Tributes for scoring legend Frindall
The doyen of cricket scorers, Bill Frindall, has died at the age of 69. The Test Match Special stalwart had been suffering from Legionnaire’s disease.
A schoolmaster introduced Frindall to cricket scoring one rainy afternoon when he was a boy, and he went on to become the longest-serving member of the Test Match Special team, covering more than 350 Test matches in his 43-year career.
ECB managing director, England Cricket, Hugh Morris paid tribute to Frindall, saying: “Bill Frindall was renowned for the sheer breadth of his knowledge and the deep and lasting affection he had for the game of cricket itself.
"He will be much missed not only by millions of radio listeners worldwide but also by the fraternity of cricketing scorers in England and Wales whose work he did so much to champion.
"On behalf of the many past and present England players who considered him a good friend, I would like to send our condolences to his family.”
ECB also announced that England would wear black arm bands in the Jamaica Test against West Indies as a mark of respect.
Jonathan Agnew, the BBC's cricket correspondent, led further tributes by declaring: “He was part of the TMS fabric and everyone in the world knew who Bill Frindall was.
“He brought to life this weird and wonderful world of cricket scoring that other people might find tedious and boring. He made scoring into an art form.”
Frindall was renowned for his interjections, coming to prominence alongside famous commentators John Arlott and Brian Johnston.
But his dedication to his main role was what made him such a vital part of the TMS family - his last Test was in Mohali in December.
“He had this incredible scoring system that made every ball an event,” Agnew added. “If you referred back to something that had happened earlier in the day, he would know exactly which delivery you would be talking about.
“He could recall anything that had happened and that is what stood him apart from other scorers.
“And if you had a query on a statistic, he would have the answer in seconds, his records were so meticulous.
“He also played the role of curmudgeon in the box, if ever we strayed too far away from talking about the cricket he would bring us back.”
Former England fast bowler Mike Selvey spent more than 20 years alongside Frindall on the TMS team, and said: “He was a broadcasting legend, without necessarily being a broadcaster.
“He took one of the most mundane jobs in cricket and made himself an institution.
“And having worked with him for so long, I was extremely fond of him.”
The Lord’s Taverners have expressed their sadness at Frindall’s death, saying: “The Lord’s Taverners are immensely sorry to learn of the death of Bill Frindall MBE.
“Bill was a long-standing member of The Lord’s Taverners, who first played for us in 1972 and was a very keen supporter of our charitable causes.
“His many close friends in the organisation will be hugely saddened by this tragic loss to his family and to World Cricket.”
The Taverners also recalled Frindall’s presence on many of their cricket trips, and his delight at playing alongside celebrities from inside and outside the sport.
“Bill was a regular part of Taverners’ cricket tours, which he described as being ‘rather special’,” they added.
“Accompanied by his devoted wife Debbie, his first match was in Guernsey playing alongside John Cleese.
“He relished having opened the batting with Jack Robertson, taking guard against John Snow and Dennis Lillee - and bowling to Reg Simpson, with Godfrey Evans behind the stumps.
“Earlier this month, he was a member of our touring party to Dubai - scoring and commentating with irrepressible good humour as a Lord’s Taverners XI played two matches against a Fly Emirates XI, and joining us in a highly successful fundraising dinner.”
Away from the microphone, he published a large number of books on cricket statistics including four editions of the Wisden Book of Cricket Records, and edited the highly-respected Playfair Cricket Annual every year from 1986.
In 1998, Frindall was awarded an honorary doctorate by Staffordshire University for his contribution to the field of statistics.
The ‘bearded wonder’, as he was affectionately known, was awarded an MBE in 2004 for his services to cricket, and was widely recognised as the best statistician of the game.