General News | 2nd September 2008

From Trent Bridge To Somerset

Cricket Historian Peter Wynne-Thomas looks back at the career of Vince Lindo who appeared briefly for both Nottinghamshire and Somerset.

One of the most talented cricketers to leave Trent Bridge (after just one first-class match) and play for Somerset was Vince Lindo, though he was destined to make only a single appearance for the Western County.

Born in Jamaica in 1936, his fast right arm bowling won such respect in local cricket that he was urged to try his luck in England. Here he obtained a job in the shunting sheds at London St Pancras Station and whilst there happened across an advert placed by Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club asking for any fast bowlers to come to Nottingham for a trial.

He was picked to play for Notts 2nds  against Pakistan Eaglets in August 1959. The Eaglets were the 1950s equivalent of Pakistan ‘A’. Lindo returned the astonishing figures of 7-50 and 6-115. A dream debut for a total unknown.

Nottinghamshire immediately signed him for 1960 and he made his first-class debut v Cambridge University in April. He failed to take a wicket, but did score 18 and 24 in a low scoring match – the best by Notts was Carlton Forbes 56 not out. Although Lindo took 29 wickets in the Second Eleven Competition at a reasonable cost – only Forbes took more (36), his contract was not renewed for 1961. At the same time he was the pro for Ransome & Marles in the Bassetlaw League and won the League’s First Division Bowling Award.

He moved to Gainsborough Britannia, who happened to play a touring side from Somerset. Lindo caught the eye of one of the Somerset players and in 1963 was invited to play for Somerset v Pakistan Eaglets (by now granted first-class status) at Taunton. Once again Lindo astonished County Club officials. In the Eaglets only innings he took 8-88. This still stands as the most outstanding bowling on debut for Somerset.

It should be mentioned that in the course of this bowling Lindo dismissed the three famous Test cricketing brothers Mohammad – Mushtaq, Sadiq and Wazir. He declined the offer of a place on the Somerset staff. Moving to Staffordshire, he became the pro for Sneyd and later Norton and played Minor County cricket for Staffordshire. He took 50 wickets for the County at 19 runs each. His greatest fame was with Blythe in the North Staffs League, where he was the dominant force for 13 seasons, then to Hanford. Lindo played into his 60s and then took to umpiring. There can have been few more cheerful individuals in English cricket.

Maurice Hill was a very elegant batsman, particularly strong on the off-side. Born in Scunthorpe, he was engaged by Notts in 1953 and made a single first-class appearance for the county that season as a 17 year old.

In 1954 and 1955, Hill was away doing his National Service, returning to Trent Bridge for the 1956 season. He gained a regular place as a middle order batsman in the 1957 Notts Championship side and reached 1,000 runs athough he failed to score a century.

Despite being a permanent fixture in the county side he failed to score the runs which his natural talent suggested and his contract was terminated at the close of 1965. He immediately joined Derbyshire, but in two seasons his highest innings was only 61 and he was then released.

He played local cricket for Roths Amateurs, captaining that side, but in 1970 he signed for Somerset. Again, he failed to score many runs and dropped out of the county after two seasons at Taunton. He took a position as professional at Marske in North Yorkshire and then became coach at All Hallows School in Devon.

The Hon. Mervyn Herbert was in the Eton XI of 1901 and made his Notts first-class debut that same season. He played a couple of games for the county in 1902, whilst he was up at Oxford, but he failed to gain a place in the Eleven there. In 1903 he made his debut for Somerset, playing for that county as a batsman in occasional matches up to 1924. He died at the British Embassy in Rome in May 1929 aged 47.

Alfred J.Brooks was 26 when he had a trial with Notts Colts in 1876. The following year he appeared for Notts Colts v Yorkshire Colts and returned the best bowling figures. As a result he was tried in two first-class County matches in the same season, both v Surrey. He was engaged in Somerset in 1880 and played in four matches for the County, but the games are not ranked as first-class. He had previously appeared for Dorset in 1873 and 1874. He was an ironmonger in Sutton in Ashfield, where he died in 1911. Thomas Gregg of Wilford, played in the Notts Colts of 1879 and 1880, but failed to gain a place in the County side. He did however play in first-class matches for Somerset in 1883 and for Gloucestershire in 1884 to 1889. He died in 1938.

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