An advisory board, chaired by Cricket Scotland Historian Neil Leitch, analyses the merits of all of the nation’s internationalists, making recommendations to Cricket Scotland for inductees. After an initial group of 12 in 2001, two more cricketers are inducted every year.
Robert Sievwright (Inducted 2014)
Sadly, with players of such a bygone age we can only look at records as a barometer of ability, but these speak eloquently enough in the case of Robert Wills Sievwright.
By any measure the Arbroath-born player is a true cricketing colossus, his international career spanning the best part of three decades while a marathon 43 years in the club game only ended in 1947 when he collapsed and died at the crease while batting for his home-town team – at the age of 65!
A late developer, Sievwright was 30 when he made his First-Class debut, but he quickly made up for lost time, claiming a clutch of illustrious victims with his teasing left-arm spinners. One of the most notable scalps was the great Jack Hobbs in a match between Scotland and Surrey, when Sievwright claimed five wickets, prompting Wisden to report that the Scot had bowled “with much skill.”
By then Sievwright was becoming accustomed to lavish praise, having made his mark by taking 6- 60 against the Australians. Sievwright’s victims in this match included the prolific Charlie Macartney but it was Macartney’s opening partner Warren Bardsley who described his tormentor as “one of the best spin bowlers I have ever faced.”
This of a man who earned his living as a master joiner and could only take time off to play the game he loved on a Saturday afternoon!
Sievwright saved many of his finest performances for matches against Australia, whom he faced a total of six times while he also played twice against South Africa during just eighteen capped appearances.
The quality of his opponents makes it all the more remarkable that he claimed a remarkable total of 81 wickets for Scotland at an impressive average of 23.70. If it is these high-profile performances which do most to justify his place in the Hall of Fame.
Sievwright’s club career is also worthy of note - and not just for its astonishing longevity. He remains the highest wicket-taker in the Scottish club game, having greedily garnered 2,242 dismissals. He took ten wickets in an innings on four occasions, the last of them against Aberdeenshire at the age of 54.
A master of spin and flight, when he wasn’t taking wickets, Sievwright could be relied upon to keep things tight for his captain as his international average indicates. Club cricketers naturally found him even more of a handful and in the 1928 season he averaged a miserly 4.97 for Arbroath United.
He was elected president of the SCU in 1932, but continued playing until that fateful day in
1947 when he was batting with his son, Arthur, against Perthshire. Having just hit and run a three, he stood ready to face the first ball of the next over but collapsed at the wicket.
It is possible, even now, to imagine the eulogies: “It’s how he would have wanted to go.”
Perhaps - but one suspects that the outfoxing of another completely befuddled batsman would have been his preferred final act!
George Salmond (Inducted 2014)
It is apt, in a year when Scotland qualified for a World Cup, that George Salmond should be the latest inductee to the Hall of Fame.
Salmond, after all, was the man who led this country to a memorable first appearance on the global stage, masterminding an arduous qualification campaign in Malaysia in 1997 before lining up against the best sides in the world in England two years later.
If that was one of the crowning glories of an illustrious career, it was merely one of many.
Yet his international career hardly had the most auspicious start, the top order batsman nervously striding to the Titwood crease to face the touring Indians in 1990 - and returning one ball later.
It was a setback from which Salmond quickly recovered as he went on to amass 3,307 international runs, still ninth on the all-time list.
These were invariably accumulated stylishly and rapidly by a batsman who whose electric running between the wickets often appeared to intimidate opposing fielders.
If his record against county opposition and in the few ODIs that he played is modest, Salmond’s statistics in the longer format bear comparison with the very best, his average of 46.74 being the highest of any Scotland player who appeared in a minimum of ten First-Class matches.
His 181 against Ireland in 1996 remains the third equal highest individual score for the national team, behind only fellow Hall of Famers Iain Philip and Rev James Aitchison.
Salmond was also arguably Scotland’s first genuinely world-class fielder, a whippet in the covers or at mid-wicket whose athleticism and safe hands were responsible for many a dismissal.
It is Salmond’s record as a captain which surely confirms him out as one of the greats of Caledonian cricket.
Due to an innate sense of both fair play and fun, it was easy to be fooled by such nicknames as Gentleman George and Genial George which easily and alliteratively attached themselves to the Scotland skipper.
However, many an opponent discovered to their cost that there was a ruthless streak to Salmond, borne at once of an acute will to win and a keen tactical acumen.
These attributes were never more gloriously displayed than in the crucial third place play-off in Kuala Lumpur when, defending a modest total, Salmond kept applying the pressure and a succession of Irish batsmen succumbed to it, allowing Scotland to claim the final place at the 1999 World Cup.
