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Biography
Ivan John Anderson
  • Born 13 August 1944, Armagh
  • Educated Armagh Royal School, Queen's University, Belfast
  • Occupation IT Systems Manager
  • Debut 20 July 1966 v Middlesex at Ormeau
  • Cap Number 450
  • Style Right-hand bat, Right-arm off spin
  • Teams Armagh, Queen's University, Waringstown

Ivan Anderson was, unquestionably, the finest Irish batsman of his generation. Few would deny him a place in the top half dozen best Irish bats of all time: "Arguably the most complete Irish cricketer in history" (Siggins and Fitzgerald), he was a stylish upper order player, capable of dominating the best attacks, brilliant cover fielder, and a very good off spinner, who gave little away.

As a 15 year old he played for Armagh, while still at the City's Royal School, where he broke records, was captain of the XI, and also led the Ulster and Irish Schools XIs. After finishing his degree at Queen's, he returned to Armagh for whom he played until the end of the 1968 season, scoring, in all, 1504 runs at 23.50 and taking 162 wickets. His highest score, 104, against YMCA at The Mall in June 1968 was part of a fine all round performance. Having made his century, he then drove the final nails into the YM coffin with figured of 5-4-2-4. In 1969, having considered both emigration and trying his hand in county cricket, he joined Waringstown and was a key, if not the key, figure in the Village's glory years. He became not only the leading player, but also an important administrator, as club secretary and NCU executive committee member.

During his years in the XI, Waringstown won the Senior Cup 15 times in 15 appearances. On 11 of these Ivan made a telling contribution with either bat or ball. For example, he scored 76 in the first innings v Ballymena in 1976, to help set up an 8-wicket victory. Even more vital was his second innings 53 v Downpatrick three years later, when the Villagers got home by one run. Another seventy odd came in 1983, when he and David Dennison (137) were responsible for batting Lurgan out of the game reaching a total of 336-5. He also had several useful 30s and 40s, including a 34 v NICC, coming as late as 1992. His off spin brought a clutch of telling 4 wicket hauls and 22 overs for 30 in the 1993 Final. He also helped them to 13 League titles and four shared ones. For most of this time Waringstown relied on their own strength, scorning the professionals used by their rivals. He also captained them to win the second ever Irish Senior Cup in 1983.

He was also a force in the Guinness Cup. Between its inception in 1966 and his retirement from representative cricket in 1985, he scored 2094 runs at 38.77, first for Ulster Town and then for Ulster Country. his highest score was 101*. His aggregate has only been surpassed by "Ginger" O'Brien, father of Kevin and Niall, whose career was longer and average lower. Ivan also took 80 wickets at 18.01, which ranks him high amongst the tournaments all rounders. He was in six Cup winning sides.

He made his Irish debut against Middlesex in 1966, and top scored in both innings against the full county attack. He scored 7 centuries for Ireland including the then Irish record of 198* v Canada, at Toronto, on tour in 1973. "A brilliant chanceless innings," according to eye witness Derek Scott in Wisden. Ossie Colhoun and Dougie Goodwin stayed with him for long periods to help him towards Ireland's first 200, but alas, John Elder at number 11 was unable to do so, falling lbw in the last over of the day. The match was drawn as Ireland failed to enforce the follow on. The 7 remains a record at the time of writing though closely pursued by Jeremy Bray.

Ivan also became the first, and so far only, Irish batsman to hit two hundreds in a match v Scotland at Hamilton Crescent, Glasgow in 1976. His first innings 147 was part of a 222 run 4th wicket partnership with Alec O'Riordan (117). This is still the sixth highest Irish partnership of all time, though it has been surpassed twice for the fourth wicket most recently by Eoin Morgan and William Porterfield in the Intercontinental Cup in March 2007. His second innings 103* was the fourth century of the match as JR Laing of Scotland made 125, ensuring a draw. Anderson hit 4 other hundreds for Ireland, the first: a 2 hour 110 v Combined Services at Shane Park in 1968; it was the first Irish hundred for six years.; he followed with 75 in the second innings, He generally batted well at Lord's, never better than in a drawn match in 1977, when a first innings 105* was followed by 81 in the second, as Ireland fell short by 3 runs in a run chase.

Many observers consider his sixth hundred to have been his best: 110 v Sri Lanka, then on the verge of Test status, in 1979. The ICU Year Book 1980 called it, "a brilliant innings, with 20 fours in 184 minutes." He narrowly missed an eighth ton, with 99 in the Scots match of 1981, only the second time the " nearest miss" had been recorded for Ireland. His off spin brought him 48 wickets at 26.60. In 1974 Ivan 5-21 and Dermott Monteith 5-29, bowled Ireland to an improbable victory over Scotland on the last afternoon. It also kept him in the Irish side. Strange as it seems, the selectors had decided to drop him, so it was as an off spinner that the master batsman kept his place for the next match.

