Derek Shackleton

Country: England
Born: August 12, 1924, Todmorden, Yorkshire
Batting Style: Right hand Bat
Bowling Style: Right arm Medium
Died: September 27, 2007 (aged 83y 46d)

Derek Shackleton Bio

Derek Shackleton, widely regarded as one of the most consistent and accurate bowlers in the history of cricket, enjoyed a remarkable 21-season career with Hampshire. Born in Tormoden on the Lancashire-Yorkshire border, Shackleton’s cricketing skills were first noticed when he showcased his talent in Services cricket after the war.

Initially recruited as a batsman who bowled occasional legspin, Shackleton was thrust into the role of a pace bowler as Hampshire desperately sought opening bowlers. In his debut season, he impressed everyone by taking 21 wickets, and in his second season, he almost achieved the coveted double of a hundred wickets and a hundred runs. However, it was his bowling that continued to go from strength to strength as his batting declined.

With a text-book technique and a side-on effortless delivery, Shackleton rarely relied on pace alone. He bowled straight and to a consistent length, making it difficult for batsmen to score freely against him. His ability to swing the ball both ways with late movement in the air, as well as his skill in making the ball deviate off the seam, made him a formidable opponent. He also had a wide range of variations in his bowling arsenal, including a leg cutter, a clever yorker, and a slower ball that spun like an off-break.

A tireless worker, Shackleton was devastating in conditions that suited him, but he could also bowl all day without giving away a thing on batsman-friendly wickets. His consistency and accuracy were unparalleled, as evidenced by his record-breaking 2,857 first-class wickets at an enviable average of 18.65, conceding just over two runs per over. His dominance on the domestic scene was remarkable, and he holds the distinction of bowling more balls and taking more wickets for Hampshire than anyone else.

Despite his incredible domestic success, Shackleton was unfortunate to only play seven Test matches, with a gap of over a decade between his two series. It is speculated that the selectors were more intrigued by the flamboyant and faster bowlers of his time, thus limiting his international cricketing opportunities. His Test appearances were relatively less successful, with his usually frugal bowling figures being uncharacteristically expensive. However, his best Test performance came at Lord’s in 1963 when he took seven wickets and played a crucial role in a draw through his last-over run out that brought the injured Colin Cowdrey to the crease.

Off the field, Shackleton was known as a quiet and humble individual, highly respected by both his teammates and opponents. After retiring from active cricket, he transitioned into coaching and became the coach and groundsman at Canford School in Dorset, a role he held until 1990. He also had a brief spell as a first-class umpire in 1979. Shackleton’s legacy as a cricketer’s cricketer, commanding the utmost respect from those who played against him, remains firmly intact.

Derek Shackleton’s contributions to the game of cricket, both as a superb domestic bowler and a model of consistency, accuracy, and endurance, will forever be etched in the annals of cricketing history.

Derek Shackleton Career Stats

Derek Shackleton Batting Stats

Batting Matches Innings Nos Runs High Score Ave BF SR 100s 50s 4s 6s Ct St
Tests 7 13 7 113 42 18.83 - - 0 0 - 0 1 0
T20Is - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
ODIs - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
FC 647 852 197 9574 87* 14.61 - - 0 20 - - 221 0
List A 37 17 9 104 22 13 - - 0 0 - - 9 0
T20s - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Derek Shackleton Bowling Stats

Bowling Matches Innings Balls Runs Wkts BBI BBM Ave Econ SR 4w 5w 10w
Tests 7 13 2078 768 18 4/72 7/165 42.66 2.21 115.4 1 0 0
T20Is - - - - - - - - - - - - -
ODIs - - - - - - - - - - - - -
FC 647 - 159043 53303 2857 9/30 - 18.65 2.01 55.6 - 194 38
List A 37 - 2070 872 41 4/11 4/11 21.26 2.52 50.4 1 0 0
T20s - - - - - - - - - - - - -

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