Talk:Dick Pollard

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Former good article nominee Dick Pollard was a Sports and recreation good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
February 20, 2009 Good article nominee Not listed

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Dick Pollard/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

I'll be adding my comments shortly. Noble Story (talkcontributions) 05:06, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

Review 1[edit]

Lead[edit]

A fast-medium right-arm bowler and a lower-order right-handed batsman who made useful runs on occasion, he played for Lancashire between 1933 and 1950, taking 1,122 wickets in 298 first-class matches; he is 10th highest wicket-taker for Lancashire.

1. What does "made useful runs on occasion" mean (and where's a ref)? 2. This sentence is almost a run-on; could be split into two

A big and heavy man, he was known as a hard worker and, according to his obituary in Wisden in 1986, "his reputation as a great trier commended him to the Lancashire public".

1. Why "big and heavy", and reference? 2. Where's a ref for "he was known as a hard worker" 3. For first occurence, I think "Wisden Cricketers' Almanack" should be referred to in full. 4. In "his reputation as a great trier", what does trier mean?

Season after season, Wisden referred to Pollard's accuracy and reliability, and his ability to bowl long spells without apparently tiring.

A ref, perhaps, for that blanket statement of "season after season"?

Early career[edit]

Pollard made his first-class debut for Lancashire in a rain-affected end-of-season match in August 1933 against Nottinghamshire: he batted at number 11, scoring 16 not out, and took the wicket of Nottinghamshire captain Arthur Carr.

1. Do you need to have "rain-affected" there?

Perhaps not, but it helps explain why he only took one wicket (ie: the whole match wasn't played). Nev1 (talk) 17:35, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

2. If you need two independent clauses for this sentence, have a semicolon, not a colon.

Replaced with a semi-colon. Nev1 (talk) 17:35, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

3. In the second part of the sentence, the verbs are "batted...scoring...took...". As you can see, the tense isn't consistent. You should probably change "scoring" to past tense.

Changed to "while batted at number 11 he scored 16 not out, and took the wicket of Nottinghamshire captain Arthur Carr". Nev1 (talk) 17:35, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

In Lancashire's County Championship-winning side of 1934, he was seen as a medium-paced reserve to the front-line bowlers, but injuries, particularly to Frank Sibbles, meant that he played 11 matches in the last two months of the season and took 38 wickets in them at an average of 19.31.

1. "he was seen as a..." He was seen by whom? 2. What does "front-line bowlers" mean?

The main bowlers, the ones who did most of the bowling, or could be relied on to take wickets usually. Perhaps it should be replaced with established? Nev1 (talk) 17:35, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

3. Who is Frank Sibbles?

A spin bowler for Lancashire. He currently has no article. Nev1 (talk) 17:35, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
Frank Sibbles now has his own article. Nev1 (talk) 18:20, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

4. should be a comma after season.

Comma added. Nev1 (talk) 17:35, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

5. What does "an average of 19.31" mean?

The bowling average is now linked; it is worked out by how many runs a bowler concedes before taking a wicket. On average. Nev1 (talk) 17:35, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

In the second innings of a match against Gloucestershire, Pollard took six for 21: "He kept a fine length and made the ball turn quickly with great effect," Wisden reported

1. What does "six for 21 mean"?

It means he took 6 wickets for 21 runs. It has been written out as such here, but in other occurrences, six for 21 or 6/21 is usually used as shorthand. Nev1 (talk) 17:35, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

2. don't use a colon; a semicolon or some kind of conjunction is better.

In Championship games, he made only 14 runs in total, but in the end-of-season Champion County v The Rest match at The Oval, he made 27 not out in the first innings and 28 in the second.

1. Is it common to say "made X runs". Would it be "scored"?

"Made" is often used, and provides a variation on "scored". If it's confusing to a reader, it could be changed to scored, however this would lead to some repetition. Nev1 (talk) 17:35, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

2. Is the match really referred to as "Champion County v The Rest"?

Yep. Nev1 (talk) 17:35, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

Wisden noted how well he compensated for the loss of the senior bowlers: "With length, fair pace and swerve, Pollard proved so successful that, no doubt, he would have taken a hundred wickets for the County had not tonsilitis caused his retirement from the Somerset match."

