Hugh Tayfield: Five weddings and a truckload of wickets

Hugh Tayfield.jpg

Hugh Tayfield, born January 30, 1929, used to kiss the badge of his cap before handing it to the umpire. Before delivering every ball, he stubbed his toe on the ground. That got him the nickname Toey.

His field placements were equally eccentric, sometimes he ran in with two short mid-wickets and two short-covers. Off the field he married and divorced five times.

But, he ended his career as one of the greatest off-spinners ever to play the game, alongside Jim Laker and Muttiah Muralitharan, the best of that breed. His 170 wickets came at 25.91 apiece, and with an economy rate of less than 2. He was a miser and when he bowled with Trevor Goddard, the opposition was just choked of runs.

Text: Arunabha Sengupta

Illustration: Maha