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Somerset's West Indians: Part One

With England due to begin the second Test against the West Indies later today (Thursday), we thought we would take a look back through the archives over the next few days to highlight some of the West Indian cricketers who have represented Somerset.

Some you will know, others will not be so familiar.

LOUIS WHARTON

Louis Wharton was born at Port of Spain, Trinidad in January 1896. A right-handed middle order batsman, Wharton represented Oxford University in 1920 before playing in 11 First Class matches for Somerset between 1921 and 1922. He scored 441 runs for the County with a high score of 86, which came in Somerset’s first innings against Warwickshire at Edgbaston in a three day match in 1921. In the second innings he made 55 not out as Somerset won by seven wickets. His final appearance for Somerset came against Derbyshire in June 1922.

JOHN CAMERON

Born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1914, John Cameron played for Taunton School, Somerset Juniors and Old Tauntonians between 1928 and 1931. The following year he made headlines during a match between Lord’s Schools and the Rest of England at Lord’s. He took 10 for 49 in the Lord’s School’s first innings and then also claimed two for 23 in the second innings. Shortly after that he made his First Class debut for Somerset against Warwickshire at Taunton, claiming two wickets as Somerset won by an innings and 63 runs.

He went on to play a total of 48 matches for Somerset scoring 1373 runs with a high score of 113. He also took 45 wickets for the County. In 1939 he played two Test matches for the West Indies during their tour of England.

PETER WIGHT

Born in British Guiana in 1930, Peter Wight was a stylish top order right handed batsman and an occasional off spinner, who scored 16,965 runs for Somerset during his 13 years with the Club.

He played cricket for British Guiana over the winter of 1950-51, and in 1953 he travelled to Burnley to play in the Lancashire League. That year he was invited to Taunton to play in a three-day game against the Australian touring side. In the first innings Peter was dismissed for a duck but in the second innings he made an unbeaten 109. On the strength of this performance he was offered a contract by Somerset.

In 1954 he scored 1343 First Class runs and for the next 10 seasons he topped 1000 runs. In two of these years he went on to exceed 2000. In 1960 he was the leading run scorer in the country with 2375 at an average of 41.66, which included seven centuries. His occasional off spinners also netted him 62 First Class wickets for Somerset.

After he retired from playing, Peter was appointed to the First Class umpires list.

He went on to run a highly successful cricket school at Bath, where a young Marcus Trescothick was coached during  his formative years.

VINCENT LINDO

Vincent Lindo was born in Bigwoods, Jamaica in 1936. The right-arm fast bowler played one First Class match for Nottinghamshire in 1960. He reappeared in 1963, playing in a three-day match for Somerset against the Pakistan Eaglets at Taunton. Although the match was drawn, he recorded figures of eight for 88. Despite these impressive figures, this was to be his final First Class match.

HALLAM MOSELEY

Hallam Moseley was born in Barbados in May 1948 and initially had a trial with Somerset in 1968. The following year Somerset were looking for a replacement for Ken Palmer and Fred Rumsey, so when the 21-year-old Moseley toured England with a Barbados XI, he was eventually signed.

After completing a qualifying period, during which he played for Lansdown Cricket Club, he made his Somerset debut in 1971. He took 34 Championship wickets that year at an average of 24.94. He also took 19 One-Day wickets at 20.26.

A trademark smile, underarm returns from the boundary and occasional big hitting exploits made him a great favourite with the Somerset fans.

Between 1971 and 82 he played played in 205 First Class games for Somerset, claiming 547 wickets at an average of 24.10, with a best of six for 34 against Derbyshire at Bath in 1975. In List A cricket his record is second to none and in 210 matches he took 309 wickets, which is more than any player in the Club’s history.

VIV RICHARDS

Viv Richards is widely acknowledged as being one of the greatest players that the sport has ever seen.

Born in Antigua in 1952, he was spotted by Somerset Committee Member, Len Creed who was in Antigua in 1973. He relocated to England later that year and made his debut for the Lansdown Second XI at Weston-super-Mare in April. It wasn’t long before he was promoted to the Lansdown First XI where the runs flowed.

He made his debut for Somerset in a Benson & Hedges Cup match against Glamorgan at Swansea and walked away with the Man of the Match award after his 81 not out helped Somerset to a six wicket victory.

That year he scored over 1000 runs in the Championship and by the end of the season he had been called up by the West Indies for their tour of India and Pakistan.

He was a vital part of the Somerset side that dominated one-day cricket in the late 70s and early 80s and he played a total of 191 First Class matches for the County, scoring 14698 runs at an average of 49.82. His highest score for the County was 322 which came against Warwickshire in 1985. What is even more remarkable is that all those runs came on one day!

A more than useful bowler as well, Viv claimed 96 First Class wickets for the County with a best of four for 36.

JOEL GARNER

The Barbadian was 25 years old by the time he arrived to play for Somerset via Littleborough CC in the Lancashire League. He made a big impact on his debut against Australia at Bath in 1977 when he took a wicket in his first over to help his newly adopted county to a historic victory. Thus began an incredibly successful 10-year association with the County.

In 1979 he was almost unplayable as Somerset lifted the Gillette Cup and John Player League trophies within days of each other. He was also outstanding in First Class Cricket that year, claiming 55 wickets at an average of just 13.83.

In 1981 he again topped the bowling averages with 88 wickets at 15.23.

In his 94 First Class matches for Somerset he took 338 wickets at an average 18.10 with a best of eight for 31. He claimed no fewer than 22 First Class five-wicket hauls and claimed ten wickets on five occasions.

RICHIE RICHARDSON

The former West Indies captain had a fine international career which spanned over a decade. He also played First Class cricket for Yorkshire, but what many people don’t know is that he has a Somerset connection.

In the early 1980s a young Richie played three matches for the Somerset Second XI.

In 1982 the then 20-year-old made his debut against Worcestershire Second XI at the Racecourse Ground, Hereford. Batting at five in a Somerset side that also included Trevor Gard and Peter Robinson, he made an impressive 66 in the Somerset Second XI total of 211. However, his performances in the other two matches were less impressive and that was the last we saw of him in Somerset colours.

For part two click here

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