|Full name||Mark Alan Butcher|
23 August 1972 |
Croydon, Greater London, England
|Height||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|Bowling style||Right arm medium|
|Relations||AR Butcher (father),
GP Butcher (brother)
|Test debut (cap 584)||5 June 1997 v Australia|
|Last Test||30 December 2004 v South Africa|
|Domestic team information|
|Source: Cricinfo, 6 August 2009|
Mark Alan Butcher (born Croydon, London, 23 August 1972) is a former English Test cricketer, who played county cricket for Surrey from 1992 until his retirement from the sport in 2009. He was a left-handed batsman, and occasional right-arm medium-pace bowler.
Butcher played all his county cricket for Surrey, for whom he made his first-class debut in 1992. He made his Test match debut in the first Test of the 1997 Ashes series at Edgbaston. His last Test match was in December 2004, when he had played 71 Tests, making eight centuries and averaging over 34.
Butcher captained England once, in a draw with New Zealand in 1999 when Nasser Hussain was injured. He never appeared in a One Day International (ODI). Of players who have started in international cricket since the first ODI in 1970–71, Butcher is the "runaway leader" in terms of playing the most Test matches without appearing in an ODI. Butcher played in 71 Tests, but as of April 2004 no other player in the ODI era had played in more than 30 Tests without playing in an ODI.
Butcher enjoyed a reasonably good start to his Test career, hitting two half-centuries in five matches against a powerful Australian side. He then struggled (along with the rest of the England side) against the West Indies that winter, averaging just 15. However, in the next series he did very well, scoring two fifties and a century against South African side. Though he followed that with another impressive hundred against Australia in the first Ashes Test that winter, he then failed for the rest of that series. A poor run of form followed, as he failed to score a half-century in twelve consecutive matches. Despite being appointed stand-in captain for one Test against New Zealand, he was dropped from the side in the winter of 2000.
Butcher's domestic form then suffered an uncharacteristic and dramatic decline, and he found himself languishing in the Surrey second eleven at the start of the 2001 English domestic season. However, hard work and coaching from his father, Alan, himself a former Surrey and England player, sorted out his form. He was drafted into the Test side to play the Australians and strong showings throughout that series culminated in a superb innings of 173 not out at Headingley, as England successfully chased 315 to win (although the series was by then lost).
After that series, Butcher continued to prosper until a run of injuries saw him lose his place. Consistent performances had made him an essential component of the England batting line-up, to be relied upon in a crisis. Nowhere was this more apparent than in the series in the West Indies in 2003-4, when he always batted well irrespective of the sometimes poor showing by various partners at the other end, and he passed fifty in four out of seven innings. A series of serious injuries kept Butcher out of the game for most of 2005, and his last Test was the first Test in South Africa in December 2004.
Thereafter, he struggled to recover properly from numerous injury set-backs, and although he retained the official captaincy of Surrey his appearances for the team became sporadic. In August 2009, Butcher announced his retirement from all first-class cricket after a troubling knee injury.
|Test Centuries of Mark Butcher.|
|||116||13||South Africa||Leeds, England||Headingley||1998|
|||116||15||Australia||Brisbane, Australia||Brisbane Cricket Ground||1998|
|||105||39||Sri Lanka||London, England||Lord's||2002|
|||123||41||Sri Lanka||Manchester, England||Old Trafford||2002|
|||124||50||Australia||Sydney, Australia||Sydney Cricket Ground||2003|
|||106||55||South Africa||Nottingham, England||Trent Bridge||2003|
Butcher is also a guitar-player and singer – he sang a ballad at Surrey and England team-mate Ben Hollioake's funeral. Previously, in 2001, he appeared on the 'Jamie Theakston Cricket Show' on BBC Radio 5 Live, where he played a live acoustic version of "(Get A) Grip (On Yourself)" by The Stranglers with the former Stranglers' frontman Hugh Cornwell. In early 2008, Butcher started recording his debut album, Songs from the Sun House. Released in 2010, it includes "You're Never Gone", the song he wrote in tribute to Hollioake.
At one time during his playing career, Butcher was married to former England and Surrey team-mate Alec Stewart's sister Judy. Surrey's former coach and player, Alan Butcher, is his father, and his brother, Gary, played for Glamorgan and Surrey.
- Lynch, Steven (5 April 2004). "Most Tests without an ODI, and Zaheer's road". Cricinfo. ESPN. Retrieved 8 April 2012.
- "Knee injuries force Butcher to retire". CricInfo. 9 August 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-06.
- "Ashes adversaries awarded MCC life membership" Retrieved 2 September 2010.
- Heinrich, Scott (6 April 2003). "Butcher's tribute to unsung hero". BBC News. Retrieved 2010-04-05.
- Amazon page for Songs from the Sun House Retrieved 3 September 2010.
- The Hidden race
- Cricket: Mark of a cool hero
- Cricinfo article: "My School Sport: Mark Butcher"
- "Football: World Cup 2002: Test aces lifted by triumph". Sunday Mirror. 16 June 2002.