He captained his country on 104 occasions and enjoyed a win percentage of 35.58% - almost identical to the record of his successor Craig Wright, the only other player to reach three figures at the helm.
Salmond proudly and with typical distinction represented his home-town Arbroath for much of his club career.
George Salmond was above all a sportsman in the truest sense of the word and a superb ambassador for Scottish cricket.
Ian Alexander Ross Peebles (B 1908) (Inducted 2013) lan Peebles was born in Aberdeen, and educated at Glasgow Academy. He was destined to only played once for Scotland, but he learnt his skills in the lower reaches of the domestic game.
lan Peebles had such a remarkable cricket career and life that editorial discretion might choose him for an all-time representative Scottish eleven on the grounds of his personal charisma and variety of life experience alone.
Peebles developed his skills with Oxford University and Middlesex. In 1929, he made his mark with 107 wickets at 19 apiece, and when Bradman strode through the test matches of 1930 with scores of 131, 254 and 334, taking the country by storm and overwhelming the English bowling attack, Peebles was called up for the fourth test at Manchester. As he says so well" To a boy in Scotland, it was a faraway dream. that had become hope, then a probability, only to come true. The press had fostered the idea of a personal duel between Peebles and Bradman; the first ball - a googly - whistled just over the Don's middle stump; at 10, Bradman snicked a leg-break to slip, where Hammond dropped a simple catch; in his next over, Bradman came down the wicket to drive, but edged the ball to second slip, where Duleepsinhji took the catch. Brad-man was out for 14 and the newspaper hoardings shouted, "PEEBLES DOES IT!"
Terence Racionzer (B1943) (Inducted 2013) Terry Racionzer appeared sixty five times for Scotland between 1965 and 1984. He also played 26 matches for Sussex from 1967 until 1969.
His club cricket apart from these three years was played at Clydesdale Cricket Club, from 1960 until 1990, during which time he scored 11,004 runs in the Western District Cricket Union. He is the highest run scorer in the Union for the club by some 6,000 runs. His highest score was 123 against Drumpellier in 1975 and he also took 255 wickets.
For Scotland, Racionzer scored 2807 runs in 107 innings at an average of 27.2, including five centuries and 16 fifties. His teasing off-spin bowling was also brought into play in the later years of his Scotland career.
Ryan Robert Watson (B 1976) (Inductee 2012) Ryan Watson represented South Africa Schools in 1995 and then went on to captain Transvaal Under 24 in 1996. He then came to Scotland as a professional player, playing as a club professional for Meigle, Falkland and Forfarshire and qualified by residence to play for Scotland. His prolific run-scoring made him the most effective batsman of his era in the Scotland team and he ended his career with 4967 runs for Scotland-a record.
Watson was also a tidy bowler both at medium pace and with off-spin and a competitive fielder with excellent hands. His best remembered innings was when he recorded the third fastest hundred in one-day cricket at the time, against Somerset in May 2003, 103* off 43 balls.
Was a member of the squad that won the Intercontinental Cup in 2004 and the ICC Trophy in 2005, in which he won the Man of the Match Award in the final.
James Brown MBE (B 1931-2014) (Inducted 2012) Jimmy Brown was an outstanding wicket-keeper batsman who was a fixture in the Scotland from 1953 until 1973, captaining them on 53 occasions. Up to the end of season 2005 he held the record for most dismissals for Scotland, 119 catches and 40 stumpings, until it was overtaken by Colin Smith.
During his career he achieved the unusual distinction for a Scot of playing for the Gentlemen at Scarborough against the Players.
In club cricket he played for an all conquering Perthshire team which included several internationalists. Brown had 674 dismissals for he club.
Leslie Balfour-Melville (1854-1937) Balfour first took the field for Scotland in 1874, at the age of 20; but even before that, when only 17 and still at school, he top scored in a match between a Scotland XXII and the All-England XI. He was seen as the batsman of his time in Scotland; he became the first President of the reformed SCU in 1909, and returned, after a 16-year gap, to captain his country against Ireland that year and again in 1910. At the age of 55, he top-scored with his international best of 91.
Balfour's cricket achievements are lengthy, especially when considering the evolutionary state of the game which existed during most of his career. He still managed no less than 46 centuries for Grange, MCC, Free Foresters and several other sides. Amongst many exceptional scores were an innings of 150 for Edinburgh against Glasgow in the first match ever played at Grange's new ground in Raeburn Place in 1872, 73 in the famous one-day victory over the 1882 Australians.
Gregor MacGregor (1869- 1919) Fame came to him before he was 20. After two years in the Uppingham team he went up to Cambridge, and as soon as he was seen at the University ground in the spring of 1888 it was realized that a wicket-keeper of extraordinary ability had been found. He gained his Blue at once, and during his four years at Cambridge he was one of the stars of the eleven.
