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1959 GB makes his debut for Yorkshire Colts in July against Nottinghamshire at Worksop. Batting at no 4 he is run out for one and makes 2 not out in the second innings of a draw.
1961 Makes first century for Colts, 156 not out against Cumberland at Bridlington and ends up top of the second eleven averages with 45.08.
1962 Following more big scores for the seconds he makes first eleven debut against Pakistan at Bradford. Opening with Brian Bolus, he falls for four in each innings to Test match seamer Antao de Souza in both innings – bowled and caught behind. A week later he makes championship debut at Northampton. Batting at no 4 he makes 6 and 21 not out. Finishes with average of 21.42 from five matches. It will be 24 years until GB fails to make 1,000 runs in an English season.
1963 Makes century on Roses debut at Bramall Lane. Batting at no 5, he makes 145 and takes part in a fourth wicket stand of 249 with Bryan Stott. Has first bowl against Surrey at Bramall Lane in July taking none for 20. Makes second century in the Roses return match at Old Trafford, 113, and puts on 190 for second wicket with Phil Sharpe. On first appearance at Lord’s makes 90 out of Yorkshire’s 144 all out and completes third century of season at Scarborough, 165 not out against Leicestershire. In first full season makes 1652 runs from 43 innings at 45.22 as Yorkshire win the championship. In his first one-day game, the Gillette Cup match at Hove, makes 71 in the 22 run defeat by eventual winners Sussex. Voted Cricket Writers’ Club Young Player of the Year and on 2nd October is awarded his county cap along with John Hampshire and Tony Nicholson
1964 Three hundreds in the early part of the season earns first Test cap against Australia at Trent Bridge, makes 48 in first innings when opening with Fred Titmus after John Edrich had to withdraw after treading on a ball at practice but misses the second knock having cracked a finger while fielding in the rain ruined draw. Is absent from the second Test but plays in the remaining three and at The Oval, where Fred Trueman took his 300th Test wicket, made first century, 113 in the second innings. Yorkshire slip to fifth in the table but GB tops the batting averages with 60.70, including six hundreds for his county, including one against Australia at Park Avenue. The total aggregate is 2110 at 57.75 and he is selected for the winter tour to South Africa where he makes 193 not out against Eastern Province in Port Elizabeth, 106 against Western Province in Cape Town and plays in the first two Tests of the series.
1965 A first Test match wicket comes in the New Year Test, clean bowling Graeme Pollock and Colin Bland to take 3 for 17. Another hundred comes at Newlands, 114 against a South African Xl, followed by 117 in the fifth Test at Port Elizabeth in February. At the start of the new season takes maiden first class wicket for Yorkshire, bowling John Murray in the opening fixture against the MCC at Lord’s and first championship wicket, Ron Headley caught at Headingley in May. Top score of95 comes for Yorkshire at Hull against Somerset but still returns an aggregate of 1447 runs at 35.29. In the Gillette cup GB takes the honours as Yorkshire beat Leicestershire, Somerset and Warwickshire on their way to Lord’s where GB makes 146, the highest individual score, and still a record for a final, in the 175 run win over Surrey and is one of Wisden’s five cricketers of the year
1966 Makes only one century on the winter tour of Australia and New Zealand, 156 against a Tasmanian Xl in Hobart in January but returns to the English season with 123 for Yorkshire against MCC in the pipe opener at Lord’s. In a season where ten of Yorkshire’s championship matches were restricted to 65 overs in the first innings runs are hard to come by but GB makes an unbeaten 136 at Edgbaston, 103 and 105 against Notts at Bramall Lane and 164 at Hove as the county win the title. He rounds off wIth 131 for TN.Pearce’s Xl against the all-conquering West Indies at Scarborough to end the season with 1854 runs at 39.44.
