Although rarely mentioned these days among the ranks of England’s all-time great batsmen,
Ken Barrington boasts a Test batting average second only to Herbert Sutcliffe among Englishmen. A naturally gifted strokeplayer during his early years at Surrey, being dropped by England after just two Test matches led him to develop a more restrained, watchful style. He developed into one of the game’s most determined and successful accumulators, the rock upon which many England innings were built in the 1960s.
A heart attack at the age of 38 forced his premature retirement, but he soon forged a successful career as a coach, accompanying the England team on several tours overseas. Barrington was a man who never wore his cares lightly, and it was during a stressful England tour of West Indies in early 1981 that he suffered a second, instantaneously fatal heart-attack at the age of only 50.
It was at the fifteenth attempt that Ken Barrington finally hit a deserved first Test century at Lord’s.
He came to the crease just twenty minutes into the first day after the early loss of Colin Milburn and batted through the rest of the day, before falling caught behind off Asif Iqbal early on day two. Barrington’s watchful innings was overshadowed by Hanif Mohammad’s mammoth 9-hour vigil of 187* for Pakistan as the match ended in a draw.
Kenneth Frank Barrington (1930 -1981)
82 Tests for England averaging 58.67 with the bat
Wisden Cricketer of the Year 1960