Douglas John Insole CBE
18th April 1926 - 5th August 2017
It is our sad duty to announce that Doug Insole passed away on 5th August 2017 at the age of 91.
The funeral will be attended by close friends and family by invitation only. We request that all well-wishers respect the family’s privacy at this time.
A Memorial Service will be held later this year, details of which will be released in due course.
School Captain 1944
Captain Cambridge Cricket 1949
Captain Cambridge Football 1949
Test Cricketer 1950-57
Captain Essex Cricket 1951-61
President Essex County Cricket Club
Wisden Cricketer of the Year 1956
Vice Captain England 1956
Test Selector 1960 - 70
Chairman Test & County Cricket Board
Australian Tour Manager 1978-79, 1982-83
President of MCC 2006-07
Life Vice-President MCC 1993
Chairman European Cricket Council
Any Monovian of vintage 1944-52 will have no doubt that Doug Insole is the most famous Monovian of our generation. Every morning at assembly we would belt out the hymn for the day, listen to the lesson to be read by the chosen prefect, and receive the praises or recriminations of the
day from the Headmaster. In front of us would be the panelling containing the school captains of recent times. There, obvious to all, was the name of Doug Insole. He was just before my time but rapidly became an icon. He went up to Cambridge achieved a blue in Football and Cricket, and amazingly, became captain of both the Cambridge teams. But that was just the beginning.
In 1947 the school were given the day off to attend the Oxford Cambridge match at Lords. Our headmaster, Mr. Stirrup was able to watch the match in the hallowed Lords Pavilion. The rest of us watched the match from the stands. All was peaceful, as befitted Lords in those day, until our hero Doug Insole came out to bat. We went mad. Doug could do no wrong. Every stroke of the bat was received by wild cheers. In those days such behaviour at Lords was unheard of. The next day at school we received the severest of reprimands from our beloved headmaster. He was severely embarrassed, sitting in the pavilion, by our rowdy behaviour. However we had been determined to demonstrate the pride we had for our hero and his admonitions fell on deaf ears. We can justifiably claim to be the original "Barmy Army".
Doug entered the Monoux in 1937. There he is in the 1938 panoramic school photo, ( right).. Within a couple of years the war began and Doug with the rest of Monoux was evacuated to Leominster. There he began to demonstrate his sporting prowess, becoming captain of the cricket and football 1st XI's. He was also a dab hand at table tennis. In 1947 he went up to St Catherine's College Cambridge and achieved "blue status" with the University football and cricket teams.
Upon leaving Cambridge he immediately joined the Essex County Cricket team with whom he played until 1963, and captained for 10 years. He also became a regular member of MCC cricket teams. In 1956 he became Wisden Cricketer of the year. During the period 1960-70 he served as England test selector, and was Australian tour manager in 1978-79 and 1982-83. The 78-79 tour was a particularly eventful occasion as the Packer attempt to recruit the players was at its height. During his terms of office he had to come to grips with the politically charged question of the inclusion of Basil D'Oliviera in the test side to tour South Africa. The cancellation of the 1968-69 tour to South Africa was one of the stepping stones to the end of apartheid some 20 years later. On May 5th 2006 his appointment to the post of President of the MCC was announced.
School vBelmont Abbey. -School 85 for 3: (Cook 32 net out, Insole 29); rain stopped play.
School v Ludlow Grammar School. -Ludlow 85 (Chambers 6 for 20); School 92 for 2 (Cook 40, Insole 35 not out).
School V. Leominster Grammar School. - Leominster 64 (Chambers 6 for 24); School 81.
School v. Ludlow Grammar school. - School 111 (Smith 32, Insole 54); Ludlow 44 (Cook 4 for 8, Davey 2 for 4. School v. Leominster Town. - Town 84 (Cutting 5 for 34); School 97 for 5 (Timms 33, Insole 39).
School v. Leominster Town. - Town 141 for 8 dec. (Chambers 4 for 33); School 81 (Cook 80, Insole 24).
Innings Not Out Highest Innings Runs Average
Insole 7 1 54 230 38.33
Cook 7 1 40 133 22.16
Timms 1 - 33 56 14.00
Smith 7 1 32 58 9.66
Cutting 3 - 13 22 5.00
Norfolk 4 1 8 14 4.66
Chambers 5 - 12 22 4.40
Willmer 4 1 7 12 4.00
Overs Maidens Runs Wickets Average
Chambers 60 12 170 21 8.5
Davey 12 2 34 4 8.5
Cutting 40 9 136 15 9.05
Cook 30 4 136 15 11.6
Chambers, P.-An excellent fast bowler who kept an exact length and swung the new ball both ways. He was a very useful batsman, especially strong on the leg-side, a safe fielder, and a Captain who set a good example to his side.
