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Joe Hardstaff junior

Joe Hardstaff junior

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Joseph Hardstaff junior (3 July 1911 – 1 January 1990) was an English
English people
The English are a nation and ethnic group native to England, who speak English. The English identity is of early mediaeval origin, when they were known in Old English as the Anglecynn. England is now a country of the United Kingdom, and the majority of English people in England are British Citizens...

 cricket
Cricket
Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of 11 players on an oval-shaped field, at the centre of which is a rectangular 22-yard long pitch. One team bats, trying to score as many runs as possible while the other team bowls and fields, trying to dismiss the batsmen and thus limit the...

er, who played in twenty three Tests
Test cricket
Test cricket is the longest form of the sport of cricket. Test matches are played between national representative teams with "Test status", as determined by the International Cricket Council , with four innings played between two teams of 11 players over a period of up to a maximum five days...

 for England from 1935 to 1948. Hardstaff's father, Joe senior
Joe Hardstaff senior
Joseph Hardstaff senior , was an English cricketer who played for Nottinghamshire and England....

 played for Nottinghamshire
Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club
Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club is one of the 18 major county clubs which make up the English and Welsh domestic cricket structure, representing the historic county of Nottinghamshire, and the current county champions. Its limited overs team is called the Nottinghamshire Outlaws...

 and England and his son, also named Joe, played first-class cricket
First-class cricket
First-class cricket is a class of cricket that consists of matches of three or more days' scheduled duration, that are between two sides of eleven players and are officially adjudged first-class by virtue of the standard of the competing teams...

 as well.

Cricket correspondent, Colin Bateman, remarked, "Hardstaff was one of the most artistic batsmen ever to set foot on a cricket field but he paid the high price of falling out with Gubby Allen
Gubby Allen
Sir George Oswald Browning "Gubby" Allen, CBE was a cricketer who played for Middlesex, Cambridge University, MCC and England. Australian-born, Allen was a fast bowler and hard-hitting lower-order batsman, who captained England in eleven Test matches...

".

Life and career


Harstaff was born in Nuncargate, Kirkby-in-Ashfield
Kirkby-in-Ashfield
Kirkby-in-Ashfield is a market town in Nottinghamshire, England, with a population of 25,265 . It is a part of the Mansfield Urban Area. The Head Offices of Ashfield District Council are located there....

, Nottinghamshire
Nottinghamshire
Nottinghamshire is a county in the East Midlands of England, bordering South Yorkshire to the north-west, Lincolnshire to the east, Leicestershire to the south, and Derbyshire to the west...

.

One of the most elegant middle order
Batting order (cricket)
In cricket, the batting order is the sequence in which batsmen play through their team's innings, there always being two batsmen taking part at any one time...

 batsman of the 1930s, a rich era for English batsmanship, Hardstaff first played for Nottinghamshire
Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club
Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club is one of the 18 major county clubs which make up the English and Welsh domestic cricket structure, representing the historic county of Nottinghamshire, and the current county champions. Its limited overs team is called the Nottinghamshire Outlaws...

 at the age of nineteen, and made his name with 1,817 runs in 1934, which led to his Test selection against South Africa the following year. He had a highly successful tour of Australia under E.R.T. Holmes in 1935/6, scoring over a thousand runs in tour matches in his upright, elegant style, but proved less prolific in the Tests when he returned in 1936/7. The experience spurred him to further buttress his defensive technique and this, allied with his natural stroke play, led to a fine season at home in 1937, when he posted over 2,500 runs including three double hundreds. He won the Walter Lawrence trophy for the fastest century of the season, in scoring an unbeaten 117 in under an hour, to help defeat Kent
Kent County Cricket Club
Kent County Cricket Club is one of the 18 first class county county cricket clubs which make up the English and Welsh national cricket structure, representing the county of Kent...

 in a frenetic run chase and was duly named one of Wisden Cricketers of the Year
Wisden Cricketers of the Year
The Wisden Cricketers of the Year are cricketers selected for the honour by the annual publication Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, based primarily on their "influence on the previous English season"...

 in 1938. His form did not desert him in the Test matches, he scored 350 runs at 70 against New Zealand
New Zealand cricket team
The New Zealand cricket team, nicknamed the Black Caps, are the national cricket team representing New Zealand. They played their first in 1930 against England in Christchurch, New Zealand, becoming the fifth country to play Test cricket. It took the team until 1955–56 to win a Test, against the...

