Cyril Washbrook

Cyril Washbrook CBE (6 December 1914 – 27 April 1999) was an English cricketer, who played for Lancashire and England. He had a long career, split by World War II, and ending when he was aged 44. Washbrook, who is most famous for opening the batting for England with Len Hutton, which he did 51 times, played a total of 592 first-class cricket matches, of which 37 were Tests. Washbrook was named one of the five Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 1947.[1]

Cyril Washbrook
Cyril Washbrook 1951
Washbrook in 1951
Personal information
Full nameCyril Washbrook
Born6 December 1914
Barrow, Clitheroe, Lancashire, England
Died27 April 1999 (aged 84)
Sale, Greater Manchester, England
BowlingRight-arm medium
International information
National side
Test debut (cap 299)14 August 1937 v New Zealand
Last Test28 August 1956 v Australia
Domestic team information
1946/47–1964Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC)
Career statistics
Competition Tests FC
Matches 37 592
Runs scored 2,569 34,101
Batting average 42.81 42.67
100s/50s 6/12 76/176
Top score 195 251*
Balls bowled 36 474
Wickets 1 7
Bowling average 33.00 44.14
5 wickets in innings
10 wickets in match
Best bowling 1/25 2/8
Catches/stumpings 12/– 212/–
Source: Cricketarchive, 2 September 1964


Washbrook was born in Barrow, Clitheroe, Lancashire. After being schooled at Bridgnorth Grammar School, aged 18, he went to Lancashire County Cricket Club, although it was not until two years later, in 1935, that he was fully established in the side, after scoring 1,724 runs and coming fifth in the national averages. He was selected to play his first Test in 1937, against New Zealand at The Oval.[1] However, he could only make 9 and 8 not out, and was not selected for the Australian Tests the next year.

The war then interrupted his career, with Washbrook becoming a physical training instructor in the Royal Air Force, and it was in the 1946-47 Ashes series that he finally took on Australia. Hutton and Washbrook made three consecutive century stands, as Washbrook, with his cricket cap cocked in a jaunty style, became a familiar figure to cricket fans in Australia and England.

Washbrook was a strong leg side player, noted for his hooks and pulls, and was at his greatest in the late 1940s. He was made one of the Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 1947, and was awarded a benefit by Lancashire in 1948, which raised £14,000.

He was an accomplished fielder at cover, and was adored by the Old Trafford faithful.[1]

During the tour of South Africa in 1948/9 Washbrook scored 542 runs in 5 Test matches, including his highest Test score of 195 made in the second Test at Johannesburg. He shared in a 359 run partnership with Hutton which was the first wicket record at the time,[2] and remains the first wicket record for England.[3]

He was a reluctant tourist in the 1950-51 Ashes series, and was beaten many times by Australia's spinner, Jack Iverson. After the first Test of 1951 against New Zealand, he was dropped from the Test side,[1] reputedly against the wishes of his batting partner, Hutton. His average partnership with Hutton in Tests was 60.

In 1954, Washbrook was appointed Lancashire's first ever professional captain,[1] a role he held on till 1959, when he was awarded a second benefit, which raised £1,520. Washbrook was appointed a Test selector in 1956. After England had lost the Second Test against Australia at Lord's, to go one-nil down in the five match series, the 41-year-old was asked by his fellow selectors to leave the room. When he returned, they asked him if he would play in the Third Test at Headingley. Washbrook made 98, sharing a stand of 187 with Peter May, after England had been reduced to 17 for three.[1] England won the game, and Washbrook stayed in the team, scoring just 6 in the Fourth Test at Old Trafford, in which Jim Laker took his record-breaking 19 wickets as England went two-one up. The Fifth Test at The Oval saw Washbrook's last Test innings, a duck, but with the game drawn, England had won the Ashes.[1]

From 1989 to 1990, Washbrook was president of Lancashire.[1] He was appointed CBE in the 1991 Birthday Honours.

Washbrook died in Sale, Greater Manchester, at the age of 84.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Bateman, Colin (1993). If The Cap Fits. Tony Williams Publications. pp. 182–183. ISBN 1-869833-21-X.
  2. ^ Test matches – Highest partnership for the first wicket. Retrieved on 2018-07-08.
  3. ^ Test matches – Highest partnerships by wicket for England. Retrieved on 2018-07-08.