He was appointed captain in 1968 and seemed to be just into his stride when Goodwin replaced him the following year. He could take comfort from the fact that he was far from the only Irish captain to be strangely treated by the selectors. In an interview with Cover Point (July -August 2008) Ivan said that he was removed form the captaincy because of an altercation he had with then great Jimmy Boucher at Castle Avenue during the MCC match. Boucher was ICU Secretary and not a selector but, according to Ivan, "He exerted undue influence over the selection of teams." He objected to the Irish batting and bowling order, but Ivan stood his ground. When he retired from International cricket, some thought he had lost some of his enthusiasm for the "big time."

Be that as it may his club career continued into the next decade, and his coaching and administrative skills are still much in evidence. He was elected President of the NCU from 2006-2007. In his History of Senior Cricket in Ulster, Clarence Hiles has a section entitled "Ivan the Great." None would disagree with that verdict unless they wished to challenge it as an understatement.

He is profiled in Siggins and Fitzgerald Ireland's 100 Cricket Greats.

Edward Liddle, April 2007

International Matches
View Match Ireland lost to Middlesex by an innings and 21 runs (2 Day, Ormeau, 20-21 July 1966)
View Match Scotland beat Ireland by 6 wickets (2 Day, Edinburgh, 30 July - 2 August 1966)
View Match Ireland lost to MCC by 32 runs (2 Day, Clontarf, 3-5 September 1966)
View Match Ireland lost to India by 6 wickets (2 Day, Clontarf, 21-22 July 1967)
View Match MCC beat Ireland by an innings and 62 runs (2 Day, Lord's, 28-29 August 1967)
View Match Combined Services drew with Ireland (2 Day, Aldershot, 30-31 August 1967)
View Match Ireland lost to Australia by 3 wickets (1 Day, Ormeau, 3 July 1968)
View Match Ireland lost to Australia by 121 runs (1 Day, Ormeau, 4 July 1968)
View Match Scotland drew with Ireland (3 Day, Glasgow, 3-5 August 1968)
View Match Ireland beat Combined Services by an innings and 46 runs (2 Day, Shane Park, 23-24 August 1968)
View Match Ireland drew with MCC (3 Day, Clontarf, 7-9 September 1968)
View Match Ireland lost to Scotland by 82 runs (1 Day, Clontarf, 14-16 June 1969)
View Match Ireland beat West Indies by 9 wickets (1 Day, Sion Mills, 2 July 1969)
View Match Ireland drew with West Indies (2 Day, Ormeau, 3-4 July 1969)
View Match Ireland drew with Wilfred Isaacs XI (3 Day, Rathmines, 19-21 July 1969)
View Match Ireland lost to Pakistan International Airways by 7 wickets (3 Day, Sydney Parade, 16-18 August 1969)
View Match Combined Services lost to Ireland by 7 wickets (2 Day, Uxbridge, 30-31 August 1969)
View Match MCC beat Ireland by 36 runs (2 Day, Lord's, 1-2 September 1969)
View Match Scotland drew with Ireland (3 Day, Perth, 20-22 June 1970)
View Match Netherlands lost to Ireland by 187 runs (3 Day, Den Haag, 24-26 July 1970)
View Match Ireland drew with Denmark (2 Day, Cork, 15-17 August 1970)
View Match Ireland beat Combined Services by an innings and 46 runs (2 Day, Londonderry, 28-29 August 1970)
View Match Ireland lost to MCC by 5 wickets (3 Day, Clontarf, 5-7 September 1970)
View Match Ireland drew with Scotland (3 Day, Ormeau, 19-21 June 1971)
View Match Ireland beat Wales by 260 runs (3 Day, Cork, 17-19 July 1971)
View Match Ireland beat The Netherlands by 138 runs (3 Day, Clontarf, 21-22 August 1971)
View Match Combined Services drew with Ireland (2 Day, Portsmouth, 21-22 August 1971)
View Match MCC lost to Ireland by 97 runs (2 Day, Lord's, 23-24 August 1971)
View Match Scotland drew with Ireland (3 Day, Greenock, 24-26 June 1972)
View Match Wales drew with Ireland (3 Day, Swansea, 20-21 August 1972)
View Match Ireland beat Wales by an innings and 93 runs (3 Day, Rathmines, 9-11 June 1973)
View Match Ireland beat Denmark by an innings and 130 runs (3 Day, Clontarf, 23-25 June 1973)
View Match MCC lost to Ireland by 7 wickets (2 Day, Lord's, 30-31 July 1973)
View Match Ireland beat Scotland by 50 runs (3 Day, Cork, 11-13 August 1973)
