Bob, fast turning into my co-blogger on this series, harks back to the winter of 1962-3:
The 1962-3 Ashes series was the first in Australia that I followed closely. That winter was the coldest in England since 1740, with most of the country under snow from Boxing Day 1962 to early March 1963. My parents' house had no central heating, and getting out of bed in the cold and dark to find out the Test score was not easy. However, my parents' bedroom contained a radio tuned to the cricket and the larger of the family's two electric fires. So each morning during Test matches would find me crouched in front of the electric fire listening to the radio. Reception was generally poor. The signal came and went, and there was often noise which might be the crowd's reaction to a wicket or a fine stroke but might also be just interference. Eventually, though, I would know what was happening.Excerpts from the books on my shelves:
One of the more interesting aspects of the 1962-3 series was the return to the English team of David Sheppard, the only ordained minister to play cricket for England. He first played for England in 1950, and after being ordained in 1955, he made a comeback in the fourth Test against Australia in 1956, scoring a century in a match which was most notable for Jim Laker's 19 wickets. He played two Tests in 1957, but he played very little cricket in the next few seasons, and when I was getting into cricket in the late 50s and early 60s he looked like a figure of the past. However, he played enough cricket in 1962 to get back into the England team and was selected for the tour of Australia (which he had previously toured in 1950-51).
The first Test was drawn, and the second Test began on December 29th soon after the great freeze. England achieved a small first innings lead thanks to 93 from Dexter and 113 from Cowdrey. Australia were then all out for 248 in their second innings thanks to 5 for 62 from Trueman, and at the end of day four England were 9 for 1, needing 234 to win. When I got the news in the bitter cold the next morning it was all over. England had won by seven wickets with Sheppard scoring 113. He was run out going for the winning run. In spite of the cold, I was happy (until the next Test, which Australia won).
Sheppard, thrown out when going for the winning run, amply redeemed some indifferent fielding and his failure to score in the first innings. He drove exceptionally well for five hours. - Wisden 1964David Sheppard later became Bishop of Liverpool.
After tea Sheppard drove Benaud beautifully and reached his century amid continuous applause. It was a splendid piece of batsmanship. - A.G. Moyes and Tom Goodman, With the M.C.C. in Australia 1962-3
The crowd rose to him and he stood there bareheaded, his bat raised high. He had batted four hours twenty minutes, a trumpeting recall to achievement on the brink of withdrawal, for a failure here would have cost him his Test place... It was an astonishing resurrection, this of Sheppard's, for he had looked to be steadily sinking but for four hours he played with the assurance of one who had heard an old nostalgic tune, its melody as it made itself familiar recalling forgotten and delightful associations. - Alan Ross, Australia '63
The scores were soon tied, but as Sheppard scampered for the winning run he was thown out by Lawry from gully and, so, was denied the distinction he had earned of carrying his bat through to victory. - E.M. Wellings, Dexter Versus Benaud
[T]his was to be our only success until the last moments of the game, when Bill Lawry brilliantly ran out David Sheppard as he answered a call from Cowdrey who had cut Simpson just backward of point. - Richie Benaud, Spin me a Spinner
Sheppard went off to a hero's ovation from a generous crowd of 33,000... and to collapse into the arms of his team-mates as he reached the dressing-room. - John Clarke, Challenge Renewed
It was a pity he could not have taken out his bat, but it was a small blemish on a great occasion for English cricket. - E.W. Swanton, The Ashes in Suspense
[For links to the other posts in this series, see here.]