Again, some joining word rather than a semicolon would work better.

What joining word would you recommend? In this instance, I think a colon works as it's immediately before a quote. Nev1 (talk) 17:35, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

In fact, by playing for The Rest against the new County Champions, Yorkshire...

What team, exactly, is "The Rest"?

Explained that The Rest were made up of players from the other counties. Nev1 (talk) 17:35, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

Front-line county bowler[edit]

Age and infirmity caught up with rather a lot of Lancashire's cricketers in 1936, and the side finished 11th in the County Championship, equalling its lowest ever position to that date.

"rather a lot" is very informal. And where is a ref?

In all games, he took 108 wickets at an average of 20.13.

Ref?

Ref added. Nev1 (talk) 17:47, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

For most of these three years, his new-ball partner was Eddie Phillipson, who was very similar in style and pace: both relied on accuracy rather than speed, using the seam of the ball, and generating some swing.

1. What is a "new-ball partner"

New-ball bowlers are those who generally start the bowling in an innings. Perhaps it should be rephrased to "...three years, he opened the bowling with Eddie Phillipson..."? That way, it's clear to anyone familiar with cricket that they were new-ball partners and is hopefully clearer to everyone else. Nev1 (talk) 17:47, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

2. Again, semicolon or joining word, not colon.

Split into two sentences. Nev1 (talk) 17:47, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

3. A reference?

Phillipson was injured for part of 1938, which put more work on to Pollard and to a degree explains his high tally of wickets.

This sounds like original research, saying "[it] explains his high tally of wickets." Any reference, perhaps?

In that season too, Pollard was picked for a Test trial match between England and The Rest: playing for The Rest, he produced the best bowling figures of the game with five for 57 in England's innings of 377, but it did not lead to a Test call-up.

Again, what is "The Rest"? And again, not a colon.

The Rest is explained earlier, and split into two sentences. Nev1 (talk) 17:47, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

He was, though, picked for the Gentlemen v Players match at Lord's.

It would be better to say "However, he was...", in my opinion

Agreed, change made. Nev1 (talk) 17:47, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

Post-war Test player[edit]

Like many of his generation, Pollard lost significant cricket years to the Second World War. Unlike some, though, he had a relatively swift return to first-class cricket when the war ended, and he was picked for four of the five "Victory Tests" arranged between England and Australia teams across the summer of 1945.

There should be three references in this section here, for "Like many of his generation, Pollard lost...", "Unlike some, though, he had a relatively swift return", and "he was picked for four of the five..."

"Sergeant R. Pollard" was the leading wicket-taker on either side, with 25 wickets.[21]

I don't think you need to refer to him as "Sergeant R. Pollard", just Pollard. Also, in a minor note, for current ref 21, you have a missing ampersand (&) for your n-dash (i.e. it's only ndash;).

And in the second innings, Pollard's five for 76 outshone Pope's three for 69. His figures were even better in the next match: six for 75 in the Australians' first innings.[23] And he took four wickets in an innings in both the fourth and fifth matches of the series.

I think using "and' at the beginning of the sentence isn't really proper, but say "In the second innings..." and then join that to "His figures were..." And for the last sentence, it would probably be better to say. "He also took four wickets..." (Hopefully that's clear). Also, the last sentence needs a ref.

Although Pollard had played several matches in 1945, he was not yet discharged from the forces, and this limited his appearances in the first full season for first-class cricket in 1946.

Ref?

He did, though, finally play his first Test match: the second match of the three-Test series against India.

Again, trying using something other than "though", and at the beginning. Also, no colon, probably better a comma.

During this match, he spent a period off the ground negotiating with his Army chiefs his availability for the Old Trafford Test.

