Swindon Cricketing Greats

By Swindon Link - 15 December 2022

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Buried in South West England, Swindon began as a market town off the beaten track. However, the town grew rapidly after the Great Western Railway decided to use it as its base for repair and maintenance. Over the years, this expansion continued to make Swindon what it is today.

With a population of 201,669 in 2021, Swindon is the largest town in the county of Wiltshire and is home to the headquarters of many great companies. It is also the birthplace of some genuinely spectacular sports players.

Amongst these are some of the best English cricketers that have made names for themselves by excelling at the sport. The following Swindon cricketing greats have all been responsible for some genuinely epic cricketing moments.

Jon Lewis

Playing right-handed bowler for England, Jon Lewis began his cricket career around 1993. He was born and raised in Swindon and played first for the Swindon Cricket Club. From here, he moved to the Wiltshire County Cricket Club.

In 1995, Jon made his debut in a first-class cricket match. He proceeded to play in test matches, ODIs, and Twenty20 matches representing England. During his first international game against Australia, he scored a 100-run victory.

Another feather in the cap of this cricketer came in 2006 when he was playing in his first-ever test match and took a wicket on his fourth ball bowling against Sri Lanka. He continued a show of fantastic ability until his last appearance representing England in 2007. He then officially retired from professional cricket in 2011.

Today, Jon is the head coach of England Women’s Cricket. Here, he shares his knowledge and skill with the women who play on the cricket-loving nation’s behalf.

Kevin Emery

Proving that being young is no limitation to exceptional ability, Kevin was born in Swindon and joined the SCC (Swindon Cricket Club) at a young age. He was brought to the club by his father, who was also a member.

At 15, Kevin began playing for the England schoolboys under-19 team. He continued this until he went to university. After graduation, he was awarded a contract with Hampshire and began playing professionally at age 22.

From 1982, Kevin was on a hot streak that saw him take 83 wickets during first-class games. After missing out on being called to the national team, he played only one more year before leaving the sport. During that year, however, he made a legendary impact.

In just 30 games, Kevin took 88 wickets, including ten in a single match. While many people were excited to see how he would develop, it is unclear whether he stopped playing due to injury or other personal reasons. Thankfully, he did return in 1999 to coach younger players at the SCC.

Lauren Bell

Born in Swindon in 2001, Lauren Bell began her career at 14. She was the first woman to be picked for the 1st Xl team at Bradfield College and entered the sport by playing for Berkshire at the Women’s Country Championship.

Moving quickly from playing locally, Lauren was chosen to represent the national team and was selected to undergo training in 2020 during the COVID-19 lockdowns that affected all sporting events. After training, she played her first test match against South Africa in 2022. She was also picked as a reserve player for England’s team in the Women’s Cricket World Cup.

The same year, she made her first appearance at a WODI (Women’s One-Day International). Again, she played against South Africa and was afterwards awarded a central contract to play for the country.

Referred to as “The Shard” due to her height, Lauren has also competed in T20 matches and is set to have a bright future in cricket ahead of her.

Liam Dawson

Already enjoying cricket at the tender age of three, Liam Dawson was born in Swindon in 1990. By the age of seven, this talented player was spotted by Hampshire and offered a chance to prove himself. This certainly worked out for him because, by 2009, he was sent on a tour in New Zealand with the English Lions.

With many years of perfecting his bowling and vastly improving his batting while playing for local clubs, Liam was selected for the national team to represent the country in the 2016 World Twenty20. Unfortunately, he didn’t get to play but did still make his debut in the same year against Sri Lanka.

The following year, Liam was chosen to play for England against Pakistan. This occasion marked his first appearance in an ODI and set him up for his first test match later in the same year. His performances earmarked him for further contracts, including the English team for the 2019 Cricket World Cup.

In 2021, he was again chosen for the national team to play at the Men’s T20 World Cup and was recalled to play in the 2022 tour in the West Indies. He remains a pivotal player for the English squad and is worth keeping a close eye on if you wager on the sport on sites like Cricket Betting.

Bill Andrews

While Bill Andrews may have left the world in 1989, this cricketer had a fantastic career with an incredible number of wickets taken. Born in Swindon in 1908, he began playing for fun around 1921 and soon found that he had a penchant for the sport.

After applying to work for Somerset as a groundsman for East Coker, he was invited to try out for the Somerset team. Once trials had completed, he was asked to play for the club starting in 1930. By 1935, Bill had reached his peak and was almost unstoppable.

Between 1935 and 1947, he managed to take the wickets of 750 players. He also showed he wasn’t only skilled as a right-arm fast bowler but achieved 4,833 runs. Sadly, at the peak of his career, he was called into the Royal Air Force to serve in World War II. Understandably, cricketing opportunities were slim during this time.

After the war, Bill returned to playing for Somerset between 1946 and 1947. However, in 1948 he moved over to Stourbridge, and a few years later, in 1954, he retired from professional cricket. He continued to coach for Somerset until 1972 when he went into full retirement until his death—which was attended by many local fans.

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