Sussex's Greatest Cricketer March 26, 2004

Maurice Tate named Sussex's No. 1

Wisden Cricinfo staff

Maurice Tate: Sussex born and bred © Getty Images
Maurice Tate has been named as Sussex's All-Time Greatest Cricketer, as voted for by the public. Following closely were Imran Khan and Ted Dexter respectively.

Tate was a Sussex man - he was born in Brighton in 1895 - and first represented the county in 1912. He became one of England's finest bowlers and in recognition of his service to Sussex County Cricket Club the gates at the front of the ground were named after him.

His Test career lasted from 1924 to 1935 when he represented England 39 times. He took 155 wickets at an average of 26.16 including one with his first ball at Edgbaston against South Africa. It was in this match that Tate and Arthur Gilligan shared in one of the most famous Test analyses. South Africa was bowled out for 30 in 75 balls. Gilligan 6 for 7, and Tate 4 for 12.

Sir Jack Hobbs, who faced Tate on countless occasions, summed him in Wisden: "Maurice was one of the greatest bowlers of all time. It is difficult to find words to praise him sufficiently. I know from experience how difficult it was to play against him."

Tate died on May 18, 1956 and the Sussex and Middlesex teams, as well as a very large crowd at Lord's, observed a minute's silence the following day.

Christopher Tate received the award on his grandfather's behalf and brought with him the golden key to the Tate Gates presented to his grandfather's widow in 1958.