Len Wilkinson's 1938 season led Jim Swanton to say of him "for one brief year Wilkinson looked like a leg-spinner out of the top drawer". That year he took 151 wickets at an average of 23.38, and looked like the best leg-spinner in England - he was just 21. He toured South Africa the following winter, and topped the first-class averages, as well as playing in three Tests with some success. He was never to recapture the form that led him to these heights, although he did record his best bowling figures of 8/53 against Hampshire in 1939, he was unable to re-gain a place in the Test team. He returned to the Lancashire side after the long break for the War, but failed to keep his place in the side, and retired in 1947. He was a poor bat, his total of first-class runs (321) only just outpacing his wickets (282).
(Article: Copyright © 2003 Dave Liverman)
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