John Paul Crawley
September 21, 1971, Maldon, Essex
Right hand Bat
Right arm Medium
Top order Batter
Manchester Grammar School, Trinity College Cambridge
Few players in the world deal quite so clinically - and elegantly - with the ball that strays onto the pads. But it is weaknesses in other areas of Crawley's game that cost him a regular place in the England side.
After becoming the leading run-scorer for England Under-19s in youth Tests - and the first player to pass 1,000 runs - several big scores for Cambridge, Lancashire and England A paved the way for his Test debut, against South Africa in 1994, but he was undone by the Lord's slope, and never quite shook off the accusation that he didn't know where his off stump was. Crawley was in and out of the Test team after that, despite caressing consecutive hundreds against Pakistan in 1996 and hitting out freely to score 156 not out in Muttiah Muralitharan's Oval Test of 1998.
Peerless on the leg side and an intelligent player of spin, Crawley also added a cover-drive to his less-than-fluent off-side game. He was also fitter than the heavy-hipped youngster who toured Australia in 1994-95.
After a bitter legal battle with Lancashire, he joined Hampshire for the 2002 season. The change of scene worked wonders and Crawley was soon recalled to the England squad after an absence of more than three years. He responded with a century against India at Lord's, but his third tour of Australia was a disappointingly stop-start affair, as injury interrupted a run of good form. He remained as consistent as ever in county cricket, reaching his highest first-class score of 311 against Nottinghamshire in 2005, before announcing his retirement at the end of 2009 having passed 1,000 runs in a season 10 times.
He joined Marlborough College in a public relations and cricket coaching role before moving to Magdalen College School in Oxford as head of cricket in February 2012, where former England bowler Phillip DeFreitas was also on the staff.
Lawrence Booth and ESPNcricinfo staff
John Crawley Career Stats
Batting & Fielding
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Debut/Last Matches of John Crawley
List A Matches