David, 'Doughie', Baker, a leg break and googly bowler, was one of a handful of players to make the journey North from Kent to Nottinghamshire. Unfortunately for him, he was not able to match Mark Ealham or Dave Halfyard, who both secured a place in the Notts first team and in the affections of the Trent Bridge faithful. In fairness, very few ‘leggies’ were making any impression on First-Class cricket in England at that time.
Baker was actually re-tracing his footsteps when he moved to Trent Bridge, having been born even further North, in Kingston upon Hull, on 26 July 1935, though he was educated at Bermondsey Central School in South London. He was a prolific wicket-taker for Honor Oak CC and honed his skills at the Gover Cricket School and Kent’s Eltham indoor classes. In 1959 he played for the Club Cricket Conference against MCC, the Army, the Royal Navy and United London Banks.
Following National Service in the RAF, Baker joined the Kent staff in 1960 and impressed in 15 Second Eleven Championship games for Kent in 1960 taking 48 wickets @16.54 including match figures of 10-82 (7-70 in the first innings) against Hampshire Seconds at Sittingbourne.
He played 27 First-Class games for Kent between 1961 and 1963, his best performance coming against Yorkshire at Dover where his first innings 4-25 included the wickets of Phil Sharpe, Ray Illingworth and Vic Wilson. His figures for 1962 and 1963 were more disappointing; he did, though, have innings figures of 5-90 versus Somerset at Taunton in May 1963 and perhaps more significantly match figures of 5-72 versus Notts in a 184-run Kent victory at Trent Bridge in August 1962.
It is possible that those figures were instrumental in Baker being specially registered for Notts for the 1964 season. He was unable to find a regular place in the county side and only turned out in seven matches over two seasons. Baker scored just 16 runs in those matches – and ten of those came in one innings; he also took ten wickets at a respectable (for a leggie) 43.70 and a best return of 4-78 against Warwickshire. He did, though, have some success outside the first team and played 17 Minor Counties games and 22 Second XI matches in that time.
His final First-Class game for Notts in June 1965 came as the home side lost to Yorkshire by 207 runs at Trent Bridge. A rabbit with the bat, his top score of 10 for Notts which was made on his debut at Ilkeston; in all First-Class cricket his best was 15 for Kent versus Gloucestershire at Canterbury in 1961.
Afterwards he had a long career in local club cricket, including a spell with Roth’s Amateurs, and was the licensee of The Sherwin Arms at Bramcote for several years. A member of Beeston Fields Golf Club for many years, 'Doughie' Baker died aged 86 years after a long illness on 26 December 2021.
Nottinghamshire First-Class Number: 439