Chittenden, A.R. - An opening batsman who always looked as if set for a big score, which, however, he seldom obtained. His main fault was trying to hook a ball on the leg stump before his eye was in; consequently he was nearly always l.b.w. or bowled leg stump. A useful slow off-break bowler, whose fielding left much to be desired.
Cook, A. - A very good attacking batsman, who seldom failed. He scored runs freely all round the wicket and had a very powerful hook. He was a very accurate fast-medium bowler, although sometimes rattled. His fielding was very good and always keen.
Insole, D. -A superb batsman with a great variety of strokes, who was the main scorer of the team. As a wicket-keeper he proved himself very valuable and succeeded in bringing off some very difficult catches behind the stumps. He was, too, a brilliant fielder.
Cutting, G. - Opened the bowling with Chambers and met with no little success. Although he relied mainly on out-swingers, he could turn the ball sharply from leg while retaining his fast medium pace. Although he was number 10 in the batting order, his batting was not to be ignored, and on one occasion he pulled the side out of a rut.
Smith, E. H. - An opening batsman who showed himself very capable. Although rather slow in starting, he usually managed to knock a good score. His leg glance was particularly good. He was a keen, sound slip-fielder.
TimmS, P. A. - A left-handed batsman, who often proved a thorn in his opponent's side by his stubborn if not brilliant batting. His fielding at point was excellent, and he took several good catches.
Willmer, J. - An aggressive batsman who did not get much chance to show his capabilities. He usually batted soundly, however, and was at his best at critical times. He was a very sound fielder.
Norfolk, D. - An attacking batsman whose nerves did not serve him well. He showed promise, however, and had several good strokes. He was a keen fielder.
Davey, F. - A fast-medium bowler who showed great promise. He should resist the temptation to bowl too fast before obtaining a length and should not allow himself to get rattled. A fair fielder, and a batsman who had the peculiar habit of letting leg balls go by and playing forward to everything else.
The past cricket season was by far the most enjoyable since evacuation, and it was successful as far as results are concerned. We obtained the use of the Grange, the town cricket ground, on Mondays. Wednesdays, some Saturdays, and also for evening net practices, and having got the --,round and the equipment, all that we needed was enthusia:an; luckily there was plenty of that. By constant practice at the nets and in scratch matches a keen, promising, i[ not brilliant team was built up. Thanks almost entirely to the enthusiasm and sound advice of Mr. Elam, who frequently stopped a game to point out some fault, the standard of play increased considerably.
However, one of the most gratifying results was the good form shown, especially towards the end of the season, by juniors, some of whom did extremely well in House Matches.
If this team can show improved form next season, and all the members of it are still at school, it should be very successful in any fixtures which the School is fortunate enough to obtain.
RESULTS OF MATCHES.
9/5/'42 v. Hereford H.S. (A)-Lost by 24 run,. Hereford IZO (Lewis S for 26).
School 96 (Timms 33 not out Willmer 20) .
16/5/'42 .-v. Bromyard G_S. (A>-Won by 92 runs.
School 108 (Insole 34, Norfolk 33. Harris 22). Bromyard 16 (Lewis 3 for 1, Davey 3 for 5).
23/5/'42 v. Ludlow G.S. (A)-Won by 176 runs.
School 216 for 4 dec. (Norfolk 91, Insole 62. Willmer 50 not out). Ludlow 40 (Guest 4 for 2).
27/5/'42 v. Kington G.S. (A)-Won by I wicket. Kington 31 (Timms S for 3).
School "A" XI_ 32 for 9.
l0/6/'42 v. Bclmont Abbey School (H)-Won by 73 runs. School 96 for 6 dec.
Bclnu>nt 23 (Wyrill 6 for 2).
24/6/'42 v. Kington G.S. (H)--Drawn.
School "A" XI. I11 for 8 dec. (Insole 66). Kington 67 for 9 (Davey 3 for 16, Insole 3 for 17).
27/6/42 v. Belmont Abbey School (A)-Won by 3 wkts. Belmont 60 (Insole 3 for 10, Smith, R. 3 for 17). School 64 for 7 (Norfolk 24).
