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Full name Alexander William Thompson
Born April 17, 1916, Toxteth Park, Liverpool, Lancashire
Died January 13, 2001, Illinois, United States of America (aged 84 years 271 days)
Major teams Marylebone Cricket Club, Middlesex, Middlesex and Essex
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm offbreak
A right-hand middle-order batsman who played a handful of matches before World War Two, Alec Thompson was a regular in the dominant Middlesex side of the late 1940s but his contributions were almost always overshadowed by the feats of his more illustrious team-mates, notably Denis Compton and Bill Edrich. His maiden hundred came against Surrey in 1946 - ironically when the stars had failed - and helped Middlesex to a four-wicket win when set 319. He had to wait another six seasons and 114 matches before a second hundred came - a third followed within three weeks in his second match as a makeshift opener. In that summer of 1952 he scored 1000 runs for the second time, and in 1953 he made 1245 runs at 31.92, his best return. In 1955 he was awarded a joint benefit but his form fell away markedly and he left the county at the end of the season. He umpired in two first-class matches at Lord's in 1957.
Thompson is in many respects the county's forgotten man. He played almost 200 times for Middlesex and yet fails to earn more than a passing mention in various histories of the club. His death in the USA in 2001 was almost unnoticed, even by the usually fastidious editors of Wisden.
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?