Former England captain Cranston dies

Ken Cranston, the Lancashire all-rounder who captained England once, has died at the age of 89, his former county announced on Tuesday.
Cranston had become England’s oldest living Test cricketer following the death last month of Norman Mitchell-Innes.
A seam bowler and middle-order batsman, Cranston’s first-class career was effectively limited to two seasons after the end of World War II and he only played eight Tests.
A few months after his Lancashire debut, as captain, in 1947, Cranston made his England bow, against South Africa, at the county’s Old Trafford ground.
In his second Test, at Headingley, Cranston took four wickets in four balls on his way to a return of four for 12.
That led to his selection for the subsequent England tour of the West Indies in 1947-48.
But with England having picked a weak side, an injury to tour captain Gubby Allen saw Cranston become skipper in Barbados for the drawn first Test.
Cranston’s form during a series West Indies won 2-0 was modest and come the 1948 English season he’d lost his England place.
He was recalled for the fourth Test against Australia at Headingley but failed to make much of an impression upon Don Bradman’s ‘Invincibles’ and was dropped, never to play for England again.
Cranston retired at the end of the season to resume his career as a dentist.
But in 1949, during one of his few subsequent first-class appearances, he scored a career-best 156 not out for MCC against Yorkshire at the Scarborough Festival. Cranston later became president of Lancashire in 1993-94.
In Tests he made 209 runs at 14.92 and took 18 wickets at 25.61. Former Surrey wicket-keeper Arthur McIntyre, 88, is now England’s oldest living Test cricketer.

Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2007