Hall still a cricket fanatic
This week’s Classic Interview involves a gentleman who can be found every weekend at one of the East End clubs taking in his beloved game of cricket. Invariably, he is there before the first ball is bowled and stays until the very last.
Name: Alfred Erlington Hall
Date of birth: June 13, 1935
Start in cricket: I began playing league cricket for Flatts in 1951.–
Length of cricket career: My Cup Match career spanned 11 years, from 1955 to 1966. In that team of 1955 were five colts. When I first started to play in the Cup Match classic, we’d play on the 24th of May versus the Western Stars.
Role on the team: I was one of the strike bowlers.
Childhood memories with the game: We played a lot of rubber ball cricket in a neighbourhood known as Inkabator, which is in the Loyal Hill area.
Teams played for: Besides Flatts, I played for The SICL (Somers Isles Cricket League), the Pond Hill Stars, Somerset ( during their 1961 tour of England), and of course St. George’s in Cup Match.
Favourite local match in which you played: Without doubt the 1961 Cup Match which could have ended on the first day. The officials stopped the game at five o’clock on the first day so that it would continue into the second day. It did conclude soon on day two, before lunch.
Best international feat: I played in the St. George’s team that beat the West Indies Select, 110 to 103, at Wellington Oval. That game was played on the same day as an Eastern County match.
Favourite venue: In 1961 when I toured England with Somerset Cricket Club, I was fortunate to play at Lord’s.
Favourite international player: Adam Gilchrist.
Number one supporter: A chap called ‘Bul’ Brown. There was another, Edmond Zuill.
Pre-match routine: I ran all the time and did my stretching.
Favourite dish while playing: I never ate lunch. I made sure to eat breakfast and would have something like ham and eggs.
Biggest regret in your career: None, I was fortunate to never pick up any injuries.
Any superstitions: None.
Funniest thing you have seen in cricket: During my first Cup Match, I was batting with Georgie Dyer and was sent back while taking a run, I slipped on the matting and ended up on the crease. Of course, I was run out.
A key to your success: I did lots of exercise and fitness work.
Advice to today’s cricketer: Train harder and get yourselves fitter.
‘Fleas’ Hall was a member of those powerful St. George’s teams of the early 1960’s that included such greats as Llyod James, Rupert Scotland, and ‘Bummy’ Symonds. St. George’s supporters would be fortunate to witness their team dominate the classic until 1979 when their dominance came to a crashing halt during that epic encounter at Somerset Cricket Club.
It is pleasing to see a former Cup Match legend still very interested in the modern game, observing the happenings on a weekly basis.