Which match? The antecedent isn't really clear.

I would think it was probably the Gentlemen v. Players match, but I'll ask. Nev1 (talk) 18:10, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

And in the second innings he took two further wickets for 63 runs.

Again, "and" isn't really good to use at the beginning of the sentence.

"And" is superfluous here, removed. The only downside is there's a hint of repetition from the previous sentence. Nev1 (talk) 18:10, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

That performance earned Pollard selection for the 1946-47 Ashes tour and he and Bill Voce were given special leave from the Army to make the tour.

There should be at least a comma after the first "tour".

Agreed, comma added. Nev1 (talk) 18:10, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

But, Wisden wrote, "neither had sufficient pace to be really troublesome in the clear Australian atmosphere".

Ref?

Pollard's 28 wickets on the tour as a whole cost more than 36 runs each

What does "each" refer to? Does it mean 36 runs were scored for each wicket taken?

That's exactly what it means. Nev1 (talk) 18:10, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

Pollard was out of the reckoning for Test places in the hot summer of 1947 but responded with one of his best county seasons.

Should be comma after the year. And why do you need to say "hot summer"?

Comma added. Originally I agreed with you, but after thinking some more I think the hot summer might be relevant. Pollard bowled (a bit of) swing and this kind of bowling is usually assisted by cloudy, damp weather, so perhaps it suggests his feat was all the more impressive. I'll defer to Johnlp. Nev1 (talk) 18:10, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

For Lancashire in Championship matches, he took 131 wickets, with the next best aggregate being 74.

What does "next best aggregate being 74" refer to?

There's nothing wrong with "aggregate", but I've changed it to "total", ie: total wickets taken. Nev1 (talk) 18:10, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

The 1948 tour of England by the Australian team captained by Donald Bradman, and subsequently labelled The Invincibles, provided convincing evidence of the weakness in international terms of English cricket at the time.

Ref, maybe?

Two heavy defeats in the first two Test matches led to a recall for Pollard, then 36 years old, for the third match, which was played at Old Trafford. The move was a success, for England were well on top until rain intervened and the match ended in a draw.

Again, reference?

Pollard's most significant contribution as a batsman in Tests was a "full-blooded pull" from the off spin of Ian Johnson, which caught the Australian opening batsman Sid Barnes, who was fielding at short leg on the edge of the pitch, under the ribs.

What's a "full-blooded pull"?

I've added a link to Batting (cricket)#Pull. Full-blooded means he hit it really hard. Nev1 (talk) 18:10, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

The rejigged Australian batting order was discomfited by the accuracy of Alec Bedser and Pollard. Pollard's three wickets included Bradman, leg before wicket for just seven.

"Rejigged"? "Discomfited"? And "leg before wicket for just seven", seven what?

"Rejigged" has been changed to the more formal "rearranged". Discomfited means the batsmen were uncomfortable. "Runs" now added to seven. Nev1 (talk) 18:10, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

The Manchester draw encouraged the selectors to persevere with the same fast-medium combination in the fourth Test, at Leeds, but in a high scoring match on a good pitch the lack of spin bowling was decisive.

Ref?

For the final match of the series at The Oval, on what was seen as very definitely a spinners' wicket, Pollard was the bowler dropped to make way for an extra spin bowler.

Ref? And what is a "spinners' wicket"?

A spinners' wicket is one where spin bowlers rather than quick bowlers are expected to do well. If it's ok with Johnlp, I've changed it to "...as very definitely a pitch that was more suited to spin than quick bowling". Nev1 (talk) 18:10, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

Final cricket years[edit]

The following season, though, he bowled 400 fewer overs and took only 73 wickets in all, at the relatively high cost of 28 runs per wicket

Ref?

Ref added. Nev1 (talk) 18:15, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

Pollard continued to open the bowling and was as accurate as ever, but was less successful than in other seasons.

"accurate as ever" definitely needs a ref.

He was given a benefit in August 1949 by Lancashire and picked the match against Derbyshire, which raised £8,035, the third highest total at the time

"The third-highest total" compared to what?

