Austin David George Matthews
May 03, 1904, Penarth, Glamorgan, Wales
July 29, 1977, Penrhyn Bay, Llandudno, Caernarvonshire, Wales, (aged 73y 87d)
Right hand bat
Right arm fast medium
Austin David George Matthews, who died in hospital on July 29, aged 72, had a career which was almost unique. Born at Penarth and educated at St. David's, Lampeter, he played for Northamptonshire from 1927 to 1936 and at that time was merely a useful member of one of the weakest county sides, who could not on his performances have kept his place for a leading county. His 567 wickets had cost him 26.45 runs each and he had made a couple of centuries. In 1937 he went to coach cricket and rugby at Stowe and threw in his lot with Glamorgan, making his first appearance at the end of July.
In little more than a fortnight his bowling had created such an impression, particularly at Hastings, where on a perfect wicket he had taken fourteen for 132, that he was picked for the final test at The Oval against New Zealand. Here, on an unresponsive pitch, he bowled respectably and by no means disgraced himself, but met with little success. He continued to play for Glamorgan until 1947 and his 225 wickets for them cost only 15.88 apiece, an astonishing contrast to his figures for Northamptonshire. In 1946 he took in all 93 at 14.29. For a short time after the war he was the county's Assistant Secretary.
A tall man, who bowled fast-medium with a high action, he was accurate and had the cardinal merits of keeping the ball on the wicket and making it run away. He was also a useful bat in the lower part of the order, and hit two first-class hundreds, both for Northamptonshire, in 1929 and 1934.
Between 1934-50 he coached Cambridge University. Apart from his cricket he was a first class rugby forward; he captained Northampton R.F.U. club, also played for East Midlands and Penarth and gained a Final Welsh Trial Cap. He refereed the first Combined Oxford and Cambridge R.U. Tour to Argentina in 1948 and was also a Welsh Table Tennis International. He had strong views on the subject of coaching and in Wisden 1966 wrote Cricket a Game--Not a Subject.
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