Cricketer Hedges dies aged 86

Hillingdon Times: Glamorgan batsman Bernard Hedges had an 18-year career in first-class cricket Glamorgan batsman Bernard Hedges had an 18-year career in first-class cricket

Former Glamorgan cricketer Bernard Hedges has died aged 86, the club has announced.

He died peacefully at his home in the Mumbles, Swansea, on Saturday.

The top-order batsman had an 18-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.

He also wrote his name into the club's record books in 1963 by scoring the county's first-ever century in a one-day game with an unbeaten 103, plus taking two wickets and two catches against Somerset in their Gillette Cup match at Cardiff Arms Park.

During his outstanding career between 1950 and 1967, the right hander's first-class century total was bettered by only 11 other batsmen for the club.

He had a Championship best score of 141 against Kent at Swansea in 1961, as well as 144 against Pakistan in 1962 at the Arms Park.

He remains seventh on the club's all-time top run scorers list and he passed 1,000 runs every season between 1956 and 1963.

In 1967 - his final summer of county cricket - Hedges 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.

Hedges played initially in Glamorgan's middle-order, before moving up to open the batting in the late 1950s.

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 Hedges to become a heavy run scorer in Championship cricket.

His quick eye and nimble footwork also meant that Hedges was among the county's best players of spin bowling.

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, Hedges had also been a gifted rugby player with Pontypridd RFC, with whom he played while still at school, and also for Swansea RFC.

His agility and nimbleness also made him an outstanding fielder and during his county career he took 200 catches for Glamorgan.

Hugh Morris, Glamorgan's chief executive and director of cricket, sent his condolences to Hedges' family on behalf of the club.

"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 said.

"He will be sadly missed and our thoughts go out to his family."

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