Thomas White (cricketer, born c. 1740)

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Thomas "Daddy" White (c. 1740, probably in Surrey – 28 July 1831, Reigate) was a noted English cricketer.

White played in the 1760s and 1770s; details of his early career are largely unknown but he retired in 1779, he is known to have appeared frequently for Surrey and All-England since recorded scorecards first became commonplace in 1772. He was a genuine all-rounder who was successful as both a batsman and a change bowler.[1]

While playing he lived at Reigate in Surrey. There has been some confusion in various accounts between him and the similarly named Shock White of Brentford in Middlesex; the main cause of this confusion was the wide bat controversy which took place on 23–24 September 1771, when, "...one White of Reigate" tried to use a bat that was fully as wide as the wicket itself.[2]

The incident occurred when White was playing for Chertsey versus Hambledon at Laleham Burway; the Hambledon players not unreasonably objected and a formal protest was made by Thomas Brett, as Hambledon's opening bowler; this was signed by himself, his captain Richard Nyren and master batsman John Small. The incident brought about a change in the 1774 version of the Laws of Cricket wherein the maximum width of the bat was set at four and one quarter inches.[citation needed]

White may have done this with the intention of seeking an unfair advantage or merely as a prank, or possibly even to force the issue in order to get the Laws changed. Straight bats had replaced the old hockey stick shape a few years earlier (in response to bowlers pitching instead of rolling the ball as formerly) and the width issue may have been rankling, his motive remains a mystery but the Hambledon objection has been preserved by Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC). The Laws were formally changed in 1774.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "From Lads to Lord's – biography of Thomas White". Archived from the original on 10 October 2012. Retrieved 17 October 2009..
  2. ^ John Nyren, The Cricketers of my Time (ed. Ashley Mote), Robson, 1998

External source[edit]