General News | 15th April 2008
The Canterbury Connection
Notts face Kent this week in the opening game of the 2008 County Championship.
Club Historian Peter Wynne-Thomas looks at the players that have featured for both sides.
Although the two counties have been playing each other for 171 years, very few cricketers have left Kent to come to Trent Bridge
In fact Mark Ealham, the present Notts all-rounder is the most successful of the handful who have moved to Nottingham.
The son of the Kent and England player, Alan Ealham, Mark was born in Willesborough near Ashford in 1969. He made his Kent debut in 1989 and was capped in 1992. In 1996 he won his England Test cap, but played in only eight games – he was far more effective in One Dayers, with 64 England appearances.
At the close of the 2003 seasson, Kent offered Ealham only a one year contract while Nottinghamshire’s offer of a three year deal was enough to persuade him to move. It proved a shrewd investment by Nottinghamshire as the following figures quite clearly show. In his four summers at Trent Bridge Ealham has averaged 34.59 with the bat and 24.74 with the ball.
When he left Kent in 2003, his career batting average was 31.67 and bowling 28.54, so he has performed better than predicted. He has also flourished in One Day games. His most outstanding feat however was v MCC at Lord’s in 2006 when he won the Lawrence Trophy by hitting a century off 45 balls.
Like Ealham, the second player on our list was a very dedicated cricketer. Dave Halfyard had been educated at Purley Grammar School and was taken on Surrey’s staff as a seam bowler. He had a good record with Surrey 2nds, but was unable to break into the senior side. Those were the days of Bedser and Loader, Lock and Laker. So in 1956, aged 25, Halfyard hopped across the border to Kent.
He soon found a place in his adopted county’s eleven, but in 1962, travelling to Weston-super-mare to play Somerset, Halfyard was involved in a horrendous road accident. The experts announced it was the end of his cricket career and after several attempts at a comeback, he joined the FC Umpires’ List.
He came to officiate in a game at Trent Bridge and casually took part in some early morning net practice. His bowling impressed the Notts Cricket Committee so much, that he was offered a contract for the following season. He played at Trent Bridge for three summers taking 194 wickets.
Halfyard then moved to Durham and was their leading wicket taker in 1971 and 1972. In 1973 he appeared for Northumberland and was their best bowler. In 1974 he joined Cornwall, taking 74 wickets and being the outstanding Minor Counties bowler of the year.
He rejoined the FC Umpires’ List in 1977, with the proviso that he would still be able to turn out for Cornwall.
When he died aged 65 in 1996 he was still playing in the Devon Premier League and took his final wicket only a week or two before he passed away. Halfyard never conceded defeat and as a bowler as known as ‘The Machine’.
His other love was his aged camper-van in which it is said he traveled over 400,000 miles.
David Baker, a leg break and googly bowler was educated at Bernondsey Central School in South London and joined the Kent playing staff in 1959. He played 27 first class games for Kent between 1961 and 1963, before being specially registered for Notts. He was unable to find a regular place in the county side and only turned out in seven matches over two seasons. Afterwards he had a long career in local club cricket including a spell with Roth’s Amateurs.
Paul Strang, the Zimbabwean Test cricketer, was signed by Kent for one season to fill the shoes of Carl Hooper in 1997, Hooper being required by the West Indian tourists. Strang hit 590 first-class runs and took 63 wickets, the latter being the most by a Kent bowler that season. Strang then moved to Trent Bridge but it proved a very difficult summer for Notts and like many of his colleagues he returned modest figures.
He was replaced in 1999 by Vasbert Drakes as the county’s overseas signing. Strang played in 24 Tests and 95 ODIs and his brother, Bryan, also played for his country.
The Rev Henry Telford Hayman played for Kent in two matches in 1873. It is an illustration of the times that Hayman was educated at Cambridge University but was not considered for a blue.
Born in West Malling in Kent in 1853 he took holy orders and from 1879 to 1907 served in two Notts parishes, Ruddington and Edwinstowe.
He played for Gentlemen of Notts, but never in the full county side, though from 1888 to 1904 he was a member of the Notts CCC Committee. Hayman died in Cheltenham in 1941.
Rob Ferley – a slow left arm bowler, played for Kent in 2003-2006 and last season played 3 first classes fixtures for Nottinghamshire.