General News | 29th April 2008

Foot In Both Camps

As Notts prepare to face Yorkshire in Division One of the LV County Championship from Wednesday, Cricket Historian Peter Wynne-Thomas trawls the archives to look at some of the players that have moved to Notts after representing Yorkshire.

With both counties rigorously enforcing their strict code that only native born, or those with very strong connections to the county should represent the side on the cricket field, it was not until 1951 that a player, who had appeared in County Cricket for Yorkshire first moved to play south of the border for Nottinghamshire.

That cricketer was Ken Smales (pictured), a very talented all-rounder, as can be shown by the notice which was published when he first appeared for Yorkshire in 1948: ‘One of Yorkshire’s chief hopes is Smales. Young Smales (born Horsforth September 1927) is surely the County’s biggest certainty for a cap in the not too distant future. This season has blooded him as a bowler and batsman. He looks a cricketer to the last inch and his appearance with Yorkshire First Team has been well deserved.’

Smales had performed usefully for Yorkshire Seconds in 1947 and made his first-class debut in the first game of 1948. That summer he played in ten senior matches but competition was fierce and in 1949 he was confined to the Seconds.

In 1950 he played three first-class games, mainly appearing for Bradford in the Bradford League. He signed for Notts in 1951 and was capped in 1955.

His most famous feat for his adopted county came at Stroud in 1956 when he took all ten Gloucestershire wickets (for 66). Although mainly an off break bowler, he was sometimes employed by Notts to open the attack, his four pace run-up was the subject of wry comments at times.

In 1958 he took 62 wickets and came second to Arthur Jepson in the Notts bowling table, but he chose to quit county cricket, becoming the Secretary to Nottingham Forest FC.

Smales became very interested in the history of the football club and published a notable book on the subject.

The second Yorkshire cricketer to emigrate to Notts was Barry Stead. A left arm fast bowler and six-hitting batsman, Stead played twice for Yorkshire in 1959.

In the period 1960 to June 1962 Stead did his National Service. In 1962 he supposedly turned out for Essex in a first-class match, but never appeared on the ground and made his Notts debut the same year. It was not until 1966 that he secured a permanent place in the Notts First Eleven. His outstanding summer was that of 1972 when he took 98 first-class wickets and was chosen by the Professional Cricketers as the Player of The Year.

Notts awarded him a benefit in 1976. He left Trent Bridge at the close of 1977 to become landlord of the Valley Inn, Drighlington.

In his final years he battled against cancer and died at his home in April 1980 aged 40 – he had hoped to become a first-class umpire.

Brian Bolus joined Nottinghamshire from Yorkshire in 1963 – he had played for his native county from 1956. He had an outstanding first season at Trent Bridge, so much so that he made his Test debut as well as being picked for the England side to tour India in 1963-64.  

He hit 2,190 runs, averaging 41.32 that first summer, as well as scoring his only double century. After his visit to India Bolus appeared to change his batting style, becoming much more defensive. He continued to open the innings with success for Nottinghamshire and in 1972 took over the captaincy of the county from Garry Sobers.

In 1973 he moved to Derbyshire, again as captain, but he retired from first-class cricket at the close of the 1975 season. In February 1993 he was elected to the Notts CCC Committee and acted as President of the County Club in 2004-05.

Bolus was elected to the TCCB Cricket Committee in 1993 and was appointed a Test Selector in 1994. In 1997 he was appointed to ECB Management Committee becoming Chairman in 1998. In 2002 he retired as Chairman of the Board. He is currently a Vice-President of the County Club.
 
Left-arm medium pace bowler Mike Bore joined Nottinghamshire in 1979, having played for Yorkshire over the previous ten years. He appeared fairly regularly for Notts both in first-class and one-day games until 1983, but in 985 was appointed captain of the Second Eleven. In 1989 he joined Lincolnshire and won the bowling prize for the county that year.  He was appointed coach at Yorkshire’s Indoor School in 1990.

Keith Gillhouley was another left-arm bowler who left Yorkshire for Nottinghamshire. In 1961, Gillhouley had burst on the county scene when the principal Yorkshire left-arm spinner, Don Wilson, was injured. Gillhouley grabbed his chances and ended the season with 77 wickets. In 1962 however, Wilson returned to the County Side and Gillhouley failed to get a single first-class game.

Four counties approached him with offers, but he decided to move to Trent Bridge for the 1963 season. He played 83 matches for Notts between 1963 and 1966.

Ashley Metcalfe (pictured right), a talented opening batsman, made his Yorkshire debut at the age of 19 in 1983 and was considered an England cricketer in the making, but in the early 1990s he found himself unable to command a regular place in the Yorkshire side and in 1996 moved to Trent Bridge.  He seemed to rediscover himself in that first summer, but in 1997 his form disappeared and his contract was not renewed. In seven Championship matches he scored only one fifty. He is the son in law of the old England Test captain and then selector, Raymond Illingworth.

Mark Broadhurst was only 16 when he made his debut for Yorkshire in 1991. A fast bowler from Barnsley, he appeared for England Under 19s, but was released by Yorkshire at the close of 1994. He joined Notts in 1995, but a serious leg injury meant that he was unable to play all season. He made one first-class appearance for Notts in 1996 but was released at the season’s close.

Alec Wharf joined the Notts playing staff in the middle of the 1997 season. Since he had already played for his native Yorkshire earlier in the summer, his fast bowling was confined to Notts 2nd that year. He created something of a sensation by hitting a century on his Notts 2nd XI debut against Northants at Milton Keynes.

After a fairly modest season with Notts in 1998, he performed well in 1999, both with bat and ball, but failed to agree terms for 2000 and moved to Glamorgan.

Richard Stemp a slow left arm bowler, began his county career in 1990 with Worcestershire. In 1993 he joined Yorkshire and obtained a regular place in both the Yorkshire side and with England ‘A’.

He was capped by Yorkshire in 1996. He moved to Trent Bridge for the 1999 season, but after three summers he was released by Notts. He played 29 first-class games for the county and took 65 wickets.
 
Stephen Fleming played one season with Yorkshire in 2003, when he replaced Matthew Elliott, but Fleming never settled at Headingley and in seven Championship games, failed in make a century.

2008 sees two former Yorkshire players on the Trent Bridge staff. Gareth Clough made his debut for Yorks 2nd XI in 1997 and played in one first-class match for the county in 1998. He first played for Notts 2nd in 2000 and has been a member of the Trent Bridge Playing staff since 2001.

Ryan Sidebottom, son of the Yorkshire and England fast bowler Arnie Sidebottom, joined Notts in 2004 after playing for Yorkshire since 1997. His move to Trent Bridge has turned his career around and he is considered as one of England’s principal bowlers, after a very successful winter with the national squad.

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