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Walter Robins

Walter Robins

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Robert Walter Vivian Robins (3 June 1906 - 12 December 1968) was a dynamic English
English cricket team
The England and Wales cricket team is a cricket team which represents England and Wales. Until 1992 it also represented Scotland. Since 1 January 1997 it has been governed by the England and Wales Cricket Board , having been previously governed by Marylebone Cricket Club from 1903 until the end...

 cricketer
Cricketer
A cricketer is a person who plays the sport of cricket. Official and long-established cricket publications prefer the traditional word "cricketer" over the rarely used term "cricket player"....

 and footballer
Football (soccer)
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball...

.

Walter Robins was born in Stafford
Stafford
Stafford is the county town of Staffordshire, in the West Midlands region of England. It lies approximately north of Wolverhampton and south of Stoke-on-Trent, adjacent to the M6 motorway Junction 13 to Junction 14...

 and was educated at Highgate School
Highgate School
-Notable members of staff and governing body:* John Ireton, brother of Henry Ireton, Cromwellian General* 1st Earl of Mansfield, Lord Chief Justice, owner of Kenwood, noted for judgment finding contracts for slavery unenforceable in English law* T. S...

 and Cambridge University. He played football
Football (soccer)
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball...

 for Nottingham Forest
Nottingham Forest F.C.
Nottingham Forest Football Club is an English Association Football club based in West Bridgford, Nottingham, that plays in the Football League Championship...

 and first-class cricket for Middlesex
Middlesex County Cricket Club
Middlesex County Cricket Club is one of the 18 major county clubs which make up the English and Welsh domestic cricket structure, representing the historic county of Middlesex. It was announced in February 2009 that Middlesex changed their limited overs name from the Middlesex Crusaders, to the...

, Cambridge University
Cambridge University Cricket Club
Cambridge University Cricket Club is a first-class cricket team. It now plays all but one of its first-class cricket matches as part of the Cambridge University Centre of Cricketing Excellence , which includes Anglia Ruskin University...

 and England
English cricket team
The England and Wales cricket team is a cricket team which represents England and Wales. Until 1992 it also represented Scotland. Since 1 January 1997 it has been governed by the England and Wales Cricket Board , having been previously governed by Marylebone Cricket Club from 1903 until the end...

. He was a useful right-handed batsman and a capable leg-break bowler, who played in 258 first-class matches for the county, taking 669 wickets at an average of 22.28, with a personal best of 8/69. He was an adventurous captain who was prepared to take risks, in order to gain a positive result. He captained Middlesex County Cricket Club
Middlesex County Cricket Club
Middlesex County Cricket Club is one of the 18 major county clubs which make up the English and Welsh domestic cricket structure, representing the historic county of Middlesex. It was announced in February 2009 that Middlesex changed their limited overs name from the Middlesex Crusaders, to the...

 during three spells (1935-1938, 1946-1947 and 1950) and led them to the County Championship
County Championship
The County Championship is the domestic first-class cricket competition in England and Wales...

 in 1947.

Robins was named one of Wisden's Cricketers of the Year in 1930.

He took 217 first class catches, and 12 in Test matches, yet he infamously dropped Don Bradman during the third Test of England's 1936/37 Ashes
The Ashes
The Ashes is a Test cricket series played between England and Australia. It is one of the most celebrated rivalries in international cricket and dates back to 1882. It is currently played biennially, alternately in the United Kingdom and Australia. Cricket being a summer sport, and the venues...

 tour. Captain Gubby Allen
Gubby Allen
Sir George Oswald Browning "Gubby" Allen, CBE was a cricketer who played for Middlesex, Cambridge University, MCC and England. Australian-born, Allen was a fast bowler and hard-hitting lower-order batsman, who captained England in eleven Test matches...

 placed Robins at square leg with instructions to run to long leg as soon as the fast bowler sent down a bouncer. Bradman duly hooked and Robins, running before the ball was struck, got under the catch only to fumble and drop it. He apologised profusely only for Allen to reply 'Don't give it a thought Walter, you've probably cost us the Ashes, but don't give it a thought'. Bradman went on to make 270, Australia won the match by 365 runs and snatched the series 3 - 2.

Robins captained England for the three Test
Test cricket
Test cricket is the longest form of the sport of cricket. Test matches are played between national representative teams with "Test status", as determined by the International Cricket Council , with four innings played between two teams of 11 players over a period of up to a maximum five days...

 series at home to New Zealand
New Zealand cricket team
The New Zealand cricket team, nicknamed the Black Caps, are the national cricket team representing New Zealand. They played their first in 1930 against England in Christchurch, New Zealand, becoming the fifth country to play Test cricket. It took the team until 1955–56 to win a Test, against the...

 in 1937, winning it 1-0. He later became Chairman of the England Test Selectors.

He died in Marylebone
Marylebone
Marylebone is an affluent inner-city area of central London, located within the City of Westminster. It is sometimes written as St. Marylebone or Mary-le-bone....

, following a long illness, aged 62. His son Charles Robins
Charles Robins
Robert Victor Charles Robins known as Charles Robins is a former English cricketer and insurance executive. He is the eldest son of the cricketer Walter Robins.-Career:...

 was also a first-class cricketer. His son-in-law, Kenneth Came
Kenneth Came
Brigadier Kenneth Charles Came OBE was a career British Army officer and English cricketer. He was born at Caversham, Berkshire.-Military career:...

, was a career officer in the British Army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

, as well as a first-class cricketer.

External references