Harry Latchman played in 40 first class matches for Nottinghamshire between 1974 and 1976 having already spent eight fairly successful seasons with Middlesex. He left Lord’s for Trent Bridge when, with the evergreen Fred Titmus bowling as well as ever and both Phil Edmonds and John Emburey coming though the ranks, it was evident that first team opportunities for his leg spin would be increasingly rare.
Born Amritt Harrichand Latchman, in Kingston Jamaica, in 1943, he came to England when he was around eleven years of age and spent a couple of years at Wandsworth Grammar School and then went to the Christopher Wren School at White City.
He honed his trade through the junior ranks at Middlesex and then had to bide his time in the second team until an opportunity arose. “One day in 1965 I was playing at Harrow Town”, he recalled, “when I got a call to say that I would be involved with the first team the following day. I made my debut against Glamorgan at Lord’s and picked up a couple of wickets”.
Over the next nine years Harry played 170 First-Class matches for Middlesex, taking exactly 400 wickets at an average of 27.58 apiece.
He achieved most things in the game yet missed a First-Class century when, on 96 against Worcestershire at Kidderminster, he opted to sweep left-armer Norman Gifford and was triggered off LBW by umpire Sam Cook. His batting was not of a standard that meant he would have another opportunity – his next best score being 78 for Nottinghamshire.
Latchman also missed out on an international call-up, though on this occasion the misjudgement was not his: “In 1969 the West Indies were about to tour England and before the tour I received a letter asking if I would be available and what my fee would be…I wanted to clarify my situation with regards to carrying on playing for Middlesex.
“They seemed to miss the point and just replied wishing me luck in qualifying to play for England – the point had been lost totally and clearly my chance had gone.”
In 1974 Latchman made the move to Trent Bridge and played for two more seasons. During his time as a Notts player he achieved his career-best figures of 7-65 against Essex at Ilford, taking 81 wickets for his second county, at an average of 28.87, with four five-wicket hauls. He also played nine List-A games for Notts with the respectable figures of six wickets at 28.33 and an economy rate of just 3.77.
In later years he coached at Nottingham High School and at Merchant Taylors' School, where he was Head of Cricket for 24 years. He was elected President of the MCC at the 151st Annual General Meeting on 7 April 2015.