Thomas Peter Bromley Smith
October 30, 1908, Ipswich, Suffolk
August 04, 1967, Hyères, France, (aged 58y 278d)
Right hand bat
Thomas Peter Bromley Smith, who died in France as a result of a brain haemorrhage following a fall while on holiday on August 4, aged 58, played with distinction as a professional all-rounder for Essex from 1929 to 1951. In that time he made 10,170 runs, average 17.98, and took 1,697 wickets--more than any other Essex bowler--for 26.63 runs each. A capital leg-break and googly exponent, he never lost his length even when at times receiving heavy punishment, as when H. T. Bartlett hit him for 28 in an over in the Gentlemen v. Players match at Lord's in 1938.
In 1933, Peter Smith arrived at The Oval prepared to play for England against the West Indies, only to learn that the telegram informing him of his choice had been sent by a hoaxer. Thirteen years later he did play for his country, against India on the Surrey ground, and he also took part in two Tests with Australia and one with New Zealand when a member of W. R. Hammond's M.C.C. team in 1946-47. Though meeting with little success generally on that tour, he did achieve one notable feat, for his nine wickets for 121 against New South Wales at Sydney is still the best innings-analysis by any M.C.C. bowler in Australia. On three other occasions he dismissed nine batsmen in an innings--for 97 runs against Middlesex at Colchester in 1947, in which game he returned match-figures of 16 for 215, for 117 v. Nottinghamshire at Southend and 108 v. Kent at Maidstone, both in 1948.
The summer of 1947 was a memorable one for Smith. In scoring 1,063 runs, average 23.66, and taking 172 wickets at 27.13 apiece, he completed the double for the only time in his career. Furthermore, he hit 163--the best of his eight centuries--against Derbyshire at Chesterfield, the highest first-class innings in history by a batsman going in at No. 11, he and F. H. Vigar (114 not out) putting on 218 for the last wicket, which remains a record for Essex. Smith's total of wickets that year is also the largest by an Essex bowler in one season.
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