External links

1945 English cricket season

With the end of the Second World War's European theatre in early May, it was possible to organise eleven first-class cricket matches, the first to be played in England since 1939, though none were part of any official competition.

An Australian Services XI, which included Keith Miller, Lindsay Hassett and Cec Pepper, played five "Victory Tests" against England, plus a further game against Leveson-Gower's XI. England also played a Dominions team at Lord's. A New Zealand Services XI, including Martin Donnelly, played against Leveson-Gower's XI.

Yorkshire hosted Lancashire at Bradford Park Avenue in a memorial match for Hedley Verity, who was killed in action two years earlier. The other two matches were Yorkshire against a very useful Royal Air Force XI at North Marine Road; and over-33s against under-33s at Lord's.

1946 English cricket season

1946 was the 47th season of County Championship cricket in England. It was the first full season of first-class cricket to be played in England after World War II. It featured a three-match Test series between England and India, which was arranged at short notice. Yorkshire retained the County Championship title, having been the last pre-war champions in 1939. Wisden Cricketers' Almanack (1947 edition), in its review of the 1946 season, remarked that "the weather in 1946 might have been dreadful, but it didn't stop the crowds flocking to games".

1946–47 Ashes series

The 1946–47 Ashes series consisted of five cricket Test matches, each of six days with five hours play each day and eight ball overs. Unlike pre-war Tests in Australia, matches were not timeless and played to a finish. It formed part of the MCC tour of Australia in 1946–47 and England played its matches outside the Tests in the name of the Marylebone Cricket Club. The England team was led by the veteran Wally Hammond and his vice-captain Norman Yardley with the strong batting line up of Len Hutton, Cyril Washbrook, Bill Edrich, Denis Compton and Joe Hardstaff, but a weak bowling attack that relied on pre-war bowlers like the 37-year-old Bill Voce of Bodyline fame and the mercurial leg-spinner Doug Wright. The two successes of the tour were the newly capped Alec Bedser, who would carry the England bowling attack until 1955, and Godfrey Evans who would be England's first choice wicketkeeper until 1959. England had drawn the Victory Tests 2–2 in 1945 and were thought to be equal in strength, but Hammond lost 3–0 to Don Bradman's Australian team which had only two other pre-war players – Lindsay Hassett and Sid Barnes, who had played 5 Tests between them – and was packed with fresh talent in the shape of Arthur Morris, Keith Miller, Ray Lindwall, Colin McCool, Ernie Toshack and Don Tallon. There were several controversial umpiring decisions which assumed greater significance as they favoured Australia and in particular Don Bradman.“Few seasons have created so much advance interest as 1946–47”, a tour had been planned for 1940–41, but this was cancelled due to the Second World War. The Australian Board of Control asked for a rapid resumption of Test cricket to revive the sport in Australia, which had not hosted a Test match since 1937. Their case was made in person by the Attorney-General of Australia Dr. H.V. Evatt and the Marylebone Cricket Club reluctantly agreed as it wanted to re-establish cricketing relations and needed money to rebuild cricket in post-war Britain. The MCC asked Hammond to lead a "Goodwill Tour" and he was told that good sportsmanship was more important than winning the series, which could be seriously contested later in the 1948 Ashes series. As a result, he looked on the tour as an extended holiday, a view not shared by Don Bradman, who was determined to win, and this led to a strained relationship between the two captains. The tour itself was a great success as crowds flocked to see the matches – more than in any series in Australia since – and it made a record £50,000 profit for the MCC.

1947 English cricket season

1947 was the 48th season of County Championship cricket in England. It is chiefly remembered for the batting performances of Denis Compton and Bill Edrich who established seasonal records that, with the subsequent reduction in the number of first-class matches, will probably never be broken. Their form was key to their team Middlesex winning the County Championship for the first time since 1921, although they were involved in a tight contest for the title with the eventual runners-up Gloucestershire, for whom Tom Goddard was the most outstanding bowler of the season. Compton and Edrich were assisted by the fact that it was the driest and sunniest English summer for a generation, ensuring plenty of good batting wickets.

