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Full name Richard Daft
Born November 2, 1835, Nottingham
Died July 18, 1900, Radcliffe-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire (aged 64 years 258 days)
Major teams Nottinghamshire
Batting style Right-hand bat
Richard Daft quickly establishing a reputation one of the finest batsmen of his day and from his debut in 1858 was a regular member of the Nottinghamshire side for more than two decades, captaining them between 1871 and 1880. He was at his best in the 1860s and first half of the 1870s, utilising every inch of his height, and being very strong on the back foot. "Like nearly all the batsmen of his time, he learnt most of his cricket against fast bowling, and was, perhaps, never seen to better advantage than when facing such bowlers as Willsher, Emmett, and George Freeman," wrote Wisden. "The finest innings he ever played in his young days was 118 at Lord's for North against South in 1862, and the highest of his whole career in first-class matches was 161 for Nottinghamshire against Yorkshire at Trent Bridge in 1873. His best performance in Gentlemen and Players matches was at Lord's, in 1872, when, against the bowling of Appleby, Powys, and David Buchanan, he scored 102. Scores were far smaller all round in his day than they are now, and grounds by no means so true, and, allowing for these facts, his records were wonderfully good." Although initially a professional, he reverted to amateur status towards the end of his career. He continued to play in local cricket after retiring, scoring prodigiously and in 1891 he made so many runs that he was recalled to the Nottinghamshire side against Surrey at The Oval. In 1899 his health deteriorated rapidly and he died the following summer.
Daft played as an amateur in 1858, then as a professional from 1859 to 1880, and again as an amateur thereafter. He headed the first-class batting averages in 1867 and was second behind WG Grace in 1869, 1870, 1871 and 1873.
Plays of the Day from the second ODI between England and India, in Cardiff
Plays of the day from the third ODI between England and India at Trent Bridge
Plays of the day from the tri-series match between Zimbabwe and South Africa
Would he have fared better than the incumbent middle-order batsmen, Root and Ballance?