|Full name||Robert Gillespie Broadbent|
21 June 1924|
Beckenham, Kent, England
|Died||26 April 1993
Bromyard, Herefordshire, England
|Bowling style||Right arm fast-medium|
|Domestic team information|
Source: CricketArchive, 11 October 2008
Robert Gillespie Broadbent, known as Bob Broadbent (21 June 1924 – 26 April 1993) was a cricketer who played first-class cricket for Worcestershire between 1950 and 1963. He was capped by the county in 1951, and ten years later received a benefit season which raised £5,481. He was a fine close fielder, holding nearly 300 catches in his career.
Broadbent was educated at Caterham School, then became a navigator in the Royal Air Force. By 1949 he was appearing for Middlesex's Second XI; he scored 82 for them against Glamorgan II in July of that year. He made his first-class debut for Worcestershire against Leicestershire at Grace Road; in a 177-run Worcestershire win Broadbent scored 77 and 29 not out. Nevertheless, it proved to be his only first-class appearance of the summer.
Broadbent became much more of a regular in the Worcestershire side in 1951 and enjoyed a fine season, which saw him capped by the county. He finished the year with 1,370 first-class runs at an average of over 39, by some margin his highest in any English season. It was in the course of this summer that he hit what was to remain his highest score, a second-innings 155 against Middlesex in late June. Worcestershire had been in some trouble at 92/4, but Broadbent and captain Ronald Bird put on 132 for the fifth wicket and in the end the county ran out comfortable ten-wicket victors.
In 1952 Broadbent hit 1,556 first-class runs, his highest season's aggregate, and he was to pass a thousand in five further seasons, the last of these being 1961. (He had a near miss in 1962, with 968 runs.) His Wisden obituary records that, although he was often forced to play a stubbornly solid role on account of Worcestershire's frequent difficulties, when the Australians visited in 1953 he hit Keith Miller out of the New Road ground.
Broadbent remained a regular in the side until the early 1960s, and stayed with the county just long enough to take part in some of the first one-day games, contributing an important 51, as part of a vital stand of 116 with Tom Graveney (93), to Worcestershire's Gillette Cup quarter-final victory over Glamorgan in June 1963. He also played in the final, which Worcestershire lost narrowly, but failed in making only 13.
Broadbent played no more first-class cricket after 1963, but he did turn out a few times in minor counties matches for Hertfordshire, making one List A appearance when Hertfordshire travelled to Durham in the first round of the 1964 Gillette Cup. It was a chastening experience: Broadbent himself scored 2, and Extras (13) was the highest score as Hertfordshire were bowled out for 63, losing by seven wickets.
- Obituary. Wisden Cricketers' Almanack 1994.
- "Middlesex Second XI v Glamorgan Second XI in 1949". CricketArchive. Retrieved 11 October 2008. (subscription required (. ))
- "Leicestershire v Worcestershire in 1950". CricketArchive. Retrieved 11 October 2008. (subscription required (. ))
- "First-class Batting and Fielding in Each Season by Bob Broadbent". CricketArchive. Retrieved 11 October 2008. (subscription required (. ))
- "Worcestershire v Middlesex in 1951". CricketArchive. Retrieved 11 October 2008. (subscription required (. ))
- "Glamorgan v Worcestershire in 1963". CricketArchive. Retrieved 11 October 2008. (subscription required (. ))
- "Sussex v Worcestershire in 1963". CricketArchive. Retrieved 11 October 2008. (subscription required (. ))
- "Durham v Hertfordshire in 1964". CricketArchive. Retrieved 11 October 2008. (subscription required (. ))