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Harry Lawton Calder, born January 24, 1901, in South Africa and died at Cape Townmarker on September 15, 1995, was perhaps the most unlikely cricketer ever to be named as a Wisden Cricketer of the Year, one of the game's top honours.

Calder was a 16-year-old spin bowler who took a lot of wickets in 1917 for Cranleigh Schoolmarker, and was named as a Cricketer of the Year in the 1918 edition of Wisden Cricketers' Almanack alongside four other schoolboy cricketers, there being no first-class cricket during the First World War. Indeed, he never appeared in a first-class game, although he did play for the Surrey Second XI in 1920, scoring 0 and 6 not out and bowling four wicketless overs for 21 against Staffordshire.

Calder went back to South Africa with his family, and was not tracked down until 1994, the year before his death, when the cricket historian Robert Brooke traced him to a nursing home in Cape Town. Calder said he had not known of the honour and had not played cricket since school, more than three-quarters of a century earlier.

In all, 10 schoolboy cricketers were chosen by Wisden in 1918 and 1919: all except Calder played at least one first-class game.

His father, Henry Calder, did have a brief first-class career, playing ten matches for Hampshire, Western Province and Eastern Province in the late 19th century.



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