Jack Martin (cricketer)
|Full name||John William Martin|
16 February 1917|
Catford, London, England
|Died||4 January 1987
Woolwich, London, England
|Batting style||Right-hand bat|
|Bowling style||Right-arm fast|
John William Martin (16 February 1917 – 4 January 1987) was an English cricketer, who played in one Test in 1947, taking the single wicket of South African captain Alan Melville. In a fifteen-year career, Martin turned in a meagre forty four first-class appearances, largely when his holidays allowed. Nevertheless, one such match was of special significance.
Life and career
Jack Martin was born in Catford, London. Martin was notable for being one of the last strict amateurs to achieve any prominence in the first-class game. Most of his time was taken up with business work, and most of his cricket was played at club level for Catford Wanderers on Saturdays. When Martin did turn out for Kent, however, his height and pace almost always made him valuable for a team almost wholly reliant on Frederick Ridgway for pace bowling. Martin was capped for Kent in 1946 and, as a result of taking four for 55 for MCC against the touring South Africans, followed by nine for 98 against Hampshire the following week, was chosen for the First Test match at Trent Bridge.
Although by no means genuinely fast, Martin had sufficient speed to offer contrast to an English attack dominated by spin and medium paced seam bowlers. However, the selection of a man with no chance of being in full practice reflected how weak England were in pace bowling in the years after World War II and the fact that the best man to open with Alec Bedser, Harold Butler, was regarded as extremely risky because of his vulnerability to injury.
Martin never had the time to gain further representative honours, but in 1950 he did take seven for 53 against Leicestershire, and the following year against Essex, nearly gained Kent a sensational victory when he and Ray Dovey took seven Essex wickets for thirteen runs.
- Bateman, Colin (1993). If The Cap Fits. Tony Williams Publications. p. 117. ISBN 1-869833-21-X.
- "England v South Africa in 1947". CricketArchive. Retrieved 24 September 2007.
- "Players and Officials - Jack Martin". CricketArchive. Retrieved 24 September 2007.
- Wright, Graeme (editor); Wisden Cricketers' Almanac; 125th Edition (1988); p. 1208. ISBN 0-947766-10-3