There is a general perception among people that cricketers have a very short career. While some of it may be true, it is not for everyone. There have been numerous instances of cricketers defying their ages and performing on the international stage. Today, we will look at some of England’s oldest bowlers who have taken five wickets in Test cricket.
1. Frank Woolley
Frank Woolley was a left-arm medium bowler from Tonbridge, Kent, and was considered one of the most prolific left-handed cricketers during his time. In 1909, he made his Test debut against Australia at The Oval. In 1930, in a match against New Zealand at Wellington, Frank picked up seven wickets for 76 runs at 42 years and 242 days. With this, he became the oldest English player to take five wickets in a Test inning.
2. Edward Hemmings
Edward Hemmings, a right-arm off-break bowler and a right-handed batter from Warwickshire, is next on our list. Edward played his first Test in 1982 against Pakistan at Birmingham. In 1990, at the age of 41 years and 135 days, he took six wickets for 58 runs against New Zealand at Birmingham. He retired in 1991 after playing his last Test match against Australia in Sydney.
3. Alfred Percy Freeman
Next on the list is Alfred Percy Freeman, the right-arm leg-break bowler from London. Freeman played his first Test in 1924 against Australia at Sydney. In 1929, in a match against South Africa at Manchester, he picked up five wickets for 100 runs when he was 41 years and 71 days old.
4. Sydney Barnes
Next on the list is Sydney Barnes, a right-arm fast-medium bowler from Staffordshire who made his Test debut in 1901 against Australia at Sydney. Barnes took a five-wicket haul in the last Test match of his career against South Africa at Durban. He registered a figure of 7 for 88 at the age of 40.
5. Freddie Brown
Freddie Brown was a Peru-born, right-arm medium bowler and an occasional leg-break bowler for England. From 1931 to 1953, he featured for England in 22 Test matches, picking up 45 wickets at an average of 31.06. In 1951, in a Test match against Australia in Melbourne, Freddie took five wickets for 49 runs. He was 40 years and 69 days old when he took his last fifer.
6. James Anderson
Test cricket’s most successful fast bowler and a living and playing legend of the game, James Anderson, also feature on our list. Anderson is the only currently playing cricketer on this list. Since 2003, he has been a part of the English Test side, and in July 2022, he took a five-wicket haul against India at Birmingham at the age of 39.
7. Bobby Peel
Bobby Peel was a slow left-arm orthodox bowler from Leeds, Yorkshire. Bobby made his Test debut in 1884 against Australia at Adelaide and featured in 20 Tests before retiring in 1896. In 1896, during his last Test match, he took six wickets for 23 runs against Australia at The Oval when he was 39 years and 180 days old.
8. Ray Illingworth
Ray Illingworth, the right-arm off-break bowler and a right-handed batter from Yorkshire, is next on the list. Ray played his first Test match for England in 1958 against New Zealand at Manchester. At the age of 39 years and 72 days, Ray took a brilliant five-wicket haul (5 for 70) against India at The Oval in 1970. He retired in 1973.
9. Dick Howorth
Dick Howorth was a slow left-arm orthodox bowler from Lancashire. In 1947, he first played for England in a Test match against South Africa at The Oval. He took six wickets for 124 runs against the West Indies at Bridgetown in 1948 at the age of 38 years and 270 days.
10. Eric Hollies
Eric Hollies was a right-arm leg break bowler from Staffordshire and made his Test debut in 1935 against the West Indies at Bridgetown. In 1950, he picked up five wickets for 63 runs against the West Indies at Manchester at the age of 38 and is thus at number ten on our list. He retired in 1950 after playing his last match against the Windies.