A profile of Ted Bowley
by Dave Liverman
Ted Bowley was an excellent forcing opening bat, as attested by his 52 first-class centuries, whose opportunities at the highest level were only restricted by the presence in the England side of Hobbs and Sutcliffe. Debuting for Sussex prior to the First World War, he played his first full season in 1914, only to lose the next four years to the War. He returned to Sussex in 1920, and scored over 1,000 runs in each of fourteen successive seasons. He was particularly strong off the back foot, with a superb cut, and excelling at the force through covers off the back foot. He was a good player of slow bowling, but if he had a fault it was impatience in that he would rather put away the good length ball for runs than defend. He was also a good leg break bowler, who took 90 wickets in 1929, his best season with both ball and bat. The same year he made his highest first-class score of 280*, made in a day, and part of a county record opening stand of 368 with J.H.Parks. Four years later, he and John Langridge made 490 for the first wicket, a record that still stands 67 years later, as does his 2nd wicket partnership record of 385 with Maurice Tate from 1921.
With Hobbs out of contention, Bowley, in good form, made his Test debut at the age of 39 against South Africa in 1929. After making a respectable 31 in the first innings he played an important part in England's win, making 46, and salvaging the innings in partnership with Woolley after Sutcliffe and Hammond had been dismissed with only 13 on the board. He failed in the next Test, and Hobbs returned for the Oval Test, but Bowley was selected for the winter tour of New Zealand (a second England team was simultaneously touring the West Indies). He made his only Test century in a match ruined by rain, and finished his Test career with an innings of 42 in the Fourth Test. On his retirement he coached for 23 seasons at Winchester.
(Article: Copyright © 2003 Dave Liverman)