Friday, December 11, 2020

Graeme Pollock makes a century for the Rest of the World against England in 1970

Here's an unexpected find. In the summer of 1970, following the cancellation of a tour by South Africa, five matches were staged between England and a Rest of the World XI.

At the time these games were given test status, which the depth and quality of the Rest of the World's batting, if not its bowling, justified. But that status was stripped from them a year or two later.

England competed well but lost the series 4-1. This video comes from the final test at the Oval, which the Rest of the World won by successfully chasing 284 in the fourth innings.

In their first innings the South African batsman Graeme Pollock, generally regarded as one of the very best batsmen of this era, made a century and Peter Lever took 7-83 on his first appearance for England.

Besides Lever, the England seam attack was made up of John Snow (who is not shown in the video) and a young Chris Old. The spinners are Ray Illingworth and his Yorkshire team mate Don Wilson.

Wilson played six official tests for England, but it is a surprise to see him preferred to Derek Underwood here unless Underwood was injured.

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