Testing Times. The story of the men who made South African Cricket
by Luke Alfred.
An excellent read about SA Cricket from the early 1930’s up and
until democratic SA. Great to hear the names and stories of the
forgotten greats like Jackie McGlew, Hugh Tafield, Dudley Norse,
Trevor Goddard, Eddie Barlow and the Pollock bros, in the days when
they were still called Springboks, and beating the English and the
Auzzies on their home soil! In those days the boys could be
touring away from home for as long as 5 months and today our boys
are grumbling of a 72 day tour! Many of these tours I listened on
short wave radio.
At first, I never played Sunday Cricket because my mother would not
allow it. I was a Sunday School teacher, head server of the church
and a choir boy and all that sort of thing. And the Jeppe old boys
needed to beat Old Eds (Edwardians) in the last game of the season.
And they came along to see my mother to see if she would let me
Well. I was standing in the passage outside the lounge. She gave
them such a dressing down that it wasn’t true.
They weren’t be put off, because the next day, they got hold of my
old boss, AE Cooper and he came around. She threw him out on his
ear.It was a wonder I wasn’t sacked the next day.
Then they made up their minds they would have one more go and they
got hold of my minister, chap called Reverent Tomkin. And poor old
Rev Tomkin arrived at our house and by golly, what my mother said
to him was a sin and a shame. I could hear her saying “and you a
man of god, have the audacity to ask me to let my son play cricket
on a Sunday!”
To cut a long story short, on Thursday night we were walking down
Marshal Street to church for choir practice and my mother, she used
to call me Teddy, “Teddy” she said, “Would you really like to
play?” I said “yes mom” “I’d love to.” Well, she said, “You can
play on one condition. that you teach sunday school first.”
Well, we used to teach Sunday school from 10 o’clock in those days.
At 20 past 10, there was a motor car waiting from the Jeppe Old
boys. We only had one car throughout the entire team. It was
driven by Len Whitik and they were waiting for me. I jumped in the
back of the car. I should have been had up for public indecency
because I got undressed from my ordinary suit into my cricket
clothes and when I got to the ground, Buster Newton was creating
havoc. They padded me up and sent me in and luckily enough, I made
a hundred. But Bob Katrell really set the scoreboard on fire and
we beat them for the first time in many years.
The South Africans assault did not force the Australians to creep
through the test in embarrassment. With savage application they
ground their way to 300 for 4 on the 4th day before Goddard could
not take Barlows pestering no longer. Later in the day he tossed
the ball to the nominal all-rounder, no doubt expecting the worst.
In Barlows first over, Shepherd missed timed a pull off a long hop
and Lindsay took a splendid running catch in the deep. Shortly
afterwards, Benow dragged on, and then McKensie provided Barlow a
return catch after Barlow gifted him a full toss. Barlows 5 overs
cost him 6 runs, and he had taken 3 wickets. The test had tilted
definitively South Africas way. Needing 82 runs to win in the last
day, They accomplished the task quite easily with Barlow not out on
47 and Goddard not out on 34.
It was the first time we realised that it was the way to play
Cricket, says Lindsay. The 10 wicket win in Adelaide was not only
a triumph for South African cricket, it was a triumph for the
Dophas – “I’m inclined to contend that he (Barlow) had more
influence over SA cricket than any single other player I know. He
did more than anyone else to break down the timid defensive tactics
which for so many years, kept SA a second rate cricket country.”
Barry: In my teens, I attended a splendid luncheon at Eddie
Barlows small holding in Stellenbosch, while caring for the
children of the Western Province wicket keeper..
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Barry Blomkamp Nd. Bsc (UL)
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