Trevor Bailey

Last updated

Trevor Bailey
Trevor Bailey.jpg
Personal information
Full nameTrevor Edward Bailey
Born(1923-12-03)3 December 1923
Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, England
Died10 February 2011(2011-02-10) (aged 87)
Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, England
NicknameBarnacle, The Boil
BowlingRight-arm fast-medium
Role All-rounder
International information
National side
Test debut(cap  342)11 June 1949 v  New Zealand
Last Test13 February 1959 v  Australia
Domestic team information
1946–1967 Essex
1947–1948 Cambridge University
1949–1964 Marylebone Cricket Club
Career statistics
Competition Test FC LA
Runs scored2,29028,64193
Batting average 29.7433.4215.50
Top score134* 20538
Balls bowled9,712116,665504
Wickets 1322,08211
Bowling average 29.2123.1326.36
5 wickets in innings 51100
10 wickets in match1130
Best bowling7/3410/904/37
Catches/stumpings 32/–426/–3/–
Source: CricketArchive, 14 December 2008

Trevor Edward Bailey CBE (3 December 1923 – 10 February 2011) [1] [2] was an England Test cricketer, cricket writer and broadcaster.


An all-rounder, Bailey was known for his skilful but unspectacular batting. As the BBC reflected in his obituary: "His stubborn refusal to be out normally brought more pleasure to the team than to the spectators." [1] This defensive style of play brought him the first of his nicknames, "Barnacle Bailey", [3] but he was a good enough cricketer that he has retrospectively been calculated to have been the leading all-rounder in the world for most of his international career.

In later life, Bailey wrote a number of books and commentated on the game. He was particularly known for the 26 years he spent working for the BBC on the Test Match Special radio programme.

Early life

Bailey was born in Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex. His father was a civil servant in the Admiralty. Bailey grew up in modest affluence: "The family lived in [a] semi-detached house at Leigh-on-Sea, complete with a live-in maid on 12 shillings (60p) a week; they did not, however, own a car." [3] He first learned to play cricket on the beach. [3]

He won sporting scholarships to attend Alleyn Court Prep School, where he learned cricket from former Essex captain Denys Wilcox, [3] and then Dulwich College. [4] In his first year, aged just 14, he was selected for Dulwich's First XI cricket team. [1] He came top of the school's batting and bowling averages in 1939 and 1940, became captain in 1941, and was top of the averages again in his last year at Dulwich, 1942. [3]

He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Royal Marines after leaving school; [5] he was "not enamoured of war, and won some reputation as defending counsel in court martials". Though World War II was still in progress, he received an early discharge in January 1945 to return to Alleyn Court Prep School as a schoolmaster. He subsequently attended St John's College, Cambridge, for two years, reading English and History and graduating in 1948. [3] He won blues for both cricket and football both years, 1947 and 1948. [1] The Cambridge football team included Doug Insole, whom Bailey would later succeed as captain of Essex County Cricket Club.[ citation needed ]



Bailey made his first-class cricket debut in September 1945, aged 22, for the "Under 33s" scratch team, in a match at Lord's, against an "Over 33s" team, and made his debut playing county cricket for Essex in May 1946. [6] He quickly became a lynchpin of the Essex team, and made his Test debut for England against New Zealand at Headingley in June 1949, taking 6 wickets for 118 runs in his first match. [7]

A right-arm fast-medium bowler, dependable right-handed batsman and strong fielder, often in the slips or at leg gully, Bailey played 61 Tests for England between 1949 and 1959. His swing bowling provided an effective foil for the fast bowling of Alec Bedser, and later Fred Trueman, Brian Statham and Frank Tyson. He is described as having had "a model high, sideways-on action which encouraged outswing. At his best he could touch greatness..." [3] He took 132 wickets at the bowling average of 29, scored a century (134 not out) in attaining a useful batting average of nearly 30, and took 32 catches.[ citation needed ]

He is best remembered for his obdurate defensive batting, especially in matches against Australia. England were facing defeat by the Australians at Lord's in the Second Test in 1953. Bailey shared a defensive fifth wicket stand with Willie Watson, defying the bowlers for over four hours to earn a draw, taking 257 minutes to score 71 runs. [8] In the fourth Test of that series, at Headingley, Bailey again played an important part in ensuring that England avoided going 1–0 down, which would have ended their hopes of regaining the Ashes. When the last day began England were 177–5 in their second innings, only 78 runs ahead. Bailey scored 38 in 262 minutes, and Australia eventually had to score 177 in only 115 minutes. They reached a point where they needed only another 66 in 45 minutes with seven wickets left. But Bailey went back to his long run and slowed the over rate, as well as bowling negatively wide of the leg stump, and Australia fell 30 runs short and the game was drawn. [9] England went on to win the fifth and final Test and so regained the Ashes.[ citation needed ]