1967 Starts the season with 102 against Glamorgan at Harrogate but GB bags his first pair in the next game against Kent at Bradford, falling in both innings to Norman Graham. In the first Test against India, which England win by six wickets, he makes an unbeaten 246 and is dropped for slow scoring after taking 9hrs 55mins over the runs made from 555 balls faced. Another double hundred follows a fortnight later in June, 220 against Northants at Sheffield. This one taking 7 hrs 35m. One other century follows for Yorkshire, 128 against Pakistan at Leeds, and the aggregate for the wet summer is 1967 runs at an average of 53.05, with only Ken Barrington and Dennis Amiss above him.
1968 The year starts with the tour of the West Indies which ends in a triumph for GB who makes 1,254 runs at 82.42 with another double hundred, 243 against Barbados at Kensington Oval, 116 in the final Test at Georgetown, Guyana, 135 against the West Indies President’s Xl and 165 against the Leeward Islands in Antigua. Back home the runs continue to flow with four successive championship centuries, 100 v Sussex at Bradford, 132 against Leicestershie at Grace Road, 180no v Warwickshire at Middlesbrough and 125 at Bristol against Gloucestershire. Despite back trouble putting him out of the game from mid July to September, there are three other hundreds and GB tops the first class averages with 1,487 runs at 64.65 as Yorkshire win the title for the third year on the trot.
1969 A meagre year in a Yorkshire side which lost Illingworth, Trueman and Taylor and missed Close through injury saw GB, now wearing contact lenses instead of his glasses, slip to 13th in the national averages with 1,283 at 38.87. He scored the only century by a Yorkshire batsman in the championship, 105 not out against Somerset at Leeds and carried his bat for 53 out of 119 against Warwickshire at Bradford. Two more centuries came against the West Indies, 128 in the first Test at Manchester and 106 at Lord’s as England won the series 2-0. Against New Zealand his top score was 47 at Old Trafford and a broken left hand brought a premature end to his summer and forced him to miss his county’s Gillette Cup victory.
1970 The year started with an MCC tour of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) and the far east and although GB enjoyed a run spree with three hundreds the only match deemed first class was in Colombo when he made a second ball duck and seven as MCC won by 173 runs. At home the season started slowly with only 353 runs in his first 15 innings but as form returned he made his highest first class score, an unbeaten 260 against Essex at Chelmsford, 157 in the ‘Test’ series against a powerful Rest of the World side (the games were later deemed not to be counted as Tests) for which he won the WaIter Lawrence Trophy ‘for the most meritorious innings’ of the summer. More followed, 148 against Kent at Sheffield and 147 not out against England U25s at Scarborough and he was one of only four men to top 2,000 runs for the season along with Glenn Turner, Brian Bolus and Roy Virgin, he ended with 2,051 at 55.43 and also topped Yorkshire’s Sunday League averages. With Brian Close sacked at the end of the summer GB was appointed captain of Yorkshire with Don Wilson as his deputy. The winter tour to Australia and New Zealand couldn’t have started better with 173 in his first innings against South Australia in Adelaide, an unbeaten 129 in Sydney and 124 before he was forced to retire hurt in Brisbane, all before the drawn first Test. In Perth he made 126 against Western Australia before the second Test ended all square and the third was abandoned because of foul weather.
1971 In the fourth match of the series in Sydney, GB followed up some superb batting in his first innings 77 with an unbeaten 142 and the Aussies were beaten by 299 runs. Draws in Melbourne and Adelaide, where GB made an unbeaten 119, were followed by further success for England who won back the Ashes 2-0. GB missed the last Test in Sydney and two in New Zealand with a broken left arm but has a Test average of 93.8, six centuries and a tour aggregate of 1,535 runs only 18 fewer than Wally Hammond’s 38-39 tour record and Wisden recorded ‘he put the seal of greatness on his batting’ . At home those words had great resonance as GB became the first Englishman to average over 100 in a summer, making 13 hundreds, reaching 2,000 by the 26 of August and finishing the leading run maker with 2,503. For Yorkshire he carried his bat twice with 182 not out against Middlesex at Lord’s and 138 out of 232 in Birmingham and registered another double hundred, 233 against Essex at Colchester. Two more Test centuries followed against Pakistan (his 10th and 11th) but Yorkshire slipped to 13th in the table, their lowest position and although GB was fourth in the John Player League averages at 49.22, the county ended two points off the bottom and were knocked out of the Gillette Cup in the first round. Playing one first class game for Northern Transvaal brought another hundred against Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), 107 at Berea Park, Pretoria.
