For those of us of a certain age who spent our school summer holidays listening to Test Match Special one of the last links with those days has been broken with the quite sudden death of the Bearded Wonder. The commentary might have been from John Arlott or Brian Johnston, and the “expert analysis” from Fred Trueman or Trevor Bailey, but the person who kept them all on the straight and narrow for more than 40 years when it came to facts and statistics was Bill Frindall.
I guess it’s the geek in me [is there any other part? Ed.] that never ceased to be amazed with what the Bearded Wonder could come up with at a moment’s notice. And there is no doubt that his scorecards were works of art – I always found it hard enough to get just a simple standard card right, but he would have multi-colour analysis of each ball, all beautifully recorded. As the current TMS producer has said: “Nothing in cricket was historic until Bill said so”.
And even well into his sixties he was still playing the game, primarily in aid of a number of charitable causes. (I really must dig out my kit and the trusty Gray-Nicolls from under the bed one day.)
As I’ve moved around the world I haven’t listened to TMS as much as I used to, but during most series I dip in for a while, via an online feed normally these days, and whilst CMJ and Blowers are still there sometimes it really isn’t quite the same, and I haven’t a clue how they will replace Bearders. The cricketing world has suffered a great loss.