Levi George Wright
January 15, 1862, Oxford
January 11, 1953, Normanton, Derby, (aged 90y 361d)
Right hand bat
Levi George Wright, who died at Derby on January 11, four days before his 91st birthday, was one of the finest batsmen who ever appeared for Derbyshire. Probably a better player at the age of 40 than at any other period of his career, he will be best remembered for his work as a fieldsman at point. Never standing more than four or five yards from the bat, he brought off many brilliant catches.
Born at Oxford on January 15, 1862, Wright was a batsman well worth watching, though possessing no particular grace of style. Like most cricketers who learned the game before hooking and pulling came into general vogue, he played forward a lot and scored chiefly on the off-side. Strong in defence, he displayed a good deal of enterprise considering that during the whole of his career he so regularly found himself battling for a side that was nearly always struggling. First playing for Oxford City, he went to Derby as an assistant schoolmaster in 1881, appearing for Derby Midland. A year later began that association with Derbyshire which, apart from the summers of 1885 and 1886, went on without interruption till he retired at the end of the season of 1909.
His biggest scores were 195 against Northamptonshire in 1905 and 193 against Nottinghamshire in 1901, both at Derby. On five other occasions for the county he exceeded 140. He followed his score of 195 with 176 and 122 against Warwickshire at Edgbaston, so enjoying the satisfaction of playing three successive three-figure innings. Four times he represented Gentlemen against Players, and, with 1901 his best year when he registered 1,482 runs, average 32, he scored in all 15,155 runs, average 26. He was also an able Association footballer, and after giving up cricket took to bowls, a game he continued till the late eighties.
Of his fielding, E. M. Grace used to relate how on one occasion when a batsman kept poking at the ball and cocking it up, Wright crept in closer and closer till he was only a yard or so away from the striker. Soon the fieldsman thought he saw his chance of a catch. He made a grab and the crowd cheered, but it was the bat he held, not the ball!
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