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Wednesday, 24 July 2013
BLACK SOCIAL HISTORY : AFRO- WEST INDIAN RIGHT HAND FAST BOWLER - EMMANUEL ALFRED "MANNY" MARTINDALE - A WEST INDIAN INTERNATIONAL TEST CRICKETER : GOES INTO THE " HALL OF BLACK GENIUS "
BLACK SOCIAL HISTORY Emmanuel Alfred "Manny" Martindale 25 November 1909 – 17 March 1972 was a West Indian cricketer who played in ten Tests from 1933 to 1939. He was a right-arm fast bowler with a long run up; although not tall for a bowler of his type he bowled at a fast pace. With Learie Constantine, Martindale was one of the earliest in the long succession of Test-playing West Indian fast bowlers. During the time he played, the West Indies bowling attack depended largely on his success. Critics believe that his record and performances stand comparison with bowlers of greater reputation and longer careers.
Chosen for the West indies tour of England in 1933 despite having played little cricket and being an unknown quantity, he was a great success. He took over 100 first-class wickets and took over half of the West Indies' wickets in the three Tests played. He was the leading bowler when West Indies won their first Test series, against England in 1935–36, and had great success against the leading English batsmen. In the final game of the series, one of his deliveries broke the jaw of Bob Wyatt, the England captain. When he returned to tour England a second time in 1939, Martindale was less successful, but he had by then established himself in League Cricket in England. He moved there to play initially for Burnley Cricket Club, but remained in England for the next 28 years as a professional cricketer. Upon returning to live in Barbados in 1964, Martindale took up coaching. He died in 1972.
In England, he was spotted very quickly as a potential success: The Times, reporting on the team's first practice the day after their arrival, wrote: "Within the limitations of net-practice (they) showed that in E. Martindale they have a bowler of pace worthy to succeed Constantine and Francis."
When the proper cricket started, Martindale was immediately successful. In his second first-class match of the tour (and the third first-class game) against Essex he took eight first-innings wickets for just 32 runs and followed that with four for 73 in the second innings to finish with match figures of 12 for 105: these would remain the best innings and match figures of his career. With an eye on the Bodyline controversy which had featured in England's tour of Australia the previous winter, The Times reported of Martindale: "It is very pleasant indeed to see a fast bowler bowling in the old tradition, packing his slips and attacking the off-stump rather than the leg-side ... The Essex batsmen not only got out to him but were thoroughly beaten during the brief time they were in."
Constantine was contracted to play Lancashire League cricket for Nelson and was released for only five matches across the summer: in the first of these, he and Martindale took nine of the 10 MCC first-innings wickets. Martindale returned five for 70, but both bowlers were criticised in the press for bowling short at the MCC batsmen. In the following match, against Hampshire, Martindale took six second-innings wickets for 61, and in the first-class averages published at the last weekend of May 1933, he had taken 34 first-class wickets at an average of 14.20 runs per wicket, more than twice as many wickets as any of his team-mates.
Martindale was less effective in June when he also missed, or bowled less in, a couple of matches because of a "strain". He was fit, however, to open the bowling for the West Indies in the first Test at Lord's at the end of the month alongside Francis, recalled because Nelson CC would not release Constantine for the match; Martindale took four wickets for 85 runs, but England won easily by an innings. July brought a second eight-wicket innings for Martindale: the match against Nottinghamshire was cut short by rain, but Martindale's eight wickets for 66 runs included five batsmen clean bowled.
During the previous winter, England had played Australia in the controversial Bodyline series in which the English bowlers were accused of bowling the ball roughly on the line of leg stump. The deliveries were often short-pitched with four or five fielders close by on the leg side waiting to catch deflections off the bat. The tactics were difficult for batsmen to counter and were designed to be intimidatory. By the 1933 season, it had become a sensitive subject. In the game against Yorkshire, in which Martindale did not play, the West Indies captain Jackie Grant was frustrated to discover that the home team had prepared a soft pitch which reduced the effectiveness of fast bowling and he ordered Constantine to bowl Bodyline. The tactics were not effective in that instance, but Grant and Constantine discussed the matter further and decided to use Bodyline during the second Test. West Indies scored 375 and when England replied, Martindale and Constantine bowled Bodyline. The pair bowled up to four short deliveries each over so that the ball rose to head height; occasionally they bowled around the wicket. Many of the English batsmen were discomfited, and a short ball from Martindale struck Wally Hammond on the chin, forcing him to retire hurt. Martindale was the faster bowler but Constantine was also capable of bursts of great pace. Even so, the England captain Douglas Jardine, the man responsible for the Bodyline tactics used in Australia, batted for five hours to score his only Test century. Many critics praised Jardine's batting and bravery in the game. The ball carried through slowly on another soft pitch, which reduced the effectiveness of the Bodyline tactics, but public disapproval expressed during and after the match was instrumental in turning English attitudes against Bodyline. Not all contemporary reports disapproved of the tactics; The Times report said there had been "plenty of fun" in the play. The bowling brought Martindale success, with a return of five wickets for 73, against just one wicket for Constantine. In West Indies second innings, England also bowled Bodyline, but the match was drawn.
The third and final Test of the summer was anti-climax for the West Indies team, with the match at The Oval lost by an innings after England had the better batting conditions on the Saturday and debutant Charles Marriott took 11 wickets in his only Test. Martindale, however, continued to thrive with five wickets for 93 runs in England's innings, although The Times report suggested that he bowled at times too short. The five wickets meant Martindale finished the series with 14 wickets at an average of 17.92; his bowling colleagues in the series took only 12 wickets and those were at a cost of 58.33 each. This was the best performance by a West Indian bowler in a Test series up until that point.
Immediately after this final Test, the West Indian team went to Blackpool to play a first-class match against a team raised by Sir Lindsay Parkinson; Martindale took eight wickets in an innings for the third time in the season, this time for 39 runs. A further five-wicket haul in the last match of the season against H. D. G. Leveson-Gower's XI took him past 100 wickets for the season.Martindale finished the 1933 season with 103 first-class wickets at an average of 20.98; Ellis Achong took 71 at an average of 36.14 and no other bowler on the tour took more than 50 wickets.He emulated the feat of Constantine in taking 100 wickets in 1928, but unlike Constantine, Martindale had few other effective bowlers to support him. In its review of the West Indian tour in its 1934 edition, Wisden singled out Martindale and batsman George Headley as "indispensable" and the "giants" of the team. Like Headley with the bat, Martindale was under pressure to succeed as the success of the team depended on his performances. Headley was picked as one of its Cricketers of the Year, but Martindale was not