1972 Despite missing five weeks in mid season with a broken finger inflicted by Bob Willis, GB tops the national averages again with 1,230 runs at 72.35 each with a highest score of 204 not out at Grace Road and five other centuries, all for Yorkshire with his 50th coming against Notts at Headingley. The county improve to tenth in the championship, reach the first final of the B & H cup and are fourth in the JPL. In the drawn Test series with Australia he plays in only the first two matches, a win and a draw, because of the finger injury. Withdrawal· from the winter tour to India and Pakistan because of health concerns caused by his earlier problems with his spleen brings time to recuperate.
1973 GB completes set of hundreds against all Test playing countries with 115 in the final Test of the three match series against New Zealand at Headingley but the trio of games against the West Indies are bad tempered affairs with umpire Arthur Fagg refusing to stand on the Saturday of the Edgbaston game after intimidation following an appeal against GB for catch at the wicket. He aslo suffers sore ribs and is forced to retire after a collision with Derrick Murray and in the next game at Lord’s is assaulted by the crowd while leaving the field in a match where there was also a bomb scare which led to the ground being evacuated. While playing only eight championship matches for Yorkshire, GB registers five first class hundreds and is second in the national averages behind Glenn Turner with 1,527 runs at 63.62.
1974 The year starts with 261 not out for MCC on the first game of their tour of the West Indies against the President’s Xl in Bridgetown and three more hundreds follow, 133 not out against Guyana in Georgetown, 131 not out against Bermuda in Hamilton and 112 in the win which squared the series in Port of Spain, Trinidad, following 99 in the first innings. Back home the cold, wet summer starts with a century at Fenners and a hundred in each innings for England v The Rest follows with three others in the championship. But it is not a happy season and GB withdraws from Test cricket after the first Test against India at Manchester. Concentrating on leading Yorkshire he makes 1,783 runs at 59.43, but only four matches are won and the county finish 11th. Makes first JPL hundred, 108 not out against Northants at Fartown, Huddersfield in June, and Yorkshire finish 7th. He withdraws from Australian tour to concentrate on his benefit and Yorkshire.
1975 GB plays in every game for Yorkshire, is first to 1,000 runs on June 28, and finishes with 1,915 at an average of73.65, second only to Rohan Kanhai, with a top score of 20l not out against Middlesex at Lord’s to go alongside the unbeaten 175 he took off them earlier at Scarborough. Yorkshire have their best season for seven years finishing in second place in the table and in the JPL finish seventh with GB (99) and John Hampshire (92*) setting a competition record for the first wicket with their 186 opening partnership against Gloucestershire at Scarborough.
1976 Injury problems made it a difficult summer with Barry Wood breaking GB’s hand in a Sunday League game in May followed by back trouble meant that he played in only 11 matches for Yorkshire while still observing his self imposed exile from the Test arena. His 90th century came during the double hundred at Fenner’s three days before the injury at Old Trafford and he still finished second in the first class averages with 1288 at 67.78, second only to Zaheer Abbas. An unlikelier success was in the limited overs games where GB topped the national averages with 547 runs at 60.77.
