Tours - West Indies to England 1950|
Tour of England
1950 Captain: John Goddard
Sixth West Indian Test tour
Fourth Test-playing tour of England by West Indies
- October 1950 )
After giving it some thought, John Goddard agreed to
take on the captaincy and was much admired (indeed, awarded the OBE in 1951)
for blending the group of brilliant individual cricketers into such a fine
team. But they were not really “black players guided by a white hand” for
Goddard depended on the advice of his senior players. Goddard himself was an
excellent player and skipper at national level, though not outstanding like
the three Ws, Stollmeyer or Gomez. However, with his family connections he
was bound to be placed as captain.
The stars of the series were the young West Indian
spin bowlers Alf Valentine, who took 33 wickets in four matches, and Sonny
Ramadhin, who took twenty. Ramadhin, formerly a storekeeper with the oil firm
Trinidad Leaseholds Ltd in Pointe-a-Pierre, was spotted in a club match by
Clarence Skinner, an English émigré who got him a place in the Trinidad side for two first-class games before the
tour. In picking Ramadhin and the equally inexperienced Valentine, the
selectors made what turned out to be an inspired gamble.
Customs officers at Southampton deprived the tourists
of a gift from well-wishers in the West Indies:
96 bottles of rum. Goddard said that the rum was regarded as a food in the Caribbean. The officials replied "We think it's
The Empire was talked about as a family with Britain as
the mother country at its head, and the tourists were “greeted like imperial
children by the paternalistic English cricket establishment”. But after
losing the first Test heavily, West Indies won a Test match in England for
the first time. This was the famous match at Lord's when Ramadhin took 11
wickets and Valentine 7, inspiring the calypso composed on the ground by Lord
Beginner "Those two little pals of mine, Ramadhin and
Valentine". As West
Indies went on to win the next two Test matches they gained a
series victory. Everton Weekes later
wrote: ““It was the first time we had defeated the English in England and
we were aware of the implications of the victory in terms of its history and
politics. It was the end of the Empire as far as we were concerned. London Bridge had fallen down.”
West Indies tours
tour of England
Members of the Test tour party (16)
Opening batsmen:Jeffrey Stollmeyer, Roy
Marshall, Allan Rae.
Middle-order batsmen:John Goddard, Ken Trestrail,
Everton Weekes, Clyde Walcott
Walcott, Bob Christiani
All-rounders/medium-pacers: Gerry Gomez, Frank Worrell.
Spinners:Sonny Ramadhin, Alf
Valentine, Cecil Williams.
Fast bowlers:Hines Johnson, Prior Jones,
J D C
H H H
R E Marshall
L R Pierre
A F Rae
E D Weekes
C B Williams
F M M Worrell
Regional representation :
- British Guiana (1)
Ja – Jamaica (3)
T – Trinidad
age of team at time of first Test
match (8 June 1950) :
yrs 7 month.
Test Appearances made before the tour
Gomez 11, Christiani 9, Goodard 9, Stollmeyer 9, Walcott 9, Weekes 9, Jones 6, Rae 5, Worrell 3, Johnson 1, Pierre 1, Marshall 0, Ramadhin 0, Trestrail 0, Valentine 0, Williams 0.
F A C Clairmonte, A Drayton, E J Marsden, Noel ‘Crab’ Nethersole (Jamaica),
and JohnGoddard (co-opted).
Goddard confirmed his availability
for the captaincy on 28 September 1949 and his appointment to the post was
announced a few months later on 11 January 1950. He joined the selection
Unavailable: E D Weekes (at first, until he decided not
to play for league club Bacup); G A Headley (who accepted the professional
appointment for the 1950 season at Bacup on 16 February).
The selectors were finalising
their touring party on 19 February but the names of those chosen were common
knowledge later in the day. R K Nunes,
President of the West Indies Board, began an investigation of the leak.
Tour Party Announced : 22 February 1950.
No vice-captain was appointed though J B Stollmeyer
effectively took the role. The
proposal was that the tour committee would choose the captain's deputy
Not selected : W Ferguson, A G
Ganteaume, B H Pairaudeau, K R Rickards, J Trim.
Such was the disappointment
of the British Guiana Cricket Board when only one Guianese cricketer won a
place in the team that it made a formal request for John Trim to be drafted
into the side, offering to pay his costs.
