English cricket great Denis Compton was renowned for his absent-mindedness. He once arrived at a match without his kitbag, so he used an antique bat from the stadium’s museum; and during a major celebration in honour of his 70th birthday, his mother rang, telling him that he was only 69
Compton’s absent-mindedness was legendary. Colin Cowdrey writes that Compton turned up for the Old Trafford Test of 1955 against South Africa without his kitbag. Undaunted, he sauntered into the museum and, borrowing an antique bat off the display, went on to score 158 and 71. Nevertheless, England lost by three wickets. This absent-mindedness was particularly obvious in his tendency to run out his partners at the crease: Trevor Bailey declared that ‘a call for a run from Compton should be treated as no more than a basis for negotiation.’ In typical form, at his brother Leslie’s benefit match in 1955, he managed to run him out before he had faced a single ball.
Peter Parfitt, the Middlesex and England batsman, was a speaker at a ma… Continue Reading (4 minute read)