View Match Canada drew with Ireland (3 Day, Toronto, 14-16 September 1973)
View Match USA beat Ireland by 42 runs (3 Day, Los Angeles, 22-24 September 1973)
View Match Ireland lost to MCC by 49 runs (3 Day, Rathmines, 20-22 July 1974)
View Match Scotland lost to Ireland by 52 runs (3 Day, Ayr, 10-12 August 1974)
View Match Wales drew with Ireland (3 Day, Colwyn Bay, 25-27 August 1974)
View Match Denmark drew with Ireland (3 Day, Ringsted, 25-27 July 1975)
View Match Ireland beat Scotland by an innings and 41 runs (3 Day, Rathmines, 9-11 August 1975)
View Match Ireland drew with MCC (3 Day, Cork, 12-14 June 1976)
View Match Ireland beat Netherlands by 131 runs (3 Day, Downpatrick, 1-3 July 1976)
View Match Ireland lost to West Indies by 204 runs (2 Day, Rathmines, 14-15 July 1976)
View Match Scotland drew with Ireland (3 Day, Glasgow, 7-9 August 1976)
View Match Ireland drew with Australia (2 Day, Rathmines, 9-10 June 1977)
View Match Ireland lost to Scotland by 74 runs (3 Day, Clontarf, 2-4 July 1977)
View Match Wales drew with Ireland (3 Day, Swansea, 24-26 July 1977)
View Match Sussex lost to Ireland by 3 wickets (3 Day, Pagham, 27-29 July 1977)
View Match MCC drew with Ireland (2 Day, Lord's, 1-2 August 1977)
View Match Ireland drew with Surrey (2 Day, Rathmines, 8-9 June 1978)
View Match Ireland drew with MCC (3 Day, Eglinton, 24-26 June 1978)
View Match Ireland beat Wales by 135 runs (3 Day, Cork, 8-10 July 1978)
View Match Scotland drew with Ireland (3 Day, Glasgow, 12-14 August 1978)
View Match Ireland drew with Surrey (2 Day, Clontarf, 13-14 June 1979)
View Match Ireland drew with Sri Lanka (3 Day, Eglinton, 7-9 July 1979)
View Match Ireland beat Scotland by 7 wickets (3 Day, Rathmines, 28-30 July 1979)
View Match MCC drew with Ireland (2 Day, Lord's, 15-16 August 1979)
View Match Wales lost to Ireland by 10 wickets (3 Day, Marchwiel, 18-20 August 1979)
View Match Worcestershire drew with Ireland (3 Day, Worcester, 22-24 August 1979)
View Match Ireland beat MCC by 175 runs (3 Day, Clontarf, 7 June 1980)
View Match Ireland drew with West Indies (1 Day, Ormeau, 25 June 1980)
View Match Ireland lost to West Indies by 73 runs (1 Day, Clontarf, 26 June 1980)
View Match Middlesex beat Ireland by 5 wickets (Gillette Cup, Lord's, 2 July 1980)
View Match Ireland drew with Wales (3 Day, Rathmines, 27 July 1980)
View Match Scotland drew with Ireland (3 Day, Coatbridge, 16 August 1980)
View Match Ireland v Canada - no result (1 Day, Ormeau, 7 June 1981)
View Match Ireland lost to Gloucestershire by 171 runs (NatWest Trophy, Clontarf, 11 July 1981)
View Match Ireland drew with Scotland (3 Day, Clontarf, 25 July 1981)
View Match MCC drew with Ireland (2 Day, Lord's, 12 August 1981)
View Match Wales lost to Ireland by 129 runs (3 Day, Pontardulais, 16 August 1981)
View Match Surrey beat Ireland by an innings and 6 runs (2 Day, The The Oval, 19 August 1981)
View Match Ireland v India - no result (1 Day, Ormeau, 27 May 1982)
View Match Ireland lost to India by 5 wickets (1 Day, Ormeau, 26 May 1982)
View Match Ireland drew with MCC (3 Day, Eglinton, 19 June 1982)
View Match Northamptonshire beat Ireland by 7 wickets (NatWest Trophy, Northampton, 3 July 1982)
View Match Scotland beat Ireland by 8 wickets (3 Day, Edinburgh, 25 August 1982)
View Match Ireland drew with Warwickshire (2 Day, Rathmines, 25 August 1982)
View Match Ireland lost to Worcestershire by 8 wickets (1 Day, Rathmines, 11 June 1983)
View Match Ireland lost to Worcestershire by 43 runs (1 Day, Rathmines, 12 June 1983)
View Match Gloucestershire beat Ireland by 7 runs (3 Day, Bristol, 17 August 1983)
View Match Ireland beat MCC by 9 wickets (3 Day, Ormeau, 2 June 1984)
View Match Ireland drew with Australia (1 Day, Downpatrick, 8 August 1985)
View Match Club Cricket Conference beat Ireland by 67 runs (2 Day, Norbury, 21 August 1985)
View Match Duchess of Norfolk's XI drew with Ireland (1 Day, Arundel, 23 August 1985)
View Match MCC drew with Ireland (2 Day, Lord's, 28 August 1985)
Articles
1979: Anderson delivers despite postal strike
A look back to July 1979 when Sri Lanka made their first visit to Ireland.