Tom Cartwright - a tribute
by Peter Martin

Player:TW Cartwright

DateLine: 2nd May 2007


One of England's canniest medium-pace bowlers, Thomas William "Tom" Cartwright, MBE, died on April 30th, 2007 after a massive heart attack in March.


Born on July 22nd, 1935 he was 71 at the time of his death and represented England in five Tests in the mid-1960s, taking 15 wickets at an average of 36.26.


His finest moment for England came in the Second Test at Trent Bridge against South Africa in 1965 when he had the visitors reeling, and only a majestic century from a young Graeme Pollock saved them as Cartwright cut through their ranks, finishing with 6-94. South Africa won the match. Ironically that was Cartwright's last Test match for England.


He had made his Test debut the previous year against Bob Simpson's Australian team and finished the high-scoring match with figures of 2-118 in 77 overs (Simpson 311, Australia 656-8) and he was retained for the next Test at The Oval when his figures were 3-110.


He toured South Africa that winter as a useful all-rounder but John Price and Ian Thomson took the new ball in the Tests and he was only needed for one Test match, but found the going tough against Barlow, Goddard, Bland and Pollock.


He did, however, score a century in East London against Border.


Cartwright had a high, wheeling action, possessed good control and could swing the ball both ways and was always effective on greentops.


He did the double in 1962 when he captured 106 wickets and scored 1176 runs, and altogether he took 100 wickets in a season eight times and passed 1000 runs on three occasions.


A most useful number seven or eight batsman, he scored 13,710 runs in first-class cricket (average 21.32) with seven centuries, with a highest of 210.


He was most parsimonious with the ball in limited-overs matches, boasting a rate of 2.78, while in first-class cricket, in which he captured 1,536 wickets (average 19.11 with a best of 8-39 for Warwickshire against Somerset at Weston-super-Mare in 1962), the rate dropped to 2.07 runs per over.


He was selected for the 1968/69 tour of South Africa but withdrew through injury. Basil D'Oliveira was then chosen and the tour was consigned to the scrap-heap after the South African government refused to accept the South African-born all-rounder's inclusion in the MCC team.


Cartwright enjoyed a long career from 1952 to 1977 as a player, giving Warwickshire yoeman service for 17 years, then spent some years with Somerset and later Glamorgan, while also acting as director of coaching for the Welsh Cricket Association.


At Taunton he helped coach a young Ian Botham who admits that Cartwright had helped develop his medium-pace bowling.


"He taught me the art of swing," Botham has been reported as saying.


(Article: Copyright © 2007 Peter Martin)


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