|Full name||Robert Damien Bale Croft|
25 May 1970 |
Morriston, Swansea, Wales
|Height||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|Bowling style||Right-arm off break|
|Test debut (cap 582)||22 August 1996 v Pakistan|
|Last Test||2 August 2001 v Australia|
|ODI debut (cap 138)||29 August 1996 v Pakistan|
|Last ODI||21 June 2001 v Australia|
|Domestic team information|
|1989–2012||Glamorgan (squad no. 10)|
|1996||Marylebone Cricket Club|
|Source: Cricinfo, 24 October 2012|
Robert Damien Bale Croft MBE (born 25 May 1970) is a former Welsh cricketer who played international cricket for both England and Wales. He is an off-spin bowler who played for Glamorgan and captained the county from 2003 to 2006. He retired from first class cricket at the end of the 2012 season, having played county cricket for 23 seasons. He commentates on cricket occasionally for Sky Sports.
Early life and education
Croft was born on 25 May 1970 in Morriston, Swansea. He was educated at St John Lloyd's Roman Catholic Comprehensive School, Llanelli. He played rugby union as a scrum half for Llanelli RFC Under-11s. He studied at Swansea Metropolitan University.
He made his England debut against Pakistan in 1996, and did enough to earn a touring place to Zimbabwe and New Zealand. In Christchurch, he took his Test best figures of 5–95 and his winter figures were a highly impressive 182.1–53–340–18. He played the first five tests of the 1997 Ashes series but was dropped for the final test, replaced by Phil Tufnell, after averaging 54 with the ball and showing a weakness to short-pitched fast bowling as a batsman. His last wicket stand with Angus Fraser in the third Test of the 1998 series against South Africa saved England from an innings defeat, personally scoring 37 not out.
His final Test match was the third Ashes Test of 2001 at Trent Bridge where he bowled just 3 overs. He was selected for the subsequent tour of India but he pulled because of safety fears and was also selected for the 2003/04 tour of Sri Lanka but failed to play. After returning home, he announced his international retirement to concentrate on the captaincy of Glamorgan.
Exactly a year later, he passed 1,000 first-class wickets after dismissing Niall O'Brien; he became the first Welsh cricketer to take the double of 10,000 runs and 1,000 wickets. In November 2007, he joined voices calling for a "clampdown" on Twenty20 problems with abusive crowds, after suffering abusive calls at Taunton Cricket Ground. On 1 August 2010 he got his first hat-trick against Gloucestershire to help Glamorgan win the match. It also made him the first Glamorgan spinner to take a hat-trick in 46 years.
Croft was once honoured as a druid at the Welsh cultural event, the National Eisteddfod.
- West Indies 1992
- South Africa 1993/94
- Zimbabwe / New Zealand 1996/97
- Sharjah / West Indies 1997/98
- Australia 1998/99
- Sri Lanka 2000/01 and 2003/04.
Glamorgan (1989 – 2012)
- Glamorgan Cap: 1992
- Glamorgan Young Player of the Year: 1990, 1992
- Glamorgan Player of the Year: 1996, 2003, 2004, 2007
- St.Helen's Balconiers Player of the Year: 2007
- Glamorgan benefit season: 2000
- Glamorgan captain: 2003–2006
- The Weatherall Award: 2004 (for the leading all-rounder in English first-class game)
- Reached 1000 first class wickets for Glamorgan
Career best performances
|Tests||37*||England v South Africa||Manchester||1998||5–95||England v New Zealand||Christchurch||1997|
|ODI||32||England v Sri Lanka||Perth||1999||3–51||England v South Africa||The Oval||1998|
|FC||143||Glamorgan v Somerset||Taunton||1995||8–66||Glamorgan v Warwickshire||Swansea||1992|
|LA||143||Glamorgan Dragons v Lincolnshire||Lincoln||2004||6–20||Glamorgan v Worcestershire||Cardiff||1994|
|T20||62*||Glamorgan Dragons v Gloucestershire Gladiators||Cardiff||2005||3–9||Glamorgan Dragons v Somerset||Cardiff||2011|
- First Welsh cricketer to score 10,000 runs and take 1,000 wickets in first-class cricket (2007)
- Elected to the Gorsedd of Bards
- Bennett, Androw and Croft, Robert (1995) “Dyddiadur Troellwr” Y Lolfa, Talybont, Dyfed ISBN 0-86243-358-4
- Steen, Rob with Croft, Robert and Elliott, Matthew (1997) “Poms and cobbers : the Ashes 1997 : an inside view” Andre Deutsch, London ISBN 0-233-99210-3