On 11 March the West indies Board
announced that this proposal was turned down.
Time between selection
and departure from West Indies
(22 February - 29 March)
On 29 March 1950 twelve
members of the team sailed from Port of Spain
via Barbados on the 'Golfito' and arrived at Southampton on 10 April. At Waterloo Station they were greeted by a
song of welcome from Cyril Blake's Calypso Serenaders.
Valentine and Johnson left Kingston on the 'Cavina' on 28 March, picking up
George Headley (who was playing for Bacup in 1950) the next day at Port
Antonio. The 'Cavina' reached Avonmouth on 13 April, two days late owing to
storms in the Atlantic Ocean.
Alan Rae, a law student
already in England,
joined the team which spent ten days as guests of Eastbourne Corporation.
Worrell, already in England,
joined the team on 21 April. West
Indies Board President Mr R K Nunes came on the tour "to keep an eye on
Time spent in England
(10 April - 23 September)
On-tour selection panel
Goddard, Kidney and Gomez.
Early in the tour Roy Marshall had measles and then
bronchitis, but no replacements were necessary
Col LC Stevens XII
† Motspur Park
L N Constantine's XI
M C C
inns 26 r
inns 220 r
ENGLAND First Test
LOST 202 r
inns 8 r
inns 61 r
inns 143 r
ENGLAND Second Test
WON 326 r
inns 249 r
ENGLAND Third Test
WON 10 w
inns 69 r
ENGLAND Fourth Test
WON inns 56 r
inns 105 r
inns 7 r
& Fyffes XI
Lost ? w
† not first-class
Time spent in England
before First Test:
59 days (10 April - 8 June)
Time from end of final Test until departure from England
(16 August - 23 September)
Test appearances on tour
Christiani, Gomez, Goddard, Rae, Ramadhin, Stollmeyer, Valentine,
Walcott, Weekes, Worrell.
2 - Johnson, Jones
0 - Marshall, Pierre, Trestrail, Williams.
• In the Test
series Ramadhin and Valentine took 26 and 33 wickets respectively. On the
whole tour, Ramadhin took 135 wickets
and Valentine 123.
Other first-class matches
ϯ Minor matches
Return to West Indies
Southampton T Bridgetown
The tourists played a final
social match at New Malden on Wed 20 September. Press and public were not
admitted. They scored 199-6 dec after which the Elder’s & Fyffes XI,
captained by Gubby Allen, reached their target.
The West Indians left Southampton on 23 September 1950 on the 'Matina'. On departure Goddard described it as a most
enjoyable tour and thanked the people of England for their support and
encouragement. “In reply we have tried in the only way we know how to
entertain, and we are happy to feel that we have succeeded in some measure.”
Thos not then leaving
included (a) Valentine who returned to Jamaica alone on the 'Ariguani’. He reached Kingston on 7 October.
Two days later there was a reception in his honour but a celebratory match
was rained off. (b) Johnson, Rae,
Stollmeyer and Williams, who remained in England for a while (c) Worrell and Ramadhin, as professional
cricketers, signed up for the Commonwealth tour of India 1950-51 and left
Tilbury on 15 September on the 'Chusan',
via Port said, reaching Bombay on 30 September. This was the 'Chusan's’ maiden voyage.
Marshall, Walcott and Weekes disembarked from the 'Matina' at Bridgetown on 3 October 1950.
Walcott wrote of the welcome when the team returned
"Half the population seemed to
be on the quayside when our ship returned home from England. The harbour was bedecked with flags and the
Governor was there to meet us, along with other dignitaries. Hundreds of people had clambered up the
masts of yachts and schooners. Steel bands played. It was a memorable day, especially for the
Gomez, Goddard, Trestrail, Jones, Pierre and
Christiani reached Port of Spain, Trinidad, on 4 October.
Goddard then flew back to Seawell
landing on 6 October.
Time away from West Indies
(29 March to 4 October)
The cost of sending the team to England $5760
per head with weekly allowances of $24. The costs were met in proportion
one-third by Trinidad and Jamaica
and one-sixth by British Guiana and Barbados.
The tour made a profit of £30 000.
account of the tour
at the Cricket" John Arlott.
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