Modest master of the century

PUBLISHED: 12:29 09 February 2006 | UPDATED: 11:33 04 May 2010

SIR Jack Hobbs, who was born in Rivar Place, Cambridge and grew up playing cricket on nearby Parker s Piece, was one of cricket s most prolific batsmen. After playing first-class cricket for Surrey, he made his Test debut against Australia in Melbourne, o

SIR Jack Hobbs, who was born in Rivar Place, Cambridge and grew up playing cricket on nearby Parker's Piece, was one of cricket's most prolific batsmen.

After playing first-class cricket for Surrey, he made his Test debut against Australia in Melbourne, on New Year's Day 1908.

The stylish right-hander went on to play 61 Test matches, notching up 5,410 runs and scoring 15 centuries, all at the top of the innings. He surely would have scored more, save for the intervention of the First World War and his propensity to get out deliberately once he had reached 100.

He became known as 'The Master', and his first-class career spanned nearly 30 years. He remains, at 46, the oldest man yet to score a Test century and his opening partnerships with Yorkshire's Herbert Sutcliffe were the stuff of cricketing legend.

He was the first professional cricketer to be knighted, in 1953, and was named one of Wisden's five cricketers of the century in 2000.

He died in Hove, Sussex, on December 21, 1963. He was 81.

Perhaps the greatest compliment ever paid to him came from an anonymous fast bowler, who said: "It wer' 'ard work bowlin' at 'im, but it were something you wouldn't 'ave missed for nothing."

Despite all the adulation he received, Hobbs was known as a modest man with a sharp sense of humour.

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