Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Steven Lynch answers!

After reading Cricinfo's All Today's Yesterdays column on the 16th of June, I sent in a question to Steven Lynch, who writes the Ask Steven column that appears every Tuesday. That question was related to one of the factoids of that day that was featured - to a 555 run partnership between Herbert Sutcliffe (313) and Percy Holmes (224 not out) for Yorkshire against Essex in 1932.

I was once across a question related to the Sutcliffe-Holmes 555 run partnership on a quiz. The question was: "Which famous brandname resulted from the (then) world record partnership between Herbert Sutcliffe and Percy Holmes for Yorkshire against Essex on June 16, 1932?". The answer given by the quiz master (because no one could answer the question) was "The 555 brand of cigarettes". I have always wondered if this was true or was a kitchen question cooked up by the quiz master, given the obvious numerical connection. I was wondering whether you could throw more light into this.

And Steven Lynch (after conferring with David Firth, eminent cricket historian) replies to my question in his column dated today!

On an interesting note, David Firth was the editor of Wisden in 1983 when India won the World Cup. Now during the World Cup, just after India had beaten the West Indies in their first league game, he had written that he would eat his words (not literally) if India won. And when India did win, he was asked by N.K.P Salve (the then BCCI President and later Union Minister for Power under Narasimha Rao, who was at Lords that eventful day) asked him cheekily whether he was planning to keep his word. David Firth responded by eating a cake that had been baked in the shape of the Wisden magazine.

In 1999, when The Week was running a series of special issues just before the World Cup, they had a picture of Firth eating the cake with this story. I had wanted to make a photocopy of that particular page, with the intention of using it as a visual on a quiz at college, but somehow never did it. Does anyone have that issue or the picture?

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