David Clark (cricketer)
|Full name||David Graham Clark|
27 January 1919|
Barming, Kent, England
|Died||8 October 2013(aged 94)|
|Bowling style||Right arm slow|
|Domestic team information|
|Source: Cricinfo, 11 April 2009|
Clark was born in Barming, Kent. He played first-class cricket for five years, appearing for Kent. He was Kent's captain for the last three years of his career. He retired at the end of the 1951 season. He was President of the MCC in 1977-8.
During World War Two he was a parachute instructor at Ringway during the formation of the British Airborne Forces, and was then attached to 2nd Battalion the Parachute Regiment, with whom he fought in North Africa, Sicily and Italy. During the attack on Sicily his glider landed in the sea and he swam to shore with 3 other survivors. He was then posted to HQ 1st Airborne Division and ended up at the bridge in Arnhem with 2 Para, where he was eventually taken prisoner. A very modest man, he never mentioned his wartime service.
He is likely to be best remembered for chairing the committee set up by the MCC in 1965 to "examine the future of county cricket in the widest possible terms and if thought fit to recommend alterations in the structure and playing conditions of the County Championship". The first-class counties rejected most of the recommendations made in the so-called "Clark Report", including those for reducing the County Championship to sixteen games and introducing a new one-day league, also of sixteen games. However before many years had passed changes not dissimilar to these would be introduced. According to Mike Turner, a member of the Clark committee: "We started the ball rolling. The Clark Report was a great stimulus for fresh thinking."
Clark was the tour manager of the 1970-71 English Ashes tour of Australia. The England fast bowler John Snow wrote that the tour "emphasised the gulf between players and administrators" and "I was sick of the biased attitude and incompetence which was apparent in cricket administration". Clark was described by the England captain Ray Illingworth as "an amiable, but somewhat ineffectual man" and there were soon divisions between him and the players.
John Snow had bowled over 50 eight-ball overs in the First Test and was rested for the state match against Western Australia, but Clark insisted that he practice in the nets with the others. Snow bowled a couple of desultory overs and Clark berated him for five minutes after which Snow told him "that as far as my good conduct money was concerned he could swallow it" and went walkabout until the next day. Ray Illingworth smoothed things over, but after the Second Test Clark criticized both captains for cautious play, England for their short-pitched bowling and indicated that he would prefer to see Australia win 3-1 than see four more draws. Ray Illingworth only discovered this when he was asked for a comment by a journalist in the morning and the rest of the team when they read the newspapers at the airport. As a result Illingworth effectively took over the running of the tour with the support of the players and Clark's influence declined.
Clark's only ally was the vice-captain Colin Cowdrey, also from Kent, who became isolated as a result. In the final Test at Sydney Clark tried to push Illingworth back onto the field when he took the team off because of the crowd throwing beer cans after the Snow-Jenner incident. A furious Illingworth said he would not return until the playing area had been cleared and the crowd had calmed down and objected to Clark constantly siding with the Australians against his own team. When the team returned to England Illingworth said that "all hell would break loose" if anyone was denied his good conduct bonus (as with Fred Trueman in the West Indies in 1953-54), but this did not happen. However, Geoffrey Boycott and John Snow had to report to Lords for a dressing down by the Secretary of the M.C.C. Billy Griffith for their behaviour.
- CLARK - DAVID GRAHAM
- Wisden Cricketer's Almanack, 2005 edition, "Births and Deaths of Other Notables",p183.
- Wisden Cricketer's Almanack, 1967 edition: "Counties reject the Clark plan"
- Chalke, Stephen (29 June 1989). Summer's Crown: The Story of Cricket's County Championship. Fairfield Books. pp. 212–213. ISBN 9780956851154.
- Snow, p. 3.
- Freddi, Criss (1996). The Guinness Book of Cricket Blunders. Guinness Publishing. p. 147.
- Snow, pp. 93–94.
- Snow, p. 88.
- Snow, pp. 94–95.
- Snow, p. 110.
- Trueman, Fred (2004). As It Was. Pan Books. p. 171.
- Snow, p. 136.
|Kent County Cricket Club captain