Jack Ikin

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Jack Ikin
Jack Ikin 1946.jpg
Ikin in 1946
Personal information
Full nameJohn Thomas Ikin
Born(1918-03-07)7 March 1918
Bignall End, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire
Died15 September 1984(1984-09-15) (aged 66)
Bignall End
Battingleft-handed
Bowlingright arm leg break and googly
RelationsMichael Ikin
International information
National side
Test debut(cap  312)22 June 1946 v  India
Last Test17 August 1955 v  South Africa
Domestic team information
YearsTeam
1934–1968 Staffordshire
1939–1957 Lancashire
Career statistics
Competition Test FC
Matches18365
Runs scored60617,968
Batting average 20.8936.81
100s/50s0/327/108
Top score60192
Balls bowled57222,618
Wickets 3339
Bowling average 118.0030.27
5 wickets in innings 011
10 wickets in match01
Best bowling1 for 386 for 21
Catches/stumpings 31/–419/–
Source: Cricinfo, 12 May 2018

John Thomas Ikin (7 March 1918 – 15 September 1984) was an English cricketer, who played in eighteen Tests from 1946 to 1955. [1] A "calm, popular left-hander who also bowled leg spin", Ikin played most of his cricket for Lancashire. [1] He was a solid left-handed batsman whose statistically modest Test record underplayed his contribution to the team as a sturdy foil to such players as Bill Edrich, Len Hutton and Denis Compton. [1]

Contents

Life and career

He played minor county cricket for Staffordshire from the age of sixteen, and appeared for Lancashire in four games in 1939, taking George Headley's wicket as the first of 339 in first-class matches. [2] After losing perhaps his best years to World War II, during which he fought at Tobruk, he resumed his career for Lancashire in 1946 and became a mainstay of the team, recording 1,000 runs in a season eleven times. He toured Australia in the 1946-47 Ashes series, compiling an obdurate 60 at Sydney and featuring in a brave stand of 118 with Norman Yardley in Melbourne. He was involved in a pivotal incident in the first Test at Brisbane when he claimed to have caught Don Bradman at second slip for 28 from the bowling of Bill Voce, only for the umpire to rule the batsman not out. Bradman went on to make 187. Ikin went on MCC's disastrous 1947/48 tour of the West Indies under Gubby Allen and was understandably less successful, but he scored 625 runs at an average of 89.28 on the Commonwealth XI tour of India and Ceylon in 1950/51.

In Cyril Washbrook's benefit match against the 1948 Australians, Ikin had reached 90 when Bradman instructed Keith Miller to bowl. Miller refused, noting that Ikin had been a Rat of Tobruk, but his fast bowling partner Ray Lindwall denied Ikin his century, bowling him for 99. Ikin took a hat-trick against Somerset in 1949, and recorded his highest score of 192 against Oxford University in 1951. Gradually, injury and fragile health took its toll, and Ikin retired at the end of the 1957 season, with 17,968 first-class runs to his name. He resumed his minor county career with success for Staffordshire, playing on until 1968 and served as assistant manager on the 1965/66 MCC tour of Australia. nb. Jack Ikin's benefit match was against county champions Surrey in 1953.

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1946–47 Ashes series

The 1946–47 Ashes series consisted of five cricket Test matches, each of six days with five hours play each day and eight ball overs. Unlike pre-war Tests in Australia, matches were not timeless and played to a finish. It formed part of the MCC tour of Australia in 1946–47 and England played its matches outside the Tests in the name of the Marylebone Cricket Club. The England team was led by the veteran Wally Hammond and his vice-captain Norman Yardley with the strong batting line up of Len Hutton, Cyril Washbrook, Bill Edrich, Denis Compton and Joe Hardstaff, but a weak bowling attack that relied on pre-war bowlers like the 37-year-old Bill Voce of Bodyline fame and the mercurial leg-spinner Doug Wright. The two successes of the tour were the newly capped Alec Bedser, who would carry the England bowling attack until 1955, and Godfrey Evans who would be England's first choice wicketkeeper until 1959. England had drawn the Victory Tests 2–2 in 1945 and were thought to be equal in strength, but Hammond lost 3–0 to Don Bradman's Australian team which had only two other pre-war players – Lindsay Hassett and Sid Barnes, who had played 5 Tests between them – and was packed with fresh talent in the shape of Arthur Morris, Keith Miller, Ray Lindwall, Colin McCool, Ernie Toshack and Don Tallon. There were several controversial umpiring decisions which assumed greater significance as they favoured Australia and in particular Don Bradman.

The 1946–47 Australians defeated the touring England team 3–0 in the 1946–47 Ashes series. First-class cricket had continued in Australia until January 1942 and as grade cricket had continued throughout the war there had been less of an hiatus than in England. Their cricket grounds had not been bombed and compared to austerity Britain, Australia was a land of plenty, which allowed for a more rapid recovery than in the old country, as had happened after the First World War. There was no Sheffield Shield in 1945–46, but the Australian Services XI had played all the states and there had been non-Shield interstate games. However, Australia's main advantage was the encouragement of their younger players, in particular by Bradman. Though overshadowed by the great 1948 Australian team, in 1975 Don Bradman reckoned that it was Australia's strongest post-war home team, with the 1974–75 Australians coming a close second and the 1950–51 Australians third. It was also superior to the pre-war Australian teams, as though they were just as strong in batting they had no fast bowlers and depended heavily on the leg-spin of Clarrie Grimmett and Bill O'Reilly. In 1946–47 Ray Lindwall and Keith Miller emerged as a great new-ball partnership, with quality support from Ernie Toshack, Ian Johnson and Colin McCool. The only area for improvement was in finding another top-order strokemaker, which was soon resolved by the arrival of Neil Harvey.

The England team were unhappy with the umpiring in the 1946–47 Ashes series, in particular when Don Bradman was not given out when caught by Jack Ikin for 28 in the First Test and 22 in the Second. Test cricket was not filmed except for highlights and the notion of Test umpires using slow-motion replays or other modern techniques would have been considered absurd. Instead the umpires had to make judgements based on what they saw in a split-second, and honest mistakes were accepted as part and parcel of the game. However, touring teams sometimes felt that there was a natural bias towards the home team which led to some acrimony if important decisions always went against them. The Australian Ray Robinson wrote in The Cricketer:

Usually debatable decisions work out fairly evenly over a Test rubber, but weight of evidence suggests that the umpires were mistaken in giving Bradman not out caught for 28 in the First Test, Edrich out leg-before-wicket for 89 in the Third Test, and Washbrook out caught behind the wicket for 39 in the Fourth Test. These decisions came at such points in England's bids to gain an advantage that they could almost be termed turning-points of the three games.

Michael John Ikin is a former English cricketer. Ikin was a left-handed batsman who bowled right-arm off break. He was born in Bignall End, Staffordshire. His father, Jack Ikin, played Test cricket for England.

References

  1. 1 2 3 Bateman, Colin (1993). If The Cap Fits. Tony Williams Publications. p.  98. ISBN   1-869833-21-X.
  2. Dave Liverman (2003). "A profile of Jack Ikin". CricketArchive. Retrieved 27 November 2010.