Francis McHugh

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Francis McHugh
Personal information
Full nameFrancis Prest McHugh
Born(1925-11-15)15 November 1925
Burmantofts, Leeds, Yorkshire, England
Died21 February 2018(2018-02-21) (aged 92)
BattingRight-hand batsman
BowlingRight-arm fast-medium
International information
National side
Career statistics
Competition First-class
Matches 95
Runs scored 179
Batting average 2.63
100s/50s –/–
Top score 18
Balls bowled 15877
Wickets 276
Bowling average 24.84
5 wickets in innings 15
10 wickets in match 4
Best bowling 7/32
Catches/stumpings 26/–

Francis Prest McHugh (15 November 1925[1] – 21 February 2018) was an English first-class cricketer, who played three games for Yorkshire County Cricket Club in 1949,[1] and 92 matches for Gloucestershire from 1952 to 1956.[2]

A 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) right arm fast medium bowler,[3] he took 276 wickets at an average of 24.84, with a best of 7 for 32 for Gloucestershire against his native county. He took five wickets in an innings fifteen times, and ten wickets in a match on four occasions.

Initially McHugh was a distinctly fast bowler who came into the Yorkshire team with a major injury to Ron Aspinall who was heading the bowling averages early in 1949.[4] He did modestly and with the presence of Coxon, Trueman and Appleyard, was discarded and did not play even in the Second Eleven in 1950.[5] McHugh then went to Gloucestershire and upon qualifying he quickly found that his accuracy could only become of county standard when he moderated his pace. Consequently, McHugh became with George Lambert the best pace attack Gloucestershire – a county known for half a century for its near-exclusive reliance on spin bowling – had fielded to that point in the twentieth century.[citation needed] In 1954 he took ninety-two wickets for exactly twenty runs each, and in 1955 did almost as well with over seventy-five wickets, whilst in 1956 his average fell further to only nineteen runs a wicket.

McHugh's batting was consistently inept. His average of 2.63 is the lowest by anyone to play more than fifty first-class games.[note 1] 66 of his 111 innings were scoreless (he was dismissed for a duck 38 times), and he reached double figures on only four occasions. It was probably the liability of his batting that caused Gloucestershire to discard him in favour of David Smith for the 1957 season: McHugh had suffered from illness during 1956,[6] and did not play after June, but had bowled so well in his last-ever game with eleven wickets for 112 runs that he was expected to continue in 1957.


  1. ^ Cricket record lists do not keep records for lowest batting average, but Bailey, Phillip; Thorn, Phillip; and Wynne-Thomas, Peter; The Complete Who’s Who of Cricketers (ISBN 0600346927) shows nobody with nearly so low an average


  1. ^ a b Warner, David (2011). The Yorkshire County Cricket Club: 2011 Yearbook (113th ed.). Ilkley, Yorkshire: Great Northern Books. p. 374. ISBN 978-1-905080-85-4.
  2. ^ "Francis Prest McHugh". Cricket Archive. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  3. ^ Preston, Norman (editor); Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, 90th edition (1953); p. 355
  4. ^ Preston, Hubert (editor); Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack; 87th edition (1950); p. 571
  5. ^ Preston, Hubert (editor); Wisden Cricketers’ Almanac, 88th Edition (1951); pp. 696-698
  6. ^ Preston, Norman (editor); Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, 94th edition (1957); p. 364

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