Matthew Walker (English cricketer)

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Matt Walker
Mattwalker.jpg
Personal information
Full name Matthew Jonathan Walker
Born (1974-01-02) 2 January 1974 (age 40)
Gravesend, Kent, England
Nickname Walks
Height 5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)
Batting style Left-handed
Bowling style Right-arm medium
Role Batsman
Domestic team information
Years Team
2009 – 2011 Essex (squad no. 22)
1993 – 2008 Kent (squad no. 20)
First-class debut 30 March 1993 Kent v Zimbabwe B
List A debut 17 July 1994 Kent v Worcestershire
Career statistics
Competition FC LA T20
Matches 223 285 82
Runs scored 12,197 6,269 1,397
Batting average 36.08 29.15 21.82
100s/50s 28/51 3/37 –/4
Top score 275* 117 74*
Balls bowled 2154 904
Wickets 28 30
Bowling average 45.50 25.30
5 wickets in innings 0 0
10 wickets in match 0 n/a
Best bowling 3/35 4/24
Catches/stumpings 15/– 75/– 10/–
Source: Cricinfo, 2 June 2013

Matthew Jonathan Walker (born 2 January 1974 in Gravesend, Kent) is a retired English cricketer, who played for Kent County Cricket Club until 2008 and then for Essex County Cricket Club until he retired in 2011.

Early career[edit]

After enjoying a prolific school cricket record at The King's School, Rochester, Walker made his first appearance for Kent in a second-team match against Lancashire in 1990. He continued to play in the second eleven for two seasons, after which he was called up to the England Under-19 squad for their tour of Pakistan.

The tour started poorly for Walker, only making one score of note in the "Test" series. However, he managed to average 48.00 in the limited-overs games that followed.[1] He continued to appear for the England under-19 team until the end of the West Indian tour of England, by which time he had earnt an average of 42.07 from 12 youth Tests.

Professional career[edit]

Walker playing for Essex against Cambridge UCCE

Walker was selected for Kent's first-team for the first time during the side's 1993 pre-season tour of Zimbabwe. Against a Zimbabwean 'B' team, Walker scored 23 not out and 16 in a drawn match.[2] Despite the promise shown on the tour, Walker would not play for the first-team for another fifteen months.

His List A debut came on 17 July 1994, in a Sunday League match against Worcestershire. In nine matches that season, Walker averaged 23.37.[3]

In first-class cricket, Walker has had three seasons where he has finished with a batting average of over fifty; in 1996, 2004 and 2006. 1996 saw Walker hit the highest score of his career to date, on his way to 606 runs at an average of 60.60.[4] Against a Somerset attack without Andrew Caddick, Walker compiled 275 not out in nine-and-a-half hours before his captain Trevor Ward declared the innings at 616/7. The Daily Telegraph's Christopher Martin-Jenkins wrote of the innings: "It was an innings of style and substance, memorable for powerful driving through the off-side and hearty pulling whenever a persevering but ordinary Somerset attack became impatient with line and length and tried to extract a spring in the pitch which simply was not there."[5] It remains the highest score by a Kent batsman at the St Lawrence Ground.[6]

Despite the talent he had shown during his innings against Somerset, he found the next few seasons difficult. In an interview with All Out Cricket magazine, he said "I’d had a bit of first team cricket, and was dropped and managed to work my way back into the team in the second half of the year but just couldn’t get it right."[7] For four seasons, between 1997 and 2000, Walker consistently averaged in the mid-twenties, scoring just one century in the process. Since then, he has scored over one thousand runs in a season on three occasions.

Walker's most productive season in terms of run-scoring was 2006, in which he scored 1,419 runs at the average of 61.19. In the game against Lancashire that year, he came close to adding a second career double-century to his name. However, he was dismissed on 197, run out after collapsing with cramp.[8][9] His run-scoring throughout 2006 earnt him Kent's Player of the Year award.

Walker was appointed List A captain of Kent for the second half of the 2005 season, following the resignation of David Fulton. However, he was unable to lead the team any higher than eighth in the second division of the Pro40 League.

In 2007, Walker hit the highest score of the innings in Kent's victory over Gloucestershire in the Twenty20 Cup Final.[10] However, after finding first-team opportunities limited during 2008, he was released by Kent[11] and signed for Essex on a two-year contract.[12]

In the winter of 2011, Graham Gooch stepped down in his role as Essex Batting Coach to work full-time with England. Walker was appointed as the Batting Coach. It was also confirmed that he would keep his player registration, although he would only play in the event of many injuries.

In April 2014, Walker re-joined Kent as an assistant manager having left Essex. [13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ CricketArchive. "Averages by Team - England U-19's in Pakistan, 1991/92". Retrieved 2008-02-25. 
  2. ^ CricketArchive. "Zimbabwe B v Kent in 1992/93". Retrieved 2008-02-25. 
  3. ^ CricketArchive. "Batting and Fielding for Kent in AXA Equity and Law League 1994". Retrieved 2008-02-25. 
  4. ^ CricketArchive. "First-class Batting and Fielding in Each Season by Matthew Walker". Retrieved 2008-02-25. 
  5. ^ Martin-Jenkins, Christopher. "Walker's 176 keeps Kent clear of the rough". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2008-02-25. 
  6. ^ Kent County Cricket Club Annual. Kent County Cricket Club. 2007. p. 238. ISBN 0-9527926-1-3. 
  7. ^ Hindson, Jimmy. "Matthew Walker (Kent) - Lifer". All Out Cricket. Retrieved 2008-02-23. [dead link]
  8. ^ Cricinfo. "Cricinfo - Kent v Lancashire at Canterbury, July 18–21, 2006". Retrieved 2008-02-25. 
  9. ^ BBC Sport (19 July 2006). "Flintoff frustrated by Kent heat". BBC News. Retrieved 2008-02-25. 
  10. ^ CricketArchive. "Gloucestershire v Kent, Twenty20 Cup Final, 2007". Retrieved 2008-02-25. 
  11. ^ "Walker released by Kent". Cricinfo. Retrieved 2008-09-15. 
  12. ^ "Walker completes Essex move". essexcricket.org.uk. 20 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-20. [dead link]
  13. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/cricket/26668393

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
David Fulton
Kent County Cricket Club one-day captain
2005
Succeeded by
Robert Key