Graham Atkinson, English cricketer, Died at 77


Graham Atkinson was born on March 29, 1938, and died on November 12, 2015.

He was a cricketer who played first-class and List A cricket for Somerset and Lancashire.

Graham was born in Lofthouse, Wakefield, Yorkshire, England.

A slim, dark-haired right-handed opening batsman, Atkinson made his debut for Somerset as a 16-year-old in 1954, and two years later was a regular member of the 1956 side that managed, late in the season, to raise itself to 15th out of 17 in the County Championship table, having finished bottom for the previous four seasons.

During that season, Graham scored 719 runs, batting mainly in the middle order. Wisden noted that he “showed promise”.

Graham played less frequently in the 1957 and 1958 seasons as he was on National Service with the Royal Air Force.

On leave in July 1958, however, he made his maiden century, scoring 164 for Somerset as an opener in the match against Warwickshire at Taunton.

Graham became Somerset’s regular opener from the start of the 1959 season and played in virtually every match for the next eight seasons.

In his first full season, Graham scored 1727 runs at an average of 31, but surpassed that in 1960 with 1928 runs at an average of more than 39, finishing 13th in the national batting averages.

In this 1960 season, Graham made his highest first-class score, 190 against Glamorgan at Bath, when he also put on 300 for the third wicket with Peter Wight, then a Somerset county record.

In the match against Cambridge University at Taunton in 1960, Graham and Roy Virgin put on 172 and 112 for the first wicket in the two Somerset innings, and Cambridge University’s opening pair of Roger Prideaux and Tony Lewis responded with first-wicket partnerships of 198 and 137: this is the first time all four innings of a first-class match have started with three-figure opening partnerships.

Graham passed away at age 77 in November 2015.