Harry Calder

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Harry Lawton Calder (24 January 1901 in South Africa – 15 September 1995 at Cape Town) was perhaps the most unlikely cricketer ever to be named as a Wisden Cricketer of the Year, one of the game's top honours.

Calder was a 16-year-old spin bowler who took a lot of wickets in 1917 for Cranleigh School, and was named as a Cricketer of the Year in the 1918 edition of Wisden Cricketers' Almanack alongside four other schoolboy cricketers, there being no first-class cricket during the First World War. He never appeared in a first-class game, although he did play for the Surrey Second XI in 1920, scoring 0 and 6 not out and bowling four wicketless overs for 21 against Staffordshire.[1]

Calder went back to South Africa with his family, and was not tracked down until 1994, the year before his death, when the cricket historian Robert Brooke traced him to a nursing home in Cape Town. Calder said he had not known of the honour and had not played cricket since school, more than three-quarters of a century earlier.

In all, 10 schoolboy cricketers were chosen by Wisden in 1918 and 1919: all except Calder played at least one first-class game.

His father, Henry Calder, did have a brief first-class career, playing ten matches for Hampshire, Western Province and Eastern Province in the late 19th century.


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