His best Test bowling figures of 7/34, bowling outswing on a flat pitch, enabled England to bowl out the West Indies for 139 in the first innings of the fifth Test at Kingston, Jamaica, in 1953–54, on a pitch on which the groundsman expected the home side to score 700. [3] This enabled England to win the match and to share the series 2–2. [10] He was vice-captain on that tour, and may be considered unlucky never to have been appointed captain of England. According to Alan Gibson: "It is astonishing that so good a cricketer, so thoughtful a judge, and so friendly a man, should have been passed over." However, he adds: "He is, or was in his earlier days, a man of contradictions, who sometimes enjoyed being irritating, to his captain, to his colleagues, to the public, but most of all to his opponents." [11]

He played his final Tests in the Ashes tour to Australia in 1958–59. He had a bad tour, during which he scored the slowest half-century in first-class cricket, reaching 50 just three minutes short of six hours at the crease, [3] [12] in England's second innings during the 1st Test at Brisbane. [13] This was the first Test match to be broadcast on television in Australia. [14] He bagged a pair in his final test, the last of the tour at Melbourne, [15] He was never selected for England's Test side again, but continued to play first-class cricket for Essex for another eight years, and in the 1959 season became the only player since the Second World War to score more than 2,000 runs and take 100 wickets in a single domestic season.[ citation needed ]

His first-class cricket career began just after World War II in 1946 and lasted 21 years as he played 682 matches, taking 2,082 wickets at a bowling average of 23.13, which puts him 25th on the all-time list of wicket-takers. Bailey achieved the rare feat of taking all 10 wickets in an innings, for 90 runs, against Lancashire at Clacton in 1949. His 28,641 runs in first-class cricket put him 67th on the all-time list of run-scorers. He captained the county from 1961 to 1966. He was also the county's secretary (i.e. the chief administrative officer) from 1964 to 1969, having previously had a spell as assistant secretary. He arranged for Warwickshire to make an interest-free loan to Essex in 1965 which allowed Essex to buy its Chelmsford ground. [5] This enabled him to receive a salary whilst at the same time technically remaining an amateur cricketer, although he was better paid than the club's professionals. However, Keith Fletcher, a playing colleague at Essex, did not begrudge him his salary, saying: "... he was a better cricketer than the pros and someone instrumental in taking Essex County Cricket Club into the modern era. He was cricket and Essex, through and through.". [16] He supplemented his income by undertaking advertising work while playing for Essex, modelling for Brylcreem, Shredded Wheat and Lucozade. [5]


He played football for Cambridge University (appearing in the University Match against Oxford), Southend United reserves, Clapton, Leytonstone and Walthamstow Avenue. At various times he played at centre-half, inside-right and on the wing. He was a member of the Walthamstow Avenue side which won the FA Amateur Cup in 1951–2, winning the final before a Wembley crowd of 100,000. [17] The following season, he played in the side which reached the fourth round of the FA Cup. Drawn against Manchester United at Old Trafford, they drew 1–1, a fine achievement for an amateur side. The replay took place at Highbury, and Manchester United won 5–2. [18] He later became a director of Southend United F.C. [19]

Writer and broadcaster

After retiring from cricket in 1967, Bailey continued to play for Westcliff-on-Sea Cricket Club for many years and also became a cricket journalist and broadcaster. He was the cricket and football correspondent of the Financial Times for 23 years. [14] [20] He was a regular on the BBC's Test Match Special from 1974 to 1999, [21] where fellow commentator Brian Johnston nicknamed him The Boil, based on the supposed Australian barrackers' pronunciation of his name as "Boiley". (The Daily Telegraph gives an alternative source for this nickname from the pronunciation of his surname by the East End supporters of the Walthamstow Avenue football team. [3] ) During his retirement he would watch Westcliff-on-Sea Cricket Club play at their Chalkwell Park Ground where he had played many times for school, club and county. [22]

He was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1994 Birthday Honours for services to cricket. [23]


He remains the only player since the Second World War to score more than 2,000 runs in a season and take 100 wickets, a feat he achieved in 1959, and he achieved the all-rounders' double of 1,000 runs and 100 wickets in a season eight times, a post-World War II record he shares with Fred Titmus. He was selected as one of the five Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 1950. He is also one of three players (the others are Fred Titmus and Ray Illingworth) to have scored 20,000 first-class runs and taken 2,000 wickets since the Second World War. [3] According to the retrospectively calculated ICC cricket ratings, for most of his career, Bailey was the best all-rounder in the world. [24] In the individual disciplines, his bowling saw him achieve the higher ranking, as high as eighth in the summer of 1957. [25]

