I became an avid follower of Test cricket in the mid-1950s. In the early 1960s my interest waned somewhat, though it was revived by the visit of Gary Sobers' West Indians to this country in 1966, and then revived decisively by Lillee and Thommo in 1974-75 and by Clive Lloyd's team in England in 1976. Several things accounted for the falling off of my interest in the early '60s, amongst them the fact that in the political milieu of my undergraduate years interest in cricket, or indeed any sport, wasn't high, and the fact that I had a lot else going on at the time, getting used as I was to to university life and to a different country. But another factor was disappointment in the the fortunes of South Africa against England. In 1955, they had managed to compete, losing the series 3-2, but after recovering from a 2-0 deficit to level the series at 2-2. In 1956-57 South Africa drew the series 2-2, again after going 2-0 down at the beginning.
My hopes that they would soon beat England were encouraged by these two series - and then extinguished in 1960. South Africa lost the first three Tests of that summer and the series as a whole 3-0. A symbolic moment occurred during the second Test at Lord's when one of their fast bowlers, Geoff Griffin, was no-balled for throwing. It ended his Test career. For a while I preferred to think about other things.
From some accounts of that time...
The game was made memorable by the several incidents which occurred while Griffin was bowling. He became the first South African to achieve a hat-trick in a Test Match and the first man for any country to accomplish that feat in a Test at Lord's. He also gained a less enviable record, for he became the first player to be no-balled for throwing in a Test Match in England. There had been two previous instances abroad, E. Jones of Australia against England at Melbourne in 1897-98 and G.A.R. Lock of England against West Indies at Kingston, Jamaica, in 1953-54.
Griffin was called eleven times during the course of the England innings, all by F. Lee at square-leg. Then, when the match ended at 2.25 p.m. on the fourth day, an exhibition game took place and Griffin's only over consisted of eleven balls. S. Buller no-balled him for throwing four times out of five. On the advice of his captain, McGlew, who had spoken to Buller, Griffin changed to underarm bowling, but was promptly no-balled again by Lee for forgetting to notify the batsman of his change of action. Griffin's last three balls were bowled underarm. - Wisden 1961
Griffin in his third over was called for throwing when sending down his sixth delivery. His next was called as well. He completed that third over with his eighth ball and Dexter late cut for four. From that moment South Africa was a beaten side. Umpire Lee thus became the first umpire ever to name a player for throwing in any test match played in England. I am perfectly sure he had no taste whatsoever for the duty and no liking for any such unhappy distinction.
There were those in the Press-box who gave vent to some show of jubilation when Griffin was no-balled for unfair delivery. Earlier in this rough island's story there were those who were given to cheering when young men guilty of not very serious crimes swung from the gallows. My own feeling was one of intense sympathy for Griffin who now had been forced to accept what for some time had obviously been coming to him. - Charles Fortune, Cricket Overthrown
Griffin was 'called' three times more by Frank Lee during the afternoon. Still no one watching from the ring is able to distinguish between the deliveries which satisfy the umpires and those which do not. In all, today, Griffin sent down 83 balls, of which five were no-balled. - John Arlott, Cricket on Trial
Griffin was called by Lee on his 18th, 19th, 44th, 66th and 68th deliveries. Five in the first 70 was a much higher ratio of infringement than had been 17 out of 1,390 in the matches that preceded the second Test. The writing was on the wall now and only Persian King Balshazzar would have been blind enough to overlook it. Those calls from square-leg were beginning to strike like the chimes of a grandfather clock in the ears of an insomniac. - John Waite, Perchance to Bowl
[W]ith 99 to his credit and hemmed in by a ring of close fielders, [Smith] attempted to play a ball down to third man and touched it into the safe hands of Waite. That was the last ball of Griffin's 29th over... [Walker] was clean bowled by the first ball of the Natalian's 30th over. Trueman suffered the same fate from the next delivery and the fair-haired youngster again made headlines by becoming the first South African in history to perform the hat-trick in a Test match. - South African Cricket Annual 1960
[For links to the other posts in this series, see here.]