Hughes, Mervyn Gregory


Hughes, Mervyn Gregory
▪ 1994

      Mustachioed, potbellied, and encumbered with a lumbering, unathletic gait, Merv Hughes never looked the epitome of the fast bowler. But his outstanding Test record of 208 wickets for Australia (to the end of 1993) at an average of 27 told a different story. The burly cricketer, whose whole-hearted commitment to the cause of his team too often turned to unacceptable verbal intimidation of his opponents, had become a far better bowler than he looked when he made his debut for Australia against India in the 1985-86 series.

      Hughes was born Nov. 23, 1961, and grew up in a working-class suburb of Melbourne. He worked briefly in a factory and joined the Victoria side in 1981-82. Selected for Australia in 1985-86, he took just one wicket for 123 runs in his first Test and was quickly dropped. Recalled against England in 1986-87, he suffered badly at the hands of the all-rounder Ian Botham (who scored a record 22 runs on one over at Brisbane), and it was not until the second Test in Perth against the West Indies in the 1988-89 series that Hughes established himself as a true Test bowler, with match figures of 13 for 217. Thereafter, by sheer hard work, a willingness to experiment, persistence, and guile, he transformed himself into one of the most feared fast bowlers in Test cricket.

      In 1993 he and leg spinner Shane Warne led Australia to a convincing 4-1 series win over England. Warne took 34 wickets and Hughes a heroic 31 after his fast-bowling partner, Craig McDermott, had been forced out of the series through injury. Time and again "Sumo," as he was affectionately dubbed by the British spectators because of his physical similarity to the Japanese wrestlers, produced a vital wicket when his side badly needed it. Like Botham, Hughes had an uncanny ability to make things happen from nothing, forcing the batsmen—by fair means or foul—into confrontation and into making mistakes. But he also swung the ball late, varied his line and length skillfully, and could, on his good days, be genuinely quick. His batting was erratic, huge sixes being mixed with obdurate defense, but he could be a stubborn tail-ender.

      Off the field "Mad Merv" was a jovial character—a good-humoured, blunt hero to his home crowds, an infectious team member, and a popular tourist wherever he went. "I love him to death," said Australia captain Allan Border. Injury and his second knee surgery in a year ruled Hughes out of the early part of the 1993-94 season, but he was bound to be back—larger than life, with "bushwacker" mustache bristling, and mouthing his usual oaths—when England, the old foe, toured Australia in 1994-95.

      (ANDREW LONGMORE)

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Hughes — /hjuz/ (say hyoohz) noun 1. Dick (Richard Hughes), born 1931, Australian jazz pianist and vocalist. 2. Howard, 1905–76, US industrialist, aviator, film producer, and eccentric. 3. Merv (Mervyn Gregory Hughes), born 1961, Australian Test cricketer …   Australian English dictionary

  • Mervyn Rose — (born 23 January 1930) was an Australian male tennis player. He was born in Coffs Harbour, New South Wales and turned professional in 1959. He is renowned for coaching the likes of Billie Jean King, Margaret Court, Brett Prentice, Arantxa Sanchez …   Wikipedia

  • Merv Hughes — Mervyn Hughes Personal information Full name Mervyn Gregory Hughes Born 23 November 1961 (1961 11 23) (age 49) Euroa, Victoria, Australia Nickname Fruitfly Batting style Right hand Bowling style …   Wikipedia

  • Merv Hughes — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Hughes. Merv Hughes …   Wikipédia en Français

  • cricket — cricket1 cricketlike, adj. /krik it/, n. 1. any of several jumping, orthopterous insects of the family Gryllidae, characterized by long antennae and stridulating organs on the forewings of the male, as one of the species commonly found in… …   Universalium

  • Contenu:Australie — Projet:Australie/Liste des articles Liste mise à jour régulièrement par MyBot (d · c · b) à partir des articles liés au bandeau {{Portail Australie}} Modifications récentes des articles ayant le bandeau de ce portail… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • List of Coronation Street characters (1961) — Coronation Street characters 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 …   Wikipedia

  • Jane Drew — with her husband Maxwell Fry in 1984 Dame Jane Drew, DBE, FRIBA (24 March 1911 – 27 July 1996) was an English modernist architect and town planner. She qualified at the AA School in London, and prior to World War II became one of the leading… …   Wikipedia

  • List of Test cricketers — This is a list by country of every cricketer who has played at least one Test match.Australia : See also List of Australian Test cricketers Ted a Beckett · Terry Alderman · George Alexander · Harry Alexander · Frank Allan · Peter Allan · Reginald …   Wikipedia

  • Liste der Olympiasieger im Rudern/Medaillengewinner — Olympiasieger Rudern Übersicht Medaillengewinner Medaillengewinnerinnen …   Deutsch Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.