Tuesday, 11 September 2012

1936 all over again

Murray with trophy
Fantasy Bob joins assorted politicians and commentators in congratulating Andy Murray for his momentous victory in the US Open.

As has been reported continually, Murray is the first British winner of a men's grand slam tournament since Fred Perry won the same tournament in 1936.  Like Murray's match that contest went to 5 sets with Perry securing the final set 10-8.  But with no transatlantic communications Brits could go to bed at a sensible time and wait for the news of the outcome in the morning.  There was no reason to tweet every five minutes about Perry's progress.  Those who tried were sorely disappointed in the absence of retweets.

Perry with trophy
Nor did Perry have an aborted T20 contest to compete with for the nation's sporting attention.  England's 9 over joust with S Africa was just the thing for those who complain that even T20 lasts too long.  FB struggles to see the point of T20 at the best of times - exactly what the point of a N9 was escapes him.  The weather gods obviously agreed, but not before they had enjoyed Amla smacking England's bowlers about yet again.

Murray's final lasted just under 5 hours - considerably longer than the usual T20 and not far off the duration of a 50 over match.  Obviously this is far too long and the tennis authorities will have to compress the match - 20 serves each player should be enough.  They could call it T20 (Tennis 20).

In 1936 First Class cricket finished on 8 September with the final overs of the Scarborough and Folkestone Festivals.  In Scarborough Leveson-Gower's XI drew with a MCC Touring Australians XI; there was the same result in Folkestone between the Players and  the Gentlemen.

But the competitive season had finished on 1 September.  Derbyshire were County Champions, the only time in their history that they achieved that honour.   This year they have been promotion contenders in Division 2 of the Championship.

But if Derbyshire were unfamiliar victors, the players topping the averages had a very familiar ring to them.  Walter Hammond topped the batting averages 2107 runs at 56.94) and Harold Larwood the bowling averages (119 wickets at 12.97).

Many congratulations to Andy Murray - and belated congratulations to Derbyshire and Fred Perry.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting to see how the competitive cricket season has extended well into September. End-of-term celebrations used to take place around the start of the month, as FB points out. The final of the Gillette Cup,later the NatWest Trophy, was played on the first Saturday and for a while in the 60s there was also a series involving a Rest of the World XI, selected by Radio Times readers. At least the Scarborough Festival is still going, albeit part of the county championship season these days.