Roy Marshall: The hard hitting batsman who questioned everything


by Mayukh Ghosh

Nelson v Lowershouse at Seedhill in 1952.

A match that proved to be important for cricket in England.

Lancashire League, in those days, had this system of collections for bowlers who took six wickets in an innings and for batsmen who scored 50 or more.

Ray Lindwall, bowling at his best, took the first six wickets of Lowerhouse for next to nothing.
The Lowerhouse opener had to see all of that from the non-striker's end.
He was fourteen short of his half-century.

"Have a heart, Ray. You've made sure of your collection. I want to live, how about letting me get mine?"
Lindwall replied: "Okay."

He bowled a few balls way outside the off-stump and allowed the batsman at the other end to reach his half-century. In the process ,Lindwall lost his rhythm and the match ended in a draw.

Soon after this match, that batsman was invited to join Hampshire.

Roy Marshall had already played four Test matches for West Indies and, according to many, was as good as Clyde Walcott.
He brought back life to county cricket. 
At a time when the likes of Geoff Boycott and Bill Lawry bored people, Test cricket needed Marshall. Not to be. By joining Hampshire after playing Tests for West Indies, he had no chance of playing for either country.
It was he who questioned everything which was rigid in the county circuit. Colin Ingleby-Mackenzie benefitted from his ideas and gave birth to the triumphant 'wine,women and song' team of 1961.

Roy Marshall could bat. He was a tremendous attacking batsman. Bowlers used to have sleepless nights before bowling to him. 
And all this before the likes of Virender Sehwag and Matthew Hayden were born.

Roy Marshall was born on April 25, 1930.