Peter May

Country: England
Born: December 31, 1929, The Mount, Reading, Berkshire
Batting Style: Right hand Bat
Playing role: Top order Batter
Died: December 27, 1994, Liphook, Hampshire, (aged 64y 361d)

Peter May Bio

Peter Barker Howard May, CBE, was a legendary cricketer from England who left an indelible mark on the sport. Born on December 31, 1929, in Reading, May quickly rose to prominence, capturing the hearts of cricket enthusiasts with his sublime batting style and impeccable sportsmanship.

May’s journey to greatness began during his school years at Charterhouse, where his talent and passion for cricket shone through. He made a significant impact at just 14 years old when he scored an impressive 108 against Harrow, leaving a lasting impression on his school and cementing his status as a cricketing prodigy. Over four years in the school’s First XI, May amassed 1,794 runs at an average of 54.36, solidifying his position as the best schoolboy batsman in the country. He received some guidance from former England player George Geary, which further honed his skills.

After completing two years of national service in the Royal Navy, May joined Cambridge in 1949. Although the team boasted a strong batting lineup, his talent shone through, and he quickly earned his county cap after a remarkable unbeaten score of 227 against Hampshire. That same year, May made his international debut, playing for England in the Fourth Test against South Africa at Headingley. His magnificent innings of 138 in that match became a revelation, showcasing his immense talent.

May’s remarkable journey continued as he cemented his place in the England team and became an integral part of two highly successful sides: Surrey and England. Playing for Surrey, he contributed significantly to their string of Championship victories between 1952 and 1958. Simultaneously, he played an influential role as England’s vice-captain on the 1954-55 Ashes tour of Australia, and later took over the role of captaincy from Len Hutton. As captain, May led England to unparalleled success, winning 20 out of the 41 Tests he captained and securing England’s position as an unbeatable force.

May’s stature as a batsman continued to grow, surpassing expectations even on challenging pitches. His highest moment came during the 1957 Test against the West Indies at Edgbaston. In that match, he scored a phenomenal unbeaten 285, forming a monumental partnership of 411 runs with Colin Cowdrey. This match-saving innings solidified his role as a leading figure in English cricket and silenced Sonny Ramadhin’s mastery over English batsmen.

Despite his exceptional achievements, May faced personal challenges leading up to his retirement. Criticism regarding the presence of his fiancée, Virginia Gilligan, on the 1958-59 Ashes tour to Australia deeply affected him. The newspaper reports claiming that they had secretly married added to his distress. However, the couple married in April 1959. Battling health issues and a loss of enthusiasm for the game, May missed significant portions of the 1959 season and eventually retired from first-class cricket in 1962.

Following his retirement, May pursued a career as an insurance broker and underwriter at Lloyd’s. He also took on the role of Test selector from 1965 to 1968 and served as president of MCC in 1980-81. In 1982, he returned to the limelight as the chairman of selectors, overseeing player behavior. However, his tenure was marred by a lack of rapport with the players and frequent changes in the team dynamics.

May’s contributions to English cricket remain unparalleled. In 66 Tests, he scored 4,537 runs at an impressive average of 46.77. Throughout his first-class career, he amassed 27,592 runs at an average of 51.00, accompanied by 282 catches. With 85 centuries under his belt, May’s talent was indeed sublime and mysterious. He carried his gifts with utmost honor, modesty, and distinction, leaving an everlasting impact on the sport. His untimely demise on December 27, 1994, was deeply mourned, as it marked the end of an era and left cricket fans yearning for his unparalleled brilliance on the field.

Peter May Career Stats

Peter May Batting Stats

Batting Matches Innings Nos Runs High Score Ave BF SR 100s 50s 4s 6s Ct St
Tests 66 106 9 4537 285* 46.77 - - 13 22 - 12 42 0
T20Is - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
ODIs - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
FC 388 618 77 27592 285* 51 - - 85 127 - - 282 0
List A - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T20s - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Peter May Bowling Stats

Bowling Matches Innings Balls Runs Wkts BBI BBM Ave Econ SR 4w 5w 10w
Tests 66 - - - - - - - - - - - -
T20Is - - - - - - - - - - - - -
ODIs - - - - - - - - - - - - -
FC 388 - 102 49 0 - - - 2.88 - 0 0 0
List A - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T20s - - - - - - - - - - - - -

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