Friday, 7 September 2012

Who Bowled JR?

Cricketers will welcome the return to TV screens of the US soap opera Dallas, the new series of which was shown on Channel 5 on Wednesday night.  According to reports some 3 million viewers tuned in.

Cricketers will recall that the most famous episode of Dallas was at the end of its 3rd series in 1980, which spawned the great cliffhanging mystery 'Who bowled JR?

21 million viewers in the UK tuned in to see the reviled opening bat JR Ewing, a man who never walked when he snicked it, clean bowled by a mystery bowler.  Speculation ran rife throughout the 6 months and more to the start of the next series as to the bowler's identity.  Bookies took bets and issued odds, T shirt were printed and there was endless speculation in the press.  Everyone wanted to know 'Who bowled JR?'

Who bowled JR?
Eventually the next series revealed the bowler to be Kristin Shepard J. R.'s scheming sister-in-law and mistress, who shot him in a fit of anger. J. R. did not press charges, as Kristin claimed she was pregnant with his child as a result of their affair.

John Shepherd
It is here that the mystery deepens for FB, for there was no first class cricketer of the name of Shepard active at the time the incident took place.  The revelation must therefore be regarded as unconvincing.

Fantasy Bob suspects that the true culprit may well have been John Shepherd, who was playing for Kent at this time.  Shepherd only 5 Tests for the W Indies, taking a 5-fer in his very first match against England at Manchester in 1969, but he had a long and productive county career eventually ending up with 1157 wickets and 13359 runs.  An accurate swing bowler he was capable of causing trouble for any batsman and there is no doubt in FB's mind that he would have delivered the in-swinger that did for JR.

After all, JR may not have been as great a batsman as he claimed to be.  He does not feature in Wisden and the whole Ewing clan can only muster one cricketer with any Test level experience - Gavin Ewing played 3 Tests for Zimbabwe in the mid 2000s.  Not much to found an empire on.


  1. FB may remember that an entire series of Dallas was written off as a dream so that JR's saintly brother Bobby could be brought back into the side. The current England squad might wish that this summer's series against South Africa could be similarly dismissed. JR actor Larry Hagman is incidentally a keen cricket follower and once watched an Ashes series while spending a summer filming in England.

    1. Many thanks. FB is sure that his appreciation of cricket will prove to have mellowed JR's character in the new series.