Full Name

George Owen Dawkes

Born

July 19, 1920, Aylestone Park, Leicester

Died

August 10, 2006, Leicester, (aged 86y 22d)

Batting Style

Right hand bat

Fielding Position

Wicketkeeper

TEAMS

In the days of greener pitches and meanly hostile Derbyshire seam bowlers George Dawkes was the perfect ally for Les Jackson. Dawkes, a consistent and reliable wicketkeeper, held 254 catches off Jackson, including all three in a hat-trick against Worcestershire at Kidderminster in 1958. They even shared second testimonials in 1962. Dawkes made his debut for Leicestershire against Nottinghamshire at Worksop in 1937 at 17 and was capped the following season. A long reign appeared likely but his career with his native county tailed away because, when cricket resumed in 1946 after the Second World War, Dawkes was still serving in the Royal Air Force and not due for demobilisation until December, 1947. Leicestershire recalled Paddy Corrall, who played until 1951, and Derbyshire engaged Dawkes on a special registration in 1947. He took leave from the RAF to make his debut against Yorkshire at Scarborough in August, then slotted into a great Derbyshire tradition that for 86 years made the post of reserve wicketkeeper one of the least rewarding in cricket as four men wore the gloves with domination: Joe Humphries from 1899 until the First World War, Harry Elliott from 1920 to 1939, Dawkes to 1961, Bob Taylor until retirement in 1984. Between 1950 and 1961 Dawkes played in 287 Championship games running until a knee injury ended the sequence. A cartilage operation followed by a car accident meant Dawkes did not play in 1962 and, seeing Taylor's potential, he retired. Dawkes was tall for a wicketkeeper but agile and had safe hands. He ended with 1,041 dismissals and the 147 stumpings suggested he was equally good standing up - not that there was much call for spin in those Derbyshire sides. He was also a powerful batsman, scoring 11,411 runs at an average of 18.08, including a rousing 143 against Hampshire at Burton in 1954. He always aimed for swift progress to allow the bowlers more time. Dawkes' only taste of international cricket was on a Commonwealth tour to India in 1949-50 but his contribution to Derbyshire was immense.
Gerald Mortimer September 2006

This obituary first appeared in the October 2006 edition of The Wisden Cricketer

Career Averages

Batting & Fielding
FormatMatInnsNORunsHSAve100sCtSt
FC4827361051141114318.081894147
Bowling
FormatMatRunsWktsBBIBBMAveSR4w5w10w
FC482200----000

Debut/Last Matches - Player

FC Matches
Span
1937 - 1961

Photos


George Dawkes dives for a catch
George Dawkes