Sunday, 27 November 2011

Hall of Fame

It was with some disappointment that Fantasy Bob scanned the newspapers yesterday to discover that he had been overlooked as an inaugural inductee to CricketScotland's new venture - the Scottish Cricket Hall of Fame - not that there is a hall as such, not even a cupboard in these virtual days. 

Fame is also a relative, sometimes transitory, concept, and while FB cannot dispute that those who are cited have achieved much and contributed greatly to the fortunes of cricket in Scotland, he had hoped that his commitment to eating tea might have commended itself to the judges.  But it was not to be.  Hard decisions had to be made. 

The first 10 inductees include several who have been mentioned in FB's posts, although he is uncertain the extent to which that definition of fame may have influenced the judges.  But FB himself is not among them -  he is confident that his turn will come.  There are other interesting omissions.  It is not often that FB and Douglas Jardine, the bodyline skipper, can be considered in the same breath, but they both must wait their turn for induction.  Jardine had Scottish roots and undoubtedly achieved at the highest level but the fact that he did not play in or for Scotland will disqualify him for induction.  (See FB's previous post on Scottish players playing outside Scotland

There is also a Scottish Sports Hall of Fame curated by sportscotland and the National Museum of Scotland.  FB recalls meeting fellow Aberdonian Denis Law at the opening of the installation on St Andrew's Day 2002.   He is uncertain whether the Lawman remembers meeting FB.

Law - may not remember FB
There are 3 cricketers in the Scottish Sports Hall of Fame.  Mike Denness (who was one of the original inductees along with Denis Law), Leslie Balfour Melville (also inducted in 2002) who captained Scotland to victory over Australia in 1882 and Kenneth Grant MacLeod who was inducted in 2010.

Denness is rightly in CricketScotland's Hall of Fame, as is Melville, but MacLeod does not feature - disregarded like FB and Jardine.  Perhaps like Jardine this is because his senior cricket was played outside Scotland.

K G Macleod
But MacLeod (1888-1967) was some sportsperson - perhaps the most complete sportsman that Scotland has ever produced.  A Scottish CB Fry (without the offer of King of Albania).  He was capped for Scotland at rugby at the age of 17, and having won 10 caps retired from the game at the age of 21.  He then captained Lancashire County Cricket Club between 1908 and 1913, in his first class career he scored 3458 runs at 23.84 with 6 centuries.  He was also a pacey bowler and took 103 first class wickets at 26.67.

As if that wasn't enough, MacLeod played soccer for Manchester City.  As a student he was Scottish long-jump champion and he represented Cambridge University at the long jump and in sprint events.  He emigrated to South Africa and played golf to the highest level winning the Amateur Golf Championship of Natal.

There will be 2 inductees to the CricketScotland Hall of Fame each year from 2012, MacLeod, Jardine and FB may well be fighting it out next year.  Get your votes in early (and often).

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