Full name John Mercer
Born April 22, 1893, Southwick, Sussex
Died August 31, 1987, Westminster, London (aged 94 years 131 days)
Major teams Glamorgan, Northamptonshire, Sussex, Wales
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm fast-medium
|First-class span||1919 - 1947|
Jack Mercer is still the only Glamorgan bowler to have taken all ten wickets in an innings. The stalwart swing bowler achieveed this feat quite fittingly during his Benefit Year in 1936, against Worcestershire at New Road. He returned figures of 10/51, which were a handsome reward , both for his years of loyal service to the Welsh county, and on that particular day in 1936, for keeping an immaculate length and swinging the ball lavishly in the humid atmosphere.
Mercer was a very colourful and larger than life character who amongst other things had spent time in Russia as a young man, had served with distinction in the Great War, and in later life was a member of the Magic Circle. His fine career as a swing bowler began with Sussex between 1919 and 1921, but Mercer found his opportunities restricted by the presence of the legendary Maurice Tate.
In 1922 Mercer moved to South Wales and from 1924 until the outbreak of the Second World War, he was Glamorgan`s opening bowler. He regularly claimed over 90 wickets in a season, passed the hundred mark on six occasions, and was the first bowler to take over a thousand wickets fo the Welsh county in first-class cricket. Whilst these are hugely impressive statistics, it is also worth remembering that duing the 1920`s in particular, Glamorgan did not have the most athletic of fielders, close to the wicket, and had Mercer been supported by more agile catchers, his tally would have been even higher.
His success was based on the priceless ability to swing the ball either way, and on unhelpful wickets, he often cut down on his pace and bowled off-cutters. As a result, he could undertake long spells, and even when well into his forties, Mercer was always willing to shoulder the brunt of the bowling. He was also a bold tail-end batsman, and in 1939 he hit Dick Howarth of Worcestershire for 31 runs in an eight ball over, with four sixes in six balls, all high into the rugby grandstand at the Arms Park ground.
After the Second World War, Mercer joined Northamptonshire for whom he also served as coach and scorer. (Contributed by Andrew Hignell - June 2000)
Stats highlights from the fourth day in Ranchi, where Cheteshwar Pujara batted for ages and the Australians toiled like they haven't had to in many years
For the third time this home season, the team took the lead after its opposition put up 400 batting first but the Ranchi effort was special
Also, which players have the most half-centuries without ever having made a hundred?
South Africa are set to play 14 Tests in nine months soon, so both fast bowlers, despite being sent home from New Zealand, should not lose hope
This Bangladesh are crazy if they think they can beat Sri Lanka in their own den. Right?
Under duress again, Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim forged a match-winning partnership and contributed in the second innings to help Bangladesh create history