Cricket records are forever changing but John Langridge’s place in Sussex Cricket’s annals will be there forever. His career spanned four decades, ending in 1955, and he is regarded as one of the best batsmen never to play for his country.
An opening batsman, Langridge had an uncomplicated open stance that made him predominantly a leg-side player. He scored 76 centuries, more than any other Sussex batsman, eight double hundreds and more than 2,000 runs in a season on 10 occasions. Langridge is ranked 40th on the all-time list of run scorers in England. All of the players above him apart from one – ex-Sussex player Allan Jones – played for England.
His finest hour came in 1933, when he and Ted Bowley put on 490 against Middlesex. There have been only three higher first-wicket partnerships in the history of the game.
Langridge had made more first-class runs than any player in Sussex’s history – a staggering 34,152. His performance was second-to-none, and he could have gone on to represent his country if play hadn’t been interrupted by World War II. In 1939 Langridge was named in the MCC party to tour India, but the trip was inevitably cancelled following the outbreak of war.
His brother James also played for Sussex and was just as talented. As well as scoring more than 31,000 runs he took 1,530 first-class wickets with his left-arm spin. Unlike John, James did achieve his ambition of playing for England in eight Tests between 1933-46.
John finally made it to the Test arena in 1960 when he stood in the first of seven Tests as an umpire. He was on the first-class umpires panel for 25 years.
John Langridge died in 1990 in Brighton.