13/7/'42 v. Home Guard (H)-Won by 8 wkts. Home Guard 45 for S dec.
School 65 for 2 (Gillingham 30 not out).
20/7/'42 v. Home Guard (,H)--Won by 6 wkte.
Home Guard 63 (Smith, R. 4 for IS, Insole 4 for 17). School I1 l for S (Insole 40 not out).
22/7/'42 v. Leominster G.S. (H)-Won by 75 runs. School 132 for 9 dec. (Insole 60, Lewis 28). Leominster 57 (Davey 4 for 7, Insole 4 for 17).
24/7/'43 v. Institute, Leominster (H}-Won by 6 wkts. Institute 50 (Smith, R. ; for 0).
School 110 for 7 (Willmer 27)
Inns Nol out Highest. Inns . Runs Average.
Insole, D. J 9 1 66 307 38.4
Norfolk, D. E. 7 - 91 187 26.7
Willmer, J. E 11 2 50 124 13.4
Lewis. J. L 8 2 28 76 12.7
Baker, D. J 7 2 16 52 10.4
Timms, P. A 8 2 33 62 10.3
Gillingham, R. 8 1 30 58 8.3
Qualification 50 runs
Overs Mdns Runs Wkts Average
Smith, R 27 11 43 12 3.6
Wyrill. P. K. 51 22 86 18 4.7
Davey, L. F. 31 10 84 15 5.6
Lewis, J. L. 31 12 76 13 5.8
Insole, D. J. 64 14 129 21 6.1
Qualification, 10 wickets.
BAKER, D. J.
A very stylish bat, whose stroke play was often brilliant, though in matches he lacked the confidence which he had in the nets. He has a very good cover drive and his leg glance is good, though he 'feels' for the ball outside the off stump too much. His fielding at fine leg was sound and he did not give away many runs.
DAVEY, L. F.
Was a big disappointment early in the season, for on last year's form he should have been our most successful bowler. His bowling, however, was very erratic, and he sacrificed length for speed. He made a good come-back later in the season, when he bowled well. His fielding was good at times, though his throwing was slovenly. He failed with the bat, though his style was good.
GILLINGHAM, R. H.
A batsman who came into the team just after the beginning of the season. His style is most unorthodox, and, though he scored fairly well throughout the season, failure to improve his style is likely to cramp further development. He has a powerful drive which needs polishing, and a fairly good cut between point and gully. His fielding is keen, though his picking-up is not always clean.
A medium-slow leg-break bowler who, in the matches in which he played, proved very useful. He maintained a good length, and turned the ball a considerable amount. His batting could have been passable, but he had an irrepressible desire to hit out. As a fielder he was keen and safe.
He had a natural left-hander's style, but suffered rather badly from nerves. When confident, however, he hit freely all round the wicket and was very pleasing to watch. He had a good leg glidc and hook, though his Off-side play was weak and was usually the cause of his downfall. As a slip-fielder he was not too sure, but was good in front of the wicket.
Lewls, J. L.
Started the season well at Hereford, his bowling coming very sharply across the wicket, but he did not quite reach the same high standard again. Later on in the season he solved our No. 3 problem and proved himself a steady and very forceful batsman, especially on the leg-side, and his running between the wickets was good. He took several difficult catches in the slips and was always keen.
NORFOLK, D. E.
A surprisingly successful batsman, who has improved greatly since the previous season. He opened the innings and scored fairly fast, his running between wickets being good also. His main fault was the absence of a forward stroke, but he has a good forcing shot off his back foot past cover, and a powerful hook. His fielding was reliable and his bowling fair.
As wicket-keeper he filled a gap well and has a natural eye for 'keeping,' his taking of fast bowling being good. He has, however, almost everything to learn, especially where slow bowling is concerned. His batting is not to be ignored, for his great strength made him a big hitter, though he cannot single out the right ball to hit.
RIGGWAY, W. D.
A slow but steady batsman, who improved as the season progressed. His shots on the off-side were good, but his leg play was weak. If he uses his wrists to better effect he should develop a good off-drive. He began as wicket-keeper and later fielded on the on-side, where he was generally safe.
A medium-slow bowler who came into the team half-way through the season and who was effective because of his ability to maintain a good length under all circumstances. He made the mistake of trying to bowl a faster ball when he really needed to develop a well-flighted slower ball. His fielding at third man was very good and his batting, though slow, was at times promising.
TIMMS. P. A.
