View Blue Plaques in a larger map

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Jack Hobbs (1882-1963)

After the great year enjoyed by English cricket I thought that Jack Hobbs whose blue plaque is one of the previously mentioned blue plaques within spitting distance of my place of employment (Disclaimer:I haven't actually done the spitting test - I'm not too sure that my line manager would appreciate it) Jack Hobbs' blue plaque is on Hobbs' Pavilion on Parkers Piece in Cambridge which holds several claims to fame, not least the first codified game of Association Football but I digress...

Jack Hobbs is the only England representative in Wisden's top 5 cricketers of the 20th century (He came third after Sir Don Bradman and Sir Garfield Sobers) he was inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame in 2009. A look at his statistics speak for themselves over 61,000 first class runs, 197 first class centuries are truly extraordinary and are unlikely ever to be surpassed as in the modern game fewer games are played. And in many ways he can't be compared to a modern player. His career spanned the years 1905-1934 and the game has changed immeasurably since that time. He was a gentleman player and though there are still moments when you can see those amateur roots it simply isn't the game that he played. Maybe it's that recentism that I spoke of in my last post that means that his is not a name that is a readily remembered one - maybe its also a mark of the fact that cricket though enjoying moments of popularity can't compare in popularity with that of football. I'm not sure if England has a national sport - but if it does I guess it's football - but then again can you get a English pursuit than cricket? But this is one of the five greatest players of the game of the 20th century - he was nicknamed "the Master" - why aren't we doing more to commemorate him? I guess we're British and I guess - because he was British in every sense of the word - hugely modest and self-assuming.

I never got cricket when I was younger. I think that it's something that you grow into - or at least Test cricket is. A very different for the hit it out of the ground, cheerleaders and fireworks of the IPL. But grow to love it I have. Part athleticism and part cerebral its got something for everyone. The last test in Cape Town is a great example - sneaking glimpses at the BBC Sports website as the overs slipped by. Holding your breath as the fragile balance swings by skill or chance. Yeah it helps my the girlfriend was brought up in South Africa where along with some fairly bizarre strands of Christianity, sport or more particularly the "white" sports of Cricket and Rugby Union are treated as religions. So we had some late bedbound mornings over the Christmas break listening to TMS. Looking forward to Joburg....

No comments:

Post a Comment