The South Africans, captained by Alan Melville, toured the British Isles for the first time since 1935 and played a Test series of five matches against England, who won the series 3–0 with two matches drawn, again largely thanks to the batting of Compton and Edrich. The South Africans enjoyed greater success in first-class matches against the English county teams, losing only one and winning eleven. Other notable fixtures played include the University Match, Gentlemen v Players (twice) and North v South (three matches). The Minor Counties Championship was won by Yorkshire II, one of six first-class teams who entered their second elevens in the competition. Unusually, there were two tied matches in 1947, compared with two in the previous 21 years. Essex v Northamptonshire and Hampshire v Lancashire were the 20th and 21st tied matches in the history of first-class cricket worldwide since the earliest known instance in 1783.

The main source for information about the season is Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, in its 85th edition published in April 1948. This announced the five Wisden Cricketers of the Year for 1947: Martin Donnelly, Alan Melville, Dudley Nourse, Jack Robertson and Norman Yardley. 1947 was the first season to be reviewed by Playfair Cricket Annual, which began publication in April 1948.

1948 County Championship

The 1948 County Championship was the 49th officially organised running of the County Championship, and ran from 8 May to 31 August 1948. Glamorgan County Cricket Club claimed their first title.

1948 English cricket season

1948 was the 49th season of County Championship cricket in England. Don Bradman, who was shortly to retire, made his final appearance in England. Bradman's Australian team, which included Arthur Morris, a very young Neil Harvey, Ray Lindwall and Keith Miller, went through the tour without being beaten and became known to cricket's folklore as "The Invincibles". They won the Test series 4–0. Glamorgan won the County Championship for the first time under the dynamic captaincy of Wilf Wooller.

The season was preceded by the first publication of Playfair Cricket Annual which has become a mainstay among cricket publications. Playfair is a pocket guide (though in its early years it had a larger page size) providing a mass of potted information about the sport, and is seen by many fans as an essential accessory to watching cricket in England.

Barrow, Lancashire

Barrow is a village and civil parish in the Ribble Valley district in Lancashire, England, situated between Whalley and Clitheroe and bypassed by the A59. It has a primary school, a Chinese takeaway and two parks. The village is well served by local bus routes, giving direct access to many parts of Lancashire. New development has taken place in the area between Whalley Road (the former route of the A59) and the bypass.

It is the birthplace of Lancashire and England cricketer Cyril Washbrook, and there are two streets in the village in his name.

According to the United Kingdom Census 2011, 646 people lived in the built-up area of Barrow village.Barrow Parish Council was created in 2015, previously the village was in Wiswell civil parish.Along with Wiswell, Pendleton, Mearley and Worston, the parish forms the Wiswell and Pendleton ward of Ribble Valley Borough Council.

Bridgnorth Endowed School

Bridgnorth Endowed School is a coeducational secondary school and sixth form with academy status, located in the market town of Bridgnorth in the rural county of Shropshire, England. Founded in 1503, The Endowed School is a state school and is a specialist Technology College. The age range of the school is 11–18 years. It was previously known as the Bridgnorth Grammar School, and the school celebrated the 500th anniversary of its foundation in 2003. Former pupils include Professor Peter Bullock, the inspirational soil scientist who was a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

English cricket team in Australia in 1950–51

Freddie Brown captained the English cricket team in Australia in 1950–51, playing as England in the 1950-51 Ashes series against the Australians and as the MCC in their other matches on the tour. They were regarded as a weak team - some critics wanted to cancel the tour - and failed to regain the Ashes. However, these facts do not tell the whole story as the inspirational Brown exposed flaws in the powerful Australian team. By winning the Fifth and final Test he ended Australia's record of 26 Tests without defeat and paved the way for England's victories in 1953, 1954-55 and 1956.

Fred Freer

Frederick Alfred William Freer (4 December 1915 – 2 November 1998) was an Australian cricketer who played in one Test in 1946.

Freer was a fast-medium bowler more accurate than Keith Miller. While playing for Victoria, Freer was called into the Australian team for the Second Test in Sydney against England in 1946 after Australia's then leading fast bowler Ray Lindwall was struck down by chickenpox.

In the first innings Freer bowled Cyril Washbrook for one and appealed for lbw against Len Hutton in the first ball of the second innings. It was turned down, but Freer had the wickets of Denis Compton (caught by Don Bradman) and Jack Ikin. When batting Australia wanted runs and Freer hit 3 fours and a 6 in his 28 not out, the only time he batted for Australia. Lindwall recovered in time for the next match, and Freer was dropped.