A left-handed bat, who, though slow and rather tedious to watch, proved very useful to the team on several occasions. He struck a bad patch half-way through the season, but picked up again later. He had a hard drive when he wanted to use it, and also a good leg glide. His fielding was spasmodic, but he was brilliant at backward point on occasions. His fast-medium bowling was sometimes useful.
One of the leading members ol the team and a very attractive batsman to watch, though he is unable to hit the ball really hard because his grip makes this difficult. He developed a good forcing back-shot and leg-glide, the latter often being the cause of his downfall, for he was usually l.b.w. His fielding on the off-side was smart and safe, and his slow howling not to be ignored.
As an opening bowler he was very successful, especially in the early part of the season. He had a peculiar action, taking a fairlv long run, but stopping just before reaching the wicket. His bowling came off the pitch quickly and he occasionally brought one back sharply from the off, though he might well profit by trying to bowl slightly slower. As a fielder he was always keen and sure. His batting was a recogniscd joke, but his blind hittine won the match for us on one occasion.
INSOLE, D.J. (Captain)
He captained the side admirably, with just the right sort of control. His changing of the bowling was exceptionally good, a very rare thing in school elevens, and he always had a grip on the game. He might with advantage, study very closely the type of field each of his bowlers requires, as they have a tendency to indifference about it.
He was the mainstay of the side in batting, easily the best fielder, and one of the best bowlers. As a batsman he has nearly all the shots, with particularly fine forcing strokes to the off, and his style deserves the more reliable pitch that it really needs, though on the pitches that came his way he was highly successful. His fast medium bowling (fast in this class) has been very effective, though like Wyrill's, it might improve by becoming a shade slower. Brilliant either at cover or silly mid-off, his all-in-one return to the wicket-keeper is a model for any aspirant to good fielding.
During the last term we had more frequent and more enjoyable soccer matches than in the corresponding term last year, and in view of the fact that we now have no 'gym.', they were a great help in keeping us fit.
The First XI. played six matches, three of which were won, two lost, and one drawn. The standard of football played was fairly high, though of course not up to peace-time class. Both games played against Kington Grammar School were won easily, and these were actually the only instances in which we could test ourselves against another Secondary School. In the first match, at Kington, we won by six goals to nil; Lewis (playing at out-side-left), scored a 'hat-trick,' and Willmer scored with a magnificent drive from about 30 yards. In the return match the margin was narrower: three goals to one, but the win was easier than the score suggests, for the School was attacking throughout the game.
Of three games played against the Army, two were lost, one lamentably, and one drawn. Superior weight told in every case; in one match we managed to get into the lead after being 5-2 down, but could do no better than draw. On another occasion we were holding them to a draw till ten minutes from the end, when they broke away and scored twice.
The other game was against Lancing College, evacuated to Ludlow. We played their Second X1., and won a closely contested game by six goals to five. The forwards played neat football, and the passing was extremely accurate. The defence was generally sound, but could not hold spasmodic break-aways by the Lancing forwards.
The House Competition was interesting to the end, Spivey being the winners and Mallinson the runners-up. Considerable keenness was shown in this competition, and though the standard of play was not very high, the matches were enjoyed by most of the seniors.
This term, after a rainy beginning, we have, at the time of going to print, played several matches, nearly all against the Army. The first of these games, played under atrocious conditions, we lost 4-0, largely because both attack and defence persistently misjudged the ball on the greasy surface. The second, against another Company, we won 5-2, with even greater ease than the score suggests; but the following week, against a much stronger side, we were held to a draw, six goals each, after we had led by 6 goals to 3. This recovery on the part of our opponents may be attributed to our failure to last the pace and a certain slackness in the defence throughout. Our most recent encounter was with the team to which we had lost previously in the mud, and on this occasion we took ample revenge by beating them, 9 goals to 2.
Our only match with another school was played against Westminster, whom we beat 5-3 in a game of missed chances on our part. The forwards scored one goal each.
The team has not, of course, been up to peace-time standards; indeed, on the only occasion on which it has played at home, it was much below form, though several of our 'regulars' were missing; but to have got a side as good as ours from such a small school is, I think, no mean achievement, and says a lot for the enthusiasm of the boys.
Regular members of the team were: -Jeffries,: Ridgway. Ridealgh: Willmer. Gillingham Smith, R., Norfolk. Cook. Insole, Browne, Lewis.
