RAJESH KUMAR - Cricket Statisticians
Frith's Encounters
Frith's Encounters
- David Frith

Published by Von Krumm Publishing
31 Highcroft Villas,
Brighton BN1 5PS

Website: www.vonkrummpublishing.co.uk

Pages: 244
Price Sterling Pounds Fifteen only

Having written 36 books on cricket, David Frith's input and assistance have been acknowledged in over 900 cricket books. His splendid library and collection are thought to be the largest in private hands.

Frith's Encounters covers over 100 years of cricket. The author's contact with players and writers spans a period which takes in Wilfred Rhodes, who told him about bowling to W.G. Grace and Victor Trumper, through to the tragic David Bairstow and Peter Roebuck of the modern era.

Frith considered Sir Alec Bedser (1918-2010) as Lion of a Man. "Alec Bedser sent down the first ball I witnessed in a Test match. He was also the first Test cricketer with whom I had a chat."

Ken Barrington's death on the second night of the Barbados Test in March 1981, according to Frith, "was as stunning and shattering a loss as English cricket has ever sustained. Next morning I saw cricketers weeping."

The idolisation of top cricketers goes way back, remarks Frith. "As schoolboy in Sydney, watching West Indies play. I had the thrill of speaking to Frank Worrell several times. The words are lost in time, and must have weighed very little. My pocket diary doesn't elaborate. But, down by the long-leg pickets, he was gracious in his response to the questions and observations. Later, leaning out from a window of the team bus, he signed a magazine photo for me with a flamboyant "Frankie Worrell"."

Frank Woolley's name, according to David Frith, is seldom mentioned in these obsessively modern days. "He was a towering and immensely popular left-hander for over thirty years until 1938, possessed of a languid style which was fascinating even beyond his matchless set of figures ('Woolley causes batting to appear the easiest pastime in the world," purred Cardus). Mostly for Kent and England, he scored more first-class runs (58,969) than anyone bar Jack Hobbs. Only six stand above him in the centuries list - with Graeme Hick closing in on his 145. (Hick finished with 136 first-class hundreds.) Seen early as a successor to Colin Blythe, Woolley also took 2068 wickets. And no other fieldsman has held 1000 catches. He was a Kentish saint, and I felt profound awe when I met him in 1976."

Von Krumm Publishing and David Frith have done an outstanding job in bringing out Frith's Encounters. All in all, the book is an interesting read. The pictures which decorate many of the 244 pages, enhance the overall effect.