Walter Reginald ‘Wally’ Hammond was an English first-class cricketer who played for Gloucestershire from 1920 to 1951. He was considered to be the best English batsman of the 1930s. In a Test career spanning 85 matches, he scored 7,249 runs and took 83 wickets. He captained England in 20 of those Tests, winning four and losing three.
About Wally Hammond in brief
Walter Reginald ‘Wally’ Hammond was an English first-class cricketer who played for Gloucestershire from 1920 to 1951. He was considered to be the best English batsman of the 1930s by commentators and those with whom he played. In a Test career spanning 85 matches, he scored 7,249 runs and took 83 wickets. He captained England in 20 of those Tests, winning four, losing three, and drawing 13. His career aggregate of runs was the highest in Test cricket until surpassed by Colin Cowdrey in 1970. His total of 22 Test centuries remained an English record until Alastair Cook surpassed it in December 2012. Hammond was married twice, divorcing his first wife in acrimonious circumstances, and had a reputation for infidelity. He died of a heart attack in 1965 at the age of 48. He is buried at the Cireter Grammar School in Cirencester, Gloucester, where he was a school captain in his first term of school. His father, William, was a corporal in the Royal Garrison Artillery and his mother, Marion, a schoolteacher, died in 1918. He played cricket in Malta and Hong Kong during the First World War before returning to England with the rest of the 46th Company of the RGA. He also played football, fivesives and fives for the school’s first team in his early years. His first century was in a match against a parents’ team from a local cricket club. He reached the first eleven in his second season of school cricket where he outperformed the other players and became captain of the first team.
He retired from cricket after an unsuccessful tour of Australia in 1946–47. He moved to South Africa in the 1950s in an attempt to start a business, but this came to nothing. He and his family struggled financially as a result of his failure to establish a successful career. In 1960 he was involved in a serious car crash in 1960 which left him frail, and he died in July 1965 at age 48. His funeral was held at St James’ Park, London, on the banks of the River Thames, where his family had lived for many years before moving to Portsmouth. He had a son, Peter, who became a professional cricketers and later a professional bowler. He later became an amateur and was appointed captain of England. In 1933, he set a record for the highest individual Test innings of 336 not out, surpassed by Len Hutton in 1938. He scored 50,551 runs and 167 centuries, respectively the seventh and third highest totals by a first- class cricket player. In the 1928–29 series against Australia he scored 905 runs, then a record aggregate for a Test series. He continued as captain after the Second World War, but his health had deteriorated and he retired from first- Class cricket in the early 1950s. He lived in Dover, Kent, until his death in 1965.
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