Len Hutton

Len Hutton

Infobox cricketer biography
playername = Len Hutton
female =

country = England
fullname = Sir Leonard Hutton
nickname =
living =
dayofbirth = 23
monthofbirth = 6
yearofbirth = 1916
placeofbirth = Fulneck, Pudsey
countryofbirth = England
dayofdeath = 6
monthofdeath = 9
yearofdeath = 1990
placeofdeath = Kingston-upon-Thames
countryofdeath = England
heightft =
heightinch =
heightm =
batting = Right-hand
bowling = Right-arm leg break
role = Opener

international = true
testdebutdate = 26 June
testdebutyear = 1937
testdebutagainst = New Zealand

lasttestdate = 25 March
lasttestyear = 1955
lasttestagainst = New Zealand
odidebutdate =
odidebutyear =
odidebutagainst =

lastodidate =
lastodiyear =
lastodiagainst =
odishirt =

club1 = MCC
year1 = 1938-1960
clubnumber1 =
club2 = Yorkshire
year2 = 1934-1955
clubnumber2 =
columns = 2
deliveries = balls
column1 = Tests
matches1 = 79
runs1 = 6971
bat avg1 = 56.67
100s/50s1 = 19/33
top score1 = 364
deliveries1 = 260
wickets1 = 3
bowl avg1 = 77.33
fivefor1 = –
tenfor1 = –
best bowling1 = 1/2
catches/stumpings1 = 57/–
column2 = FC
matches2 = 513
runs2 = 40140
bat avg2 = 55.51
100s/50s2 = 129/179
top score2 = 364
deliveries2 = 9740
wickets2 = 173
bowl avg2 = 29.51
fivefor2 = 4
tenfor2 = 1
best bowling2 = 6/76
catches/stumpings2 = 401/–
date = 14 August
year = 2007
source = http://www.cricketarchive.com/Archive/Players/0/694/694.html cricketarchive.com

Sir Leonard Hutton (born June 23, 1916 in Fulneck near Pudsey, Yorkshire, died September 6, 1990 in Kingston upon Thames, Surrey) was an English cricketer, who dominated the national and international cricket scene for the decade after the Second World War and was honoured with the England team captaincy, breaking an age-old tradition (see Amateur and professional cricketers) that the position could be held only by an amateur.

Pre-war prodigy

He was born into a keen cricketing family. From an early age the young Leonard immersed himself in cricket and became an avid student of the art of batting. George Herbert Hirst, the Yorkshire and England all-rounder, said he could not teach him anything about batting when Hutton was fourteen. Hutton learned from players such as Wilfred Rhodes, Herbert Sutcliffe, Bill Bowes, Hedley Verity and Brian Sellers.

He made his first-class debut for Yorkshire in 1934 at the age of 17; in 14 championship matches that season he scored five fifties and his maiden first-class century. From an early age his batting was skilful and showed ability to deal with all types of pitches—these were the days of uncovered wickets.

Hutton made his Test-match debut against New Zealand in 1937 and hit his first Test century at Old Trafford in only his second Test. A year later he was to break Wally Hammond's record for the highest individual score in Test matches with 364, which remains the highest Test innings by an Englishman. This innings was at The Oval in 1938, against Australia, and took 13 hours 20 minutes, a stupendous feat of concentration for a 22-year-old. The following year, he thrilled the crowds with his attacking play in scoring 196 against the West Indian attack in the Lord's Test (the last 96 runs coming in 95 minutes). He finished the series on a high with 165 not out at The Oval.

Postwar maestro

World War II saw Hutton serve as a sergeant in the Green Howards regiment of the British Army as a physical training instructor where he badly broke his left arm in a gymnasium accident. He had to have bone grafts to repair the damage and, after eight months in hospital, had a left arm two inches shorter than his right.

