Paul William Jarvis
June 29, 1965, Redcar, Yorkshire
Right hand bat
Right arm fast medium
Paul Jarvis showed immense potential as a young player. The youngest-ever cricketer to represent Yorkshire in the County Championship (aged 16 and two months) in 1981, he never reached the heights his talents promised. Relentlessly injury-prone, he was also a victim of some of the most fickle selectorial whimsy. Jarvis became the youngest player to take hat-tricks in the Sunday league (1982) and the Championship (1985), and was viewed as Yorkshire's cutting edge while still a teenager. Relatively short for a quick bowler (5'10"), he generated good pace from a short, fast run up, and an athletic leap with a very quick arm action. He suffered from injury in both 1984 and 1985, slowing his progress, probably as a consequence of over-bowling at such a young age, but won his county cap in 1986 following match figures of 11 for 92 against Middlesex.
The following year, 1987, he took 81 wickets (his best-ever tally) and played a key role in the Benson and Hedges Cup winning team, with 4 for 43 in the final against Northants. It was enough to secure a place on the winter tour of Pakistan, New Zealand and Australia.
Jarvis made his Test debut in 1988 against New Zealand at Christchurch, bowling fast on slow pitches, and taking six wickets in the first two games. He was then dropped for the final Test. Recalled for the 1988 home series against the mighty West Indies, Jarvis bowled well in the first two Tests, taking 4 for 107 and scoring 29* at Lord's, both Test bests. A back strain ruled him out of the team for the rest of the series, just as it seemed he could form an effective new-ball partnership with Graham Dilley. It was a year before he was to play again, at Lord's against Australia. Three times in a row he beat the outside edge of Steve Waugh, but the Australian survived to score an unbeaten 152* as all the bowlers suffered. Jarvis couldn't take a wicket in the following Test at Edgbaston and was again dropped.
He was banned from Test cricket for three years after accepting an offer to join a rebel tour of South Africa (1989-90), but was selected to tour India and Sri Lanka in 1992-93, when the ban was lifted early. He bowled well on unhelpful pitches, and entirely without fortune, taking four wickets in the first two Tests as England were trounced. He performed well in the one-day series too, winning the Man-of-the-Match award for 5 for 35 against India in Bangalore. Despite being generally regarded as England's best bowler, he was dropped for Phil DeFreitas (who didn't take a wicket all tour) for the final Test. His last Test came against Sri Lanka in Colombo, where he took 3 for 76 in the first innings.
Released by Yorkshire at the end of the 1993 season, Jarvis moved to
Sussex. He took 51 wickets in 1994, winning his second county cap, but could
only manage a few games in the next three seasons as he seldom found full
fitness. He left Sussex at the end of the 1998 season to finish his career
at Somerset, where the members never really took to him. Continually
challenged by injury, he was a liability in the field and a risk in
first-class games where he was liable to pull up with a strain at any
moment. However, he retained a fast arm action and could still be a force in
one-day cricket. He took 5 for 55 in the 1999 NatWest Final (against
Gloucestershire) to make amends for an early wide-strewn spell in a
performance that rather summed up his career. He finished with just over 650
wickets, having played 16 ODIs and nine Tests. A reasonable, hard-hitting tail-end batsman, he hit a career-best of 80 for Yorkshire against Northants in 1992. He spent several winters playing club cricket in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. He left county cricket after the 2000 season. He is a partner in a firm that provides agents for players.
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