Doug Insole, his one-time captain at Essex, described him thus: "Trevor was quite a stroppy lad in his early cricketing years, and a bit of a rebel. He was a very intense character – we used to tease him about that in the dressing room, and he did mellow over the years." [26]

Simon Briggs wrote: "There was little comfy or cosy about his cricket career. Rather, he fitted into a long tradition of hard-nosed English pragmatists – a lineage that runs from W. G. Grace, through Jardine and up to Nasser Hussain... To Bailey and company, the best way to honour the gods of cricket was to commit your heart and soul to the fight. For them, a Test match was a contest between two groups of warriors. Its entertainment value was almost irrelevant." [26]

He was renowned for his slow scoring in Tests against Australia, Neville Cardus writing of one innings in his book Full Score (1970, chapter "Cricket of Vintage"): "Before he gathered together 20 runs, a newly-married couple could have left Heathrow and arrived in Lisbon, there to enjoy a honeymoon. By the time Bailey had congealed 50, this happily wedded pair could easily have settled down in a semi-detached house in Surbiton; and by the time his innings had gone to its close they conceivably might have been divorced." [27] [28] He was nicknamed "Barnacle" for his implacable defensive batting. [29]

In Cardus's piece on him in Close of Play, first published in 1956, he was more complimentary: "Some cricketers are born to greatness. Bailey achieved it... He conquers by tremendous effort... Yet Bailey... loves to attack any bowler... He has made catches bordering on the marvellous... It is no small thing to be a Trevor Bailey in a world of anonymous mediocrity." [30]

Bailey died in a fire in his retirement flat in Westcliff-on-Sea on 10 February 2011. [31] [32] His wife, Greta, survived. [3] They had two sons and one daughter. [8] [19]

The chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board, Giles Clarke, described him as "one of the finest all-rounders this country has ever produced", while Jonathan Agnew, who worked with Bailey on Test Match Special, wrote of him: "dogged batsman, aggressive bowler. Intelligent cricketer. Wonderfully concise pundit. Great sense of humour." [21]


He wrote the following books:

Alan Hill has written a biography:

Related Research Articles

Jack Hobbs English cricketer

Sir John Berry Hobbs, always known as Jack Hobbs, was an English professional cricketer who played for Surrey from 1905 to 1934 and for England in 61 Test matches between 1908 and 1930. Known as "The Master", he is regarded by critics as one of the greatest batsmen in the history of cricket. He is the leading run-scorer and century-maker in first-class cricket, with 61,760 runs and 199 centuries. A right-handed batsman and an occasional right-arm medium pace bowler, Hobbs also excelled as a fielder, particularly in the position of cover point.

Denis Compton English cricketer

Denis Charles Scott Compton was an English cricketer who played in 78 Test matches and spent his whole cricket career with Middlesex. He was also an accomplished footballer, who played most of his football career at Arsenal.

Wally Hammond English cricketer

Walter Reginald 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.

Hedley Verity English cricketer

Hedley Verity was a professional cricketer who played for Yorkshire and England between 1930 and 1939. A slow left-arm orthodox bowler, he took 1,956 wickets in first-class cricket at an average of 14.90 and 144 wickets in 40 Tests at an average of 24.37. Named as one of the Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 1932, he is regarded as one of the most effective slow left-arm bowlers to have played cricket. Never someone who spun the ball sharply, he achieved success through the accuracy of his bowling. On pitches which made batting difficult, particularly ones affected by rain, he could be almost impossible to bat against.

Norman Yardley English cricketer

Norman Walter Dransfield Yardley was an English cricketer who played for Cambridge University, Yorkshire County Cricket Club and England, as a right-handed batsman and occasional bowler. An amateur, he captained Yorkshire from 1948 to 1955 and England on fourteen occasions between 1947 and 1950, winning four Tests, losing seven and drawing three. Yardley was named Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1948 and in his obituary in Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, he was described as Yorkshire's finest amateur since Stanley Jackson.

