Trent Bridge / Players

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Trent Bridge

Geoffrey Millman

Whilst playing for a Minor Counties representative Eleven against the 1956 Australians, Millman was described by Keith Miller as the best young wicketkeeper he had seen in England that season. In the same summer, Millman (who was doing his National Service) appeared for the R.A.F. in a three-day game at Trent Bridge v Notts. He so impressed the Notts Committee that he was signed by the County for the 1957 campaign. In case, to today's followers the R.A.F. don't sound a particularly impressive cricketing outfit, in 1956 virtually all the eleven were or would be first-class players. In that specific match, Millman opened the batting as well as being the keeper.

Millman was automatically picked for the First Eleven from the start of 1957. His first test was to keep to the wiles of Dooland's spin, a task that had baffled the regular stumper when Dooland had arrived in 1953. Millman passed the `Dooland test'.

In 1961 Millman scored 1,000 runs in a season for the first time and the England selectors were becoming conscious of his ability. At the time Murray of Middlesex held the England post, and stood in all the Tests that season v Australia. Murray was also first choice for the following winter tour to India, but Millman was picked as his understudy. As the tour evolved it became clear that Millman was the more competent performer. He duly took over from Murray for the four final Tests. The report noted: `Millman earned his place by his quiet efficiency.'

Back in England for the 1962 season, Millman was now England's number one choice. He played in the First Test v Pakistan, but fatally decided to play in the Second when he was really unfit. This allowed Murray to recapture the keeper's spot for the Third Test. Millman never managed to regain a Test place.

In 1963 Corran decided that the Notts captaincy was not his cup of tea; Millman was appointed to the role. Not an easy position, since the County were weak and struggling.

At the end of three years, Millman elected to retire. The politics of cricket were not his forte, so county cricket lost a very capable wicketkeeper-batsman at the early age of 30.

Geoffrey Millman was born in Bedford on 2 October 1934. Educated at Bedford Modern School, he was in the Eleven in 1951 and 1952 and made his Bedfordshire debut in 1954. After leaving Notts he re-appeared for Bedfordshire in a few matches, but was mainly occupied running the family jewellery business in Bedford. He died on 6 April 2005 after a long illness.

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