He kept wicket for England against Australia at Lord's and the Oval in 1890, and at Lord's, the Oval, and Manchester in 1893. He remained a force in county cricket thereafter, becoming captain of Middlesex.. MacGregor’s county commitments limited him to five appearances for the Scotland cricket team between 1890 and 1905, but he sought to make himself available whenever possible.
John Kerr (1885-1972) John Kerr's achievement in scoring 147,15 and 60* against the all-conquering 1921 Australians has perhaps never been surpassed by a player representing Scotland in a competitive cricket match. In the innings of 147, he batted all day at Raeburn Place. Only two batsmen had reached the 100-mark against the tourists at this advanced stage of the season, and in their previous match the Aussies had just rolled over Lancashire in two days.
In 1925, an innings of just 31 in in opening stand of 59 against a Lancashire test attack of Macdonald, Parkin and Tyldesley was enough to be remarked on by Wisden as being "the most interesting batting of the match, playing good bowling with marked skill".
James Aitchison (1920-1994) James Aitchison, along with John Kerr, holds the record of being the only Scottish player to score a century against full test-playing sides. At the time of his retirement, Aitchison had notched up the highest number of international caps for Scotland-69-and also easily the highest run aggregate in such matches-3,699. Aitchison is best remembered for the unique feat of making two centuries against the touring teams; but five other centuries in his 69 capped internationals, and 30,318 runs in all matches make up an impressive tally.
Jimmy Allan (1932-2005) With low, slow wickets, it is perhaps inevitable that Scotland has produced several excellent slow bowlers. Several rose to make their mark in English County cricket. Of these players, Jimmy Allan undoubtedly was the one to achieve most for his Country and in the professional game.
Allan earned 60 caps for Scotland between 1953 and 1972, achieving a creditable average of 22 with both bat and ball for Scotland and similar figures for Kent. Five centuries and 435 top-class wickets with his orthodox left-arm spin would make him a valuable addition for any side.
His accuracy and reliability were legendary and he would provide the added bonus of being able to bat well up the order. In 2004 he became the first cricketer to have a statue unveiled in his honour
at the National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh.
Mike Denness (B.1940) Mike Denness is probably the most famous international cricketer to have ever been produced by Scotland. Four test centuries in 28 test matches, and 25,886 first-class runs in a first-class cricket career from 1959 to 1980 are the briefest facts of his achievements.
Such a brief synopsis masks a remarkable career in its own right. Followers of the game from Aberdeen to Dumfries, from Yorkshire to Kent, know that Mike Denness was the Scotsman who became cricket captain of England, a juxtaposition that undoubtedly caused a few raised eyebrows and questioning comments. There will always be a feeling of sympathy and understanding for him north of the border, and pride in his achievements. For all this, he and his fellow Scots can hold their heads high.
George Goddard (B.1938) George Goddard was one of Scotland’s most influential players from the mid 1960s to the early 1980s. Part of thegreatest ever Heriot’s FP XI, his quiet but firm pragmatism made him the most influential internationalist to come from that great team. Not surprisingly, Goddard starred with both bat & ball while at Heriot’s School, but it was as a medium-pacer he made his mark as a schoolboy bowler. He made his debut for Heriot’s FP in 1957, soon changing to the off-breaks which were to be his trademark.
Goddard made seventy eight appearances for Scotland until his retirement from International cricket in 1983. His most notable match was undoubtedly against MCC in 1973. In MCC’s first innings he took all the wickets to fall and finished with 8/134. When Scotland batted, they collapsed to 82/7 before Goddard came to the wicket and transformed the situation with 113* in 221 minutes.
He took 1,381 wickets in club cricket and captained Heriot’s FP seven seasons in all, but it his contributions to the national cause which will be most remembered. His distinguished career was crowned by the award of an MBE for services to Scottish cricket in the 1982 New Year’s Honours List.
Brian Hardie (B.1950) Brian Hardie learnt his cricket with Stenhousemuir and played 14 times for Scotland before going on to Essex and making the grade there. He can look back on an average of 54 for Scotland and in making 18,103 first-class runs in his time with Essex at an average of 34, he clearly made
His career with Essex stretched from 1973 to 1990, closely matching the county's "glory years", which might be said to have been from 1979 to 1993. After 85 years without winning, or even coming close to any trophy, these 15 seasons brought the county six championships, one NatWest Trophy, one Benson & Hedges Cup and three Sunday League Trophies (as well as four further appearances in losing Lord's finals). Year after year, Essex were in the frame for awards.
