Eric Hollies

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Eric Hollies
Eric Hollies.jpg
Personal information
Full nameWilliam Eric Hollies
Born(1912-06-05)5 June 1912
Old Hill, Staffordshire, England
Died 16 April 1981(1981-04-16) (aged 68)
Chinley, Derbyshire, England
Batting Right-handed
Bowling Right arm leg spin
International information
National side
Test debut (cap  277) 8 January 1935 v  West Indies
Last Test 25 July 1950 v  West Indies
Domestic team information
YearsTeam
1932–1957 Warwickshire
Career statistics
Competition Test First-class
Matches13515
Runs scored371,673
Batting average 5.285.00
100s/50s–/––/–
Top score18*47
Balls bowled3,554130,625
Wickets 442,323
Bowling average 30.2720.94
5 wickets in innings 5182
10 wickets in match40
Best bowling7/5010/49
Catches/stumpings 2/–179/–
Source: Cricinfo, 6 June 2009

William Eric Hollies (5 June 1912 – 16 April 1981) [1] was an English cricketer, who is mainly remembered for taking the wicket of Donald Bradman for a duck in Bradman's final Test match innings, in which he needed only four runs for a Test average of 100. Hollies played all his first-class cricket career for Warwickshire, taking 2,323 wickets at less than 21 apiece.

Cricket Team sport played with bats and balls

Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a field at the centre of which is a 20-metre (22-yard) pitch with a wicket at each end, each comprising two bails balanced on three stumps. The batting side scores runs by striking the ball bowled at the wicket with the bat, while the bowling and fielding side tries to prevent this and dismiss each player. Means of dismissal include being bowled, when the ball hits the stumps and dislodges the bails, and by the fielding side catching the ball after it is hit by the bat, but before it hits the ground. When ten players have been dismissed, the innings ends and the teams swap roles. The game is adjudicated by two umpires, aided by a third umpire and match referee in international matches. They communicate with two off-field scorers who record the match's statistical information.

In cricket, a duck is a batsman's dismissal for a score of zero.

Test cricket the longest form of the sport of cricket; so called due to its long, grueling nature

Test cricket is the longest form of the sport of cricket and is considered its highest standard. Test matches are played between national representative teams with "Test status", as determined and conferred by the International Cricket Council (ICC). The two teams of 11 players each play a four-innings match, which may last up to five days. It is generally considered the most complete examination of teams' playing ability and endurance. The name Test stems from the long, gruelling match being both mentally and physically testing.

Contents

Cricket writer, Colin Bateman, noted: "Hollies was one of cricket's most extraordinary characters, whose meagre thirteen Tests in no way reflected his contribution to the game. He was a fastish leg-break bowler who rarely had much use for the googly." Bateman added: "loquacious, with a rich seam of Black Country humour, he was an immensely respected and hard-working cricketer". [1]

In cricket, a googly is a type of deceptive delivery bowled by a right-arm leg spin bowler. In Australia, it is occasionally referred to as a wrong'un, Bosie or Bosey, the last two eponyms in honour of its inventor Bernard Bosanquet. A leg spin bowler bowls in a leg spin way but it goes in the off spin direction.

Black Country Region

The Black Country is an area of the West Midlands, England, west of Birmingham and commonly refers to a region covering most of the four Metropolitan Boroughs of Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton. During the Industrial Revolution, it became one of the most industrialised parts of Britain with coal mines, coking, iron foundries, glass factories, brickworks and steel mills producing a high level of air pollution.

Life and career

Hollies was born in Old Hill, Staffordshire. A leg spin bowler, Hollies made his English county debut for Warwickshire in 1932 and debuted for England in 1935, after showing his skill on the generally easy Edgbaston wickets. Hollies did not spin the ball as much as most leg-spinners but he gained in accuracy as a result, and he frequently bowled amazingly long spells for his county, most notably 73 overs in one innings against Worcestershire in 1949. He varied his stock leg-break with a top-spinner and a googly that were difficult to detect and gained him many wickets, most famously the one of Bradman in 1948.

Old Hill human settlement in United Kingdom

Old Hill is in the metropolitan borough of Sandwell in the West Midlands, England. It is a district of Cradley Heath, about 2 miles north of Halesowen.

Staffordshire County of England

Staffordshire is a landlocked county in the West Midlands of England. It borders with Cheshire to the northwest, Derbyshire and Leicestershire to the east, Warwickshire to the southeast, West Midlands and Worcestershire to the south, and Shropshire to the west.

Leg spin type of spin bowling in cricket; bowls right-arm with a wrist spin action, causing the ball to spin from right to left in the cricket pitch, causing the ball to deviate from right to left (away from the leg side of a right-handed batsman)

Leg spin is a type of spin bowling in the sport of cricket. A leg spinner bowls right-arm with a wrist spin action, causing the ball to spin from right to left in the cricket pitch, at the point of delivery. When the ball bounces, the spin causes the ball to deviate sharply from right to left that is, away from the leg side of a right-handed batsman. The same kind of trajectory, which spins from right to left on pitching, when performed by a left-arm bowler is known as left-arm orthodox spin bowling.

He took over 100 wickets for Warwickshire every year between 1935 and 1957, with the exceptions of 1936 (dreadful weather that reduced his normally prodigious output of overs), 1953 (injury) and 1956 (poor form, probably due to him captaining the side). During the war, when three-day cricket was impossible due to the labour demands of war production and military service, Hollies bowled for West Bromwich Dartmouth in the Birmingham and District League and his skill was such as to make them invincible. With Hollies taking a total of 499 wickets as their professional, West Bromwich Dartmouth won the league every year from 1941 to 1945 and lost only seven matches during the war period. [2]

All first-class cricket was cancelled in the 1940 to 1944 English cricket seasons because of the Second World War; no first-class matches were played in England after Friday, 1 September 1939 until Saturday, 19 May 1945.

