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Brief Candles: McMaster, Hyland and Other One-Match Wonders

Written by Keith Walmsley

Nine thousand cricketers have played in just one first-class match, but for some their one appearance was more memorable than for others, for good reasons or otherwise.  In 1924, Fred Hyland spent less than ten minutes on the field of play before rain washed out the game. Poor Josiah Coulthurst didn’t even step on to the playing area in a damp Lancashire contest in 1919. Emile McMaster’s only match, in South Africa in 1889, was later awarded Test status. Bob Richards, playing for Essex at Leyton in 1970, didn’t learn till afterwards that his solitary appearance was a first-class game. Nobody can now be sure who was the Wilkinson who played a match at Oxford in 1939.

Some one-match wonders have achieved much in their brief days in front of the cricket-watching public, centuries even and ‘eight-fors’; others have gone on to exceptional achievements in fields sporting, political and military. Keith Walmsley reports on the ’struts’ and ‘frets’ of some players who appeared just once on the first-class stage and then were ‘heard no more’.

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