On This Day – Two Very Significant Debuts

I am working on bringing a couple of new features to SomersetNorth, one of which is On This Day. Where better to start than the debuts of Botham and Richards in 1974?

8th May 1974, Somerset v Lancashire, County Championship, Taunton

Somerset – Taylor, Close, Denning, Richards, Parks, Burgess, Botham, Cartwright, Breakwell, Moseley, Jones

Lancashire – Wood, D Lloyd, C Lloyd, Hayes, Hughes, Simmons, Pilling, Abrahams, Lever, Goodwin, Lee

Somerset 285 (Taylor 61, Richards 36, Botham 13) and 104-2 (Taylor 59*, Richards 7*), Lancashire 361-8 (D Lloyd 186, Wood 101, Botham 0-15)

The day either Viv Richards or Ian Botham made their county championship debuts would be considered pretty special by all Somerset supporters. It is therefore utterly remarkable that they both did so on the same day, 47 years ago.

It was not in truth the most auspicious debut for either as Lancashire, thanks to a 265 run opening stand between Barry Wood and David Lloyd dominated. Richards batting at 4 made 36, Botham only 13 and in Lancashire’s only innings Botham’s bowling analysis was 3-0-15-0 bowling as fifth change! Brian Close took 5-70.