Doug Yeabsley

Doug, a long-serving chemistry master at Haberdashers’ Aske’s in Elstree, never played county cricket, but he was undoubtedly England’s best amateur bowler of the Seventies, at left-arm fast-medium. He represented the Minor Counties representative XI in four first class matches with distinction — against Pakistan (1974), West Indies (1976), India (1979) and Sri Lanka (1981) and played in a host of Benson & Hedges Cup games against the best players in England. Ian Botham praised his ability, and his bowling was rarely collared.

Yeabsley played rugby in the Harlequins and Saracens back-row, and his county cricket centred on Devon, his birthplace. He made his debut in 1959, aged 17, while still at Exeter School, and continued for 31 seasons, a tribute to his durability and skill.

He joined Radlett from West Herts in 1975 and moved house into the village from St Albans. He was famed for his miserly approach to batsmen for long accurate spells. His cricket duties at Haberdashers and his commitments in Devon reduced the number of leagues appearances. The club would surely have won the Herts League title earlier if he had played regularly. He was an excellent left-hand bat, though he preferred to stay down the order. Both his all-rounder sons played for Radlett; Richard gained cricket and rugby Blues at Oxford, and Michael was a fringe player at Cambridge.