|Full name||Percy Robert May|
13 March 1884|
Chertsey, Surrey, England
6 December 1965 (aged 81)|
Eastleigh, Hampshire, England
|Domestic team information|
|1902 to 1904||London County|
|1902 to 1909||Surrey|
|1903 to 1906||Cambridge University|
Source: Cricket Archive, 18 October 2014
Percy Robert "Phil" May (13 March 1884 – 6 December 1965) was an English cricketer who played first-class cricket from 1902 to 1910, and a final match in 1926.
A fast bowler, Percy May played for London County in 1902 at the age of 18, and occasionally for Surrey. After being privately educated, May went up to Pembroke College, Cambridge in the autumn of 1902. He played for the university side from 1903 to 1906, taking part in victories over Oxford University in 1905 and 1906. In 1906 he bowled unchanged throughout both innings to take 7 for 41 and 5 for 25 in Cambridge's 305-run victory over Yorkshire at Fenner's. He opened the bowling for the Gentlemen against the Players later that year, taking seven wickets, more than any other bowler. He finished the season with 75 wickets at an average of 22.76, his most successful season.
He toured New Zealand with MCC in 1906-07, taking 45 wickets in nine first-class matches at 15.97 and forming a powerful pace attack with Johnny Douglas, who took 50 wickets at 13.26. He took 5 for 53 and 5 for 37 in the first victory over Otago (by 232 runs) and 4 for 49 and 4 for 58 in the second victory (by an innings and 95 runs), and played in both matches against New Zealand, taking eight wickets. He wrote an account of the tour based on his diary, titled With the MCC in New Zealand (1907), which a New Zealand reviewer found "a very readable story ... which I was loth to put down ... the 'behind-the-scenes' life of an English amateur cricketer on tour ... makes for good and entertaining reading". Among the New Zealanders there was some question about the legitimacy of his bowling action; Dick Brittenden later described him as "a fast bowler with a peculiar leap just before delivery, and whose action was suspect".
He played a few matches in 1907, with one outstanding performance for Gentlemen of the South against Players of the South at the Hastings Festival, when he took 8 for 49 and 3 for 69 in a 233-run victory. After that he took a job as a teacher in England and played little first-class cricket.
He spent the years from 1910 to 1950 in Ceylon, managing the 2500-acre Dalkeith rubber plantation at Latpandura in the Kalutara District. He was a regular club cricketer for most of his time in Ceylon, and played in the annual match for Europeans against Ceylonese in 1911, 1912 and 1914. After suffering a shoulder injury not long after he arrived in Ceylon he was forced to abandon fast bowling and instead became a skilful underarm bowler and batsman. He served briefly as President of the Ceylon Cricket Association.
- "Sizing Them Up: The M.C.C. Team for New Zealand". Auckland Star. XXXVII (278): 3. 28 November 1906. Retrieved 8 January 2018.
- S. S. Perera, The Janashakthi Book of Sri Lanka Cricket (1832–1996), Janashakthi Insurance, Colombo, 1999, pp. 103-104, 438.
- Wisden 1958, p. 684.
- Perera, S. S. (1966). "P. R. May". The Cricketer. 47 (3): 24.
- Cambridge University v Yorkshire 1906
- Gentlemen v Players 1906
- Percy May bowling by season
- MCC in New Zealand 1906-07 bowling averages
- MCC in New Zealand 1906-07
- "Notes by Long Slip". Otago Witness (2814): 60. 19 February 1908. Retrieved 4 February 2018.
- R.T. Brittenden, Great Days in New Zealand Cricket, A.H. & A.W. Reed, Wellington, 1958, p. 28.
- Gentlemen of the South v Players of the South 1907
- Miscellaneous matches played by Percy May