Evacuation 1942; 'an off day'
8.20 a.m.-Roused by violent knocking on my bedroom door, I woke up. I remembered that it was Friday morning and that consequently I was due at school at 9 o'clock-and really woke up. I flew out of the bedroom towards the bath-room; nearly upsetting the jug of hot water that signifies a good billet.
8.55 a.m. I set out for the Friends' Hall in a hurry, only to have to wait outside while someone fetched the key, not an unusual occurrence. I was very cold by the time the key arrived, and forced my way in to grab a place near the stove. I had not, however, reckoned on the whimsical behaviour of that particular stove, which was giving out smoke instead of heat. It was very difficult that morning for the master to see the boys, at the back of the room, and we got a good deal of enjoyment during that lesson.
9.40 a.m.-We went to Green Lane through torrents of rain for French, and everybody was very wet, especially those boys who, having come several miles, did not arrive in time for English They had secured the best seats round the fire. Everybody rushed to join them, discarding coats, and French that morning was "wet."
10.25 a.m.-The Latin and Spanish sets departed for the Friends' Hall, while we waited for the German master to arrive. After an uneventful period we left Green Lane for P.T., but although it had stopped raining we knew that "gym." was out of the question, though we had to turn up.
11.10 a.m.-On the way to the school I stopped at the Friends' Hall to drink my milk, which consisted mainly of half melted ice, the remainder being pure ice. I arrived puffing and blowing at the school, just in time to tail on to a route march. It was very cold, but some of the brighter sparks sang a varied selection of popular songs.
12.00.-Feeling "fed-up and far from home" I arrived at the Friends' Hall for another bout of French, and this time the situation had changed. In order to let the smoke out, the windows had been open all the morning, and the Hall was now like a refrigerator. I struggled gamely with a page of Interrogative Pronouns, and was glad when the period finished and I could go home for dinner. A hot dinner braced me up and I then felt strong enough to face another period at the Friends' Hall.
2.0 p.m.-History that afternoon seemed quite pleasant, for the room was now clear, and the temperature had, I should think, risen to almost 32 F. But all good things must end, and we all trudged through the rain, which had again begun to fall, to the school, to be met by the maths master.
2.50 p.m.-Having passed through a class of rather embarrassed girls doing gym we had maths. in a partitioned room, so that the class next door could share the benefit of the wisecracks.
3.30 p.m.-The "artists" having set out for the Friends' Hall, we "non-artists," under supervision, got down to prep., which unfortunately developed into a discussion on the relative merits of Lawton and Welsh.
4.45 p.m.-I went home for tea, and heard the first part of the news before setting out for the school to do some homework.
6.20 p.m.-Arriving at the school, I did twenty minutes' good work, when . . . . the Girls' Club got going! That admirable institution had among its number a pianist who was able to play such well-known classics as "Waltzing in the Clouds" and "Down Forget-me-not Lane." I now doubt very much the value of "music while you work."
8.0 p.m.-I left prep., having- had my permit signed, finding consolation in the fact that I had done twenty minutes' good work, and went to the Club to try to get a game of Table Tennis. Just before my turn, however, a stentorian voice boomed, "Last games on," and, having my permit signed once more, I went home, via the fish-and-chip shop.
10.0 p.m.-Having had supper and listened to the wireless, I went to bed a sadder, but I regret to say, not wiser man, rejoicing that the next day was Saturday, and I could call the afternoon my own.
D. J. Insole.
Player profile Full name Douglas John Insole
Born April 18, 1926, Clapton, London
Major teams England, Cambridge University, Essex
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm medium
Fielding position Wicketkeeper
Doug Insole was probably better known for his influence on cricket after the end of his playing days rather than his exploits on the field. He was however, a fine batsman, who made over 50 first-class hundreds and had a modest Test career. His method was unorthodox, with an open stance, and a dominant bottom hand. This made him vulnerable to the ball moving away from him, but an excellent eye, combined with great concentration and tenacity, made him successful. He adapted his methods to the state of the game, but his natural inclination was to score at a fast rate.
An excellent slip fielder (he also occasionally kept wicket), Insole was also an outstanding leader. He honed his captaincy skills at Cambridge in 1949, and took over the leadership of Essex from T.N Pearce the following year. Essex finished bottom of the championship that summer, but over the next decade became a force in the championship, in no small part due to Insole's influence. He understood the game well, and was popular with his players. He bowled occasional medium pace, and was good enough to take 138 first-class wickets.
