Merv Hughes

Last updated

Merv Hughes
Merv Hughes.png
Hughes in 2009
Personal information
Full nameMervyn Gregory Hughes
Born (1961-11-23) 23 November 1961 (age 59)
Euroa, Victoria, Australia
NicknameFruitfly [1]
Height192 cm (6 ft 4 in)
BattingRight-handed
BowlingRight-arm fast
RoleBowler
International information
National side
Test debut(cap  332)13 December 1985 v  India
Last Test17 March 1994 v  South Africa
ODI debut(cap  104)11 December 1988 v  Pakistan
Last ODI23 May 1993 v  England
Domestic team information
YearsTeam
1981/82–1994/95 Victorian Bushrangers
1983 Essex
1997/98–1998/99 ACT Comets
Career statistics
Competition Test ODI FC LA
Matches533316588
Runs scored1,0321002,649264
Batting average 16.6411.1117.548.51
100s/50s0/20/00/70/0
Top score72* 2072* 20
Balls bowled12,2851,63934,8814,466
Wickets 21238593105
Bowling average 28.3829.3429.3930.00
5 wickets in innings 70211
10 wickets in match1030
Best bowling8/874/448/875/41
Catches/stumpings 23/–6/–56/–19/–
Source: Cricinfo, 26 December 2010

Mervyn Gregory Hughes (born 23 November 1961) is a former Australian cricketer living in Melbourne. A right-arm fast bowler, he represented Australia in 53 Test matches between 1985 and 1994, taking 212 wickets. He played 33 One Day Internationals, taking 38 wickets. He took a hat-trick in a Test against the West Indies at the WACA in 1988–89 and went on to take 8/87 for the match. In 1993, he took 31 wickets in the Ashes series against England. He was a useful lower-order batsman, scoring two half-centuries in Tests and over 1,000 runs in all. He also represented the Victorian Bushrangers, Essex in English county cricket, the ACT Comets and Australia A in the World Series Cup.

Contents

Childhood

Hughes was born in Euroa, Victoria. He started kindergarten in Apollo Bay and his first year at school came when the family went back to Euroa. Organised sport began in 3rd grade at Werribee. In 5th grade, he pestered his father to be allowed to join football at Werribee where he held his own, despite the fact that he was one of the smallest players when out of his age group. Hughes' enthusiasm for sport was described as "unquenchable." [2]

Domestic career

Hughes started his career playing district cricket with Footscray in 1978–79. Footscray (now called Footscray-Edgewater) has subsequently had their main home ground named after him; it is now known as the Mervyn G. Hughes Oval. He was selected for Victoria in 1981–82 and made his debut against the South Australian Redbacks.

International career

Hughes first appeared for Australia against India in 1985–86. He took 1–123 and was not re-selected until the Ashes series against England the following year.

At the WACA Ground in 1988–89, Hughes completed a hat-trick that was unusual as it was spread across three separate overs, two innings and two different days. He had Curtly Ambrose caught behind with the last ball of his 36th over; ended the West Indies' first innings in his 37th, by removing Patrick Patterson; and more than a day later, completed his hat-trick by trapping Gordon Greenidge lbw with the first ball of the West Indies' second innings. [3]

The Australian selectors always viewed Hughes as a Test match player rather than a one-day player. He was generally only selected for the shorter game when another player was injured or otherwise unavailable.

Hughes' physical presence (a burly 6'4"), handlebar moustache, a penchant for exuberant displays of affection for his fellow players, along with a tendency to talk to the opposition in inventively colourful language (his nickname was "Fruitfly" – a somewhat incongruous nickname until Allan Border explained it was a reference to "Australia's greatest national pest") and a (some would say) "mincing" run-up (that at times stretched to 45 paces), made him a firm favorite amongst supporters, who would often imitate his warm-up stretches behind him en masse. In England, on his second Ashes tour in 1993, the crowd often chanted "Sumo" when he ran in to bowl. [4]

Hughes played his last Test in Cape Town against South Africa in 1994.

After cricket

Late in his career, Hughes undertook a stint with the ACT Comets, which turned out to be unsuccessful. He claimed only five wickets at an average of 46.80 over six matches (Rodney Davison, Jimmy Maher, Jamie Cox, Shaun Young and Ryan Campbell).