Wilfred Rhodes English cricketer

Wilfred Rhodes was an English professional cricketer who played 58 Test matches for England between 1899 and 1930. In Tests, Rhodes took 127 wickets and scored 2,325 runs, becoming the first Englishman to complete the double of 1,000 runs and 100 wickets in Test matches. He holds the world records both for the most appearances made in first-class cricket, and for the most wickets taken (4,204). He completed the double of 1,000 runs and 100 wickets in an English cricket season a record 16 times. Rhodes played for Yorkshire and England into his fifties, and in his final Test in 1930 was, at 52 years and 165 days, the oldest player who has appeared in a Test match.

Ian Johnson (cricketer) Australian cricketer

Ian William Geddes Johnson, was an Australian cricketer who played 45 Test matches as a slow off-break bowler between 1946 and 1956. Johnson captured 109 Test wickets at an average of 29.19 runs per wicket and as a lower order batsman made 1,000 runs at an average of 18.51 runs per dismissal. He captained the Australian team in 17 Tests, winning seven and losing five, with a further five drawn. Despite this record, he is better known as the captain who lost consecutive Ashes series against England. Urbane, well-spoken and popular with his opponents and the public, he was seen by his teammates as a disciplinarian and his natural optimism was often seen as naive.

Hugh Trumble Australian cricketer

Hugh Trumble was an Australian cricketer who played 32 Test matches as a bowling all-rounder between 1890 and 1904. He captained the Australian team in two Tests, winning both. Trumble took 141 wickets in Test cricket—a world record at the time of his retirement—at an average of 21.78 runs per wicket. He is one of only four bowlers to twice take a hat-trick in Test cricket. Observers in Trumble's day, including the authoritative Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, regarded him as ranking among the great Australian bowlers of the Golden Age of cricket. He was named as one of the Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 1897 and the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame, established in 1996, inducted him in 2004.

George Hirst English cricketer

George Herbert Hirst was a professional English cricketer who played first-class cricket for Yorkshire County Cricket Club between 1891 and 1921, with a further appearance in 1929. One of the best all-rounders of his time, Hirst was a left arm medium-fast bowler and right-handed batsman. He played in 24 Test matches for England between 1897 and 1909, touring Australia twice. He completed the double of 1,000 runs and 100 wickets in an English cricket season 14 times, the second most of any cricketer after his contemporary and team-mate Wilfred Rhodes. One of the Wisden Cricketers of the Year for 1901, Hirst scored 36,356 runs and took 2,742 wickets in first-class cricket. In Tests, he made 790 runs and captured 59 wickets.

Roy Kilner English cricketer

Roy Kilner was an English professional cricketer who played nine Test matches for England between 1924 and 1926. An all-rounder, he played for Yorkshire County Cricket Club between 1911 and 1927. In all first-class matches, he scored 14,707 runs at an average of 30.01 and took 1,003 wickets at an average of 18.45. Kilner scored 1,000 runs in a season ten times and took 100 wickets in a season five times. On four occasions, he completed the double: scoring 1,000 runs and taking 100 wickets in the same season, recognised as a sign of a quality all-rounder.

Maurice Leyland English cricketer

Maurice Leyland was an English international cricketer who played 41 Test matches between 1928 and 1938. In first-class cricket, he represented Yorkshire between 1920 and 1946, scoring over 1,000 runs in 17 consecutive seasons. A left-handed middle-order batsman and occasional left-arm spinner, Leyland was a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1929.

Trevor Goddard (cricketer) South African cricketer

Trevor Leslie Goddard was a Test cricketer. An all-rounder, he played 41 Test matches for South Africa from 1955 to 1970. He captained the young South African team on its five-month tour of Australia and New Zealand in the 1963–64 season, levelling the series with Australia, and was also captain in 1964–65 against England in South Africa.

George Macaulay English cricketer

George Gibson Macaulay was a professional English cricketer who played first-class cricket for Yorkshire County Cricket Club between 1920 and 1935. He played in eight Test matches for England from 1923 to 1933, achieving the rare feat of taking a wicket with his first ball in Test cricket. One of the five Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 1924, he took 1,838 first-class wickets at an average of 17.64 including four hat-tricks.

Australian cricket team in England in 1953

The Australian cricket team toured England in the 1953 season to play a five-match Test series against England for The Ashes.

1947 was the 48th season of County Championship cricket in England. It is chiefly remembered for the batting performances of Denis Compton and Bill Edrich who established seasonal records that, with the subsequent reduction in the number of first-class matches, will probably never be broken. Their form was key to their team Middlesex winning the County Championship for the first time since 1921, although they were involved in a tight contest for the title with the eventual runners-up Gloucestershire, for whom Tom Goddard was the most outstanding bowler of the season. Compton and Edrich were assisted by the fact that it was the driest and sunniest English summer for a generation, ensuring plenty of good batting wickets.

