An old friend of mine, David Butler, while commenting on a recent cricket-related post, asked:
Can you name the batsman who played only one first class innings, scored a double century and never batted in a first class match again?
I had no idea. It didn’t strike me as a question that was easily GoogleAble, so I didn’t try. But I did go to cricinfo, to see if I could navigate a way to the answer quickly. Cricinfo home. Statsguru. Records home. First class records. First class batting records. Trivia/First class batting trivia. Highest First Class Batting Averages with no qualification. Bingo.
And what an answer. As a result of David’s question, I came across the brilliant but tragic cricketing career of Norman Callaway.
I quote from the article:
Norman Callaway made just one first-class appearance but it was one to remember. In February 1915, aged 19, he scored 207 in three-and-a-half hours for New South Wales against Queensland at the SCG, adding 256 for the fifth wicket with Charlie Macartney. In 1916 he joined the AIF and died during an attack on the Hindenberg Line in May 1917.
I’ve been very privileged, my life has only been marginally affected by war; the Indo-Pakistani wars of the 1960s didn’t really hit Calcutta, I can only remember some blackouts and air raid sirens, no real combat. The Bangladesh war of 1971 had a bigger impact, mainly as a result of the refugee influx.
So every time I read about the sacrifices made by youth and talent for the freedoms of future generations, I am taken aback in awe. Here’s to Norman Callaway and to all he represents. And here’s to peacetime for current and future generations.