Frank Lee (cricketer)

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Frank Lee
Personal information
Full name Frank Stanley Lee
Born (1905-07-24)24 July 1905
London, England
Died 30 March 1982(1982-03-30) (aged 76)
London, England
Batting Left-handed
Bowling Right-arm medium
Role Batsman, occasional wicket-keeper
Relations Jack Lee (brother)
Harry Lee (brother)
Domestic team information
Years Team
1929–1947 Somerset
1925 Middlesex
First-class debut 3 June 1925 Marylebone Cricket Club v Wales
Last First-class 23 August 1947 Somerset v Kent
Umpiring information
Tests umpired 29 (1949–1962)
Career statistics
Competition First-class
Matches 331
Runs scored 15310
Batting average 27.93
100s/50s 23/68
Top score 169
Balls bowled 1363
Wickets 25
Bowling average 34.48
5 wickets in innings 1
10 wickets in match 0
Best bowling 5/53
Catches/stumpings 159/12
Source: CricketArchive, 7 October 2009

Frank Stanley Lee, born at St. John's Wood on 24 July 1905 and died in Westminster on 30 March 1982 was an English first-class cricketer and an umpire who officiated in Test matches.

As a player, Lee was a solid, rather slow-scoring left-handed opening batsman. He played a couple of matches for Middlesex in 1925, but unable to command a regular place in the side he moved to Somerset, where he became qualified to play in 1929. He scored 107 in his third match for his new county,[1] and though he struggled for runs in 1930 and did not complete 1,000 runs in a season for the first time until 1933, he was then a regular in the side until he retired after the 1947 season.[2]

His best batting year was 1938, when he scored 2,019 runs at an average of 44.86. He bowled only occasionally, but against Warwickshire at Taunton in 1933 he took five wickets for 53 runs.[3] For several seasons right up to his retirement, he acted as reserve wicketkeeper if regular Somerset keeper Wally Luckes was ill or injured.

Lee's first first-class match as an umpire came while he was still a player: he stood in the Somerset match with Cambridge University at Bath in 1947, and then played in the other matches of the Bath cricket festival. He then joined the first-class umpires' list for 1948 and a year later stood in the first of 29 Test matches.

His most controversial Test match was the game at Lord's in 1960 between England and South Africa when he no-balled the South African fast-medium bowler Geoff Griffin 11 times for throwing. He and other umpires had already called Griffin for throwing earlier in the season, but this was the first time a touring team bowler had been called in a Test match.[4] When the Lord's Test ended early, Lee's fellow umpire Syd Buller called Griffin again in the "friendly" match that was arranged to fill in the time, and the action of both umpires was instrumental in ending Griffin's career and in bringing to a head the problems of throwing and dragging that had affected international cricket for several years.

Lee officiated in Tests until the end of the 1962 season, and retired from umpiring in first-class matches at the end of the 1963 season. His last match of any consequence as an umpire was the first-ever Gillette Cup final.

Lee's brothers also played first-class cricket. Harry Lee, 15 years older than Frank Lee, was a batsman and spin bowler for Middlesex from 1911 to 1934 and played in one Test match. Jack Lee, three years older than Frank, played fleetingly for Middlesex and then pioneered the route down to Somerset, where he and Frank often opened the batting together.

External links

  • Frank Lee at ESPNcricinfo
  • Frank Lee at CricketArchive (subscription required)

References

  1. ^ "Somerset v Hampshire". www.cricketarchive.com. 18 May 1929. Retrieved 1 December 2008. 
  2. ^ "Somerset v Hampshire". www.cricketarchive.com. 18 May 1929. Retrieved 1 December 2008. 
  3. ^ "Somerset v Warwickshire". www.cricketarchive.com. 26 August 1933. Retrieved 1 December 2008. 
  4. ^ "England v South Africa". www.cricketarchive.com. 23 June 1960. Retrieved 1 December 2008. 
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