Facing Fred Trueman at alititude
In 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.
“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!’”
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.”