Born On This Day: 21st November

A new series from Hampshire Cricket historian Dave Allen marks the birthdays of notable and fondly remembered Hampshire cricketers

Tom Dean, was born in Gosport in 1920, but lived most of his life in South Africa.

He was one of those cricketers whose career might have been significantly different were it not for the interruption of the war. Still in his teens, he made a considerable impression as a leg-break bowler and superb close fielder in late August 1939 in three matches at Bournemouth: on debut, v Somerset he took his first wicket and made 20* & 8* in an innings defeat, then v Worcestershire 4-38 including a hat-trick, and when Champions Yorkshire arrived, he took 5-58. Hampshire lost all three matches, but Dean had ten wickets at 22.20 each.

His next first-class match came after six years away, and the slim teenager, nicknamed ‘Split Pin’, was a bigger figure, who seemed less able to turn the ball so effectively. He played in 13 matches in 1946, but took just 21 wickets, which included 7-51 v Derbyshire at Ilkeston. That remained his best analysis, although he took 6-73 in a first-class match against Combined Services in 1949, but he took only three wickets in three subsequent Championship matches, and his county career came to an end.

In the field, he held 31 catches in 28 first-class games, setting a Hampshire record of seven catches in the match v Essex at Colchester in 1947 - since equalled by Raj Maru and Liam Dawson.

Overall, he took 51 wickets for Hampshire at 31.11.

In 1954, he played in the Minor Counties for Devon, and in 1956/7, having returned to South Africa where he had grown up, he played one first-class match for Eastern Province. He died in South Africa in 2004.

Also today: Arthur Duncan (1878-1883), George Martin (1898-1899), Julian Wood (1989-1993)


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A new series from Hampshire Cricket historian Dave Allen marks the birthdays of notable and fondly remembered Hampshire cricketers