Roger Davis was the fielder who nearly caught Gary Sobers during Glamorgan`s Championship match with Nottinghmashire at Swansea in 1968 when the great West Indian all-rounder became the first man in cricket history to hit six sixes in an over in first-class cricket. Davis was fielding on the long-off boundary and off the fifth ball of Malcolm Nash`s historic over, Davis caught one of Sobers` mighty blows, but in so doing, he fell over the boundary and the umpires signalled six.
Three years later, another blow almost ended Davis` life, as for a few awful moments during Glamorgan`s Championship match with Warwickshire at Cardiff in 1971, it looked as if Davis would not recover from being hit on the side of his head whilst fielding at short-leg. After being struck, Davis collapsed, went into convulsions and had to be given the kiss of life by a doctor who ran onto the ground from the member`s enclosure. Thankfully, this helped to save Davis` life and after a brief spell in hospital, he fully recovered, and by the following season, Davis had regained his place in the Glamorgan side.
Davis had made his Glamorgan debut in 1964, and soon developed into a correct middle-order batsman, and accurate off-spin bowler. Later in his career, Roger moved up to open the batting with Alan Jones, and in 1975 he enjoyed his most profitable season with 1,243 runs and centuries against Leicestershire and Sussex. He was also a very useful perfomer in one-day matches, and in 1973 he hit 101 against the West Indies in their Sunday friendly at Swansea. However, he was above all else, an oustanding fielder close to the wicket, and despite his near fatal accident, he stood fearlessly close to the batsmen and held many fine catches. Indeed, his 33 catches during 1969 was an important element of Glamorgan`s success in winning the County Championship.
During 1976, Davis lost form with both bat and ball, but given his track record at county level, it was still a huge surprise when the club did not offer him a long term contract at the end of the season. Davis resigned and left the club, without a Benefit after his thirteen years of loyal service to the county.
(Article: Copyright © 2001 Dr.A.K.Hignell)
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