Tuesday 10 July 2012 

Tom Dollery

For twenty years H.E. “Tom” Dollery was one of the mainstays of the Warwickshire batting, usually top or second in the averages: he never had a bad season and seldom a bad patch.

He was a tireless fieldsman and in the latter part of his career became the county's first official professional captain. Under him, Warwickshire won the Championship for the first time in 40 years in 1951. Born in Reading, he qualified for Warwickshire late in July 1934 and wasted no time in proving his class.

In 1935 he made his 1,000 runs, a feat he repeated every season until his retirement. He played in four Tests between 1947 and 1950, but did little, although against Australia at Lord's in 1948 he was top scorer in the second innings with 37. Apart from this, the war also robbed him of six seasons' cricket between the ages of 25 and 32 and by that time the selectors preferred to experiment with younger players. So he will be remembered primarily as a great county player who, in an age when more and more batsmen were concentrating on defence, never lost his attacking instinct.

In 1936 he scored 142 against Surrey at Edgbaston in 100 minutes, and as far on as 1949 his 200 against Gloucestershire at Gloucester took only 205 minutes. His highest score was 212 against Leicestershire at Edgbaston in 1952. After sharing the captaincy in 1948 with R. H. Maudsley, in 1949 he was appointed sole captain, a position he held until his retirement from first-class cricket at the end of 1955.