Arthur Fagg

Arthur Who? That might be the response of some almanackers. In the pantheon of cricketing statistics he holds a unique place, being the only player to score two double centuries in a first class match.

This unmatched record was achieved back in 1938, in a county match, when Arthurs’ Kent played Essex at Colchester. Arthur made 244 in his first knock, then returning to the crease made an undefeated 202, taking only 170 minutes.

Despite this sort of batting Arthur never established himself at test level. As an opener he faced stiff competition from players such as Len Hutton, and Arthurs test prospects were further cruelled suffering rheumatic fever in 1936, resulting in him being sent home from the Australian tour. His test career was further limited by the outbreak of World War 2. His five tests saw a return of 150 runs, with a top score of only 39, and an average of 18.75.

He had a lengthy first class career going into the 1950’s, scoring 27, 291 runs, a top score being 269 not out, the average being 36.05.

As a test umpire he officiated in 18 tests, and 7 ODI’s . As a young tacker i have vague memories of him during our 1972 tour of England. He was a bit of a talisman in that series, umpiring two tests, which were our two victories, Lords and the Oval.  One of the ‘highlights’ of his umpiring was in1973, when Rohan Kanhais West indies toured England . In the second test at Birmingham he was involved in a heated clash with Kanhai late on the second day, which also involved England opener Geoff Boycott. Such was the rancour involving Arthur and Kanhai, he refused to umpire after the second day, resulting in Warwickshire coach Alan Oakman stepping in at the start of the third day before Arthur returned to umpire after the second over of play.

Artur died, aged 62, in 1977. His brief, though interesting career is best known for a first class record which remains in place nearly 74 years later.

Glen!

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