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Edward Liddle's Biographies of Irish Cricketers
Francis Gerard Connell
  • Born 13 January 1902, Dublin
  • Died 16 March 1983, Dublin
  • Educated O'Connell's Schools, Dublin
  • Occupation Wages Clerk in CIE (State Public Transport Company)
  • Debut 4 August 1934 v MCC at College Park
  • Cap Number 396
  • Style Right-hand bat
  • Teams Civil Service, Leinster

Frank Connell was a highly successful opening batsman in League and Cup cricket in Dublin In a career which spanned 32 years, he scored 7845 runs at 28.12, hitting 18 centuries and 32 fifties. He was noted for the power and timing of his strokes which he appeared to play with ease all round the wicket. He was also a fine footballer, turning out regularly for Dublin side Shelbourne in his younger days. In company with several of his contemporaries, his record for the national team was less impressive, 350 runs from 21 innings at 16.27, though he would have made more than his 11 appearances had ill health not dogged him. His first class average was some ten runs higher.

He began for Civil Service in 1920, and represented the club for 8 seasons before moving across the City to Leinster. He notched 2 of the 3 centuries recorded for Service during their brief interlude as a Senior side, including his career best 125* v Railway Union at Park Avenue in 1927, when he scored 52 out of a 4th wicket stand of 61 with Rev G Nowlan. His Leinster career began in 1928 and was to bring great success. He won the Marchant Cup for batting three times in four years from 1934, being denied it in 1936, only because Bernard Bergin of Pembroke had a superior average from a mere 136 runs. Frank had an amazing "run" in 1935 of 102, 114, 90*(Rain stopped play), 79 and 119. However he always regarded his best innings as being 108* v Clontarf on the old Castle Avenue ground in 1936. During his time as a regular player, Leinster won 10 league and 3 Cup titles. As his 1921 performances had helped Service gain a best ever third League place in the League, he was clearly a major factor in both his teams' successes.

His Irish career began with 24 and 4 v MCC at College Park 1i 1934, opening the batting with tragic Lisburn bat Sam Edgar. Frank's best score for Ireland was 87 v MCC at Rathmines in 1937; he was stumped when his century seemed assured. However he had the satisfaction of having helped set up a big Irish win by 283 runs, though the off spin of the inevitable Jimmy Boucher had something to do with it as well! Frank also played a part in Ireland's win over Minor Counties in 1937, scoring 48 and 50 at the top of the order, Boucher took 10 in the match.

Frank played on at Senior 2 and Intermediate levels until well into his 50s. He was a major reason for Leinster 2nd XI's League and Cup double in 1951. He also became Honorary Secretary of the Leinster Cricket Union in 1952 and held that position for many years. His last appearance on the international stage was as an umpire in Ireland's match with Worcestershire at College Park in 1958. Alas, the home side collapsed against former and future Test spinners Bob Berry and Martin Horton. Francis Gerard Connell's obituary appears in Wisden 1985.