Bernard Hedges - a tribute

  • 8 February 2014 08:50 PM
  • Cricket News

Bernard Hedges, the former Glamorgan batsman, died peacefully at his home in the Mumbles, Swansea on Saturday 8th February 2014 at the age of 86. He had an eighteen-year career in first-class cricket, during which time he amassed 17,733 runs in 422 appearances for the Welsh county, and struck 21 centuries

Bernard had an eighteen-year career in first-class cricket with Glamorgan CCC during which time he amassed 17,733 runs in 422 appearances for the Welsh county, besides writing his name into the Club's record books in his Benefit Year of 1963 by scoring the county's first-ever century in a one-day game with an unbeaten103, plus 2 wickets and 2 catches against Somerset in their Gillette Cup match at Cardiff Arms Park.

During his outstanding career between 1950 and 1967, the top-order batsman struck 21 centuries in first-class cricket for Glamorgan - a total exceeded by only eleven other batsmen for the Club - with a Championship best score of 141 against Kent at Swansea in 1961, as well as 144 against the 1962 Pakistani's at the Arms Park. He remains 7th on the all time top run scorers list for the county.

Indeed, Bernard was in prime form during the early 1960s, amassing 2,026 runs in 1961, thereby becoming only the second batsman in Glamorgan's history to reach this notable milestone. Bernard's tally was just 45 runs short of the Club record set two years before by Gilbert Parkhouse. Besides making 141 against Kent, the summer of 1961 also saw the popular right-handed batsman score an unbeaten 134 against Northamptonshire at Wantage Road as well as 121 against Surrey at The Oval.

He proved that this wasn't a flash in the pan as in 1962 Bernard made 1,851 runs for Glamorgan. In all, he passed a thousand runs every season between 1956 and 1963 and a hallmark of his consistency at the top of the order was that in the latter season, he reached this milestone without scoring a century. In 1967 - his final summer of county cricket - Bernard made a career-best 182 against Oxford University at The Parks.

Born in Pontypridd in November 1927, he joined the Glamorgan staff in 1950 after completing his National Service and in his first season of county cricket he scored his maiden Championship century by scoring 103 against Sussex at Chichester. Bernard played initially in Glamorgan's middle-order, before moving up to open the batting in the late 1950's and his first wicket stand of 181 with Gilbert Parkhouse in 1958 at the Arms Park still remains a record for that wicket against Middlesex.

He subsequently formed an outstanding partnership with left-hander Alan Jones, with his sound technique, wide array of strokes and steadfast temperament all allowing Bernard to become a heavy run scorer in Championship cricket. His quick eye and nimble footwork also meant that Bernard was amongst the county's best players of spin bowling, and many people regard his finest innings to have been the 139 he made against Nottinghamshire on a turning wicket at Stradey Park, Llanelli in 1957 when he deftly mastered the wiles of Australian leg-spinner Bruce Dooland.

In his youth, Bernard had also been a gifted rugby player with Pontypridd RFC, with whom he played for whilst still at school, and also for Swansea RFC. During his National Service he captained Wales ATC against England ATC in 1946. He also represented Great Britain ATC in football at an international tournament held in Switzerland. He was selected to play in a final Welsh rugby Trial at Pontypridd in 1950. His agility and nimbleness also made Bernard an outstanding fielder and during his county career he took 200 catches for Glamorgan.

On hearing the sad news, Hugh Morris, Glamorgan's CEO and Director of Cricket, said "Bernard will be remembered as one of Glamorgan's most outstanding batsmen and a most popular figure in the team during the 1950s and 1960s. He will be sadly missed and our thoughts go out to his family."

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