Doug Wright – The man of hat-tricks in first-class cricket

Doug Wright – The man of hat-tricks in first-class cricket

Doug Wright featured in 497 first-class matches and he bagged 2056 wickets.

Doug Wright
Doug Wright. (Photo by Bob Thomas/Popperfoto/Getty Images)

Douglas Vivian Parson Wright (commonly known as Doug Wright) was one of the bowlers who could alter bowling leg-spin and medium-pace at the same time. This England bowler featured in 497 first-class matches during his 25-year career and bagged 2056 wickets. The Kent-born bowler represented his county team throughout his career. Wright featured in 34 Tests between 1938 and 1951 taking 108 wickets at an average of 39.11.

He made a mark in the first-class history as the leg-spinner cum medium-pacer claiming as many as seven hat-tricks out of which six were for his county team Kent. He holds the record for taking most number of hat-tricks in first-class cricket. His seven hat-tricks have not been matched by any player thus far in professional cricket across the three existing formats: FC, List A and T20. On occasion of his 104th birthday anniversary, we look at his seven FC hat-tricks.

Doug Wright
Doug Wright in action for Kent. (Photo by G/PA Images via Getty Images)

1. Worcestershire v Kent, 1937:

Wright’s maiden hat-trick came in the 1937 County Championship against Worcestershire. Wright dismissed Harry Gibbons (10), Joseph Horton (0) and opposition skipper Bernard Quaife (0) on successive deliveries in the first innings of the game at the New Road in Worcester. Gibbons and Horton were caught by William Ashdown while Quaife was trapped in front. Wright ended the innings with figures of 7/27 and took two more wickets in the 2nd innings to help his team win the game by an innings and 110 runs.

2. Nottinghamshire v Kent, 1937:

Less than a month after his maiden hat-trick, Wright claimed one more when he toured Nottingham to face the hosts at Trent Bridge. Wright cleaned up Joseph Knowles for five runs while Joseph Hardstaff and George Gunn for ducks to complete a hat-trick in the Nottinghamshire’s first innings. He finished with figures of 6/47 in his 22.2 overs. The hosts batted far better in the following-on innings to avoid a defeat.

Doug Wright
The Kent and England spin bowler Doug Wright in 1938. (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images)

3. Kent v Gloucestershire, 1938:

Wright began the 1938 season on a high with a hat-trick in the very 2nd game of the season. It was his first hat-trick at home that he recorded by dismissing Reginald Sinfield, Richard Haynes and Lionel Cranfield for ducks on consecutive deliveries. The Kent bowler had 7/77 in Gloucestershire’s first innings but ended up on the losing side.

4. Border v Marylebone Cricket Club, 1939:

Doug Wright’s only hat-trick for a side other than Kent came when he played for the Marylebone Cricket Club team in the 1938/39 tour of South Africa. The MCC team faced Border team in East London where Wright picked up three in three balls in the first innings of the game. Stanley White (4) and Harold Whitfield (0) were trapped by Wright and he completed a hat-trick by dismissing Dereck Dowling for a duck on the next ball. The MCC team won the game by nine wickets.

5. Gloucestershire v Kent, 1939:

Wright produced his 2nd hat-trick against Gloucestershire in the 1939 season at Bristol but wasn’t lucky 2nd time as well to have his effort in a winning cause. He claimed a hat-trick in the home team’s first innings and took nine wickets in all. However, Kent lost the game by an innings and 40 runs as they scored only 120 and 124 in their respective innings.

Doug Wright
Doug Wright in 1949. (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images)

6. Sussex vs Kent, 1947:

All cricket contests between 1939 and 1944 were achieved due to the World War II and Wright’s first hat-trick post resumption came in the 1947 Championship game against Sussex. He completed a hat-trick by dismissing George Cox, John Nye and James Cornford in the home team’s first innings. Wright took seven wickets in that innings and eight more in the 2nd as Kent won the game by nine wickets.

7. Kent v Hampshire, 1949:

His career’s final hat-trick came in 1949 when Hampshire toured Canterbury to face Kent. Wright dismissed Edward Eagar, Clifford Walker and Derek Shackleton on successive deliveries in the first innings to complete a five-wicket haul. He took six more wickets in the 2nd innings to help the hosts win the game by an innings and 28 runs.

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