Dai Davies: The forgotten Glamorgan stalwart


by Mayukh Ghosh

"That`s out and we`ve won the Championship!"
The umpire gave the last Hampshire man out and shouted.
And became a part of cricketing folklore.
Glamorgan. 1948.

June 2, 1923.
The 26-year old returns home after a 16-hour shift in the steel works at Llanelli.
At 10 pm the previous night, as he was ending his shift, he got to know that the replacement has not turned up.
So, he was persuaded to do the night shift.
At 11:30, after four hours of sleep, he hears a knock on his bedroom door.
"There's a car outside. They want you to play for Glamorgan at Swansea.", shouts his mother.

He arrives at the ground at about 12:45.
"Where do you think you are going?", asks the gateman.
"I'm playing."
"Oh no, you're not. Get out of it."
Many had tried this and he knew too well about it.
He holds his cricket bag in front of him and charges past the gateman, almost knocking him down in the process.

Northants are batting.
50-odd for no loss.
He has never seen a county match before and at the end of the over his captain tosses the ball to him.
"You're bowling."

With his fourth ball he knocks out the opener's middle stump.
He picks up two more wickets and after tea when it's Glamorgan's turn to bat, the captain tells him to pad up.
"You're next wicket down."

A 16-hour shift.
4 hours of sleep.
Then bowling 16 overs.
He has every reason to think cricket is a fairly cruel game.

He doesn't get to bat that day but when he gets his chance, he scores an impressive 58.

Glamorgan's fourth victory in almost 3 years.
He returns home with 35 pounds.
10 of them as match fee.
The rest from the collection held for him at the ground.

"It was more money that I'd ever had in my life before. I was not really concerned about the money, though, because I also had a three-year agreement in my pocket. I was a county cricketer. I had made the grade!"

Dai Davies.
A Glamorgan stalwart.
Largely forgotten, though.

It all started for him on June 2, 1923.