Charlie Parker (cricketer)

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Charlie Parker
CWL Parker Cr Apr 81.jpg
Personal information
Full nameCharles Warrington Leonard Parker
Born(1882-10-14)14 October 1882
Prestbury, Gloucestershire
Died11 July 1959(1959-07-11) (aged 76)
Cranleigh, Surrey
BattingRight-hand bat
BowlingSlow left-arm orthodox
International information
National side
Domestic team information
1903 - 1935 Gloucestershire
Career statistics
Competition Tests First-class
Runs scored37951
Batting average -10.47
Top score3*82
Balls bowled168157059
Wickets 23278
Bowling average 16.0019.46
5 wickets in innings -277
10 wickets in match-91
Best bowling2/3210/79
Catches/stumpings -/-247/-

Charles Warrington Leonard "Charlie" Parker (14 October 1882, Prestbury, Gloucestershire 11 July 1959, Cranleigh, Surrey) was an English cricketer, who stands as the third highest wicket taker in the history of first-class cricket, behind Wilfred Rhodes and Tich Freeman. [1]

Prestbury, Gloucestershire village in United Kingdom

Prestbury is a medium-sized village near the edge of the Cotswolds in Gloucestershire, England. It is on the outskirts of Cheltenham, and forms part of the borough of Cheltenham, despite retaining its own parish council as a civil parish. It is part of the Tewkesbury parliamentary constituency.

Gloucestershire County of England

Gloucestershire is a county in South West England. The county comprises part of the Cotswold Hills, part of the flat fertile valley of the River Severn, and the entire Forest of Dean.

Cranleigh village in Surrey County, England

Cranleigh is a large village and civil parish, self-proclaimed the largest in England, about 8 miles (13 km) southeast of Guildford in Surrey. It lies east of the A281, which links Guildford with Horsham, on an alternative route that is not an A-road. It is in the north-west corner of the Weald, a large remnant forest, the main local remnant being Winterfold Forest directly north-west on the northern Greensand Ridge.


Life and career

Parker paid no serious attention to cricket in his childhood, preferring to concentrate on golf. He only took to cricket around 1900 and was recommended to Gloucestershire by W. G. Grace in 1903. However, he played only twice in first-class cricket before 1907. From then on, he played regularly, and despite several excellent performances, he was always overshadowed by George Dennett until World War I put a halt to county cricket. By 1914, Parker had not taken 100 wickets in a season and his last two years had been very expensive, suggesting that his was to be an insignificant career.

Golf sport in which players attempt to hit a ball with a club into a goal using a minimum number of shots

Golf is a club-and-ball sport in which players use various clubs to hit balls into a series of holes on a course in as few strokes as possible.

Gloucestershire County Cricket Club english Cricket Club

Gloucestershire County Cricket Club is one of eighteen first-class county clubs within the domestic cricket structure of England and Wales. It represents the historic county of Gloucestershire. Founded in 1870, Gloucestershire have always been first-class and have played in every top-level domestic cricket competition in England. The club played its first senior match in 1870 and W. G. Grace was their captain. The club plays home games at the Bristol County Ground in the Bishopston area of north Bristol. A number of games are also played at the Cheltenham cricket festival at the College Ground, Cheltenham and matches have also been played at the Gloucester cricket festival at The King's School, Gloucester.

W. G. Grace English cricketer

William Gilbert"W. G."Grace, was an English amateur cricketer who was important in the development of the sport and is widely considered one of its greatest-ever players. Universally known as "W. G.", he played first-class cricket for a record-equalling 44 seasons, from 1865 to 1908, during which he captained England, Gloucestershire, the Gentlemen, Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), the United South of England Eleven (USEE) and several other teams.

In 1919, with Dennett serving as an officer in the Army, Parker was forced to become Gloucestershire's chief bowler. He took more wickets than ever before in a season, but he was still expensive even when the dry weather was taken into account. However, from 1920 Parker became one of the best left arm spin bowlers in England. A little quicker than most of his type (thus harder to hit), on rain affected or crumbling pitches he was almost unplayable due to his vicious spin which could hit off stump from outside leg. Though helped by appalling batting sides for much of his success, Parker took 125 wickets in 1920, 167 in 1921, 206 in 1922, 204 in 1924, and headed the first-class averages with 222 in 1925.

Left-arm orthodox spin cricket bowling style

Left-arm orthodox spin also known as Slow Left Arm Orthodox spin bowling is a type of Left Arm Finger Off spin bowling in the sport of cricket. Left-arm orthodox spin is bowled by a left-arm bowler using the fingers to spin the ball from right to left of the cricket pitch.