, and, after being overlooked for the first two tests in 1938, he stroked 169 at The Oval
The Oval
The Kia Oval, still commonly referred to by its original name of The Oval, is an international cricket ground in Kennington, in the London Borough of Lambeth. In the past it was also sometimes called the Kennington Oval...

 while Len Hutton
Len Hutton
Sir Leonard "Len" Hutton was an English Test cricketer, who played for Yorkshire County Cricket Club and England in the years around the Second World War as an opening batsman. He was described by Wisden Cricketer's Almanack as one of the greatest batsmen in the history of cricket...

 broke the world record score. He was surprisingly omitted from the 1938/9 tour to South Africa, but averaged 50 in 1939 and played against the West Indies in the last Test series before World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

.

The war robbed him, like so many others, of perhaps his best cricketing years, and his Test appearances were sporadic when cricket resumed, despite a brilliant unbeaten double century against India in 1946. He was chosen for the MCC tour of Australia in 1946–47
MCC tour of Australia in 1946–47
The Marylebone Cricket Club tour of Australia in 1946-47 under the captaincy of Wally Hammond was its eighth since it took official control of overseas tours in 1907-1908 and the first since the Second World War. The touring team played as England in the 1946–47 Ashes series against Australia, but...

, but suffered and injury and played in only one Test, scoring 67 in the first innings.

In 1947/48 Hardstaff toured the West Indies under Gubby Allen
Gubby Allen
Sir George Oswald Browning "Gubby" Allen, CBE was a cricketer who played for Middlesex, Cambridge University, MCC and England. Australian-born, Allen was a fast bowler and hard-hitting lower-order batsman, who captained England in eleven Test matches...

's captaincy, but a clash of personalities meant they did not see eye to eye. On their return, Allen assured Hardstaff that he would never play another Test. Hardstaff asked Allen to name his odds and Allen proferred 100-1, which Hardstaff backed with a five pound note
Bank of England note issues
The Bank of England, which is now the Central Bank of the United Kingdom, has issued banknotes since 1694. Since 1970, its new series of notes have featured portraits of British historical figures. Of the eight banks authorised to issue banknotes in the UK, only the Bank of England can issue...

. Hardstaff nevertheless played in the First Test that summer against Australia, and duly received a cheque for £500, which he tore up and posted back to Allen. Hardstaff did not play for England again.

He remained a colossus on the county circuit, stroking 2,396 runs at 64.75 in 1947, but retired with just twenty three tests to his name, having scored 1,636 at an average of 46.74. He headed the national averages in 1949 with 2,251 runs at 72.61. The press clammered for his reinstatement in the national side, but Allen's influence held sway. On Hardstaff's retirement in 1955, had almost 32,000 runs under his belt at 44.35, the highest scoring Nottinghamshire batsman in history, with a century against every county except his own. He recorded eighty three centuries, with ten double hundreds and passed a thousand runs in a season thirteen times. In addition to three MCC
Marylebone Cricket Club
Marylebone Cricket Club is a cricket club in London founded in 1787. Its influence and longevity now witness it as a private members' club dedicated to the development of cricket. It owns, and is based at, Lord's Cricket Ground in St John's Wood, London NW8. MCC was formerly the governing body of...

 tours to Australia, and one to the West Indies, he also played two seasons of first-class cricket in New Zealand after the war. He was also a fine, athletic outfielder, and took 36 wickets with his eccentric medium pace.

Hardaker's son, who later became the secretary of Middlesex
Middlesex County Cricket Club
Middlesex County Cricket Club is one of the 18 major county clubs which make up the English and Welsh domestic cricket structure, representing the historic county of Middlesex. It was announced in February 2009 that Middlesex changed their limited overs name from the Middlesex Crusaders, to the...

, also confusingly was the third Joe Hardstaff to appear in first-class cricket, when he played for the Free Foresters.

Hardstaff died in Worksop
Worksop
Worksop is the largest town in the Bassetlaw district of Nottinghamshire, England on the River Ryton at the northern edge of Sherwood Forest. It is about east-south-east of the City of Sheffield and its population is estimated to be 39,800...

, Nottinghamshire, on the frist day of 1990, aged 78.

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