Facing Fred Trueman at alititude

Fred TruemanIn Mexico City, at 2,500 metres above sea level, a cricket ball travels quicker through the air. One of England’s greatest fast bowlers sends you down a bouncer. What do you do? For Lincoln Clarke the answer was simple – try to hit it for six!

Lincoln faced the quite frightening prospect of opening the batting for Mexico Cricket Club in the 1970s and facing a certain FS Trueman – a guest player for a British Airways touring team – at altitude.

The man from the island of Saint Vincent certainly remembers his encounter with the Yorkshire paceman at Mexico City’s Reforma Club.

“It was a few years after Fred had retired from Test cricket, of course he had slowed down a bit. Even at that pace he was a handful for most of us,” he recalled.

Lincoln Clarke receives a bat from John Edrich for his unbeaten century against a British Airways XI

Lincoln Clarke receives a special presentation bat from ex-England and Surrey batsman John Edrich for his unbeaten century against a British Airways XI

“I remember opening against him. And he dropped a shorter ball which I tried to hook and it came on a lot faster than I imagined so it went straight the slips for four.

“He just glared at me down the pitch and said ‘what kind of bloody shot is that.’ So I said ‘well, you look at the book, it’s four runs!’”

You can hear more from Lincoln in a piece we recorded for BBC World Service Radio programme ‘Stumped’ by clicking here…

Lincoln Clarke

Lincoln Clarke

To quote another Yorkshireman, Lincoln was “no mug with the bat” and in another game helped Mexico Cricket Club to a famous victory over the British Airways team that included former England batsman John Edrich.

Lincoln’s unbeaten century saw him presented with a bat by Edrich after the game.

“John invited me over to England to play and reckoned he could have got me a one-day contract with a county team,” Lincoln added.

“It didn’t happen for one reason or another but it was nice to play against some of these great players, especially in a place like Mexico City.”

Mexico cricket 2 - credit Mexican Cricket Association

Cricket at the Reforma Club in Mexico City