Full name Peter James Sainsbury
Born June 13, 1934, Chandlers Ford, Hampshire
Died July 12, 2014 (aged 80 years 29 days)
Major teams Hampshire
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Slow left-arm orthodox
|First-class span||1954 - 1976|
|List A span||1963 - 1976|
Peter Sainsbury was one of the finest players never to have played for England, in the estimation of John Arlott. Sainsbury was the only player in Hampshire's history to win two County Championship titles. His 22-year playing career coincided with the club's most prosperous period and he was named a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1974. Arlott named Sainsbury in the England XI that never was.
Only two players - Phil Mead and Alec Kennedy - have played more than his 618 first-class games for Hampshire and as a left-arm slow bowler he took 1,316 wickets at 24.14 apiece. By his own admission, a lack of sharp turn contributed to being continually overlooked by England.
Although he used flight expertly, he faced stiff competition from Tony Lock, Fred Titmus, Ray Illingworth and Derek Underwood, who were all ahead of him in the pecking order. He was limited to 12th man duties, largely down to his brilliance in the field. He was one of the best short legs of his, or any other, era, and held 617 career catches.
During his first full season in 1955, he took 102 wickets and scored 586 runs. His endeavours with the bat usually came down the order, typically batting at No. 6, and gave the side balance and solidity. He passed 1000 runs in a season six times and in 1971, he came within fifty runs of the double of 1000 runs and 100 wickets.
Although naturally a left-hander, he batted right-handed, and a prerequisite of his batting was a sound defence which provided the springboard for a variety of "nudges, squirts, pushes, dabs and flicks", as described by Wisden. His tenacity and sense of responsibility often saw him open the batting when required but was often the stable presence in the middle-order when he shored up many a collapse.
Having been awarded his county cap after his first season, Sainsbury toured Pakistan with the MCC A team but by his own admission his dismissal of Len Hutton, not once but twice, on his 21st birthday was one of the highlights of an illustrious career. As one-day cricket developed, Sainsbury was one of the first spinners to adapt to the limited-overs format and in 1965 he became the first player to take seven wickets in the Gillette Cup.
As well as a playing career which spanned two decades, Salisbury moved into coaching and he guided Hampshire to Championship titles in 1978 and again in 1986 as well as being in charge of their first Lord's final in 1988.