Jim Allen (cricketer)

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Jim Allen
Personal information
Full name Charles Henry Allen
Born (1951-08-15) 15 August 1951 (age 63)
Harris Village, Montserrat
Batting style Right-hand batsman
Bowling style Right-hand Medium
Role Batsman, occasional wicketkeeper
Domestic team information
Years Team
1971/72–1982/3 Leeward Islands
First-class debut 15 January 1972
Leeward Islands v Windward Islands
Last First-class 3 March 1983
Leeward Islands v Windward Islands
List A debut 16 January 1974
Leeward and Windward Islands v MCC
Last List A 26 January 1983 Leeward Islands v Guyana
Career statistics
Competition FC List A
Matches 55 15
Runs scored 3067 366
Batting average 34.07 30.50
100s/50s 5/19 1/1
Top score 161 102*
Balls bowled 157 6
Wickets 3 1
Bowling average 30.00 6.00
5 wickets in innings
10 wickets in match n/a
Best bowling 1–14 1–6
Catches/stumpings 42/1 6/–
Source: CricketArchive, 26 November 2007

Charles Henry "Jim" Allen (born 15 August 1951) is a former Montserratian first-class cricketer who represented the World Series Cricket West Indians and is considered the greatest ever Montserrat sportsperson.[1]

Born in Harris Village, Montserrat, Allen starred in Montserrat cricket from a young age and made his debut for the Montserrat national team in 1969, and his first-class debut on 15 January 1972 for Leeward Islands against Windward Islands at Roseau, scoring one and 82. An attacking right-hand batsman with an unorthodox, open–chest, wide-legs batting stance, Allen was soon considered a more exciting batsman than his Leeward Islands team mate Vivian Richards.[2]

Allen became the first professional Monserratian sportsperson when he began playing in England during the northern summer, turning out for teams in the Lancashire and Cheshire Leagues.[3] Allen's best season was 1976/77, where he scored 559 first-class runs at 50.81, with a highest score of 150. This form led to a lucrative offer to join the World Series Cricket competition when it commenced in Australia in late 1977. The only member of the West Indian squad not to play Test cricket, Allen appeared in one SuperTest, against the Australians, scoring eight and 12.

Following the end of World Series Cricket, Allen returned to the West Indies for the 1978/79 season where he scored his highest first-class score of 161 against Jamaica. Allen sustained an eye injury during a practice session in May of 1981 and underwent surgery at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. He was forced to wear contact lenses and played three more years before retiring. Upon his retirement, Allen had scored 3,067 first-class runs at 34.07. He also took three wickets at 30.00 with his right arm medium pace and took 42 catches and a stumping.

Since his retirement, an annual lecture series, held on his birthday, has been established in Montserrat to honour Allen.[3] Additionally, a number of Montserratian artists have written poems about Allen and there are calls to name a local street or erect a statue of Allen in front of the government headquarters in the de facto Montserrat capital Brades.[4] Allen's importance to Montserrat was encapsulated by local writer Professor Howard Fergus, who said "He (Allen) had made all Montserratians see, feel and know that they, in spite of all, could scale any height of achievement accomplished by those overbrimming with opportunity."[1]

Allen's brother George Allen and son Davon Williams have both also played first-class cricket for Leeward Islands.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Fergus, H. (1996) Gallery Montserrat: Some Prominent People In Our History, Canoe Press, Montserrat. ISBN 976-8125-25-X.
  2. ^ Hector, L. (2001) "Fan the Flame", 24 August 2001. Accessed 9 November 2007.
  3. ^ a b Durand, H. (2001) "50th Birthday Event Celebrates Jim Allen", Montserrat Reporter. Accessed 9 November 2007.
  4. ^ Montserrat Reporter (2003) "Mike Findlay Lionizes Montserrat’s Jim Allen", Montserrat Reporter, 29 August 2003. Accessed 8 November 2007.
  5. ^ "Jim Allen", Cricket Archive. Accessed 10 November 2007.