John Trim: Digicel Cricketer No. 35

Guyana Chronicle
Date published: 
Guyana Chronicle

JOHN Trim was a strongly-built right-arm fast-medium bowler who played with distinction for Berbice, Guyana and the West Indies between 1942 and 1953.

He dominated at the club level in the ‘Ancient County’ playing primarily for the Fort Canje Mental Hospital alongside colleagues such as Rex Ramnarace (Sr), Cyril Plummer and John Nestor. He made his first-class debut for British Guiana in the regional tournament in 1944 and represented the national side against Gubby Allen’s MCC team at Bourda in 1948. The ace pacer had a magnificent match, bowling with great hostility and control to capture 4-68 and 5-36 (match figures 9-104) and was promptly chosen to be a part of the West Indies team to contest the Third Test of the series at the same venue.

In a match the West Indies won handsomely by seven wickets to take a 1-nil lead in the four-match series, Trim had a decent first outing taking two for six off ten overs in the first innings and one for 38 in the second. He did not feature in the fourth and final Test in Jamaica but was a part of the squad to India for the inaugural Test series between the two teams in 1948-49.

However, yet again he could not force his way into the team for the first three encounters at Delhi, Bombay and Calcutta, all of which ended in stalemates but was included for the Fourth and Fifth Tests at Madras and the return visit to Bombay respectively.

At Madras the regional team won emphatically by an innings and 193 runs as they piled up a massive 582 in their only innings. The Indians were then bundled out for 245 and 144 with Trim returning magnificent match figures of 7-76. In the first innings, the Indians found him too hot to handle as he dismissed the opener Mustaq Ali, the captain Lala Amarnauth (who took evasive action and disturbed his wicket), and Vinoo Mankad and Gulham Ahmed both of whom he bowled comprehensively.

Second time around, he again beat Mankad for pace and sent his stumps flying but not before he got rid of the batting star Vijay Hazare and the all-rounder Dattaray Phadkar.

In the fifth and final engagement at Bombay - a match that ended in an exciting draw with India needing just six runs with two wickets in hand - Trim captured 3-69 off 30 overs of sustained pace and 0-43. Again he bowled with venom, clean-bowling both Phadkar and Amarnauth and having Hemu Adhikari caught by the wicketkeeper Clyde Walcott. He missed the historical tour to England in 1950 but toured Australia and New Zealand in 1951-52 where he played in only one Test - the fourth game of the Aussies series in Melbourne.

In a classic contest in which the Australians scraped home by one wicket, Trim claimed his best innings bowling figures of 5-34 as high-profile players Arthur Morris, Keith Miller and Ray Lindwall were among those he sent packing. By this time the speed merchant was approaching his 37th birthday and the selectors were inclined to look elsewhere for their fast-bowling stocks.

He did continue to indulge in the first-class scene until 1953 after 34 matches and 96 wickets at 30.01 runs apiece. Trim died in Berbice on November 12, 1960.