|Full name||Alonzo Robson Drake[a]|
|Date of birth||16 April 1884|
|Place of birth||Parkgate, Rotherham, England|
|Date of death||14 February 1919(aged 34)|
|Place of death||Honley, England|
|Height||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
|1908–1909||Queens Park Rangers||19||(5)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
|Bowling style||Left-arm slow-medium|
|Domestic team information|
|Source: Cricinfo, 21 April 2011|
Born in Rotherham Drake was a good all round sportsman but initially focussed on his football career. Starting out with Doncaster Rovers it would be at his next club, Sheffield United where he enjoyed most success, playing in the top-flight of English football. After leaving the Blades he had spells at Birmingham,[a] Queens Park Rangers,[b] Huddersfield Town and Rotherham Town before retiring at the outset of World War I.
Drake also played 157 matches for Yorkshire between 1909 and 1914. Despite making his first class debut at the relatively late age of 25, Drake was a vital part of the Yorkshire team in the seasons before World War I.
Drake started his career with Doncaster Rovers, for whom he made his Football League debut in 1902 but was soon bought by Sheffield United where he became a regular in the side for three seasons. Despite this he was viewed by some supporters as lazy with claims that he conceded possession too easily which led to regular barracking during games. He moved to Birmingham in December 1907 for £700 but his stay was only a brief one, as he moved south to Queens Park Rangers the following August. His best days now behind him he later spent five years at Huddersfield Town before finishing his career with Rotherham Town.
Drake played for the Yorkshire Second XI in 1908 and 1909, the year he first broke into the first team. He took 12 wickets in five matches, and 28 in 1910 including a spell of 5/10 against Western Counties, at Titwood, Glasgow. In 1911, he finally established himself in the Yorkshire side. A more than useful left-handed batsman, he averaged 35 with the bat and took 79 wickets at 22.40.
In 1913, he took 102 wickets at the top of the Yorkshire averages and, in the last season of a truncated career, claimed 135 wickets at 15.30, including 11 five wicket hauls. Like Schofield Haigh, he was devastating on poor or rain affected wickets but, unlike Haigh, could bowl long spells and had a fine economy rate on flatter batting tracks. He took five wickets in an innings 29 times.
He claimed remarkable 4/4 and 3/3 returns, for match figures of 7/7, against Somerset at The Recreation Ground, Bath in 1913. He grabbed 5/6 in the second innings against Derbyshire at Queen's Park, Chesterfield in 1914, including the wickets of Richard Baggallay, Gilbert Curgenven, Colin Hurt and Thomas Forrester in consecutive balls. His most famous feat was the taking all ten Somerset wickets for 35 at Clarence Park, Weston-super-Mare in 1914, when he took 15 in the match for 51 runs. Only Drake, Hedley Verity (twice), and Frank Smailes, have taken all ten wickets in an innings for Yorkshire.
He took a hat-trick against Essex at Fartown Ground, Huddersfield in 1912, in a spell in which he took 5 wickets and conceded no runs. He took three wickets in four balls in a first-class 'friendly' Roses Match at The Circle, Kingston upon Hull that year. He bowled unchanged with Major Booth throughout the game in consecutive matches in 1914 – against Gloucestershire and Somerset.
Drake was a heavy smoker and was twice rejected by the army when he tried to enlist at the outbreak of World War I. He subsequently fell into ill health, and died aged 34 in February 1919, in Honley, Yorkshire.
- Denis Clarebrough & Andrew Kirkham (2008). Sheffield United Who's Who. Hallamshire Press. p. 108. ISBN 978-1-874718-69-7.
- Warner, David (2011). The Yorkshire County Cricket Club: 2011 Yearbook (113th ed.). Ilkley, Yorkshire: Great Northern Books. p. 367. ISBN 978-1-905080-85-4.
- "Player profile: Alonzo Drake". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 21 April 2011.
- Warner, David (2011). The Yorkshire County Cricket Club: 2011 Yearbook (113th ed.). Ilkley, Yorkshire: Great Northern Books. p. 73. ISBN 978-1-905080-85-4.