In Nick, the legacy of Denis Compton rekindled
While he was posted with the British Army in India during World War II, Denis Compton was offered Rs 50 by a wealthy businessman for every run he scored in a Ranji Trophy final for Holkar. Though Compton scored 249, he returned to the pavilion to find an empty envelope with an apology note claiming his benefactor had suddenly left for Calcutta.
Having grown up hearing this and many such enthralling tales about India, Nick Compton always dreamed of playing Test cricket in a land that his grandfather graced so eminently. And the 29-year-old Somerset right-hander will get to create his own memories here in two months' time after he was named in the England Test squad to India ahead of Kevin Pietersen.
"I am delighted and proud that I will potentially be starting my Test career in India, a place which has this great connection with my grandfather. I spent a lot of time with him when I was in my early teens, and he would tell me with stories about India, the love and the passion that Indians had for cricket and him," the junior Compton tells The Indian Express on Tuesday.
Though he did visit India last winter as part of the Somerset squad for the Champions League T20, he insists that the upcoming tour is going to be the real deal. A time when he can carry the torch of the Compton legacy with the same style and panache of his grandfather—the poster-boy of English cricket in the 40s and 50s and the original Brylcreem Man.
"He would tell me that though the heat could be unbearable, the warmth of the people made up for it. India was his favourite place to tour," he says about a man who also played football for Arsenal.
In contrast to his famous predecessor, the middle-order batsman has developed a distinctive reputation for being someone with enormous gumption and patience at the crease—almost dour. But Compton, now into his ninth first-class season, is very happy in his own skin. The lack of oomph in his batting is hardly a bother.
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