Full name Holcombe Douglas Read
Born January 28, 1910, Woodford Green, Essex
Died January 5, 2000, Truro, Cornwall (aged 89 years 342 days)
Major teams England, Essex, Surrey
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm fast
|Only Test||England v South Africa at The Oval, Aug 17-20, 1935 scorecard|
|First-class span||1933 - 1948|
"Hopper" Read was at one time regarded as the fastest bowler in England, but his Test career lasted only one match and his first-class career less than three seasons. He was frighteningly fast, but it came at a cost - he had little idea where the ball was going and subsequently his control and accuracy were often poor. In 1933 he played briefly and unsuccessfully for Surrey, before moving east to Essex where he took 55 wickets in 1934. In 1935 he grabbed 97 wickets - including 11 against Yorkshire - and won his call-up against South Africa at The Oval. He took 4 for 136 and 2 for 64, enough to earn him a place on the MCC tour to Australia and New Zealand that winter. But before the start of the next season he announced his retirement to concentrate on his business career. His final first-class appearance was for MCC in 1948.
What makes this innocuous-seeming bowler so difficult to handle?