|Insignia of the CB|
Nothing is by accident. FB has not been overlooked because some daydreaming clerk deep in the bowels of the Palace has dropped his file with the extensive commendations down behind the radiator. There is a reason. He has gained a black mark at some point in his career. Perhaps it is that one incident many years ago when a brainstorm caused him not to walk having snicked behind. Perhaps it was another occasion when he turned up for a match with trousers still encrusted with grass and mud stains from the week before - the authorities obviously did not accept his excuse that the washing machine was on the blink and pointed out that he could have taken himself to the banks of the nearest watercourse and scrubbed the offending breeks in the pure mountain water. It may have been that time that he knowingly took the last empire biscuit on the plate from under the nose of an obviously more deserving junior player. All these would place him firmly on the blacklist, for the highest standards must be applied. Who is FB up against?
Bradman is commonly thought of as the first cricketer to be knighted. He was so honoured in 1949. Surprisingly he remains the only Australian player to be so honoured. But the first man to be knighted for services to cricket was Sir Francis Eden Lacey. Known to everyone nowadays as 'Who?' , Lacey was honoured in 1926 at the end of a long period of service as Secretary of the MCC from 1898 to 1926.
Bradman's honour came at the end of his brilliant Test career. But the only player knighted while still playing Test cricket was in 1936 when HH The Maharajkumar of Vizianagram (1905–1965) (Vizzy) was honoured during India's tour of England. After several years of significant financial support for cricket tours and activities in India and intense political intriguing, Vizzy finally was named the captain for Indian cricket team for the 1936 tour of England. The tour was not a success and India lost heavily. Vizzy was clearly out of his depth and a post-tour enquiry was heavily critical of his captaincy, stating that "he did not understand field placings or bowling changes and never maintained any regular batting order." (A model for FB then). Vizzy never played cricket for India again. He renounced his knighthood in 1947 after India gained independence.
Sir Vijay Ananda Gajapathi Raju,
the Maharajkumar of Vizianagram
|Sir Wes Hall|
48 Tests, 192 wkts @ 26.38
Two cricketers have been elevated to the House of Lords - Learie Constantine and Colin Cowdrey and David Sheppard, later Bishop of Liverpool, received a life peerage in 1997 for services to the church, becoming Baron Sheppard of Liverpool.
And then there are the CBEs, the MBEs and the OBEs.................................... All these honours and still nothing for Fantasy Bob. It's enough to make him a republican.