John Maurice Read
February 09, 1859, Thames Ditton, Surrey
February 17, 1929, Winchester, Hampshire, (aged 70y 8d)
Right hand Bat
Right arm Fast medium
By the standards of the time, Maurice Read had a relatively short career. He played for 15 seasons before, at the age of 36 and after a season in which he had scored 1031 runs at 31, he retired to take an appointment on the Tichborne Park estate. Read made his debut for Surrey in 1880 and immediately won a regular place in the side as a hard-hitting batsman, an occasional fast bowler and an excellent specialist third man. The Surrey side at that time was strong - they won five Championships in six seasons - and for almost a decade Read was also a fixture in the England team, making four tours to Australia and playing in early Tests in South Africa. Read was also immensely popular with both team-mates and the public, and he was instrumental in changing the perception of the professional cricketer from being slightly rough and ready to that of a skilled artist. A mark of his standing was that the Oval Test against Australia in 1893 was awarded to him as a benefit match. He bowed out with 131 in his last innings for Surrey, and thereafter plundered thousands of runs off sides visiting the Tichborne Park estate, averaging over 100 almost every season until his late middle-age, including double hundreds against Incogniti and Royal Navy.
Batting & Fielding