At the end of the season, in which Lancashire shared the County Championship title with Surrey, Pollard retired from first-class cricket to move into Lancashire League cricket.

Ref?

That was not quite the end of the first-class career: in 1952, Pollard played one further match...

Again, no semicolon.

Semi-colon removed. Nev1 (talk) 18:15, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

General[edit]

This article really isn't broad enough. For example, his personal life. What happened when he was a boy, to get him to be a cricket player? Did he marry? What about when he was in the war? How long was he there, what did he do? And what about his death? All these facts are missing, making this article incomplete.

This kind of information is pretty much unavailable. Wisden, cricinfo, cricket archive, newspaper articles etc generally on concentrate on the cricketing career of the cricketer. This is symptomatic for many cricketers, and only the most famous cricketers or those who are notable for other reasons have sources which detail these other aspects of their lives. I concede the situation is not ideal, Pollard's life revolved around more than cricket which only took up about 12 years of his 73 year life. There is more to say about him, however, I am not aware of any other sources despite having looked. I understand that this may be perceived as a big issue, however I believe the article summarises the available sources as well as can be expected. It's a difficult decision and not one I envy. Nev1 (talk) 18:24, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
I appreciate your dilemma, as I've faced it myself before. However, WP:WIAGA does say that an article is to be broad. And as you say, by not having a personal life section, you are excluding 61 years of his life. That's a pretty big swath to leave out. I have started a discussion about this issue at WT:GAN. Feel free to comment if you like.
Meanwhile, though, there are still other parts of the review that have not yet been addressed. Noble Story (talkcontributions) 05:23, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
Nev, did you go to a library in Lancs to see if there is a history book of the LCCC anywhere. Most county/state associations usually bits and pieces on the outside cricket bits of their most noted servants, and Pollard was quite prominent. The VCA and NSWCA books have bits about most Victorian/NSW stalwarts. YellowMonkey (click here to vote for world cycling's #1 model!) 05:27, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
Unfortunately, the local libraries have mostly overviews of the club and so are unlikely to focus on players' lives beyond cricket. Sadly, there doesn't seem to be a biography on Pollard. Lancashire County Cricket Club: A-Z might have something in it, I'll have to check. Nev1 (talk) 18:18, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
The profile books tend to have a sentence on their dayjob. Are the Royal Army records online. For all the Australian guys of that era you can get their date of enlistment/discharge, ranks, base and medals. YellowMonkey (click here to vote for world cycling's #1 model!) 01:57, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
It seems the consensus at WT:GAN is that to be truly "broad", this article needs a personal life section, even though there are no references. I am inclined to agree (and the point about synthesis as well). So... Noble Story (talkcontributions) 01:04, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

Also, what makes cricketarchive.com a reliable reference?

CricketArchive.com is one of the premier statistics sites for cricket and has been used in many FAs (in fact, I would expect it to have been used in all the cricketing FAs) so has been accepted as a RS before. It's regularly updated and has statistics derived from first-class and one-day scoredcards that date back to the 19th century. It's often used as a source by professional cricket statisticians such as the late Bill Frindall. Nev1 (talk) 18:24, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

Until these concerns are addressed, I'll put this article on hold. Noble Story (talkcontributions) 06:58, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

I think the bowling figures should be 3/45 not three for 45. YellowMonkey (click here to vote for world cycling's #1 model!) 00:43, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

Agreed, they've been changed per MOS:NUM#Numbers as words: "Comparable quantities should be all spelled out or all figures". Nev1 (talk) 18:18, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

Final Words[edit]

In the end, I still can't pass this with such a gaping hole in the article (plus there are many other issues that haven't been touched yet). My apologies for failing this. Noble Story (talkcontributions) 14:58, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

Understood. Maybe if more sources can be found Pollard will make a second experience at GAN. Thanks for your time, Nev1 (talk) 15:27, 20 February 2009 (UTC)