Sir Leonard Hutton - Kennington Oval, London, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Master Mariner
N 51° 28.988 W 000° 06.803
30U E 700422 N 5707505
Quick Description: This relief is just inside the Hobbs Gate entrance to the Oval Cricket Ground the home of Surrey County Cricket Club. The sculpture, made from bricks, shows Len Hutton one of Yorkshire and England's greatest cricketers.
Location: London, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 7/11/2013 5:28:08 AM
Waymark Code: WMHH66
Views: 3

Long Description:

This piece that is made from brick is a little under three metres square. The red bricks are laid with their ends showing and these have been carved to form the relief. I tshows Hutton in a familiar pose, in his cricket gear with his bat held high no doubt after playing another glorious stroke. His name and three lions of England are shown in the top left corner.

So why was a Yorkshire player remembered at a rival ground? The answer goes back to the last testmatch of the 1938 series with England playing against Australia at The Oval. Wikipedia tells us:

Test Record Score
The last Test was played at The Oval and began on 20 August 1938. Hammond won the toss on a very good pitch for batting, and after an early wicket fell, Hutton and Maurice Leyland, his Yorkshire teammate, took the score to 347 for one wicket after the first day. Hutton was unbeaten on 160 although Australia missed a chance to dismiss him, stumped, when he had scored 40. After a rest day, the Yorkshire batsmen took their partnership to 382 before Leyland was out. Hutton then shared substantial partnerships with Hammond and Joe Hardstaff junior, taking his personal score to 300 at the end of the second day, out of a total of 634 for five. In the process he surpassed the previous highest Test score by an England batsman in a home match. Hutton maintained caution throughout; Wisden commented that his dominance of the bowling had become slightly monotonous after two days, although it recognised his skill. On the third day (23 August), the Australians made a concerted effort to dismiss Hutton before he broke Bradman's 1930 record Ashes score of 334; although the record score in a Test match was Hammond's 336 not out against New Zealand, it was compiled against what was perceived as inferior bowling, and Bradman's total was more prestigious. Although showing nerves as he approached the record, Hutton passed Bradman's score with a cut off Chuck Fleetwood-Smith, and extended his score to 364 before he was out, caught. Lasting for more than 13 hours, Hutton's innings was the longest in first-class cricket at the time. It was only the sixth Test of his career. The innings was the highest individual score in a Test until Garfield Sobers scored 365 in 1958; in 2013 it remains the 6th highest in Tests and is the most runs scored in an innings by an English player. England eventually scored 903, the highest team total in a Test at that time, before Hammond declared the innings closed. Australia were bowled out twice and England won by an innings and 579 runs to draw the series with one victory apiece.

Commentators mainly praised Hutton's concentration and stamina; his slow scoring, particularly when compared to Bradman's innings of 334, was excused on the grounds that the Oval match was played without a time limit, and run accumulation was more important than fast scoring. Furthermore, Hammond had instructed Hutton to bat as long as possible. Among views expressed by Test cricketers, Les Ames believed that while Hutton had shown great skill, a combination of a very easy wicket for batting and an unusually weak bowling attack presented an ideal opportunity. Former England captain Bob Wyatt described the innings as one of the greatest feats of concentration and endurance in the history of the game. Some critics expressed distaste at England's approach, but this opinion was not widely shared. In the aftermath of the innings, Hutton became famous, in constant demand from the public and press who compared him to Bradman. Hutton later described the acclamation he received as one of the worst things that happened to him, not least because expectations were unreasonably high every time he subsequently batted. When the season ended, Hutton had scored 1,874 runs in all matches at an average of 60.

Beneath the relief there is a stone that has, etched upon it, Hutton's batting diagram for that innings showing where each of his runs were scored. (See photo).

Website with more information on either the memorial or the person(s) it is dedicated to: [Web Link]

Location: Oval Cricket Ground

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