Some random surfing on an idle weekend led me to a certain Leslie Brian Taylor, one of an illustrious line of anonymous seamers to have played for England in the 1980s. The Leicester lad played just two test matches, against Australia in that glorious summer of 1985, when England won the Ashes on the back of David Gower’s dream run with the bat. England won both the tests Les played in, but that is not the point of this post.
Les was apparently a genuine No. 11. In a county game against Surrey, Les walks in after the 9th wicket falls, with Leicestershire still needing 20 to avoid the follow-on. The bowler is that gentle medium pacer, Sylvester Clarke. And what does the Leicester captain David Gower do? He says, “I just can't do it,” and declares.