Hughes replaced Allan Border in June 2005 as a selector for the Australian cricket team, although his performance as a selector came under much scrutiny after many controversial decisions and the loss of the number-one ranking in Test matches after the 2009 Ashes series. However, Australia would go on to have a successful 2009–10 summer, finishing undefeated in all three forms of the game. Hughes though, was later dropped as a selector for the Australian cricket team and subsequently replaced by Greg Chappell on 29 October 2010.

He is a prominent supporter of the Western Bulldogs in the Australian Football League [5] and has also done some acting, portraying Ivan Milat in the comedy movie Fat Pizza. Additionally, Hughes has appeared on TV commercials as well, featuring losing weight with "The 14-day All-Bran Challenge" and appearing as himself in the English comedy show Hale and Pace .

Personal life

Hughes was a notorious consumer of alcohol and food. Towards the end of his career, this was felt to have increased damage to his knees and may have ultimately led to a shortening of his Australian and Victorian playing careers. Having always been rather overweight, he participated in both seasons of Channel Nine's Celebrity Overhaul to lose weight and improve his fitness. He was the top performer (weight-wise) in the first season of the show.

Hughes is noted for his large moustache. Described by Cricinfo as being "of incredible proportions", [6] the moustache became sufficiently synonymous with Hughes for him to be rumored to insure it for £200,000. [7] In a 2013 Sky Sports interview during the 2013 Ashes series, he quashed this rumour as being false.

Other sports

Hughes also played Australian rules football during the winter in the late 1970s and early 1980s; at his peak, he was a key position player for the Werribee Football Club in the Victorian Football Association first division. [8]

In the media

In 2015, Hughes appeared on the Australian version of the TV show I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! . [9]

In an interview for "Hotspur" magazine, Hughes revealed he has supported Tottenham Hotspur since the early 1980s. "I went to a mate's house to watch the FA Cup Final, everyone in the house was supporting the other team except the guy I sat next to. He was English, and I told him I was with him 100 per cent. Spurs won and I've supported them ever since." [10]

Footnotes

  1. "Cricinfo profile". Content.cricinfo.com. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  2. Patrick Keane, in association with Merv Hughes, Merv: the Full Story (Australia: HarperCollinsPublishers, 1997), page 11.
  3. "AUSTRALIA v WEST INDIES 1988–89: Second Test Match". Wisden .
  4. Spinner poses weighty problems – Daily Telegraph – 7 March 2007
  5. Beveridge, Riley. "Your AFL club's most famous supporters, from Barack Obama to Cam Newton". Fox Sports. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
  6. "Merv Hughes". Cricinfo. Retrieved 11 December 2010.
  7. "How the stars cover their assets". BBC. 31 July 1998. Retrieved 11 December 2010.
  8. Marc Fiddian (10 April 1982). "Brombey cleared to Cobras". The Age. Melbourne, VIC. p. 19.
  9. Jackson, Russell (6 February 2015). "The Joy of Six: Merv Hughes". The Guardian . Guardian Media Group . Retrieved 6 February 2015.
  10. http://www.tottenhamhotspur.com/news/ashes-to-ashes-spurs-to-spurs-290909/

Related Research Articles

Australia national cricket team National sports team

The Australia men's national cricket team represents Australia in men's international cricket. As the joint oldest team in Test cricket history, playing in the first ever Test match in 1877, the team also plays One-Day International (ODI) and Twenty20 International (T20I) cricket, participating in both the first ODI, against England in the 1970–71 season and the first T20I, against New Zealand in the 2004–05 season, winning both games. The team draws its players from teams playing in the Australian domestic competitions – the Sheffield Shield, the Australian domestic limited-overs cricket tournament and the Big Bash League.

Gregory Stephen Chappell is a former cricketer who represented Australia at international level in both Tests and One-Day Internationals (ODI). The second of three brothers to play Test cricket, Chappell was the pre-eminent Australian batsman of his time who allied elegant stroke making to fierce concentration. An exceptional all round player who bowled medium pace and, at his retirement, held the world record for the most catches in Test cricket, Chappell's career straddled two eras as the game moved toward a greater level of professionalism after the WSC schism.

Kim Hughes Australian cricketer

Kimberley John Hughes is a former cricketer who played for Western Australia, Natal and Australia. He captained Australia in 28 Test matches between 1979 and 1984 before captaining a rebel Australian team in a tour of South Africa, a country which at the time was subject to a sporting boycott opposing apartheid.

