Of any great cricketer, statistics show only part. 50,000 first-class runs, 167 hundreds, 732 wickets, 819 catches, 85 Test matches. Not bad on paper, but it is a tale told by Tom Graveney in the video "A Cricketing Great" on Walter Hammond, that reveals more than can be gleaned from the scorebooks. Originally made for HTV West in 1987, the video is now available from CricShop, running time 52 minutes.

The scene is the County Ground in Bristol, where Tom Goddard has just taken 15 wickets to bowl Kent out twice, and is lording it in the dressing room afterwards. Hammond says: "Hang on a minute, you're not quite as good as you think. I reckon you were bowling against some pretty poor players out there. Come on, we'll go out in the middle and have a bowl." Hammond took a brand new bat, and with the players watching turned the bat sideways and played Goddard on the same wicket with the edge.

Graveney rates Hammond as the greatest player ever on a dry turner, and is not the only contributor to pay superlative tribute. Hammond's great rival from Down Under, Sir Donald Bradman, heads the distinguished cast, opining: "Without any shadow of a doubt, Wally would be one of the greatest all-round cricketers who ever played."

Another England great, Sir Leonard Hutton, felt that Bradman and Hammond didn't get on too easily. Hutton himself would have liked "to see just an hour of Walter Hammond rather than 8-10 hours of Don Bradman" and would also have had "difficulty in naming a greater slip catcher than Hammond." There are assessments from RES Wyatt, Andy Wilson, Les Ames and Gubby Allen.

We first see Hammond in the nets at Bristol in 1946, his final domestic season, before he captained the MCC's winter tour of Australia. It had been 26 years since his first-class debut at the age of just 17. There is footage of his century against New Zealand in 1931, and the 240 at Lord's in 1938, memorable for all who were fortunate enough to see it. Accustomed as we now are to modern methods of ground communication, the sight of a barrow being wheeled around the Lord's outfield to reveal the outcome of the toss is an endearing piece of nostalgia.

Seen by some as a complex, even intolerant man, Hammond could be distant and aloof. This impeded his captaincy. According to his Gloucestershire and England team-mate Charlie Barnett he "never learned the art of asking," and Hutton says that he was "not good with the press" in Australia in 1946/7. By that time Hammond was suffering from health problems, and his life after retirement from cricket was a chequered one.

After emigrating to South Africa upon the break-up of his first marriage, he encountered financial difficulties before being gravely injured in a car accident in 1960. Although he was later filmed back in Bristol assisting Gloucestershire's membership drive, he never fully recovered. He died of a heart attack on the 1st July 1965.

Hammond's name lives on at the County Ground, where a room in the pavilion is named after him, and he ranks with WG Grace at the head of Gloucestershire's panoply of great cricketers. As RC Robertson-Glasgow wrote: "He enriched the game with a grace, simplicity and nobility that may never be seen again."