Full Name

John Edward Halford Hooker

Born

March 06, 1898, Summer Hill, Sydney

Died

February 12, 1982, Winmalee, New South Wales, (aged 83y 343d)

Batting Style

Right hand Bat

Bowling Style

Right arm Fast medium

Other

Commentator

Hal Hooker remains the only bowler to have taken four wickets with successive balls in a Sheffield Shield match (against Victoria in 1928-29), he will be chiefly remembered for his unlikely role as a batsman in the earlier match that summer at Melbourne, when, chasing a Victorian total of 376, New South Wales were 113 for 9, with Kippax, the captain, 20 not out. Hooker, last man in, was a tailender even for his club, Mosman. But on this hot Christmas Day he found the determination and coolness to stay with his elegant partner for just under five hours, taking an equal share of the strike and defying the huddle of close fielders. Between lunch and tea, Hooker scored only four runs, and as news spread, hundreds left their Christmas dinners in the hope of getting to the MCG to see history made. Kippax finished the day on 222, with nine runs needed for a first-innings lead. They duly came, and when Hooker was caught at slip by Jack Ryder off a'Beckett for 62, NSW had risen to 420,a lead of 44. Hooker was stiff for two days, never having batted for anything quite as long before. Over 6ft tall and of slim build, Hooker made his first-class debut in 1924-25. He swung the ball both ways at a brisk medium pace, and with his nagging accuracy he would have been a success in England. As it was, he played only for his state, taking 58 wickets at 26.32 and averaging 24.26 with the bat. A happy man, he turned to sports broadcasting either side of the war, and caused everlasting amusement with his recollection of prompting an umpire to measure Bill Ponsford's mammoth-scoring bat: it was fractionally over the regulation 4 ½ inches wide after its incessant pummeling of the ball. On Christmas Day 1928, Victoria's bowlers must have wondered if Hooker's own bat was within standard dimensions.
David Frith, Wisden Cricket Monthly

Career Averages
Batting & Fielding
FormatMatInnsNORunsHSAve100s50sCtSt
FC233094216220.0403120
Bowling
FormatMatRunsWktsBBIAve5w10w
FC232223786/4228.5041
Debut/Last Matches - Player
FC Matches
Span
1924/25 - 1931/32
Photos
Alan Kippax (left) and Hal Hooker resume their partnership at the MCG, December 1928.  They added a record 307 for the last New South Wales wicket
Alan Kippax (left) and Hal Hooker resume their partnership at the MCG, December 1928.  They added a record 307 for the last New South Wales wicket
Alan Kippax (right) and Hal Hooker resume their partnership at the MCG, December 1928.  They added a record 307 for the last New South Wales wicket