Friday, 30 January 2009

A tribute to Bill Frindall

The sad news of Bill Frindall's death has hit the cricketing world hard today.

The 'Bearded Wonder' was the BBC Test Match Special statistician and scorer, whose immense knowledge of the game provided much joy to many listeners. He died at the age of 69 after suffering from Legionnaire's Disease.

For over 40 years, Frindall made the art of cricket scoring interesting, which is no easy task. If anyone knew the answers, it would be Bearders.

His death will leave a massive hole in the heart of the TMS team, and whoever takes over in the commentary box will have a serious challenge ahead.

He has written many books, including the Wisden Book of Test Cricket and the Wisden Book of Cricket Records, as well as editing the prestigious Playfair Cricket Annual since 1986.

He certainly knew how to play the game as well; whipping the ball through off a short run and he packed a punch with the bat as well.

One of the cricket clubs I play for had the pleasure of meeting Bill Frindall, as he spoke at the OLCC dinner in 1986. Not only was the speech full of interesting anecdotes, but he made it personal to the club, and humorous in nature. He was a true gent.

People in the cricketing world will be speaking out, remembering the great man for many years to come. BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew worked alongside Frindall for many years. He said that Bill brought scoring alive and he was 'Mr. Reliable'.

My thoughts are with his family and friends at what must be a very difficult time.


  1. At the OLCC Dinner on Saturday 25 October 1986 when Bill Frindall was our guest speaker I was presiding over the dinner and had a wealth of paperwork,watches, bells, club ties to present and our club jug all around me on or under the table (this also included our statistics for the first 10 years to be distributed to our members).
    So when Bill Frindall commenced his speech he was quick to launch an attack in my direction on a number of firsts he had experienced compared to other cricket dinners. He said it was the first time he had dined next to an office, the first time he had been referred to in the menu as "W H Frindall" rather than "Bill", and it was the first time he had been written to by a dinner organiser on 6 occasions checking that he had the correct date in his diary.
    However we also heard his many funny cricket experiences in the TMS Box and he took off both John Arlott and Fred Trueman to perfection. He was an excellent guest speaker and not only did he go away with a copy of our statistics and an OLCC tie, but we furnished him with the statistics on many years thereafter for him to keep with his mass of cricket information at his home in Urchfont, near Devizes in Wiltshire. He told us that our club was one of only 5 or 6 clubs in existence that produced statistics of our quality and depth. (Currently our 2008 Statistics run to 66 pages)
    It should perhaps be said that "Tommy" of "Tommy Talks Sport" was only 6 months and 16 days old when Bill Frindall was with us on that occasion and he was safely tucked up in his cot and sadly missed the experience of meeting Bill!

  2. As the first test against West Indies begins without 'The Scorer', during the morning session there were many references to Bill and at lunchtime there were a number of recordings and comments from the team. He will be sorely missed.


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