Norman ‘Mandy’ Mitchell-Innes, 1914-2006

Cricket has such a long history, with deep offshoots at every turn, that it is next to impossible to know it all. Inevitably some people know more than others, and this is especially true at Cricinfo as I’m sure it is with other media organisations. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses.

Ancient history is not mine, but even my ears pricked up this morning when I heard of the death of Norman Mandy Mitchell-Innes who died on December 28. His is a fascinating story, as those from that era often are. He played his sole Test against South Africa in 1935 while still at Oxford University and it was for his uni that he most excelled in the game. As I found out today:

In all, he played 132 first-class matches, scoring 6944 runs – with 13 centuries – at an average of 31.42. He also took 82 wickets at 34.79 apiece. A precocious talent, he once scored 302 not out in a house match for Sedburgh during a single afternoon, causing The Sedberghian to report: “Such cricketers rarely come this way.”

I knew little of him before 8.30am this morning but, in getting the report up for Cricinfo, I’m now far less ignorant and can now bore my mates beyond rigid. Still not sure why he earned the nickname Mandy though…