Ben Stokes raised plenty of eyebrows with his opening day declaration in last summer’s enthralling first Ashes Test at Edgbaston.

But almost 88 years ago to the day, an England side captained by legendary Bear RES Wyatt – which the city-end stand is now named after – headed to Barbados for what would be a milestone Test series.

Stoke on the opening day of the Ashes series set the tone when he stood his side down on 398/8 with Joe Root, unbeaten on 118 and gathering a head of steam, threatening a flurry of late runs to put the hosts firmly in the box seat.

But former England captain and Warwickshire legend Wyatt, known as Bob, was making similar courageous calls almost 90 years earlier.

Wyatt (above pic middle wearing pads) captained an England side featuring fellow Bears Eric Hollies and George Paine that toured the West Indies in January 1936.

It would turn out to be the first ever Test series win for the Windies against England as they triumphed 2-1 in the four-Test series.

In the first Test, the hosts were dismissed by England for just 102 in 47 overs – Paine (3/14) and Hollies (2/36) taking the last five wickets – before Wyatt declared late on a heavily rain-affected Day Two (81/7) with his side still trailing by 21 runs.

Wyatt anticipated the damp wicket would continue to be difficult to bat on and he was right as the Windies were 33/3 at stumps.

More overnight rain left the pitch waterlogged with the third and final day’s play not resuming until 3.30pm. 

Three quick wickets left the West Indies at 51/6 at tea – and determined to force a result, West Indies captain RS Grant declared, setting England a target of 73 runs for victory in the final session.

England slipped to 47/6 until Wyatt and Wally Hammond constructed a seventh-wicket stand to see the tourists home to a four-wicket victory.

However, it proved to be England’s sole success in the four-match series as they lost the second and fourth Tests.

George Paine’s personal photo album from the tour is on display at the Edgbaston Museum. It’s open Monday and Wednesday in the off-season and on match days.

Edgbaston is set for more Test drama when England take on the West Indies at Edgbaston from Friday 26 July. The West Indies come to the Second City for their eagerly anticipated first visit in seven years and only limited tickets are now left with the first three days sold out.

The only other way to get access to the first three days of the Test is with Hospitality from official provider Keith Prowse and Premium Tickets on our Seat Unique Terrace.

There’s still good availability for Day Four tickets, with 50% currently sold and prices starting from just £25.

Additional tickets released for first three days of West Indies Test

A small number of tickets have been released for the first three days of our Men’s Test against West Indies this summer (26-30 Juy).

Tickets are limited for these day and are expected to sell quickly. Early Bird tickets for Day Four are still available if purchased before midnight on 31 March.

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