Phil King (cricketer)

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Phil King
Personal information
Full name Benjamin Philip King
Born (1915-04-22)22 April 1915
Leeds, Yorkshire, England
Died 31 March 1970(1970-03-31) (aged 54)
Bradford, Yorkshire, England
Batting style Right-handed
Role occasional wicket-keeper
Domestic team information
Years Team
1935–1939 Worcestershire
1946–1947 Lancashire
Career statistics
Competition FC
Matches 117
Runs scored 4,125
Batting average 22.05
100s/50s 6/17
Top score 145
Balls bowled 6
Wickets 0
Bowling average
5 wickets in innings 0
10 wickets in match 0
Best bowling
Catches/stumpings 53/6
Source: [1], 6 August 2008

Benjamin Philip King, known as Phil King (22 April 1915 – 31 March 1970) was an English cricketer who played 117 first-class matches either side of the Second World War, first for Worcestershire, and then – despite his Yorkshire birthplace – for Lancashire. He was capped by Worcestershire in 1938, and by Lancashire in 1946.

King made a quiet first-class debut for Worcestershire against Northamptonshire in August 1935, scoring just 3 in his only innings.[1] He appeared twice more that season, though did nothing of note, and although he played 20 games in 1936 and 1937 he made only two half-centuries: 51 not out against Surrey in July 1936[2] and 50* versus Essex the following month.[3]

1938 was a considerably more successful summer for King. He passed a thousand runs for the first time, hitting 1,178 at an average of 22.65, and scoring his maiden century, 104 against Kent at Tonbridge in June.[4] He also made 124 against Hampshire at Worcester later in the season.[5] On this occasion, he reached his hundred before lunch.[6]

Although King just failed to repeat the thousand in 1939, hitting 974 runs, he scored another two hundreds that summer.[7] In early July he took over the gloves from George Abell during the match against Surrey, and effected five dismissals.[8] King was named as wicket-keeper in four other matches that year.[9]

When first-class cricket resumed after the war, King offered to return to Worcestershire on condition he was paid one pound for every run over a thousand he scored, but the county refused to accept.[6] Instead, he moved to Lancashire, for whom he had a successful 1946. He scored 1,145 runs at almost 31, and again struck two centuries. The higher of these was the career-best 145 he made versus Gloucestershire in May; he scored a hundred runs before lunch on the third day, having begun the morning on 34*.[6][10]

King's final season of 1947 was not particularly successful: he made only 360 runs in 17 innings and passed 50 just twice. After that he retired from playing and took a position as a cricket and rugby league columnist with the People newspaper. In this role he twice accompanied the Great Britain team to Australia, and he was preparing for a third such tour when his life was claimed by a heart attack at the early age of 54.[6]