Fred Barratt made an immediate impact in first-class cricket, taking 8 wickets for Nottinghamshire against the MCC on his debut, and 115 wickets in his first season. The year, however, was 1914, and when first-class cricket resumed 5 years later he had trouble recapturing this form. However in 1923 he passed the 100 wicket mark again, and his batting developed - in 1928 he did the double. He bowled fast, using the physical strength gained in working down the Nottinghamshire coal mines, and as a bat hit hard, and often. His drives were particularly powerful, and he on occasion scored very rapidly - particularly in his two first-class hundreds, one made in 85 minutes. He gained Test honours in 1929, but failed to make an impact. By this time Harold Larwood and Bill Voce joined with him to form a notable pace attack at Nottinghamshire, but he toured Australasia in 1930, playing in the Tests against New Zealand. His Test performances were unimpressive, however, and he retired after the 1932 season with a tally 1,224 first class wickets at an impressive 22.71. He also was a fine footballer, playing for Aston Vila and Sheffield Wednesday.
(Article: Copyright © 2003 Dave Liverman)
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