Close encounter with a cricketing great

Bob Holland passed away earlier thing week following a short battle with a brain tumour.

As a Test Cricketer, Bob was a late bloomer, making his test debut at age 38.

He only played 11 tests, taking 34 wickets, including twice taking 10 wickets in a match.

While Bob will be remembered for his efforts in the test arena, it is his contribution to cricket at a local level that he will be best remembered.

Bob spent many years volunteering at his local Toronto Cricket Club.

Up until last year, he was acting as the curator at his local oval.

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Former Test cricketer Bob “Dutchy” Holland.

I had the privilege of meeting and playing against Bob once, when he captained the Lord Taverners XI in a Golden Oldies tournament in Armidale quite a few years ago.

I opened the batting and was dismissed before Bob came on to bowl.

As I was chatting to the scorers, I commented that I would have loved to have faced a Test bowler.

One of the scorers told me that when Bob first captained the side, he never bowled himself.

Someone asked him why and he replied that he had played cricket at the highest level, and was happy to sit back at let other players bowl.

Then someone said to him “ Do you know that every player you play against wants to face at least one ball from a Test bowler”.

After that, Bob bowled himself a bit more.

I missed the opportunity, but I know what a buzz it was for our batsmen who did face the great “Dutchy” Holland.

As a footnote, our team was well on top in a low scoring game.

We thought we were home and hosed when they needed 14 off the last over, until Bob hit a 6 and a couple of 4’s to win the game.

Well played Dutchy. It will be a long time before you are ever forgotten.

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