Tom Graveney bigraphy, stories - English cricketer

Tom Graveney : biography

16 June 1927 -

Thomas William Graveney OBE (born 16 June 1927) in Riding Mill, Northumberland, is a former English cricketer and was the President of the Marylebone Cricket Club for 2004/5. He went to Bristol Grammar School. Graveney played for Gloucestershire County Cricket Club (Captain 1959–1960), Worcestershire County Cricket Club (Captain 1968–1970), Queensland and England in 79 Tests and was a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1953. Graveney captained England on one occasion, standing in for Colin Cowdrey in the drawn fourth Test match against the Australians at Headingley in 1968. He is also the uncle of the former England chairman of selectors, David Graveney, and the brother of Ken Graveney.



An elegant batsman, Graveney was among the leading players of his generation. Beginning his career with Gloucestershire after the Second World War, Graveney joined Worcestershire in 1961 after he was replaced as captain. He left county cricket after the 1970 season but made a handful of appearances for Queensland, where he acted as coach.

Graveney was a regular Test cricketer throughout the 1950s. He appeared in at least one match in every home Test series from 1951 until 1958 as well as touring Australia three times (1954–55, 1958–59, 1962–63) and the West Indies twice (1953–54 and 1967–68). In 1954–55 he topped the England batting averages (44.00) and served as a makeshift opener in the final Test when Ian Johnson put England in to bat. Graveney made 111 in two and a half hours and few captains have been more gracefully rebuffed. In addition he visited Pakistan in 1968–69 as vice captain, having been there as part of the lengthy Indian tour in 1951–52. Regaining his place after a three-year absence in the second (Lord's) Test Match of 1966, Graveney finally left international cricket after playing a benefit match on the rest day of the First Test against the West Indies in 1969, when he scored 75. He was then suspended for this breach of regulations and did not play again.

Graveney enjoyed his most successful cricket after 1960. Dominating performances in India and at home against the 1957 West Indians when he made 258 at Trent Bridge contrasted with averages under 40 in eight out of thirteen series. In only two did he average over 50, but from 1962 he bettered 50 in five out of nine series and averaged at least 40 in two others. Graveney's play was dominated by strong front foot strokes, but he had enough technique against the quick bowlers to open the England batting regularly in the early part of his career. He passed 1000 runs in a season on twenty occasions, making more than 2000 six times. In 1964 he scored his hundredth hundred (the first player to do so since the Second World War) and in all scored 47,793 runs, as well as being a useful wrist spinner. He captained Gloucestershire in 1959 and 1960, and led Worcestershire from 1968 until he retired in 1970.

On 9 July 2009, Tom Graveney was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame.

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