Peter Walker (cricketer)
|Full name||Peter Michael Walker|
17 February 1936 |
Clifton, Bristol, England
|Batting style||Right-hand bat|
|Bowling style||Left-arm bowler|
Walker was born in Bristol, but educated partly in South Africa. A tall right-handed middle-order batsman, a left-arm bowler who varied his pace between medium-paced seamers and slow spinners, and a spectacularly good close catcher, specialising in fielding at short-leg, he played all his county cricket for Glamorgan.
As a batsman, Walker made 1,000 runs in a season eleven times, often seeming to do well when his colleagues faltered. Nevertheless, in seventeen years of first-class cricket he made only thirteen centuries, and his career average of 26 reflected soundness rather than flair, on the unpredictable surfaces that applied in the days of uncovered pitches. His bowling was effective more than penetrating, but, in 1961, he took 101 wickets to achieve the double of 1,000 runs and 100 wickets, and he was not far short in 1959 and 1962. As a fielder, he ranks among the best of all time: he took 697 catches in 469 career matches, and his 73 catches in 1961 – to go alongside his 1,000 runs and 100 wickets – is the third highest figure for a fielder in a single English cricket season, after Walter Hammond and Mickey Stewart; and the best 'treble' – runs, wickets and catches ever recorded in the history of the first-class game.
Walker was picked for three Tests against South Africa who toured England in 1960; he batted well down the order in all three games and hardly bowled at all, but probably did well enough to have expected further chances. But at a time of batting riches for England and spin competition from David Allen, Ray Illingworth and Fred Titmus, he never got back into contention after playing in the first three Tests, all of which England won.
He stayed with Glamorgan until 1972 when, after being passed over for the captaincy, he retired to become a cricket writer and broadcaster. For many years, he introduced the BBC Television's coverage of the Sunday League.
In 1985, Walker was the founder and managing director of Merlin Television, which became the largest independent production company in Wales, and after selling out in 1996, became the first chief executive of the newly formed Cricket Board of Wales. He was also largely responsible for the development of the National Cricket Centre for Wales at Glamorgan's home ground at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff.
In 2009, he was elected President of Glamorgan County Cricket Club.
- Winning Cricket (1965)
- Cricket Conversations (1978)
- The All-Rounder (1979)
- It's Not Just Cricket (autobiography) (2006)