Sunday, July 17, 2011

Des Williams’s Glenn Turner poem

This is the first post I’ve done for a while. During the off-season in New Zealand, I’ve been busy doing other things, so expect posts to be intermittent at this time.
This month I came upon another cricket poem written by Des Williams. Des recently sent it to the NZ Cricket Museum. Curator David Mealing passed it on to me, and I asked Des if we could share it with others on the blog. So here it is.
The poem is about New Zealand Master Batsman Glenn Turner scoring his 100th First Class century on 29-31 May 1982, a triple unbeaten century. The poem in rhymed quatrains is an historical and entertaining look at Glenn’s fine achievement:


One Hundred Tons of GMT

Today Glenn reached the milestone cricket fans have waited for
His hundredth first class century – against County Warwickshire
He set himself to do it, and reached his goal in grandest style
An innings supremely masterful – it almost made him smile!

This hundredth century innings, scored before he went to lunch
Enabled him to join company with a most distinguished bunch!
The others who’ve achieved this feat, their names are Heaven-sent
Sir Jack Hobbs, Compton, Cowdrey and Woolley, the pride of Kent

Some slightly less familiar names have rightfully earned their place
Tyldesley, Hayward, Sandham and Mead, not to mention Dr Grace!
Yorkshire’s Hutton, Sutcliffe and “Boycs”, stand among the best
Geoffrey’s 100th was against Australia, scored in an Ashes Test

John Edrich, Hammond, Graveney, Patsy Hendren and Les Ames
These batting heroes almost complete our glittering list of names
But who could forget Sir Donald, Australia’s famous Bowral Boy
He treated bowlers the wide world over like his own special toy

And now Glenn Turner joins this team of cricket’s favoured sons
This elite group of batsmen who have scored one hundred ‘tons’
“I don’t care much for records,” I’ve heard the Otago Master say
“If you’re in the middle long enough, they’ll just come your way.”

But the hundredth was rather special, achieved with real panache
On a glorious day at
New Road, treating Bob Willis to the bash
The scoreboard rocked unceasingly from Glenn’s audacious raid
As the runs just kept on flowing from his Duncan Fearnley blade.

He cruised on past three hundred, kept his wicket intact all day
Not since Robertson in “Forty-nine” had quick runs come that way.
By chance, Billy Ibadulla was there, with a wide celebratory grin
As he carried out Turner’s trademark drink - a large tonic and gin!

So the sun shines on New Zealand cricket, every now and then
Tho’ we haven’t always appreciated our master batsman, Glenn
For several summers our maestro, no test match runs he scored
Thanks to Mister Walter Hadlee’s New Zealand Cricket Board!

© Des Williams, 30 May 1982

Notes: Schweppes County Championship, 1982, Worcestershire v Warwickshire
Ground, New Road, Worcester, 29, 31 May, 1 June 1982 (3-day match). Turner made 311 not out. Future New Zealand spinner Dipak Patel batting at No. 3 made 88 not out as Worcestershire amassed 501-1 declared. Turner topped the season averages ahead of Zaheer Abbas (Pakistan & Gloucestershire) and Alvin Kallicharran (Warwickshire) with 1171 runs at the Bradmanesque average of 90.07.

Thanks for the poem Des and to David Mealing at the NZ Cricket Museum. It was nice to look up these historical facts on Cricinfo relating to Turner too.

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