Thomas Brett      

Full name Thomas Brett

Born 1747, Catherington, Hampshire

Died December 31, 1809, Kingston Cross, Portsmouth, Hampshire (aged 62 years)

Major teams Hampshire XI

Bowling style (unknown arm) fast (underarm)

Batting and fielding averages
Mat Inns NO Runs HS Ave 100 50 Ct St
First-class 32 57 11 394 69 8.56 0 1 8 0
Bowling averages
Mat Inns Balls Runs Wkts BBI BBM 4w 5w 10
First-class 32 47 0+ 0+ 104 6/? 10/? 7 4 1
Career statistics
First-class debut Hampshire XI v England at Hambledon, Jun 24-25, 1772 scorecard
Last First-class Surrey XI v Hampshire XI at Laleham, Oct 6-8, 1778 scorecard

Tom Brett was one of the first fast bowlers, famed for his accuracy and was the leading wicket-taker of the 1770s. "He was neither a thrower of a jerker," wrote John Nyren, "but a legitimate downright bowler, delivering his ball fairly, high, and very quickly ... and with the force of a point-blank shot. He was a well-grown, dark-looking man, remarkably strong, and with a rather short arm. As a batter he was comparatively an inferior player - a slashing hitter." Cricket's records from 1772 gives proof of Brett's ability, bearing in mind that all his known wickets were bowled. It is reasonable to assume that a third or more of catches taken by Hampshire fielders were off his bowling. His known wicket tally was 102 but the bowling details in every game are either unknown or incomplete. We do know he took 29 wickets (bowled only) in just five matches in the 1777 season; with catches, the true figure could well be 40-plus. Brett made 31 known first-class appearances for Hampshire from 1772 to 1778. His last recorded match was for Hampshire v Surrey at Laleham Burway in October 1778 when he was still only 31. It seems he went to live in Portsmouth.
Martin Williamson