Tony Lock and Johnny Wardle were the bitterest of rivals. Lock of Surrey and Wardle of Yorkshire. Both bowled left arm finger spin, though Wardle could bowl wrist spin and Lock had a quicker delivery that made even his Surrey spin twin Jim Laker wince with embarrassment for its similarity to a baseball pitch.
Both competed for England’s second spin bowling slot to partner Laker in the 1950s.
Conjurer, joker, clown, satirist and holder of grudges, Wardle, said it as he saw it (and also wrote it as he saw it), ruffling feathers wherever he went, including to his cost in the Committee Room at Lord’s – ‘that Yorkshire so-and-so’.
Lock, capable of generosity to those he rated but incapable of disguising his scorn for those he did not, was as volatile as potassium in water.
These were the ingredients of the perfect storm: one long to bear a grievance that betrayed an underlying sense of inferiority; the another programmed to express contempt behind which he hid his vulnerability. Both struggling to cope with life in the shadow of the Laker legend.
Yet Lock and Wardle once had to share a dressing room for a game against Lancashire.
Any ideas how this came to be?
* The work illustrated above is Gerhard Richter’s Mirror Brown Blue – 1991. Gerry has placed the Brown of Surrey and Blue of Yorkshire in a harmonic juxtaposition perfectly representing the rivalry and mutual dependence of these two left arm bowlers.