1977 What a momentous year for GB. A stunning return to the Test arena at Trent Bridge, a 100th hundred in front of a home crowd at Headingley, going past 30,000 career runs and topping the first class averages with 68.04 from 30 innings with an aggregate of 1,701 runs. An extraordinary sequence of scores saw him make an unbeaten 139 at Harrogate against Somerset, 103 in the second innings against the Australians at Scarborough, 117 against Middlesex at Lord’s, 154 against Notts at Trent Bridge before returning to the same ground with England and making 107 and batting on each of the five days, only the second instance in Test history. The 99th hundred, 104 at Birmingham against Warwickshire, set the stage for the fourth Test at Headingley where the 14th boundary from the 232nd ball faced achieved the milestone. In that match he was on the field for the whole game, the first instance in Ashes matches. Starts winter tour of Pakistan with unbeaten hundreds against United Bank in Faisalabad, 123*, and North-West Frontier Governor’s Xl, 115*
1978 Starts the year with 100 not out in the second Test against Pakistan in Hyderabad and takes over as captain for the third match in the series when Mike Brearley breaks his arm. Leads England in New Zealand when they lose to the Kiwis for the first time but draw the three match series by winning the second. At the start of the summer captains England again in the first of the three match Prudential one-day series but bruises a thumb and doesn’t play again until the end of June. Then makes three hundreds in successive innings, 113 at Northampton, 103 not out against the New Zealand tourists at Headingley and 118 at Abbeydale Park, Sheffield, against Glamorgan. Another Test hundred comes in August at Nottingham, 131 against the Kiwis, but for the first time in 16 years he fails to top the Yorkshire averages and ends with 1,233 at 51.37. The year finishes on a sour note when Yorkshire sack him as captain and release the news four days after the death of his mother. He is also passed over for the vice captaincy of the winter tour of Australia and while England retain the Ashes GB has a poor trip with a top score of 77 in the Perth Test and an unbeaten 90 against Tasmania.
1979 Nothing gets much better at the start of the year but England win 5-1 and in the second championship match of the season, under new captain John Hampshire and playing on partially covered pitche, he makes 151 not out. Immediately after the World Cup, an unbeaten 130 not out against Somerset at Harrogate, four other hundereds follow, 155 in the first Test against India at Edgbaston and 125 at The Oval, an unbeaten 175 at Worksop and 167 at Chesterfield as GB finishes the season top of the averages and for the second time with 100 plus, 102.53 from 20 innings. He tops the Yorkshire batting averages with 1,160 at 116.00 and the bowling averages with nine wickets at 9.33, the first man since George Hirst in 1910 to achieve the feat. Back to Australia in the winter to take on a side with their Packer players restored England lose every game in the three match series GB’s best 99 not out in the first Test. Two hundreds are scored, 110 against South Australia in Adelaide and an unbeaten 101 in Hobart against Tasmania. He also makes his only century for England in one-day cricket 105 in Sydney and Wisden said; ‘It is doubtful ifhe has ever played better than when scoring a century in the third one-day international or, when a week later in Perth, he showed his other side with a 6hr 35m occupation of the crease for 99 not out in a brave attempt to earn England a draw’
1980 Including the Golden Jubilee Test in Bombay GB returns from tour with an average of 54.45 but has a lean season at home with the summer dominated by a five match Test series with the West Indies and their battery of fast bowlers, the Prudential Cup and the Jubilee Test at Lord’s against Australia. GB makes an unbeaten 128 in the latter game but has only two hundreds for his county 154 not out against Derbyshire at Scarborough and 135 against Lancashire at Old Trafford. Although dropping down to ninth in the first class averages he still makes 1,264 runs at an average of 52.66.
1981 The year starts with England’s ill fated three month tour of the West Indies with the Guyana Test cancelled because of Robin Jackman’s South African involvement and the death of the ever popular Ken Barrington. Bad practice facilities didn’t help and West Indies won the first two games. At Bridgetown, Barbados, GB, now 40 years old, faced the fastest over of his life from Michael Holding, succumbing to the sixth ball for a duck but made an unbeaten 104 in Antigua and finished the unhappy trip with 818 runs at an average of 54.53. At home it was a comparatively lean summer with only three hundreds, two for Yorkshire, 122 not out against Derbyshire at Chesterfield and 124 against Nottinghamshire at Bradford, and one in the astonishing six match Test series against the Aussies, 137 in the draw at The Oval Slips to 46th in the first class averages with 1,009 runs at 38.8 and the season ends with a blazing row with Yorkshire’s manager Ray Illingworth which will have serious repercussions
1982 The year starts with controversy when the Indians object to GB’s South African connections and the tour ends with an early return home due to illness. A hundred in the opening game at Pune, 101 not out against the Indian U22 Xl, is followed by a more momentous one at New Delhi in the third Test where his 105 equals the 22 centuries made for EngLand by Colin Cowdrey and WaIter Hammond and, when reaching 82, became the leading Test match run maker. It is to be his last game for England and his tour ends with 701 runs at 77.88. More controversy follows over the first ‘rebel’ tour,a non official trip to South Africa, which brings a three year ban from international cricket. In the championship he makes six more centuries, 138 at Northampton, 134 against Glamorgan at Leeds and in Yorkshire’s third game of the summer makes 79 while Graham Stevenson hits a century at number 11 to break the last wicket record for the county which has stood since Lord Hawke’s time. It’s the first time a record partnership for the county has been broken in 50 years and GB goes on to score hundreds at Sheffield against Worcestershire, 159 which equals Len Hutton’s 129 hundreds, 152 not out at Leeds against Warwickshire, an unbeaten 122 at Scarborough in the successful run chase against Sussex and 129 at Weston Super Mare. He finishes the top Englishman in the averages with 1,913 runs at 61.70. But the rumbling row between the pro and anti GB factions still rumbles on.
