Johnny Wardle

Country: England
Born: January 08, 1923, Ardsley, Yorkshire
Batting Style: Left hand Bat
Bowling Style: Slow Left arm Orthodox, Left arm Wrist spin
Died: July 23, 1985, Hatfield, Doncaster, Yorkshire, (aged 62y 196d)

Johnny Wardle Bio

John Henry Wardle was a highly skilled left-arm spinner and cricket player from England. Born on January 8, 1923, in Ardsley, near Barnsley, Wardle had a remarkable career in cricket, showcasing his exceptional talent and achieving significant success.

Wardle began his cricketing journey as a colliery fitter, working in the coal mines from 6 am to 2.30 pm, which allowed him ample time to pursue his passion for cricket. He was signed by Yorkshire from league cricket just after the end of World War II, and quickly made a name for himself. In 1948, he took 148 wickets for Yorkshire, and he consistently achieved impressive results, surpassing the 100-wicket mark in each of the following nine seasons. His best performance came in 1950 when he secured 172 wickets.

Despite his outstanding domestic performances, Wardle’s Test career was not as prolific as it could have been due to the presence of several talented English spinners during that time. Nevertheless, he played for England 28 times and managed to take 102 wickets, averaging an impressive 20.39. He recorded five five-wicket hauls and achieved his best figures of 7 for 36 (12 for 89 in the match) during the tied 1956-57 series in South Africa. His outstanding performance in South Africa earned him praise from legendary spinner, Jim Laker, who hailed Wardle’s displays of spin bowling as the best he had ever witnessed.

Despite his remarkable talent, Wardle’s Test career was overshadowed by the preference given to another left-arm spinner, Tony Lock of Surrey, during the 1950s. This led to Wardle playing in only one more Test match in 1957, against West Indies at Lord’s.

Off the field, Wardle’s career took an unexpected turn when he was sacked by Yorkshire in 1958 and subsequently had his invitation to tour Australia with MCC withdrawn. These actions came after Wardle wrote scathing articles for the Daily Mail, exhibiting his acidic criticism and occasionally selfish behavior, which shocked his Yorkshire colleagues and marked a shattering conclusion to his cricketing career.

Beyond his cricketing exploits, Wardle made a living as a journalist and even toured Australia in 1958-59 as a journalist rather than a player. The public began to see a different side of Wardle, as he proved to be more than just an expert bowler and rib-tickling clown. Unfortunately, his career was cut short due to a brain tumor, from which he never fully recovered after undergoing surgery.

Wardle left an indelible mark on the cricketing world, both with his remarkable performances on the field and the controversies off it. He ended his career with 1537 wickets for Yorkshire at an average of 17.67, cementing his place as the county’s eighth-highest wicket-taker.

Johnny Wardle will be remembered as one of England’s most skillful left-arm spinners, whose talent was on par with some of the best in the game. His career may have been marred by controversies, but his contributions to the sport and his mesmerizing spin bowling continue to be revered by cricket enthusiasts and players alike.

Johnny Wardle Career Stats

Johnny Wardle Batting Stats

Batting Matches Innings Nos Runs High Score Ave BF SR 100s 50s 4s 6s Ct St
Tests 28 41 8 653 66 19.78 - - 0 2 - 14 12 0
T20Is - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
ODIs - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
FC 412 527 71 7333 79 16.08 - - 0 18 - - 257 0
List A 4 4 0 29 19 7.25 - - 0 0 - - 0 0
T20s - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Johnny Wardle Bowling Stats

Bowling Matches Innings Balls Runs Wkts BBI BBM Ave Econ SR 4w 5w 10w
Tests 28 52 6597 2080 102 7/36 12/89 20.39 1.89 64.6 7 5 1
T20Is - - - - - - - - - - - - -
ODIs - - - - - - - - - - - - -
FC 412 - 102626 35027 1846 9/25 - 18.97 2.04 55.5 - 134 29
List A 4 - 227 107 5 2/21 2/21 21.4 2.82 45.4 0 0 0
T20s - - - - - - - - - - - - -

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