CRICKETER OF THE YEAR 1927

John Mercer

JOHN MERCER, to whose ability as a bowler Glamorgan largely owed the advance they made in the County Championship last season, a native of Sussex, having been born at Southwick, near Brighton, in 1895. Success in local cricket brought him to the notice of the Sussex authorities and he had one season at the nursery at Hove in 1913. He was in Russia in 1914, but came back and joined the Sportsmen's Battalion, afterwards getting a commission in the Royal Sussex Regiment. Wounded in France, he subsequently held a Staff appointment in London till the end of the war, when he again joined Sussex. In 1919 and the two following seasons, he made a few appearances but never found a regular place in the team. Qualifying for Glamorgan, Mercer first played for his new county in a Championship match against Leicestershire at Leicester in the middle of August, 1923, but not until 1925, did he force his way to the front as a bowler. In that summer he obtained 92 wickets and scored 542 runs. Last year Mercer enjoyed his most successful season. He made fewer runs with a better batting average, and in County matches took 119 wickets for a little over 15½ runs each. Several fine performances marked his career in 1926, quite the best being seven wickets for 40 runs and six for 58 against Worcestershire. In November he was called upon to go out and join the M.C.C. team in India. About five feet eleven inches in height Mercer is medium-pace, right hand, somewhat similar in type to Maurice Tate, but not quite so fast. Since leaving Sussex he has increased his pace. He can send down either an in-swinger or an out-swinger, and with a new ball his bowling requires watching closely. He keeps a good length, can get spin on, and does not mind being hit.

© John Wisden & Co