Post War Years (1946-1953)
Championship cricket resumed in 1946 with Lancashire particularly affected by the war which brought about the retirement of a number of the older players. Jack Fallows stood in for one year when Jack Iddon the captain-elect was killed in car crash just before the start of the season.
These were Washbrook’s finest years and in 1946 no-one in England scored more than his 2,400 runs. Winston Place scored 1,900 and Lancashire had the best opening pair in the country.
Ken Cranston was captain in 1947 and 1948, flashing across the scene like a meteor before returning to a career in dentistry. He had time to play for England and even captain them in a Test. Lancashire finished 3rd and 5th during his captaincy and lacked only a really fast bowler to achieve more.
Washbrook and Place both exceeded 2,500 runs in 1947 and between them scored 19 centuries with sound support coming from Jack Ikin and Geoff Edrich. Cyril Washbrook’s benefit took place in August 1948 watched by 50,000 people and he received the colossal amount of £14,000, beating the previous record by over £10,000. Against the Australians a young Malcolm Hilton took the cricket world by storm by dismissing Don Bradman twice.
Lancashire turned to Nigel Howard as captain in 1949 and he had a very unhappy first year with the team finishing 11th and he came in for a good deal of criticism.
The following year fortunes changed and Lancashire shared the championship with Surrey winning 16 matches. The difference was Roy Tattersall and Malcolm Hilton who between them took nearly 300 wickets and the emergence of a young fast bowler named Brian Statham.
Lancashire were to finish third in each of Nigel Howard’s remaining three years as captain with some very good performances from a young side.
Roy Tattersall continued to be the leading wicket-taker with 146 in 1952 and 135 in 1953 and against Notts at Old Trafford in 53 he took 7 wickets including a hat-trick in 19 balls without conceding a run. Brian Statham took 100 wickets for the first time in 1952.
Lancashire were involved in another one-day finish in 1953· when they bowled out Somerset for 55 and 79 in a day at Bath with Tattersall taking 13 for 69. Bob Berry took all ten wickets in an innings at Blackpool against Worcestershire.