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Hedley Verity

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Hedley Verity

Personal information

Full name

Hedley Verity

Born

18 May 1905 Headingley, West Riding of Yorkshire,United Kingdom

Died

31 July 1943 (aged 38) Caserta, Campania, Italy

Batting style

Right-handed

Bowling style

Slow left arm orthodox

International information

National side

England

Test debut(cap 262) Last Test

29 July 1931 v New Zealand 27 June 1939 v West Indies

Domestic team information Years 19301939 Yorkshire Career statistics


Competition Matches Runs scored Batting average 100s/50s Top score Balls bowled Wickets Bowling average 5 wickets in innings 10 wickets in match Best bowling Catches/stumpings

Team

Test 40 669 20.90 0/3 66 not out 11,173 144 24.37 5 2 8/43 30/

First-class 378 5,603 18.07 1/13 101 84,219 1,956 14.90 164 54 10/10 269/
Source: ESPNCricinfo.com, 1 September 2009

Hedley Verity (18 May 1905 31 July 1943) was a professional cricketer who played for Yorkshireand England between 1930 and 1939. A slow left-arm orthodox bowler, he took 1,956 wickets in first-class cricket at an average of 14.90 and 144 wickets in 40 Tests at an average of 24.37. Named as one of the Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 1932, he is regarded as one of the most effective slow left-arm bowlers to have played cricket. Never someone who spun the ball sharply, he achieved success through the accuracy of his bowling. On pitches which made batting difficult, particularly ones affected by rain, he could be almost impossible to bat against. Verity was born in Leeds and, from an early age, wished to play cricket for Yorkshire. After establishing a good reputation in local cricket, he signed a contract as a professional cricketer playing in the Lancashire League. His first season was not a success but, after moving clubs, he began to make a name for himself. Initially a medium-paced bowler, he switched to bowling spin in an attempt to secure a place in the Yorkshire team. When Wilfred Rhodes, the incumbent Yorkshire left-arm spinner, announced his retirement, Verity had a successful trial in the team in 1930, and led the national bowling averages. In 1931, his first full season, he achieved the rare feat of taking all 10 wickets in an innings, against Warwickshire County Cricket Club; the following year, he again took all 10 wickets, against Nottinghamshire, while conceding just 10 runs. The latter bowling figures remain, as of 2013, a record in first-class cricket for the fewest runs conceded while taking all 10 wickets. He established himself as part of a strong bowling unit, which assisted Yorkshire to the County

Championship seven times in his ten seasons with the club. In that time, Verity was never lower than fifth in the bowling averages and took over 150 wickets in every year except his first. In 1931, he was chosen to play for England for the first time and rose to prominence during a tour to Australia in 193233. Afterwards, he played regularly for England and achieved the best performance of his career when he took 15 wickets against Australia in a Test match at Lord's Cricket Ground in 1934. However, critics claimed he was ineffective on good batting pitches, and he was occasionally left out of the England team over the following years. Even so, he had one of the best records of any bowler against Donald Bradman, generally regarded as the greatest batsman in the history of cricket. Verity continued to play for Yorkshire and England until 1939, when the outbreak of the Second World War ended his career. Verity joined the Green Howards in 1939, and after training was posted overseas to India, Persia andEgypt, achieving the rank of captain. During the Allied invasion of Sicily in 1943, Verity was severely wounded and captured by the Germans. Taken to the Italian mainland, he died in Caserta from his injuries and was buried there.

Contents
[hide]

1 Early years 2 League professional 3 County cricketer


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3.1 First-class debut 3.2 Test debut 3.3 World record 4.1 Bodyline tour 4.2 Series against West Indies 4.3 Tour of India 4.4 Series against Australia in 1934 4.5 Career in the mid-1930s 4.6 Second tour to Australia 4.7 Ashes series of 1938 4.8 Tour to South Africa and final season

4 International cricketer
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5 Style and technique 6 Military service


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6.1 Training with the Green Howards 6.2 Death

7 Personal life 8 Notes 9 References 10 Bibliography

Early years[edit]
Verity was born in Headingley, an area of Leeds, on 18 May 1905. He was the eldest child of Hedley Verity, who worked for a local coal company, and Edith Elwick, a Sunday school teacher. Verity also had two sisters, Grace and Edith.[1] The family moved to Armley, then to the more rural location of Rawdon.[2]From an early age, Verity watched Yorkshire play County Cricket matches at Leeds, Bradford and, during family holidays, Scarborough.[3] Later, at Yeadon and Guiseley Secondary School, Verity played school cricket, bowling left-arm medium-paced deliveries;[3] he maintained this style until 1929 and was capable of bowling both inswingers and outswingers.[4] Verity left school aged 14 to work for his father, who had established a coal business in Guiseley,[5]and played cricket for Rawdon's second team.[6] Success on the field persuaded Verity to seek a career in professional cricket and a place in the Yorkshire team.[7] While working for his father, he devoted increasing amounts of time to cricket practice.[8] In 1921, Verity made his debut for Rawdon in league cricket; some of his subsequent performances attracted the notice of the local press, and he took 29 wickets at an average of 13.80 that season.[4] The following season, he was spotted by Yorkshire coach George Hirst and former England spinnerBobby Peel, who were talent scouting for Yorkshire,[4] and given a trial in the cricket nets at Headingley cricket ground. Peel realised Verity was an intelligent bowler who had excellent control of where he pitched the ball, but believed he was not fast enough to be effective for Yorkshire.[9] Meanwhile, critics in Rawdon began to see increased potential in his batting, which improved steadily; by 1924, the Yorkshire Evening Post described Verity as "one of the most promising cricketers in the Leeds district".[10] Verity moved to play for Horsforth Hall Park in 1924, where his batting became more productive than his bowling.[11] By 1926, when he scored a total of 488 runs and took 62 wickets to win the Yorkshire Council League prize for best junior bowler, his all-round potential secured a second trial at Yorkshire. Receiving coaching from Hirst, Verity played several matches for the Yorkshire Colts. He was given little bowling to do, suggesting that he was chosen more for his batting at this stage, and was near the bottom of the team's bowling averages.[12][13] Yorkshire did not allocate him to a local club, their practice towards promising cricketers at the time. Hirst was nevertheless impressed by Verity[14] and recommended him to Accrington Cricket Club, a team in theLancashire League looking for a professional cricketer. After a trial, Verity signed a contract in September 1926.[15]

League professional