Although this injury seemed not to affect his subsequent career (his Test average was higher after the war than before), it must have played on his mind, knowing a blow on his left forearm could have ended his career. Perhaps this injury increased his innate sense of caution—Hutton could be a wonderful attacking batsman when in the mood and could play every stroke in the book. But more often than not the burden of carrying England’s batting saw him adopt a much more circumspect approach: he was a hard-headed, practical man who described himself as being a "roundhead" in contrast to Compton’s cavalier. But all are agreed that when he let himself go he could be a glorious batsman, his innings of 37 out of 49 at the Sydney Test of 1946/47 was scintillating and had older members of the crowd recalling the legendary Victor Trumper.

The first post-war series against Australia in 1946/47 was a difficult one for England, perhaps it came too soon after the war and English cricket had not returned to its pre-war standard. The squad was too old and the younger players such as Evans and Bedser were not yet established. Hutton, however, showed he could still do the business with a century in the last Test.

1948 saw him dropped for the only time in his Test career—against Bradman's legendary Australian team. His omission was controversial and Hutton was restored to the side for the next Test. He scored steadily over the rest of the series, with three half centuries and a 30 which was the top score in England's innings of 52 at The Oval.

The early 1950s saw Hutton establish himself as England's batting rock. He alone mastered the West Indian spin duo of Ramadhin and Valentine, scoring 202 not out in the 1950 Oval Test. (England made 344; this is the one of the lowest Test totals to include a double century. [http://www.cricketarchive.co.uk/Archive/Scorecards/19/19470.html Lowest Innings Totals to Include a Double Century] , CricketArchive. Retrieved 13 September 2006.] ). He batted at No 8 in England's second innings against Australia at Brisbane in 1950-51 as a ploy to counteract the effects of a 'sticky,' rain-affected pitch and scored a remarkable unbeaten 62 out of England's total of 122. He was given out in most unusual fashion against South Africa at The Oval in 1951. A ball from Athol Rowan ballooned up from a top edge and Hutton, in fending it away from his stumps, prevented wicket-keeper Russell Endean from making a catch. The South Africans appealed and Hutton was given out 'obstructing the field'.

In 1952 he was appointed as England's first professional captain for 65 years. Many people in cricket's establishment were against this break with tradition but Hutton simply got on with the job. Victory against India in 1952 was followed by regaining the Ashes in 1953 against Lindsay Hassett's Australians. On the other hand, his county, Yorkshire, continued to appoint only an amateur as captain.

He registered a notable achievement in the 1953/54 series in the West Indies; England began 2-0 down in the Test series, provoking much rancour and criticism. With customary determination and resolve, Hutton led England to victory in two Tests, drawing the series 2-2.

1954/55 saw Hutton lead England on tour to Australia. After putting the home side into bat and suffering a heavy defeat in the first Test at Brisbane, he led his side to victory in three of the remaining four Tests and a 3-1 series win. England was also well served by fast bowlersFrank Tyson and Brian Statham, and by young batsmen Peter May and Colin Cowdrey but the greatest credit attached to Hutton for his skill as a batsman and determination as captain.

This triumph was to be his crowning moment as ill health caused his withdrawal and subsequent retirement in 1956, succumbing to a bad back that had been bent over a cricket bat since childhood. He had played in 79 Test matches, scoring 6971 runs at an average of 56.67 with 19 hundreds. In all first-class cricket, he scored 40140 runs at an average of 55.51 with 129 hundreds. In short, he was a true great of the game and ranks with Jack Hobbs, Herbert Sutcliffe and Wally Hammond as one of the finest of 20th-century English batsmen.

He was knighted in 1956 for his services to cricket.

Hutton was appointed as one of the England Test team's selectors in 1975. He relinquished the role after the 1976 season.

He married Dorothy Dennis on 3 September 1939 and they had two sons, Richard and John. Their elder son Richard Hutton became a successful cricketer for Repton, Cambridge University, Yorkshire and England. Richard's elder son Ben Hutton captained Middlesex between 2005 and 2006.

He died from a ruptured aorta in Kingston Hospital, Norbiton, Surrey in September, 1990, aged 74, and was cremated at Putney Vale Crematorium.

ee also


External links

* [http://usa.cricinfo.com/db/PLAYERS/ENG/H/HUTTON_L_01000694/ Cricinfo Player Profile: Sir Leonard Hutton]

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