West Midlands (Regional) League association football league

The West Midlands (Regional) League is an English association football competition for semi-professional and amateur teams based in the West Midlands county, Shropshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire and southern Staffordshire. It has three divisions, the highest of which is the Premier Division, which sits at step 6 of the National League System, or the tenth level of the overall English football league system.

At his peak, he was one of the best bowlers in England, and it is believed that the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) erred in not taking him to Australia, after he was the leading wicket-taker in the country for a struggling Warwickshire side in 1946. That year, on one of the relatively few hard pitches, he took, without the direct assistance of a fielder, all ten wickets (seven bowled, three LBW) in an innings against Nottinghamshire. [1]

Marylebone Cricket Club english Cricket Club

Marylebone Cricket Club is a cricket club founded in 1787 and based since 1814 at Lord's cricket ground, which it owns, in St John's Wood, London, England. The club was formerly the governing body of cricket in England and Wales and, as the sport's legislator, held considerable global influence.

Leg before wicket cricket rule

Leg before wicket (lbw) is one of the ways in which a batsman can be dismissed in the sport of cricket. Following an appeal by the fielding side, the umpire may rule a batsman out lbw if the ball would have struck the wicket, but was instead intercepted by any part of the batsman's body. The umpire's decision will depend on a number of criteria, including where the ball pitched, whether the ball hit in line with the wickets, and whether the batsman was attempting to hit the ball.

Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club sports club

Nottinghamshire 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 Nottinghamshire. The club's limited overs team is called the Notts Outlaws. The county club was founded in 1841 but Nottinghamshire teams formed by earlier organisations, essentially the old Nottingham Cricket Club, had played top-class cricket since 1771 and the county club has always held first-class status. Nottinghamshire 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.

After a poor season in 1947, Hollies returned to form in 1948, and was the one bowler who looked threatening against the Australian batsmen. He famously bowled out Bradman second ball for a duck, when the latter needed just four runs to ensure a Test match average of at least 100. [1] In addition to his performance in the Oval Test, he took eight for 107 against a strong batting side for his county. In 1949, he played in all four Tests against New Zealand but the pitches blunted his effectiveness (though he was always steady), and from 1951, when English bowling recovered some of its pre-Second World War strength, he was never in the running for Test honours, despite playing a major role in Warwickshire’s County Championship success in 1951.

The Oval cricket ground in Kennington, South London

The Oval, currently referred to for sponsorship purposes as the Kia Oval, is an international cricket ground in Kennington, in the London Borough of Lambeth, in south London. The Oval has been the home ground of Surrey County Cricket Club since it was opened in 1845. It was the first ground in England to host international Test cricket in September 1880. The final Test match of the English season is traditionally played there.

County Championship

The County Championship, currently known as the Specsavers County Championship for sponsorship reasons, is the domestic first-class cricket competition in England and Wales and is organised by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB). It became an official title in 1890. The competition consists of eighteen clubs named after, and originally representing, historic counties, seventeen from England and one from Wales. From 2016, the Championship has been sponsored by Specsavers, who replaced Liverpool Victoria after 14 years.

He continued to bowl well right up to his last match, and was finally named as one of the Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 1955, after taking 100 wickets for the tenth time. By the time of his retirement from first-class cricket in 1957, he had taken more wickets for Warwickshire than any other player.

After Hollies retired from county cricket, he played for Staffordshire a few times in 1958, and continued to bowl in league cricket until the 1970s.

Hollies was, however, remarkable for his incompetence as a batsman. His total of 1,673 runs was 650 fewer than his haul of wickets, and only once (in 1954) did he reach 30 in an innings. In fact, he did not reach 20 in any innings between 1946 and 1953, and equalled an all-time first-class record, [a] between July 1948 and August 1950, of seventy-one consecutive innings without reaching double figures. The nearest approach was by Nobby Clark of Northamptonshire with sixty-five innings without reaching double figures between 1925 and 1927. [3]

“The last time I saw Eric Hollies bat at Birmingham,” recalled Jack Fingleton in 1958, “he was clapped and cheered all the way to the middle at No. 11. Everybody knew there would be no pretty passes at the ball and deft deflections from Eric. They knew that if he could only survive two balls they would see something in batting unknown to any textbook.” [4] Bateman added: “when it was time to get his pads on, Eric would prop his bat up in the Edgbaston dressing room window and say to it: ‘Now while I’m getting ready, you find out what the ball’s doing’”. [1]

One of the stands at Edgbaston Cricket Ground is known as the Eric Hollies Stand.

Hollies died in Chinley, Derbyshire in April 1981, at the age of 68.

Bibliography

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Bateman, Colin (1993). If The Cap Fits. Tony Williams Publications. p. 91. ISBN   1-869833-21-X.
  2. Midwinter, Eric; The Lost Seasons: Cricket in Wartime 1939–45, p. 122 ISBN   0413142302
  3. Webber, Roy; The Playfair Book of Cricket Records; p. 317. Published 1951 by Playfair Books.
  4. Fingleton: Masters of Cricket, p. 258.

Notes

a Jem Shaw between 1865 and 1870 played his first seventy-one first-class innings before reaching double figures.