Freer also played Australian rules football for Victorian Football Association side Yarraville.

Indian cricket team in England in 1946

The Indian national cricket team toured England in the 1946 season and played 29 first-class fixtures with 11 wins, 4 defeats and 14 draws. The 1946 season marked a return to normal first-class cricket in England following the end of World War II. The Test series between England and India was the first to be played in England since the West Indies tour in 1939. England won the series 1–0 with two matches drawn, their success largely due to the impact of debutant Alec Bedser who took 22 wickets in his first two Tests.

Jack Robertson (English cricketer)

John David Benbow "Jack" Robertson (22 February 1917 – 12 October 1996) was an English cricketer, who played county cricket for Middlesex, and in eleven Tests for England.

A right-handed opening batsman of consistency and class, Jack Robertson was a heavy scorer in county cricket who averaged 46 runs per innings in Tests. Yet he played only eleven times for England, was dropped after making a century in 1949, and was never selected to face Australia.Born in Chiswick, London, England, it was Robertson’s misfortune to be overshadowed by others, both in his international and county cricket career. He came to prominence in wartime cricket for the Army when he scored 102 in July 1942 against the Royal Navy. For the first half dozen years of cricket after World War II, England's preferred opening partnership was the trans-Pennine combination of Leonard Hutton and Cyril Washbrook; Robertson's selection for the first Test of 1949 against New Zealand was the result of injury to Washbrook and, despite scoring 121 and sharing a partnership of 143 with Hutton, he lost his place.For Middlesex, Robertson often seemed similarly overshadowed by the batting of Denis Compton and Bill Edrich. Yet in the summer of 1947, when Compton’s 3,816 runs and Edrich’s 3,539 set new records for run-getting, Robertson was not far behind, making 2,760 runs with 12 centuries. He surpassed that in 1951 with 2,917 runs, the highest aggregate of any batsman that season. He could also bat as entertainingly as his better-known county colleagues. In 1949, he made an undefeated 331 in a day against Worcestershire at New Road, Worcester, an innings that remains the highest scored in first-class cricket by a Middlesex batsman, and the highest first-class innings by any batsman at New Road.

Robertson passed 1,000 runs in a season every year from 1946 until 1958 but, failing to find any form in 1959, he retired and became county coach.

He was one of the five Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 1948.He died in October 1996, in Bury St Edmunds after years of ill-health, at the age of 79, and leaving a widow, Joyce, and a son.

Lancashire County Cricket Club

Lancashire County Cricket Club represents the historic county of Lancashire. The club has held first-class status since it was founded in 1864 by several existing town clubs throughout the county. Lancashire's main venue has always been Old Trafford Cricket Ground in Greater Manchester, though the team has played matches at many more grounds around the county such as Aigburth in Liverpool. The club was a founder member of the County Championship in 1890 and the team have won the competition nine times, most recently in 2011. The club's limited overs team is called Lancashire Lightning after the English Electric Lightning fighter aircraft which was manufactured at Warton Aerodrome near Preston.

Lancashire were widely recognised as the Champion County (an unofficial title) four times between 1879 and 1889. They won their first two County Championship titles in the 1897 and 1904 seasons. Between 1926 and 1934, they won the championship five times. Throughout most of the inter-war period, Lancashire and their neighbours Yorkshire had the best two teams in England and the Roses Matches between them were usually the highlight of the domestic season. In 1950, Lancashire shared the title with Surrey. The County Championship was restructured in 2000 with Lancashire in the first division. They won the 2011 County Championship, closing a gap of 77 years since the club's last outright title in 1934.

In 1895, Archie MacLaren scored 424 in an innings for Lancashire, which remains the highest score by an Englishman in first-class cricket. Johnny Briggs, whose career lasted from 1879 to 1900, was the first player to score 10,000 runs and take 1,000 wickets for Lancashire. Ernest Tyldesley, younger brother of Johnny Tyldesley, is the club's leading run-scorer with 34,222 runs in 573 matches for Lancashire between 1909 and 1936. Fast bowler Brian Statham took a club record 1,816 wickets in 430 first-class matches between 1950 and 1968. England batsman Cyril Washbrook became Lancashire's first professional captain in 1954.

