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If Walter Hammond had not returned to Test cricket after the Second World War, by which time he was 43, then he would have ended his international career with a batting average of There would of course still be a yawning chasm between his mark and the The fact that he was a fine bowler and fielder as well would have added weight to his claims to be the finest England cricketer of them all, but the reality is that he is seldom accorded that status, most Fuck Hammond chat Hammond preferring to nominate Jack Hobbs or Len Hutton.
Neville Cardus summed Hammond the cricketer up as a superb and majestic batsman; a slip fielder of exceptional graceagility, sharpness of eye; and a bowler who, had he set himself to specialisation, might have equalled Alec Bedser as a dangerous exploiter of a new ball. And in fact there was rather more to Hammond the cricketer even than that. Although he normally bowled at a pace best described as medium fast if, as he all too rarely did, he bent his back then he could be decidedly quick. Of an early experience of facing Hammond the bowler Len Hutton wrote for two Fuck Hammond chat Hammond three overs I had no trouble at all.
Then suddenly he unleashed a ball that took my middle stump out of the ground. It was too quick for me. It is however as a batsman that Hammond is best remembered, and whilst the purpose of this feature is not to describe his cricket career, or to analyse his statistics, a few records and matches are worth mentioning. He was second the following season but for the six summers after that, including when he returned in after the war, he was the leading batsman in England.
Moving on to a few individual matches for the first a little context is required. A 17 year old Hammond made his debut in three Championship matches in August He achieved little but did enough to earn a contract for the season, although he did not get in the first team that summer, other than for what were for him two very disappointing displays against the Australians. He scored only 32, but in a way that appealed greatly to all who saw the innings. It was at this point that Kent got wind of what was going on and their autocratic President, Lord Harris, lodged a complaint with the MCC to the effect that Hammond, born in Dover although he had no historical or family ties to the county otherwiseshould have to see out a two year qualifying process.
Thus it was not until that Hammond played his first full season, and he would not have been human had he not felt some bitterness towards those who had delayed his progress. He showed considerable promise in that first summer, but after that was not a good summer for batting and by the end of August there was even some doubt as to whether he would get a contract for the following year.
Then Middlesex visited Bristol. The pitch had been damaged by rain and both sides had completed their first innings by the end of the opening day. His resolve thus hardened Hammond proceeded to score out ofan innings described by Wisden as the best of the season anywhere. Another early innings worthy of mention came the following summer, at Old Trafford. Lancashire then were as strong as they have ever been, and their great Australian fast bowler Ted McDonald ripped out two early wickets to bring Hammond to the crease at The Old Trafford innings is useful to bear in mind because in the course of it Hammond, who in years to come was to eschew the hook shot almost completely, well and truly collared McDonald.
In truth he was as good a player of fast bowling as any.
Hammond was close to few of his fellow professionals, and had a very poor relationship with one or two, but Goddard was one for whom he had considerable regard. Goddard desperately needed three days of good cricket to get the crowds through the gates, but sadly for him the wicket began to break up on the first day. Notts were dismissed for and Gloucestershire three down by the close.
Goddard was a worried man. Hammond reassured him he would bat through the second day. Rather rarer are tributes to his captaincy. He knew the game inside out, and watched his opponents and observed their weaknesses. But he lacked any real tactical flair despite playing under Bev Lyon for many years at Gloucestershire, a man who was without doubt the most innovative captain of his time.
Hammond also lacked any man-management skills. He was moody and introspective, and his relationships with fellow players were seldom close. He was happy Fuck Hammond chat Hammond ingratiate himself with the amateur gentlemen, which of itself made his fellow professionals wary of him.
Men like Len Hutton, orthodox, hard-working and talented, he got on reasonably well with, but he had little time for the more precocious of his charges, Denis Compton in particular. To try to understand what made Hammond tick it is of course necessary to start by going back to his childhood. He was an only child, and his relationships with his parents were not close.
His father was a soldier, therefore often away from home, and killed in action whilst Hammond was still at school. His mother clearly cared for her son, and took Fuck Hammond chat Hammond interest in his achievements, but he was packed off to boarding school, and seldom spent much of his holidays at home, so it seems there was no great warmth there.
The Hammond matriarch also seems to have been something of a snob, an accusation levelled by many, particularly his fellow professionals, at the son as well. At school Hammond was no intellectual giant, and seems to have been very much a plodder as far as his studies were concerned. On the sports field however he was quite outstanding, and a fine all-round sportsman Fuck Hammond chat Hammond earned his contract with Gloucestershire as soon as he left school.
That left open the winter months and for three years Hammond spent those at Eastville, as a winger with Divison Three South outfit Bristol Rovers. Contemporary writings suggest he was a very promising player, but with his eyes looking mainly towards the cricket field, and with a reluctance to risk injury, he was never a first team regular. He also struggled in his relationships with his teammates.
