Arthur Morris - the man at the other end

Mayukh Ghosh

Whenever there was a discussion about Bradman's famous duck, he used to say, "Yes, I was there."
"Were you playing?"
"Yes. I got 196."

Arthur Morris never regretted anything about his cricket career. 
As Australia toured the West Indies in 1955, his wife Valerie fell seriously ill. Morris was not informed about it. He only came to know of all that after he returned home. Valerie explained that she hadn't wanted to worry him with the suspicion of her breast cancer, and waited until his return to seek treatment.
Despite having a breast removed in 1955, the cancer took hold, and Morris had to quit the game after averaging 45 in his last series.

" I had to retire. I knew we wouldn't have long together, five years at the outside. The one thing I wanted was to take her to England one last time, which wasn't easy because we had no money, but I was a very lucky man."
One of his wife's former impresarios sent a cheque for £500. Lindsay Hassett sent another £500 with a note saying, "Just pay me back when you can."

Morris repaid the money and took his wife to England one last time by accepting an offer to cover the 1956 Ashes series for the Daily Express.
Valerie died a year later.

An unsung hero whose name should more often be a part of all those discussions about the best left-handed opening batsmen in the history of the game.