Robin Nicholas Stuart Hobbs
May 08, 1942, Chippenham, Wiltshire
Right hand bat
Raine's Foundation School, Stepney
A rarity in England, Robin Hobbs was a legspinner who played Test cricket, the last for 20 years until the emergence of Ian Salisbury. After debuting for Essex in 1961, he went on to play for England in 1967, and after 14 years with Essex spent four years with Suffolk before returning to first-class cricket with Glamorgan, captaining them in 1979.
He bowled flighted legbreaks and well disguised googlies from a moderate run. A fine county player, he did well to play for England, although he never established himself as a Test class spinner, able to contain but not sufficiently penetrative. A modest batsman, he astonished everyone, not least himself, by slamming one of the fastest centuries in cricket history (44 minutes) for Essex against the touring Australians in 1975. Hobbs said afterwards that he went out with the objective of having a good slog, and entertaining the crowd.
A likeable and popular man, he was a fine fielder in the covers. He played for England four times in 1967, three of them against India and one against Pakistan, with modest success, and was picked to tour the West Indies the following winter, where he played just once. A year later he toured Pakistan, and was
picked for the third Test, but did not bowl or bat as the match was abandoned
on the third day. He made one final Test appearance, against Pakistan in
1971, but after failing to take a wicket, went back to county cricket.
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