Plucked from the relative obscurity of Lancashire club cricket to captain his county in 1947, Kenneth Cranston made an immediate impression at the first-class level, averaging close to 40 with the bat and 23 with the ball. An aggressive right hand bat, with three first-class centuries, he usually opened the bowling at a brisk fast-medium.
He was rewarded with a Test cap against South Africa in 1947, and toured the West Indies in 1947/48 under G.O.Allen as vice-captain. Allen was injured on board ship, and Cranston captained the side in the First Test, which they drew. Injury hit and by no means a full strength touring party, England struggled on this tour, and Cranston dropped out of contention in 1948, playing just once against the all-conquering Australian tourists. At the end of the 1948 season Cranston resigned as captain of Lancashire, unable to balance the commitments of first-class cricket and his dental practice. Apart from a few appearances in festival matches, that was the end of a very promising first-class career.
(Article: Copyright © 2003 Dave Liverman)