Brother Lee love!

Part of our ‘Short Stuff’ series with short stories and facts about the cider county!

Cricket scorecards have thrown together some interesting word associations over the years. During the second innings of the first Test between Australia and England in Brisbane in 1979-80 the inevitable happened and Dennis Lillee was caught by Peter Willey off the bowling of Graham Dilley and the scorecard read “Lillee c Willey b Dilley”.

Either side of the war Derbyshire teams often featured wicketkeeper George Beet and Fred Root, a medium-pacer who later played for England after moving to Worcester. There was only one instance of the two combining to take a wicket and it was a Sussex player called Chaplin who was c Beet b Root.

Food can play a large part in such associations and other notable scorecard entries include a game between Western Province and Transvaal in 1980 when Allan Lamb fell to the combination of Alan Kourie and Clive Rice (Lamb c Kourie b Rice) and a county game between Kent and Durham in 2007 in which Cook c Mustard b Onions.

In a game between Middlesex and Somerset in 1933 the scorecard read Lee c Lee b Lee 82. Not only were the three Lee’s individual players but brothers. The Middlesex batsman was Harry Lee who was caught by his brother Frank off the bowling of another brother Jack.

Harry later wrote: “I do not believe that brothers had ever before behaved so unbrotherly in a first-class game.”

Middlesex won that game in June 1933 by 8 wickets. Here is the scorecard.

All three Lee brothers were born in London and started their careers at Middlesex. Harry would enjoy a long association at Lords playing from 1911 to 1934 and made one Test appearance for England.

Jack, however, played just one game for his home county in 1923 and youngest brother Frank just two in 1925. Both would accept invitations to join Somerset having agreed their chances at Lords were limited.

Jack Lee was an all-rounder. Unable to win a place in the Middlesex side he moved to Somerset from the 1925 season, scoring six centuries and taking ten wickets in a match on two occasions by the end of his career.

Two years later Frank joined him at Somerset. He was a solid, rather slow-scoring left-handed opening batsman. He scored 107 in his third match for his new county and was then a regular in the side until he retired after the 1947 season

Both players had to wait to make their Somerset debut in the County Championship as it took two years to qualify, so both bided their time playing for Lansdowne Cricket Club in Bath at separate times.

The two opened the batting together for Somerset on many occasions.

Harry and Frank had long lives after Cricket dying in 1981 and 1982 respectively. Jack was killed on active service with the British Army during the Second World War in 1944 aged just 42.