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Bill Frindall

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Guest alex

The name won't mean a lot to most but for followers of TMS like me he was an absolute legend.

RIP

 

Bill Frindall spent his working life chronicling the achievements of some of the greats of the cricketing world.

 

But although debates rage about whether Lara was a better batsman than Tendulkar or Warne a better bowler than Muralitharan, in the field of cricket scoring there is no doubt about who is the number one.

 

Dubbed "the Bearded Wonder" by Brian Johnston, Bill scored 377 Test Matches since making his Test Match Special debut in 1966 and was the longest serving member of the TMS team.

 

 

 

As a youngster, I remember buying copies of Bill's immaculately compiled scorecards of great matches and it was a real thrill to see the great man actually writing down the figures during a Test match.

 

Whenever we had a celebrity guest in the commentary box it was amazing how excited they were to see Bill's famous scoring books in the corner. He was famous for his ability to research the most obscure cricketing facts, but he was also the man to consult if there was ever any doubt about a detail.

 

When Graeme Swann took two wickets in his first over in Test cricket in Chennai in December, it was widely reported that this was the first time such a feat had been recorded in Test history.

 

But Bill told the commentators to hang on for a few seconds - and from his pile of books he quickly discovered another occasion. Nothing in cricket was historic until Bill said so.

 

He was quite simply the world's most famous cricket scorer and whenever you travelled abroad with Bill you became aware of his celebrity status. In what sadly will be his final Test as TMS scorer in Mohali in December, he was approached by an Indian statistician who, on his mobile phone, had recordings of Bill jovially correcting commentators who had made an error.

 

Bill was a enthusiastic cricketer himself, who was still displaying his fast bowling prowess as recently as last summer. He also worked as president of British Blind Sport and was a tireless supporter of other charities like the Lord's Taverners and the Primary club.

 

He was rewarded with an MBE for his services to cricket in 2004, but was equally as proud when voted 'beard of the year' by the Beard Liberation Front.

 

It is difficult to imagine arriving at the media centre at Lords at the start of next summer and not hearing the sound of the Bill's trolley loaded with books trundling along the corridor ready to start another day.

 

He will be very sadly missed by the listeners of Test Match Special and, of course, by his colleagues in the team.

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I'll miss his bone dry sense of humour the most.

 

I don't have the vocabulary to correctly describe what it is about 'voices' on the radio. Some programmes on radio are just full of extraordinary 'people' that we 'know' and 'love' yet don't know the first things about, but find so fascinating to listen to.

 

You get me drift.

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