Insole's Test career consisted of nine matches spread over seven years. He debuted against West Indies in 1950, but twice was dismissed cheaply by Ramadhin as England were heavily defeated. Five years later he was given a second opportunity against South Africa, and played a single Test against Australia in 1956, without notable success. He was chosen to vice-captain the England tourists visiting South Africa in 1956, and topped the England Test batting averages. He made an important century in the third Test, and England won the series. He played for England just once more, making a duck in his final innings against South Africa in 1957. He continued to play for Essex until his retirement in 1963, having at that point made centuries against all the first-class counties, other than his own, with over 25,000 first-class runs.
Insole served cricket with considerable distinction after his playing career (earning the CBE). He was on the MCC committee for over 20 years, and an England selector for 19. Notably he was chair of the Test and County Cricket Board at the time of the Packer "crisis", and led English cricket through a difficult time with much common sense. He also managed the 1978-79 England tour of Australia, and latterly was chair of the European Cricket In 2006 he was elected as president of MCC. Council.
Batting and fielding averages
class mat inns no runs hs ave 100 50 4s 6s ct st
Tests 9 17 2 408 110* 27.20 1 1 0 8 0
First-class 450 743 72 25241 219* 37.61 54 126 366 6
class mat balls runs wkts bbi bbm ave econ sr 4 5 10
Tests 9 0 0 0 - - - - - 0 0 0
First-class 450 9020 4680 138 5/22 33.91 3.11 65.36 1 0
Test debut England v West Indies at Nottingham - Jul 20-25, 1950
Last Test England v West Indies at Birmingham - May 30-Jun 4, 1957
First-class span 1947 - 1963
List A span 1969
Wisden Cricketer of the Year 1956
MCC Presidency announcement
Walthamstow Guardian, 11th May, 2006
DOUG INSOLE, president of Essex County Cricket Club, has been appointed next President of the MCC.
The former Sir George Monoux Grammar School pupil played for the county for 17 years and was appointed captain in 1951, holding the position for 10 years. He also represented England in nine Test matches.
Insole played in 450 first-class matches scoring in excess of 25,000 runs, including 50 centuries one of which was a Test hundred against South Africa and he is one of the greatest cricketers to have represented the county.
As skipper of the side he raised the fielding standards and brought a professional approach to the game, displaying burning enthusiasm, shrewdness and imagination.
Appointed as Test selector in 1960, he subsequently relinquished the captaincy before finally retiring from the first-class game in 1963 to concentrate on a business career although he also managed two England tours of Australia, the first in 1978-79 and then in 1982-83.
A past chairman with Essex CCC and the Test and County Cricket Board, Mr Insole became a Life Vice-President of the MCC in 1993 and he currently chairs the European Cricket Council.
Insole was also an accomplished footballer, playing inside-right for Walthamstow Avenue for two seasons before going to Cambridge University where he won three Blues and captained the university at both football and cricket.
He also played for Pegasus and appeared for Corinthian Casuals in the 1955-56 FA Amateur Cup Final.
He has also been a Justice of the Peace for Chingford whilst his many services to the game of cricket deservedly saw him awarded the CBE in 1979.
MCC Presidency; MCC announcement
Doug Insole will serve as the next President of Marylebone Cricket Club; his one-year term of office will begin on 1st October 2006.
The announcement of his appointment was made this afternoon (Wednesday 3rd May) at Lord's, during MCC's Annual General Meeting, by Robin Marlar - the current Club President.
Doug Insole has made an enormous contribution to cricket, on and off the pitch, over many years. He played for Essex CCC for seventeen years (and captained the county for ten of them); he represented England in nine Test matches; he served as an England Test selector for ten years; and he managed two England tours of Australia (in 1978-79 and 1982-83).
A past chairman of both Essex CCC and the Test & County Cricket Board, Doug Insole currently chairs the European Cricket Council.
For his many services to cricket, Doug Insole was appointed CBE in 1979. He became a Life Vice-President of MCC in 1993 - 40 years after he first joined the Club's Cricket committee. He subsequently served the Club in a wide range of important roles: for instance, he was a member of the main MCC Committee for a total of over 30 years (spread across five separate periods) and a Club Trustee from the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s.
In addition to his distinguished playing record as a cricketer, Doug Insole was an accomplished footballer. He won three Blues for football - as he did for cricket - while at Cambridge University, and captained the University at both sports. He also played for Southend United, the Corinthian Casuals and Pegasus - serving as the club's first captain. In 1956, he appeared in the FA Amateur Cup Final.
