Bill Lawry: The Corpse in Pads


The bowlers often swore and tore their hair in frustration, spectators fidgeted restlessly in their seats. The effect of his batting often wore on way beyond the call of stumps.

Once Neville Cardus and Jack Fingleton were returning from a dinner in Soho on an evening during an Oval Test. Their taxi got stopped in the theatre rush. When an impatient pedestrian patted the vehicle with his umbrella, the taxi-driver supposedly jumped out and punched the man. His explanation was, “I’ve been watching that Lawry bat all day at The Oval. I’m in no mood to put up with any more bloody nonsense.”

The story involved Cardus, and hence should be taken with a pinch of salt. Rather a bucket. But, Bill Lawry's batting could very well incite such a reaction ... or such a story from Cardus.

His limpet-like methods, and almost emaciated features, earned him the nickname Corpse in Pads. However, he was a superb opening batsman capable of elegant strokeplay on occasions, as well as a captain who stood up steadfastly for his side.

Later, he became a beloved voice behind the microphone, with the famous phrase: "It's all happening down there."

Bill Lawry was born on February 11, 1937.

Text: Arunabha
Illustration: Maha