Friday, 28 May 2010

Jim Laker

Alongside the opening of the park and bandstand last Saturday, there was a cricket match going on - Saltaire's First X1 team v Bankfoot, which Saltaire won. Saltaire Cricket Club have played on the Roberts Park ground since 1869 (even before the Park was officially opened by Sir Titus Salt.) The Club has a very proud history and has produced some very good players. Possibly the most famous name to be linked to the club was Jim Laker (1922-1986) who famously took 19 Australian wickets for 90 in a test match at Old Trafford in 1956 - a feat that remains unmatched to this day. (The inset in my photo shows a plaque in his memory affixed to the scorebox - click on the pic to read it.)

Another great cricketer, Sir Learie Constantine, wrote: “Some of the loveliest grounds I have played on are Perth in Western Australia, Todmorden (Lancashire League) and Saltaire”. It is indeed a most attractive ground, set alongside the river Aire and with views of Saltaire in the background (see my post of July 5 for a photo taken in that direction). Since the restoration of the park and the Half Moon Café, which is run by the cricket club, it has become an even nicer place to relax with a drink to watch a match. I intend to do a bit of that, if this summer continues to be a good one.

6 comments:

  1. Ah, cricket.. So british, and so mysterious! I've seen many times people playing cricket in movies or series, but never could understand the rules!I like to see it, but ...Ü

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  2. Hence 'Jim Laker Place' in Moorhead!

    Enjoy relaxing with the cricket (and the drink). There is something quintessentially English about the sound of leather on willow :)

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  3. It has a beautiful outlook. So green. It is like out of a picture book. Of course I have heard of Jim Laker.

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  4. Don't know a lot about cricket other than what I've seen in movies and TV Shows - usually British comedies - but these are beautiful grounds and very informative and interesting post.

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  5. I once had my family rolling about in helpless laughter as I read aloud to them the description of the game from the Encyclopaedia Britannica. The terminology was pretty much incomprehensible to all of us. But I'd love to sit in a pavilion whilst the game was going on and enjoy some cucumber sandwiches.

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  6. Vicki - you've sparked me into an idea there... see a forthcoming post for more. I still giggle myself at some of the terminology. Square leg and silly mid-off are two of the fielding positions that sound really unlikely!

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