Born in Clapton in 1926, Doug Insole's year as MCC President will end in 2007 - 60 years after he made his debut in first-class cricket.
In his cricketing career, he played in 450 first-class matches, scored over 25,000 runs and hit more than 50 centuries (including one Test hundred, against South Africa): indeed, he is one of the very select group of batsmen to have scored a century against every first-class county other than his own.
Doug Insole is already the President of Essex CCC.
Doug Insole, MCC's next President
Cricketer of the year, 1956
With amateur county cricketers nowadays something of a rarity, it was the more refreshing to find one of them, Douglas John Insole, of Essex, not only the first to reach the milestones of 1,000 and 2,000 runs last season, but the most prolific run-getter in the country. With 2,427 runs, including nine centuries--two of them in the match with Kent at Gillingham--he averaged 42.57.
Born at Clapton, Middlesex, on April 18, 1926, Insole has spent most of his life in the county he now represents, for he moved to Highams Park when four. His early cricket was of the type by which the average small boy learns the rudiments of the game--on the lawn at home with his father, a keen sports enthusiast. By the time he was eight he engaged in games of a more mature nature at Selwyn Avenue Elementary School where he stayed till eleven. From there he went to the Sir George Monoux Grammar School, Walthamstow, making such progress that when thirteen he appeared for both London Schoolboys and Essex Schoolboys.
Four years of war-time evacuation with the school to Leominster, Herefordhsire, from 1939, interfered somewhat with his advance as a player, for what games were possible took place in rather unconventional circumstances. The effect of this did not prove lastingly detrimental and when the school returned to London he turned out for Chingford in club matches in 1943 and 1944, hitting what he terms the very occasional century. All this he accomplished with the whole-hearted encouragement of his headmaster, Mr. J. F. Elam, himself a cricket devotee, but without any coaching of a serious character.
This did not necessarily tell against him, for Insole considers that had the basic strokes been instilled into him, he might not have been so successful as the essentially on-side batsman which he eventually became. How coaches, themselves possibly slaves to orthodoxy, may be wrong in their judgment of a player's capabilities was illustrated when, after two years' Army service, Insole went up to Cambridge in 1946. Before the start of the 1947 season the University coaches watched him in the nets at Fenner's and informed G. L. Willatt, the University captain, that in their opinion Insole would not make a run because he hit across the ball. He confounded his critics by making many runs in the trial games and for the Crusaders and on the occasion of his first-class debut, he hit 44 from the Yorkshire bowling at Fenner's before being run out. Even so he might have not gained a Blue that year but for the repeated failure of batsmen with more established reputations. In the match with Oxford he scored 38 and 44 and he wound up the season fourth in the University averages, with 161 not out against Hampshire at Portsmouth his highest innings. That summer he began his career with Essex, to whom he had been introduced by his fellow Blue, Trevor Bailey, and he hit 109 not out from the Lancashire bowling at Clacton.
On one occasion when all recognised wicket-keepers at Cambridge were engaged upon examinations, Insole was pressed into service. He acquitted himself so well that next year, with few accredited stumpers available and those unable to make runs, he was given the position behind the stumps for almost the entire season, including the big game at Lord's.
In 1949, his last year at the University, he led Cambridge to a great triumph by seven wickets over Oxford, a performance all against expectations, for the Light Blues fared moderately in the preliminary fixtures whereas their opponents had beaten both Yorkshire and Middlesex, the eventual joint County Champions, and were the only side to lower the colours of W.A. Hadlee's New Zealand touring team.
Coming down from Cambridge, Insole continued with Essex. His first innings for them that season was not encouraging, for he was out for a single against Leicestershire. Against Yorkshire in the following engagement, however, he hit 219 not out, which remains the highest. True, fortune favoured him, for he was missed four times, but this innings not only won for him his Essex cap, but placed him firmly upon his feet in county cricket. Actually he headed the Essex averages with 65.38. In 1950, when joint captain with T.N. Pearce, he scored more runs, 1,592, than any other member of the eleven and was chosen for England in the third Test match with West Indies.
The following summer Insole took over the sole captaincy and has led Essex ever since, scoring over 1,000 runs each year. Last season he played for England in the fourth Test against South Africa and captained Gentlemen v Players at Lord's and The Rest against the Champion County. His feat of scoring two separate centuries in a match was one he might well have achieved in 1954 against Northamptonshire at Romford where, having hit 156 not out in the first innings and 92 not out in the second, he declared in the interests of the side. As it happened, the sacrifice was in vain, for Northamptonshire won in the last over by three wickets. Insole occasionally puts in a useful spell of medium-pace bowling. Employing the seam skilfully, he specially distinguished himself against Surrey at Ilford last May when he dismissed five of the Champion county's batsmen in seven overs for 22 runs.
