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Brian Sellers: Yorkshire Tyrant

By Mark Rowe

Brian Sellers, the ‘most successful county captain of all time’ (Wisden 1940) led a great Yorkshire team: among those who played under him were Herbert Sutcliffe, Bill Bowes, Hedley Verity and later Leonard Hutton. Having established his authority, he urged his men to win matches. That led to six Championships in eight seasons to 1939, and the first post-war Championship in 1946. Sellers went on to serve in Yorkshire and MCC administration and helped make decisions – Yorkshire’s sacking of Johnny Wardle in 1958, the start of one-day county cricket in 1963. Did he turn dangerously tyrannical? The outcry after the sacking of Brian Close in 1970 – and the equally fateful choice of Geoffrey Boycott as captain – suggested he did. Sellers, feared and foul-mouthed, gave his life to Yorkshire cricket, and his body to Leeds Medical School.

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