|Full name||Frank Edward Woolley|
27 May 1887|
Tonbridge, Kent, England
|Died||18 October 1978
Chester, Nova Scotia, Canada
|Bowling style||Left-arm medium
Slow left-arm orthodox
|Test debut (cap 163)||9 August 1909 v Australia|
|Last Test||22 August 1934 v Australia|
|Domestic team information|
|Source: , 11 June 2012|
Frank Edward Woolley (1887– 1978) was an English cricketer, one of the finest all-rounders the game has seen. In a career lasting more than thirty years, he scored more first-class runs than anyone but Sir Jack Hobbs, and took over 2,000 wickets at an average of under 20. He is also the only non-wicket-keeper to have held more than 1,000 catches. His batting was remarkable both for his well documented elegance and his rapidity of scoring.
Life and career
Born 27 May 1887, Tonbridge, Kent, he made his debut for Kent in 1906, he fast established himself as a great all-rounder, especially in County Cricket. No one else scored 2,000 runs and took 100 wickets in a season more often, a feat he performed in 1914 and 1921–23. Only W. G. Grace scored a century and took ten wickets in a match more often. Just as impressive was his consistency, he averaged 40.75 in first-class cricket and scored one thousand runs in a season 28 times, a record equalled only by Grace.
According to R. C. Robertson-Glasgow "when you wrote about him, there weren't enough words. In describing a great innings by Woolley, and few of them were not great in artistry, you had to be careful with your adjectives and stack them in little rows, like pats of butter or razor-blades. In the first over of his innings, perhaps, there had been an exquisite off-drive, followed by a perfect cut, then an effortless leg-glide. In the second over the same sort of thing happened; and your superlatives had already gone. The best thing to do was to presume that your readers knew how Frank Woolley batted and use no adjectives at all.....there was all summer in a stroke by Woolley, and he batted as it is sometimes shown in dreams." R. L. Arrowsmith wrote "his average rate of scoring has been exceeded only by Jessop ("the Croucher") and equalled by Trumper. His philosophy was to dominate the bowler. "When I am batting," he said, "I am the attack." " To this day his 205-minute triple century for the MCC vs Tasmania remains the second fastest ever scored, bettered only by Denis Compton.
Woolley played 64 Test matches between 1909 and 1934, coincidentally both topping and tailing his international career with games against Australia at The Oval. He played under fourteen different captains for England, a record in Test cricket. He was made a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1911. In county cricket he spent his entire career (1906–1938) with Kent County Cricket Club, making his mark in his third game when he produced match figures of 95 runs and 8–119 with the ball to help Kent to a one-wicket win. He died 18 October 1978, Chester, Nova Scotia, Canada
Woolley Way in Maidstone, Kent (in an area where all the streets are named after Kent county cricketers) is named in his honour.
In July 2000 he was inducted into the Federation of International Cricketers' Associations Hall of Fame and in 2009 he was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame.
The first-class career statistics quoted in this article do not include one match whose first-class status is disputed, but which is included in publications such as Wisden Cricketers' Almanack and the Playfair Cricket Annual. In this match, Woolley took two wickets and scored 10 runs.
For more information see Variations in first-class cricket statistics.
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- Frindall, Bill (2009). Ask Bearders. BBC Books. p. 154. ISBN 978-1-84607-880-4.
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- "Benaud, Gooch, Compton, Larwood and Woolley inducted into ICC Cricket Hall of Fame". ICC. 18 July 2009. Retrieved 28 September 2010.