Hardie wasnot one of the glamorous names who led Essex to this pinnacle of achievement.From his earliest days with the county, his "style" was apparent; in 1974, spectators were treated to an innings of 4 runs against Hampshire which lasted for 2 hours and 20 minutes. (Wisden does not state whether that score came all in a rush, or was gradually accumulated over the length of his stay at the wicket). Yet, in that very same year, Hardie topped the Essex batting with 1062 runs.
Although his style oftendefied coaching manuals, there was never any doubt as to the success of his methods, or to his fierce determination and tremendous value to the side". Brian Hardie - a rock to lean on in adversity.
Iain Philip (B.1958) Iain Philip was born and brought up in Stenhousemuir, just like fellow Hall of Fame member Brian Hardie. The difference for Iain was that his family emigrated to Australia just after he was getting to grips with the game in the Stenhousemuir Colts teams. His cricket education developed well in Australia, turning him into a fine back-foot batsmen, never happier than when powering the ball through cover point.
Philip soon found an ideal opening partner in Bruce Russell and they provided a continuous backbone to the Scotland innings up to the 199 World Cup. In all he played one hundred and thirty five times for his country. This has been beaten seven times in recent years with the proliferation of representative cricket, but Philip’s total of 4,831 runs (at an average of 34.26) has only once been beaten. Philip was very much a run machine at a time when Scottish batsmen struggled to cope with the demands of facing professional bowling.
It was no surprise when he scored the first ever century by a Scotland batsman against a County in a competitive match-102* against Somerset at Taunton in 1992.
Dougie Brown (B.1968) Dougie Brown is an all-rounder who represented both England and Scotland at One Day International level. As a youngster Brown attended Alloa Academy, represented Clackmannan County cricket club and played football at under-18 level for Scotland. He also played for Feltham Rugby Football club as a competent fullback, choosing to focus on cricket shortly afterwards.
He first came to the attention of Warwickshire in 1992 whilst playing for Scotland, signing for the county and making his debut in the same year. He went on to spend his entire career with the county, for whom he scored over 12500 runs and took over 850 wickets at first-class and list A cricket.
Brown played for Scotland in the 2005 ICC Trophy, taking 11 wickets in the tournament, and scoring 59 runs in the final, to help Scotland win the competition. As a result, Scotland gained temporary One-day International status, and Brown played ODI cricket for Scotland in the 2006 European Cricket Championships, 2007 World Cricket League and 2007 Cricket World Cup.
At the end of the 2007 season Dougie Brown retired from cricket to take up a coaching role at his beloved Warwickshire County Cricket Club. He is also a regular summariser for the BBC's cricket coverage including Test Match Special.
Gavin Hamilton (B. 1974) Gavin Hamilton is an all-round cricketer who played one Test for England and also appeared in a number of One Day Internationals for Scotland. From a Linlithgow family, he was educated in Kent.
He returned to win Scotland Under 16 and Under 19 caps as a batsman who bowled a bit of medium pace, but after wintering in South Africa under the guidance of Omar Henry, he came back to continue his career at West Lothian County Cricket Club as a genuine pace bowler with a very fast arm.
He began his senior career in 1993, taking 5-65 in the first innings of his first-class debut, in Scotland's annual game against Ireland. He also played a few times that year for Yorkshire's Second XI, making his first-team debut for the county in 1994. He took a few years to become established in the side, but by 1998 was an important team member: that summer he took 59 first-class wickets at 20.54 as well as scoring six fifties, and claimed 34 one-day scalps at 18.94.
Playing for Scotland and the Scottish Saltires. In 2008, while playing against Ireland, Hamilton scored his maiden One Day International century. Hamilton was appointed captain of the Scottish One Day International team in April 2009.
Craig Wright (B.1974) Craig Wright is a big hitting right-handed middle order batsman and right-arm medium pace bowler. Wright representedScotland at both Under 16 and Under 19 level before making his senior debut in a match against Ireland on August 9, 1997. He went on to play 194 times for Scotland, including the 2007 Cricket World Cup and 20/20 World Cup in 2007 & 2009. In 2002 he was appointed captain of the national side, a role he kept until stepping down at the end of the 2007 World Cup.
As captain he lifted the 2004 Intercontinental Cup and the 2005 ICC Trophy for Scotland as well as steering them to the final of the ICC World League Division 1 (which qualified the team for the 2007 20/20 World Cup). In total he captained Scotland a record 107 times.
He has played an important role in Scottish cricket off the field, juggling his playing career with the job of Cricket Scotland's Performance Development Manager, having previously served as their Development Officer and Marketing Manager. He refocused his career on this role following his retirement as a player.
He led Scotland to victory in the 2004 Intercontinental Cup and the 2005 ICC Trophy and is the leading wicket taker in Scotland's history.