Two Ducks in a Row


Chris Duckworth, Que Que’s Springbok Cricketer in action.

Two Ducks in a Row

Que Que born Chris Duckworth became Rhodesia’s second Springbok Cricketer.  He played in two Tests against the 1956-57 English cricket team as a batsman. Both Tests were won by South Africa. In the thirty three games he was selected for South Africa, he was on the winning side on thirty one occasions.

Two Ducks in a Row

Chris had been vice head prefect at Chaplin High School in nearby Gwelo.   The first buildings on the Chaplin grounds dated back to 1902.  Chaplin provided the first house for boarders in the country, Duthie, built in 1911. Chris was Head Boy of Duthie House in his last year there forty years later.  This afforded him no less than three fags, including Syd Finlayson.

A few years later, Chris accepted the invitation to represent the Old Chaplin Association (OCA) in their annual match against the School. He opened the batting He faced a number of fast bowlers in his career: Tyson, Statham, Loader, Bailey of England; Adcock, Heine, and Griffin–throwing–of South Africa, as well as the throwing of the Australian Meckiff.  (For those who don’t know cricket, throwing is ‘not cricket’).  The only international fast bowler to bowl him out was Davidson of Australia.

Now the opening bowler at Chaplin was Syd Finlayson.  The first ball was wide and left well alone, ditto the second.  The third nipped in from the off and Duckworth was out… Out for a duck… O.C.A. 0 for 1!

Undaunted, the following year Chris agreed to open  the batting for the O.C.A.  Once again Syd Finlayson, now Head Boy of Duthie, opened the bowling.  Sitting in the pavilion was an MP by the name of Ian Smith, having travelled from his home town of Selukwe, himself an old boy and former Head Boy of Duthie.

The first ball was wide of the off stump and well left alone… The second ditto, the third on the wicket and correctly defended, the fourth nipped in from the off Duckworth was bowled… Duckworth once again out for a duck… O.C.A. once again 0 for 1!

A fag’s revenge!  (Fagging of course was bowled out long ago).

Chris also played hockey for Rhodesia, rugby for Natal U19 and later league tennis in Johannesburg.  I will continue with Que Que sport next week.

This comes to you from a boy from Chaplin, who is busy right now writing his voluminous Ducks and Drakes, a comprehensive history of the Duckworth family dating back to 1538.