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Edward Liddle's Biographies of Irish Cricketers
William Ian Lewis
  • Born 29 May 1935, Dublin
  • Died 20 November 2004, Dublin
  • Educated St Andrew's College, Dublin
  • Occupation Insurance Broker
  • Debut 2 September 1955, MCC at Lord's
  • Cap Number 470
  • Style Right-hand bat
  • Teams YMCA, Cork C of I, LPYMA, Cork County

Ian Lewis was an attractive middle order batsman with a wide range of strokes. He was consistency personified at Cup, League and Interprovincial levels, but, sadly, never fulfilled his potential for Ireland, though he had many chances to do so. For YMCA, he had a 36-season career between 1952 and 1987, briefly interrupted when work took him to Munster, and totalled 8592 runs at 27.10. He hit 8 hundreds and 10 fifties, with a highest score of 159. His Munster cricket was only an interlude, but he scored consistently for Cork C of I and LPYMA, besides turning out for Cork County and appearing for Munster in the old style Interprovincials. From the inception of the Guinness Cup in 1966, he was a regular member of the South Leinster XI for nine years. With a highest score of 85*, he hit 10 fifties, obtaining 1127 runs at 32.20.

These figures suggest that he would have met with some, not inconsiderable success, for Ireland. However in all he scored only 353 runs at 12.61. His highest score of 41 was against the 1963 West Indians and is worthy of recall. On a rough, wet, College Park wicket, which was totally unsuited for a match of this description, the Caribbean fast men, Charlie Griffith and Lester King, reduced Ireland to 8/5, before bowlers of lesser pace were introduced in the shape of WA White, a second string off spinner, and left armer Alf Valentine. At 7, Lewis was well placed to take advantage. He made 41, all his runs being off Valentine, who had no other runs scored off him. He hit two big sixes, and also found the boundary with some raking on drives; the next highest score was 9 by Bobby Matier. His other noteworthy batting performance was against MCC at Castle Avenue in 1970. Batting at 8 he made 35 and 15* but MCC won after a run chase.

After finally retiring, he became a leading administrator. He was YMCA's delegate to the Leinster Cricket Union and was LCU President in 1982 and 1983. In 1989, he was a hard working and popular President of the Irish Cricket Union. Though he played a considerable amount of golf, he followed the Irish team on several of their overseas tours.