The Lancashire side of the late 1960s and early 1970s, which was captained by Jack Bond and featured the West Indian batsman Clive Lloyd, was successful in limited overs cricket, winning the Sunday League in 1969 and 1970 and the Gillette Cup four times between 1970 and 1975. Lancashire won the Benson and Hedges Cup in 1984, three times between 1990 and 1996, and the Sunday League in 1989, 1998 and 1999. They won the Twenty20 Cup for the first time in 2015.

List of Lancashire County Cricket Club captains

Lancashire County Cricket Club was founded in 1864. The club played its initial first-class match against Middlesex at Old Trafford on 20 to 22 July 1865. Lancashire is one of eighteen clubs that play in the County Championship at first-class level. The player appointed club captain leads the team in all fixtures, except if unavailable, and the following have held the post since it was instituted in 1866.

Philip Arthur Whitcombe

Philip Arthur Whitcombe (23 April 1923 – 11 August 2015) was a first-class cricketer who played in England from 1947 to 1960.

He was educated at Winchester, where he was a contemporary of Hubert Doggart, a future England cricketer. During the war he served with the Royal Horse Artillery before going up to Christ Church, Oxford. He played in the Oxford University team from 1947 to 1949 and won a Blue three years running. He worked for P&O as a shipping agent, while working in India, when he met his wife-to-be, Rosemary, daughter of Lord Clydesmuir, the last Governor of Bombay.His most notable season was 1948, when he took 47 wickets at an average of 15.93. In Oxford's match against Yorkshire he bowled Len Hutton in each innings, finishing with figures of 5 for 32 and 2 for 33. In the University Match he played a large part in Oxford's innings victory: "Well-maintained length at fast-medium pace with the pavilion as background, coming from such a high delivery as that of the six feet four inches tall Whitcombe, seemed beyond interpretation by the Cambridge students, and in taking seven wickets for 51 runs he influenced the proceedings to such an extent that the other Oxford bowlers invariably checked any suggestion of easy scoring." A few days later he opened the bowling for the Gentlemen, taking the wickets of Cyril Washbrook (twice) and Denis Compton. A few days after that, playing only his second match for Middlesex, he dismissed Bill Brown and Don Bradman to leave the touring Australians 28 for 2.He played no more county cricket after 1948, and after the university season ended in 1949 he played no first-class cricket until 1954, when he began playing occasionally for Free Foresters.

He was a captain in the Royal Artillery. He and his wife Rosemary (1927–2009), daughter of John Colville, 1st Baron Clydesmuir, had a son and a daughter.His father, Major-General Philip Sidney Whitcombe, played some first-class cricket while serving in India, and also played for Berkshire.

Ronald Eckersley

Ronald Eckersley (born 4 September 1925, Bingley, Yorkshire, England - 30 May 2009) is an English former first-class cricketer, who played one match for Yorkshire County Cricket Club against the Royal Air Force, at North Marine Road Ground, Scarborough in 1945. The RAF fielded players such as Cyril Washbrook, Bill Edrich and Bob Wyatt.

A left arm medium fast bowler, he failed to take a wicket while conceding 62 runs. A right-handed batsman he went unbeaten in his first-class career at the crease, his solitary innings ending 9 not out. The game ended in a draw.

He played for Accrington Cricket Club in the Lancashire League from 1948 to 1954. He was considered the leading amateur bowler for Accrington during this period.

The Final Test

The Final Test is a 1953 British sports film written by Terence Rattigan, directed by Anthony Asquith, and starring Jack Warner, Robert Morley, George Relph and Ray Jackson. A number of leading cricketers also appear including Denis Compton, Len Hutton and Cyril Washbrook. The film was produced by R.J. Minney for Act Films Ltd.


Washbrook is a locational surname of British origin, named after villages such as Washbrook, Suffolk. The name may refer to:

Cyril Washbrook (1914–1999), British cricket player

Danny Washbrook (born 1985), British rugby league player

Johnny Washbrook (born 1944), American actor

Winston Place

Winston Place (7 December 1914, Rawtenstall, Lancashire −25 January 2002, Burnley, Lancashire) was an English cricketer who played in three Tests in 1948. An opening batsman for Lancashire, he shared a prolific partnership with Cyril Washbrook and was part of the county championship winning side of 1950. Place played first-class cricket until 1955, when his contract was not renewed. He became an umpire for one season, but retired to spend more time with his family.

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