Hugh Tryon Bartlett
October 07, 1914, Balaghat, India
June 26, 1988, Hove, Sussex, (aged 73y 263d)
Left hand bat
Hugh Tryon Bartlett, one of the hardest-hitting of English left-handers, collapsed and died during the Sunday League match at Hove on June 26. He was 73, and it was only a couple of months short of 50 years since he hammered a 57-minute century for Sussex on that same ground against the 1938 Australians, an innings (157 in two hours, with six sixes and 18 fours) which won him the Lawrence Trophy for the fastest century of the summer. It provided a spectacular contrast for the tourists, who had just had to field out to Hutton's 131/4 -hour 364 at The Oval.
Six weeks previously Bartlett had played another memorable innings, 175 not out for the Gentlemen against the Players in the showpiece contest at Lord's, setting up a rare victory for the amateurs. He hit 24 fours and four sixes during his 165 minutes at the crease, one hit off Essex fast bowler Nichols depositing the ball in a grandstand turret. He took five fours off one of Nichols' overs, and two fours and two sixes off an over from legspinner Peter Smith. Bartlett smashed 82 with Farnes (10) in 45 minutes for the last wicket. His 1548 runs in 1938 at 57.33 (fifth in the national averages) earned Hugh Bartlett a place in the MCC team which toured South Africa that winter, but although he averaged 51 and scored 100 against OFS in the third first-class match, he could not force his way into the Test side, runs pouring from English bats in a high-scoring series. He was selected, too, in the 1939-40 MCC side to India, a tour abandoned when war broke out.
Bartlett served with distinction in that war, and was awarded the DFC. Afterwards he resumed playing for Sussex, and captain ed the county from 1947 to 1949 before leaving after a disagreement with the committee. His full first-class figures were 10,098 runs at 31.95, with 16 centuries, the highest 183 for Cambridge University against Notts at Fenner's in 1935.
Born in Balaghat, India on Oct 7, 1914, Bartlett took ship to England at the age of nine, and enrolled at Dulwich College at 13. He captained the XI during his last three years, to 1933, in which season he hit two double-centuries, his 228 against Mill Hill being a Dulwich record. He played with distinction for Cambridge and won a Blue without playing in the Freshmen's match. In the last of his three years, 1936, he was captain. He also played the odd match for Surrey before throwing in his lot, as an amateur, of course, with Sussex, having been groomed by the great Woolley and Kent legspinner C. S. Marriott. Like most compulsive strokeplayers, Bartlett sometimes seemed insecure early in an innings, but his powerful driving and hooking turned countless matches and provided untold entertainment. He was a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1939, and became Sussex president from 1977 to 1979.
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