David Boon Australian cricketer (born 1960)

David Clarence Boon is an Australian cricket match umpire, former cricket commentator and international cricketer whose international playing career spanned the years 1984–1996. A right-handed batsman and a very occasional off-spin bowler, he played first-class cricket for both his home state Tasmania and English county side Durham.

Brett Lee Australian cricketer

Brett Lee is an Australian former international cricketer, who played all three formats of the game. During his international career, Lee was recognised as one of the fastest bowlers in the world.

Dennis Lillee Australian cricketer

Dennis Keith Lillee, is a former Australian cricketer rated as the "outstanding fast bowler of his generation". Lillee was known for his fiery temperament, 'never-say-die' attitude and popularity with the fans.

WACA Ground

The WACA is a sports stadium in Perth, Western Australia. The stadium's name derives from the initials of its owners and operators, the Western Australian Cricket Association.

Womens Test cricket The longest form of cricket

Women's Test cricket is the longest format of women's cricket and is the female equivalent to men's Test cricket. Matches comprise four-innings and are held over a maximum of four days between two of the leading cricketing nations. The rules governing the format differ little from those for the men's game, with differences generally being technicalities surrounding umpiring and field size.

Geoff Lawson (cricketer) Australian cricketer

Geoffrey Francis Lawson, is an Australian cricket coach and former cricketer and the former coach of the Pakistan cricket team.

The England cricket team toured Australia in 1986/87, under the captaincy of Mike Gatting, and retained the Ashes with a 2–1 series win.

Graham Douglas McKenzie – commonly known as "Garth", after the comic strip hero – is an Australian cricketer who played for Western Australia (1960–74), Leicestershire (1969–75), Transvaal (1979–80) and Australia (1961–71) and was a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1965. He succeeded Alan Davidson as Australia's premier fast bowler and was in turn succeeded by Dennis Lillee, playing with both at either end of his career. McKenzie was particularly noted for his muscular physique and ability to take wickets on good batting tracks. His father Eric McKenzie and uncle Douglas McKenzie played cricket for Western Australia and Garth was chosen for the Ashes tour of England in 1961 aged only 19. He made his debut in the Second Test at Lord's, where his 5/37 wrapped up the England innings to give Australia a 5 wicket victory.

Bruce Malcolm Laird is a former Western Australian and Australian cricketer. He was an opening batsmen who played in 21 Test matches and 23 One Day Internationals. He also played 13 "Supertests" in World Series Cricket.

Mitchell Johnson Australian cricketer

Mitchell Guy Johnson is an Australian former cricketer, who played all forms of the game until his retirement from international cricket in 2015. He is a left-arm fast bowler and left-handed batsman. He made his Test debut for Australia in November 2007. Johnson was considered to be one of the greatest fast bowlers of his era.

Stuart Broad English cricketer

Stuart Christopher John Broad, is an English cricketer who plays Test cricket for the England cricket team and a former One Day and Twenty 20 International captain.

Peter Siddle Australian cricketer

Peter Matthew Siddle is an Australian cricketer. He is a specialist right-arm fast-medium bowler who currently plays for Tasmania in first-class and List A cricket and for the Adelaide Strikers in the Big Bash League. He has played Test cricket for Australia over an eight-year period from 2008 to 2016, before being recalled for the Test series against Pakistan in 2018. Peter Siddle retired from International cricket in December 2019.

In cricket, a hat-trick occurs when a bowler takes three wickets with consecutive deliveries. The deliveries may be interrupted by an over bowled by another bowler from the other end of the pitch or the other team's innings, but must be three consecutive deliveries by the individual bowler in the same match. Only wickets attributed to the bowler count towards a hat-trick; run outs do not count.

Michael Anthony Beer is an Australian cricketer who played for the Victorian cricket team. He played as a slow left-arm orthodox spin bowler. He made his Test cricket debut in the final match of the 2010–11 Ashes series. After several seasons playing for the Western Australian cricket team, in the 2016–17 season Beer returned to his home state of Victoria to continue his professional cricket career.

Ashton Agar Australian cricketer

Ashton Charles Agar is an Australian cricketer who plays all forms of the game at international level. Agar plays domestically for Western Australia and the Perth Scorchers. A left-handed spin bowler, he played two Test matches for the Australian national side during the 2013 Ashes series.

References