1983 GB makes 1,941 runs at 55.45 with seven centuries but Yorkshire end bottom of the championship. There are only two fifties in the first ten innings but GB carries his bat for the sixth time as Derbyshire beat Yorkshire for the first time in 26 years at Abbeydale Park (112 not out) and follows it with 101 on the same ground against Kent. The season’s top score, 214 not out, comes at Worksop with another unbeaten ton, 140, against Gloucestershire at Cheltenham, the innings which sparked off the row with GB accused of not following the captain’s orders. Undeterred he makes centuries in each innings against Notts at Bradford, 163 and 141, the last 103 of those runs coming between the start of play and lunch. Another unbeaten hundred, 169 as Yorkshire followed on against Derbyshire at Chesterfield rounds off the summer but GB is not offered a contract for the following season which starts a row which ends in revolution as his supporters win all the arguments and a majority of the votes at a special general meeting of the club.
1984 GB is now the member for Wakefield with most of the old committee voted out of office and the new one re-instating him as a player. The first of four unbeaten hundreds comes in the second innings at Tunbridge Wells and is followed by 153 at Harrogate against Derbyshire, 126 against Gloucestershire at Park Avenue and 101 against Glamorgan in Cardiff. In August he carries his bat for 55 not out in a total of 183 in the 191 run defeat by Warwickshire at Leeds. In making 1,567 runs at 62.68 he passes 45,000 career runs with the highest average of any Englishman, 56.55, and including overseas tours passes 1,000 runs in season for the 25th time. His testimonial raised a then record £147,954.
1985 At the end of June GB takes part in Yorkshire’s biggest opening partnership since Holmes and Sutcliffe put on the world record 555 at Leyton in 1932. With Martyn Moxon (168) they add 351 with GB’s share 184. On August 6 he recorded his 100th century for the county at Edgbaston (103 no) and at Scarborough an unbeaten 125 against Notts brought him level with Herbert Sutcliffe on 149 hundreds. At Sheffield in July he carries his bat for the eighth time making 55 out of 131 against Surrey. Other hundreds come against Worcestershire at Harrogate (105*), Hampshire at Middlesbrough (115) and Somerset at Headingley (114*). Again the top Englishman in the averages he totals 1,657 runs at an average of 75.31,
1986 In his 1,000th innings GB made 81 against Gloucestershire at Harrogate and his 150th century followed at Middlesbrough against Leicestershire (127) and there was only one more, 135 not out against Surrey at Headingley before the curtain came down on an extraordinary career, the cricket committee voting 4-1 against another contract and an attempt to overthrow the decision in full committee fail by 12 votes to 9. In the last innings, against Northants at Scarborough he was run out for 61, just 8 runs short of 1,000 but still averaging 52.21 for the season, no one knowing that this is to be his last match at the age of 45. The final tally was 48,426 runs from 1,014 innings with 151 hundreds and an average of 56.83. In one day cricket 255 innings brought 8,699 runs with seven hundreds and an average of 40.08.