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Edward Liddle's Biographies of Irish Cricketers
Isaac Mervyn Jaffey (Now known as Mervyn Jeffries)
  • Born 9 September 1929, Dublin
  • Died 18 December 2014, Bethesda Maryland USA
  • Educated Wesley College Dublin and Dublin University
  • Occupation Doctor
  • Debut 20th June 1953 v MCC at Lord's
  • Cap Number 459
  • Style Wicket keeper
  • Teams Dublin University

Mervyn Jaffey was an outstanding wicket keeper at school where he won Leinster Schools caps in 1946 and 1947. He broke into the University 1st XI in his first summer there. He was a skilful performer behind the stumps, whose natural left-handedness made him adept at leg side stumpings. Captain of the XI when they won the LCU senior cup in 1952, only the second team from the University to do so, he made many stumpings off the off spin of Nigerian OO Coker, who would switch to this mode after using the new ball.

Jaffey established a University League record for a wicket keeper with 63 dismissals in his career, 35 of which were stumped. He also hit two fifties, the same career figure as four others who were picked for Ireland for their batting. His batting was seen to good effect in a somewhat hopeless cause for the University v Leinster at Rathmines in the Senior cup in 1950, a single innings play to a finish affair. The hosts racked up a massive 537, during which Mervyn conceded no byes. He then came in at No 7 after five wickets had fallen very cheaply and made a valiant 33, which together with contributions from fellow medics Larry Warke (33) and Sam McVicker (59*) enabled Trinity to reach a semi respectable 201.

Mervyn gained a Senior Interprovincial cap in 1950 and played for The Rest v Ireland in 1953, this match replacing for that year only the North v South fixture. He kept wicket well, stumping fellow gloveman Eddie Marks for 26, and batted respectably twice, particularly when promoted to No 3 in the second innings, when his bright 30 minute 32, enlivened the closing overs of a drawn match. He played twice for Ireland in 1953. At Lord's. where MCC won a rain affected match by 37 runs after Ireland's second innings was destroyed by Kilkenny born Michael Patrick Dowling. He made two stumpings, the second accounting for Hampshire batsman and Royal Navy officer John Manners who,achieving the age of 104 on 25 September 2018 is not only the oldest living first class cricketer, but the longest lived on record. Mervyn's single outing as a batsman resulted in his being dismissed by veteran Test leggie Jim Sims for 1.

The Scots match at Ormeau was ruined by rain. The visitors first innings was the only completed one. Mervyn made one trademark leg side stumping off Lisburn left armer Jack Bowden. That was the end of his Irish career and after that season, he played little more serious cricket in Ireland.

The demands of his profession claimed him, and this talented and unusual gloveman was not seen again in an Irish sweater. He emigrated to the USA to further his career. He became a highly respected doctor in the USA where he remained for the rest of his life. He did, however, continue to play cricket. As Mervyn Jeffries he was a prominent cricketer in the Washington DC area. In 1959 he appeared for the British Commonwealth CC against the touring Australian Old Collegians - a team made up of former pupils of leading Australian schools who were on a World tour - they also played in Ireland. They were far too strong for their hosts. Playing in Washington, they won by 80 runs after only posting 194 themselves. Batting at No 5, Mervyn with 13 was joint second top scorer.

Eight years later he was in the Commonwealth side again, this time against a fairly strong MCC side, which included the former England fast bowler Alan Moss, as well as Middlesex batsman Ted Clark and Oxford Blue Alan Duff both of whom had played for visitors against Ireland. They trounced the home team, for whom Mervyn, at 8, made an undefeated 5. Two days later the MCC faced the US Cricket Board Southern Zone XI and won by 147 runs. Clark missed out at No 1, being caught at the wicket by Mervyn, who, now at No 11. was 1* when his side's dismal batting performance, was ended.