Without amateurs in the dressing room there was no one for the young Hammond to aspire to, and he was very much a loner at the club. One thing that Hammond had at an early age, and in this he was virtually unique amongst his peers, was a car. To be fair to Hammond it is clear that he enjoyed motoring, and he was a very good driver albeit one who was happy to take considerable risks in the pursuit of speed, but the main reason for the car seems to have been to assist him with his other passion, the pursuit of pretty girls.
Hammond was a very private man, and he never ed in the sort of ribald conversations about conquests that groups of young men often have, but there can be no doubt that the young Hammond had a very high sex drive, and that there was no shortage of attractive young women willing to assist him to satisfy it. And it was lust that very probably had the most profound effect of all on the Hammond personality.
Hammond missed the last couple of matches of the tour through illness and his condition deteriorated on the voyage back, so much so that he was an extremely sick young man by the time he disembarked. He went straight to a nursing home paid for by the Gloucestershire club and a long and painful recovery eventually begun. Hammond did not pick up a bat in anger throughout the season, although by mid July he was at least able, a gaunt and frail looking figure, to visit his teammates at the County Ground. At the time the story that was given to the press was that there was a blood disorder caused by a mosquito bite.
In truth the condition that laid low the mighty Hammond was Syphilis, something that in those far off days before antibiotics could, and did on occasion, prove fatal. One of the treatments that would almost certainly have been tried on Hammond, even then controversial and now completely discredited, was the use of mercury.
Long term side effects are noted as personality change, low mood, sudden outbursts of anger or impatience and exaggerated emotional responses. Fit again for Hammond laid down his marker, all but 3, runs and a dozen centuries. During the series Herbert Sutcliffe had scored runs to create a new record for a Test series. Hammond blew it away with at The vocabulary of the game has a word to describe an average like that, but it is not, of course, Hammondesque.
Whatever Hammond did after he was never going to achieve more than being the second best batsman in the world, and when he became England captain he concentrated all his efforts on dismissing Bradman, as Australia could not possibly be beaten until he was out of the way. In he married for the first time, to Dorothy Lister, the daughter of a wealthy industrialist from Yorkshire. The liason was a strange one. He had not come from a wealthy background and despite his fame and success on the field the rewards that brought with it were meagre when looked at in the context of the amounts paid to sporting superstars today.
The remuneration received by the England captain was, in financial terms, nothing at all, but it was an honour that Hammond craved as soon Fuck Hammond chat Hammond it was made known to him that a change of status would mean that the job was his. Inafter a period as, effectively, a car salesman outside the game, an invitation was received to the board of Marsham Tyres, and despite his increasingly difficult marriage Hammond for the only time in his life enjoyed a comfortable salary.
The war took Hammond away from Marshams to a commission in the RAF, and an undemanding role that afforded plenty of time to play cricket, and opportunities to travel to South Africa to spend time with Sybil. When peace returned little appeared to have changed. If the summer of had had th benefit of vintage Hammond the Ashes tour that followed was an unmitigated disaster for him, and brought a sad end to a great career.
The divorce from Dorothy was making its way through the courts and an unhappy Sybil was staying with his mother in the austerity of post-war Britain, and getting increasingly homesick. Hammond largely ignored his team and picked up much criticism along the way.
There was to be no last hurrah with Gloucestershire on his return, a great case of what might have been. Even without Hammond Gloucester were runners-up. If they had had him available with any degree of fitness they might easily have managed the two extra wins that would have brought the title to the West Country for the first Fuck Hammond chat Hammond.
In the event Hammond simply managed to further antagonise his old Test teammate Charlie Barnett. The bitterness that Barnett felt when he discovered that Hammond was actually in Gloucestershire after all never left him. If Barnett wished ill-luck on Hammond he certainly got his way in the years that followed. Losing interest in his job and faced with an unhappy wife and young children Hammond sold up and returned to South Africa to set up his own car dealership.
The ill thought out and under prepared plan failed, and although Hammond was able to get a job in the motor trade elsewhere in Durban that company turned turtle in The middle-aged Hammond, in much reduced circumstances, became moody and morose, and prone to bouts of temper before he finally obtained further work, this time well away from the motor trade. Severe head injuries sustained in a car crash in almost left Hammond for dead again, but his iron constitution pulled him through once more. He went back to work after three months and a couple of years later he returned to England, on his own, to help in a membership drive for Gloucestershire.
He thought long and hard about coming back to the West Country to become a publican, and by all s he was in fine spirits, delighted to meet old friends again and talk cricket in a way he had never been keen on doing when at the top of his game.Fuck Hammond chat Hammond
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