If it had not been for a successful career as a professional footballer, and the bad luck of playing his two Tests against a dominant 1976 West Indies side, Chris Balderstone might have represented his country more frequently. His final Test was a nightmare - he made a pair, and dropped Viv Richards - who went on to make 291 (he did take his only Test wicket, however). He was in fact an excellent fielder, and a useful slow left arm spinner. As a bat he was unadventurous, patient, and consistent, capable of playing long innings. Remarkably he managed to combine football and cricket - one of his 32 first-class hundreds made over two days in between which he included a league appearance for Doncaster Rovers. After retirement he joined the first-class umpires list and officiated in two one-day internationals. A much liked and respected cricketer and umpire, he was an important member of the strong 1970s Leicestershire team that won the county's first Championship.
(Article: Copyright © 2003 Dave Liverman)
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