Andy Sandham Biography
Sandham opened for Surrey for years with great distinction, but had the misfortune of partnering the great Jack Hobbs. Hence, he remained relegated to playing second fiddle for almost all his career.
Yet, as it seemed that greatness and immortality would pass him as he remained in the giant shadow, he scored 325 against the West Indies at Sabina Park in the mammoth England total of 849. He was just a few days shy of his 40th birthday. It was the first triple-century in Test cricket, and had been scored with a bat borrowed from captain Hon. FSG Calthorpe and the many runs had been run in shoes that belonged to Patsy Hendren. In fact, one of the shoes slipped off as he ran a single during the innings. It was his final Test.
Moreover, he did not know of his pioneering feat. The celebrations were delayed since it took a while for MCC to bestow Test status on the match. By then Don Bradman had already hammered 334 at Headingley in 1930. However, Sandham did score 50 more in the second innings of that famous timeless Test, and the match aggregate of 375 remained a record for 44 years before Greg Chappell went past it.
With Hobbs and Herbert Sutcliffe forming the greatest partnership at the top of the order, Sandham played just 14 times for England. But he was a giant in the shadows for Surrey, appearing in 525 matches for the county over 27 seasons, scoring 33,312 runs with 83 centuries. He started three years before the First World War and ended two seasons before the Second. With Hobbs he collaborated in 66 century partnerships, the highest being 428 against Oxford University in 1926.
A workmanlike rather than a pleasing batsman to watch, Sandham was not done with his phenomenal triple-hundred at that advanced age. Five years later he brought up his 100th First-Class hundred. He ended with 41,284 runs with 107 centuries.
After his career was over, he played the role of the coach of Surrey during their celebrated reign over the county Championships in the 1950s. He later became the scorer of the club, and had to be gently guided by a young Bill Gordon because of his failing eyesight.