The Telegram that called up David Sheppard for his Test debut

On display in Gallery Three

His first full season

David Sheppard had played his first match for Sussex in 1947 aged eighteen but then had to do his National Service. He returned to Sussex in 1949 and played 11 matches making over 900 runs. His first full first class season was in 1950 when he made over 1,000 runs in the University season playing for Cambridge. He scored four hundreds for the University including 227 in an opening partnership with John Dewes against the touring West Indians at Fenner’s. It must have been this innings that prompted the selectors to call him up for his Test debut against the West Indians at the Oval on 12-16 August 1950. He was a late call-up for Washbrook.

A bad defeat

The match itself saw England lose by an innings and 56 runs against a West Indies side that included Worrell, Weekes and Walcott batting at three, four and five, with Worrell scoring 138 runs in a West Indies total of 503. In England’s reply Sheppard made 11 out of 344 and England were asked to follow on. In his second innings, Sheppard made 29 as England crumbled to 103 and a defeat by an innings and 56 runs.

A winter tour

Sheppard was selected to tour Australia the following winter as part of the MCC side, and played two Tests but was not to return to the side again until the Third and Fourth Test against India in 1952, when he scored his first Test century.

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