Lord Hawke in his playing days. He was a key figure in the captaincy debate.
The Yorkshire captaincy affair of 1927
arose from a disagreement among members of Yorkshire County Cricket Club
over the selection of a new captain to succeed the retired Major Arthur Lupton
. The main issue was whether a professional cricketer
should be appointed to the post. It was a tradition throughout English county cricket that captains should always be amateurs
. At Yorkshire, a succession of amateur captains held office in the 1920s, on the grounds of their supposed leadership qualities, although they were not worth their place in the team as cricketers. None lasted long; after Lupton's departure some members felt it was time to appoint a more accomplished cricketer on a long-term basis.
The Yorkshire committee, prompted by the influential county president, Lord Hawke
, approached Herbert Sutcliffe
, one of the side's leading professionals. After Sutcliffe's provisional acceptance of the captaincy, controversy arose. Some members objected to the appointment on the traditional grounds that Sutcliffe was not an amateur; others felt that if a professional was to be appointed, the post should be offered to the county's senior professional, Wilfred Rhodes
, who had been playing much longer than Sutcliffe. Rhodes himself was offended that he had not been approached. When Sutcliffe became aware of the controversy, he withdrew his acceptance. No offer was made to Rhodes, and the county subsequently appointed amateur William Worsley
as captain. He was respected by the team but had little personal success, lasted for just two seasons, and was followed by two further short-term leaders. In 1933 Brian Sellers
, a more competent amateur, was appointed and became the long-serving captain that Yorkshire had sought. (Full article...