Though Denis Compton was his cricketing hero in his schoolboy days, Insole did not attempt to copy his style. He attributes his success rather to a good eye and some natural aptitude for ball games. A fine fieldsman, especially at slip, Insole has definite ideas on tactics. He stands firmly against the idea that it is better to play for a draw than bring about a result by a declaration on the last day, for he feels that players and crowd usually enjoy a finish.
Aside from his cricketing ability, Insole is also an Association footballer of class. For two years before going up to the University he played for Walthamstow Avenue at inside-right, in which position he represented Cambridge against Oxford in 1946, 1947 and 1948, being captain in the last season when he featured as a reserve in an England International Trial. A founder-member of the famous Pegasus F.C., he was the first player to captain them. For the last two winters he has played at outside-right for Corinthian-Casuals. Sporting talent is not a family attribute, but Insole's younger brother captained London Boys at both Association football and cricket at the age of thirteen and looked to have a highly promising future. Unhappily he developed tuberculosis a year later and died last year aged twenty-three.
Douglas Insole is married and has two daughters. - E.E.
© John Wisden & Co
The Packer Affair
The English resistance. Botham, Willis, Brearley: None joined Packer
By Oliver Brett BBC Sport Online
In the winter of 1978-79, tensions were high as 300 players turned up at the Cricketers' Association AGM at Edgbaston.
Tony Greig led the case for Packer, and had Dennis Amiss on board.
The England team, led by Geoff Boycott and Bob Willis, vehemently led the case for the established game.
But according to Jack Bannister, who was secretary of the Association at the time, Willis got "within a tiny step" of signing with Packer. "In the end he went to his county Warwickshire, something which Amiss and Alvin Kallicharran had failed to do.
The Packer people kept on nibbling at our blokes.
Doug Insole Former TCCB chairman "Warwickshire came up with a package that guaranteed Willis that if injuries cropped up he would be looked after." "It wasn't just a big salary he was after."
The player most coveted by Packer was Boycott himself, and the Yorkshireman has never really explained why he never joined the circus.
Doug Insole was chairman of the Test and County Cricket Board, and freely admits that he knew nothing about Packer's plans until the first batch of players had been signed.
But when four England players suddenly joined the World Series, he knew he had to act fast.
He explains: "On the 1978-79 tour of Australia that I managed and Mike Brearley skippered, the players were made very substantial offers but they didn't take them up.
Boycott is secretive about his reasons "The TCCB were not making any inducements initially whatsoever."
Subsequently, Insole did offer longer-term contracts to various players, and a small increase in pay.
"Derek Randall and Ian Botham were certainly a couple of players to give England the option of their services for two to three years.
"There's no doubt that after Packer, cricketers were better off, but in any case the whole game was taking off after a dicey period in the early 1970s.
"There was a certain acknowledgment that a subsequent increase in remunerations was necessary."
But Insole is in no doubt of the main reason as to why the likes of Brearley and Boycott were against the Packer circus.
"It was very, very substantially loyalty to the English game and I have to say it was very heartening, particularly after the Packer people kept on nibbling at our blokes.
"The knowledge that there would be a likely ban afterwards played a part I suspect, but as it happened once the High Court judgement was passed there never was a ban."
Bannister had been caught in an unenviable position when the Packer circus first came rolling into town.
He knew that the World Series was poles apart from the way the TCCB handled the game in England.
And yet he felt duty-bound to re-assure the England players who had signed with Packer that they could rely on being provided with legal support by the Association if necessary.
Alvin Kallicharran was aided by Bannister and co
The West Indian Kallicharran had - for example - rashly signed a contract with Packer without realising the full implications. "When he realised he had been misled, the Association provided funds for him to examine his legal position," recalls Bannister.
"Packer agreed to cancel his contract under great protest."
As it happened, the TCCB lost its case in the High Court to Packer so none of the half-dozen England players who became involved in the World Series ever required legal assistance.
But the counties had already reached an unofficial agreement with each other that they would only employ Packer players if they were available to play for England all year round.
Insole may insist that loyalty to English cricket was the main reason so few English players signed with Packer.
But players must have known they needed to rely on their counties once their international days were numbered.