1921 was the 28th season of County Championship cricket in England. Australia emphasised a post-war superiority that it owed in particular to the pace duo of Gregory and McDonald. Having won 5-0 in Australia the previous winter, the Australians won the first three Tests of the 1921 tour and then drew the last two to retain the Ashes. It was the 29th test series between the two sides.

1922 was the 29th season of County Championship cricket in England. Yorkshire recovered the title and went on to win it four times in succession.

This success reflected Parker's ability to get through huge amounts of bowling; such as over 85 per cent of Gloucestershire's overs (from one end) in 1927.

1927 was the 34th season of County Championship cricket in England. Lancashire retained the title. A New Zealand team toured but there were no Test matches. Douglas Jardine and Harold Larwood topped the batting and bowling averages respectively.

Among his best feats were 9 for 36 against Yorkshire in 1922 and 10 for 79 against Somerset in 1921. He took a hat trick in each innings against Middlesex at Bristol in 1924 after his Gloucestershire team had themselves been bowled out for 31. He took 17 for 56 against Essex in 1925, and 16 for 109 against Middlesex in 1930, the year he took 7 for 54 against the Australians in a famous tied match. From 1929 to 1931 he formed, with Tom Goddard, the most lethal bowling combination in county cricket, aided by the brilliant close fielding of Wally Hammond. He nearly completed what would have been a unique feat in taking five wickets in five balls in first-class cricket. He hit the stumps five times in consecutive balls in his benefit match for Gloucestershire against Yorkshire at the County Cricket Ground, Bristol in 1922, but the second was called a no-ball. [2]

Tom Goddard was an English cricketer and the fifth-highest wicket taker in first-class cricket.

Wally Hammond English cricket player

Walter Reginald "Wally" Hammond was an English first-class cricketer who played for Gloucestershire in a career that lasted from 1920 to 1951. Beginning as a professional, he later became an amateur and was appointed captain of England. Primarily a middle-order batsman, Wisden Cricketers' Almanack described him in his obituary as one of the four best batsmen in the history of cricket. He was considered to be the best English batsman of the 1930s by commentators and those with whom he played; they also said that he was one of the best slip fielders ever. Hammond was an effective fast-medium pace bowler and contemporaries believed that if he had been less reluctant to bowl, he could have achieved even more with the ball than he did.

Yorkshire County Cricket Club English cricket club

Yorkshire County Cricket Club is one of eighteen first-class county clubs within the domestic cricket structure of England and Wales. It represents the historic county of Yorkshire. The club's limited overs team is called the Yorkshire Vikings. Yorkshire teams formed by earlier organisations, essentially the old Sheffield Cricket Club, played top-class cricket from the 18th century and the county club has always held first-class status. Yorkshire have competed in the County Championship since the official start of the competition in 1890 and have played in every top-level domestic cricket competition in England.

In 1931, though already forty-eight - an age at which most cricketers even in that era had already retired - Charlie Parker equalled Jack Hearne's record of taking 100 wickets by 12 June and his total aggregate was the second highest of his career. However, age finally caught up with Parker in 1932 after a promising beginning. Though he still spun the ball considerably, he lost his accuracy of length and consequently was expensive. Because Gloucestershire had no support for him and Goddard, Parker continued to play until 1935, but never recovered his former powers.

Because Australian wickets of the 1920s and 1930s were totally unresponsive to his bowling, Parker was never even considered for a tour there. He did tour with private parties to the West Indies and on Lord Tennyson's 1924/1925 tour of South Africa - seen as at worst a very good "second eleven" - when his bowling proved suitable for the matting wickets, but he did so little bowling in the five Representative Matches that he only took 11 wickets for 198 runs. In fact, he played only one Test, at Old Trafford in 1921, where he took 2 for 32 on a wicket too slow to be difficult - though he was discarded at the last minute in 1926 and 1930.

As a batsman, he rarely accomplished much, though he nearly did the match double against Leicestershire in 1921 and Somerset in 1922.

After he retired in 1935, Parker became an umpire until World War II. Following the war, he coached cricket at Cranleigh almost up to his death on 11 July 1959.

World Record

Charlie Parker was the first player to take three hat-tricks in a single first-class season. He achieved this in 1924. His record was later equaled by J.S. Rao in 1963-64, and Dean Headley in 1996. [3]

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  1. "The man of 2009". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 16 October 2017.
  2. Frindall, Bill (2009). Ask Bearders. BBC Books. p. 123. ISBN   978-1-84607-880-4.
  3. "3 Hat-tricks in a season by Charlie Parker". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 14 September 2016.