Paul Downton

England|Wicketkeeper Batter
Paul Downton
INTL CAREER: 1977 - 1988
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Full Name

Paul Rupert Downton


April 04, 1957, Farnborough, Kent


66y 63d



Batting Style

Right hand Bat

Bowling Style

Right arm Offbreak

Fielding Position


Playing Role

Wicketkeeper Batter


5ft 10in


Sevenoaks School; Exeter University


GC Downton


Paul Downton was a constantly cheerful character on the field, well-liked by his fellow professionals, and coped with the constant sniping of the press during his 30 England appearances with good grace. He was unfortunate that he followed two outstanding keepers - Alan Knott and Bob Taylor - and was, unfairly, viewed as an establishment figure. But behind the stumps he was a calming influence in a Middlesex side packed with big names, a side with whom he played the majority of his career. On retiring in 1991 he forged a successful career in the City and was appointed managing director of England cricket in October 2013.

He began his career at Kent, winning his cap in 1979, but the return of Alan Knott persuaded him to move to Middlesex, who themselves had been struggling to fill the void left by the retirement of John Murray in 1975. Indeed, it was Murray, in his role as an England selector, who was instrumental in getting Donwton picked to tour Pakistan and New Zealand as Bob Taylor's understudy in 1977-78.

He made an immediate impact with Middlesex, helping them to a Championship/Gillette double in 1980, and winning selection for that winter's Caribbean tour. He made his debut in Trinidad, ending the series with a match-saving 26 in Jamaica. But at Trent Bridge in the first Test of 1981 he dropped a straightforward chance, England lost to Australia, and he was replaced by Taylor for the next Test. The selection see-saw continued in 1984 when Downton was recalled following Taylor's retirement, and he was England's first choice until 1986, largely as a result of his much-improved batting, especially against quick bowling.

But his wicketkeeping, although generally sound, was blighted by the occasional high-profile howler and those cost him dear. He was in the England side which reached the 1987 World Cup final, and played in the first three Tests against West Indies in 1988 before being dropped as the selectors' desperation to stem the run of defeats increased. In 1990 he suffered a freak accident when a bail struck him in the eye during a Sunday League match, and what at first seemed a minor incident forced him to retire midway through the 1991 season.
Martin Williamson

Paul Downton Career Stats

Batting & Fielding

List A29721264334980*22.62--09--28164


List A297-000-----000
Paul Downton portrait

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Debut/Last Matches of Paul Downton

Photos of Paul Downton

Allan Lamb takes evasive action as Kapil Dev cuts
Paul Downton and the England players was always an awkward mix
Alastair Cook, Peter Moores and Paul Downton pose with Rupert Ellwood of Waitrose during the official sponsorship launch
Peter Moores, Paul Downton and Alastair Cook at the unveiling of England's new coach
Paul Downton and Peter Moores will oversee England's fortunes
Is this a job interview? Ashley Giles chats with Paul Downton