14th January 1950, Stenhousemuir, Scotland
Scotland v England, Lord's Cricket Ground, 10th June 1970
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 madehis mark.
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 was not 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 often defied 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.