John Mortimore (cricketer)
|Full name||John Brian Mortimore|
14 May 1933|
Southmead, Bristol, England
|Died||13 February 2014(aged 80)|
|Batting style||Right-hand bat|
|Bowling style||Right-arm offbreak|
His county colleague and fellow off-spinner, David Allen, spun the ball more than Mortimore, but 'Morty' was able to coax county batsmen with cunning and pin-point accuracy, which often led to their downfall.
He was sent out as a replacement for Peter May's struggling team in the 1958-59 Ashes series, and topped the batting averages by dint of being out only once in the series, 55 runs (55.00). Unfortunately, at the time England was awash with capable off-spinners who could bat; Ray Illingworth, Fred Titmus and Allen all averaged 20–25 with the bat, and 30-32 per wicket with the ball, and this restricted Mortimore's Test appearances.
Mortimore toured India in 1963-64, playing three Tests in a notoriously slow-scoring series. In the Fifth Test at Kanpur, on a pitch Wisden described as "defunct", he had match figures of 72-45-67-1. He had the misfortune to be brought into the England side for the Fourth Test against Australia at Old Trafford in 1964, when only 18 wickets fell for 1271 runs. He took no wicket for 122 off 49 overs and never played Test cricket again.
Mortimore had a 26-year stint at Bristol, and captained the county side for three seasons. He scored more than 15,000 runs and took over 1,800 wickets in his first-class career. He took 100 or more wickets in a season three times, scored 1,000 runs or more in a season five times, and in 1959, 1963 and 1964 he did both in the one season, "the double".
His highest score came against Nottinghamshire at Nottingham in 1963, when he scored 149, "a brilliant maiden Championship century by Mortimore in two hours twenty minutes", said Wisden; he hit 52 in the second innings of the same match to help Gloucestershire to victory by five wickets, putting on 109 in 40 minutes with Ray White.
Having played for Gloucestershire since 1950, he retired after playing two games in the 1975 season, at the age of 42. In his first game, he had played alongside the brothers Tom and Ken Graveney; in his last game he played alongside Ken's son David.
- Bateman, Colin (1993). If The Cap Fits. Tony Williams Publications. p. 124. ISBN 1-869833-21-X.
- Wisden, 1965, p.815.
- Wisden, 1964, p.526.
- "The Home of CricketArchive". Cricketarchive.com. 1950-08-21. Retrieved 2014-02-18.
- "The Home of CricketArchive". Cricketarchive.com. 1975-08-04. Retrieved 2014-02-18.