The New Zealand cricket team toured England in the 1949 season. The team was the fourth official touring side from New Zealand, following those in 1927, 1931 and 1937, and was by some distance the most successful to this date. The four-match Test series with England was shared, every game ending as a draw, and of 35 first-class fixtures, 14 were won, 20 drawn and only one lost.

The South African cricket team toured England in the 1955 season to play a five-match Test series against England.


  1. 1 2 3 4 "Obituary: Trevor Bailey". BBC News. Retrieved 10 February 2011.
  2. "Trevor Bailey dies at age of 87". ESPNcricinfo. 10 February 2011. Retrieved 10 February 2011.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 "Trevor Bailey". The Daily Telegraph. London. 10 February 2011. Retrieved 10 February 2011.
  4. Bull, Andy (11 February 2011). "Trevor Bailey: England legend and all-rounder in more than one sense". The Guardian. London.
  5. 1 2 3 "Trevor Bailey: 'I did more modelling than any other cricketer of my time'". Cricinfo.
  6. "The Home of CricketArchive". Retrieved 10 February 2011.
  7. "1st Test: England v New Zealand at Leeds, Jun 11–14, 1949 | Cricket Scorecard". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 10 February 2011.
  8. 1 2 Foot, David (10 February 2011). "Trevor Bailey obituary". The Guardian. London.
  9. Ralph Barker & Irving Rosenwater, England v Australia: A compendium of Test cricket between the countries 1877–1968, Batsford, 1969, ISBN   0-7134-0317-9, p 220.
  10. "The second-most controversial tour in history". Cricinfo.
  11. Gibson, Alan (1979). The Cricket Captains of England. London: Cassell. p. 194. ISBN   0-304-29779-8.
  12. "Records/Test matches/Batting records: Slowest Fifties". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 10 February 2011.
  13. "1st Test: Australia v England at Brisbane, Dec 5–10, 1958 | Cricket Scorecard". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 10 February 2011.
  14. 1 2 "Subscribe to read | Financial Times". uses generic title (help)
  15. "5th Test: Australia v England at Melbourne, Feb 13–18, 1959 | Cricket Scorecard". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 10 February 2011.
  16. Pringle, Derek (10 February 2011). "Trevor Bailey is remembered for his obdurate batting and as one of England's finest all-rounders". The Daily Telegraph. London.
  17. "CRICKETING legend Trevor Bailey, 87, died in the early hours this morning (Thursday Feb 10) at a flat fire at a retirement complex". 14 December 2010. Archived from the original on 5 May 2013. Retrieved 10 February 2011.
  18. Trevor Bailey, Wickets, Catches and the Odd Run, Willow Books, 1986, ISBN   0-00-218127-4, pp. 197–207.
  19. 1 2 "Trevor Bailey: Combative and uncompromising cricketer hailed as the world's best all-rounder in the 1950s". The Independent. London. 11 February 2011.
  20. "Biography on Dulwich College website". Archived from the original on 19 May 2011.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  21. 1 2 "Cricket – Cricket mourns England Test great Trevor Bailey". BBC Sport. 10 February 2011. Retrieved 10 February 2011.
  22. "Test Match Special,radio plays,cricket,DIVERSITY WEBSITE,bbc".
  23. "No. 53696". The London Gazette (Supplement). 10 June 1994. p. 8.
  24. "Reliance ICC Test Championship All-rounder Rankings – Trevor Bailey". Reliance ICC Player Rankings . Retrieved 10 February 2011.
  25. "Reliance ICC Test Championship Bowling Rankings – Trevor Bailey". Retrieved 10 February 2011.
  26. 1 2 "Warrior Trevor Bailey cared little for entertainment" from Daily Telegraph Retrieved 13 February 2011.
  27. Cardus, Neville (1970). "Cricket of Vintage". Full Score. London: Cassell. ISBN   030493643X . Retrieved 1 September 2013.
  28. Various (6 June 2013). "Cricket and Broadcasting (Jon Hotten)". The Authors XI: A Season of English Cricket from Hackney to Hambledon. Google eBook / A&C Black. ISBN   978-1408840467 . Retrieved 1 September 2013.
  29. Trevor Bailey  at ESPNcricinfo
  30. Neville Cardus, Close of Play, Sportsmans Book Club, 1957, pp64-66.
  31. "Updated: Cricketing legend dies in flat fire". Southend Standard . Retrieved 10 February 2011.
  32. "Former England cricketer Trevor Bailey dies in fire". BBC News. 10 February 2011. Retrieved 10 February 2011.