Walter Reginald Wally Hammond was an English Test cricketer who played for Gloucestershire in a career that lasted from 1920 to 1951. Beginning as a professional, he later became an amateur and was appointed captain of England. Primarily a middle-order batsman, Wisden Cricketers' Almanack described him in his obituary as one of the four best batsmen in the history of cricket.
He was considered to be the best English batsman of the 1930s by commentators and those with whom he played; they also said that he was one of the best slip fielders ever. Hammond was an effective fast-medium pace bowler and contemporaries believed that if he had been less reluctant to bowl, he could have achieved even more with the ball than he did.
In a Test career spanning 85 matches, he scored 7,249 runs and took 83 wickets. Hammond captained England in 20 of those Tests, winning four, losing three, and drawing 13. His career aggregate of runs was the highest in Test cricket until surpassed by Colin Cowdrey in 1970; his total of 22 Test centuries remained an English record until Alastair Cook surpassed it in December 2012.
In 1933, he set a record for the highest individual Test innings of 336 not out, surpassed by Len Hutton in 1938. In all first-class cricket, he scored 50,551 runs and 167 centuries, respectively the seventh and third highest totals by a first-class cricketer as of 2013. With the ball, he took 732 wickets.
Full name Walter Reginald Hammond
Born 19 June 1903 Dover, Kent, England
Died 1 July 1965 (aged 62) Kloof, Natal, South Africa
Batting style Right-handed
Bowling style Right arm fast-medium
Role Middle-order batsman
National side England
Test debut 24 December 1927 v South Africa
Last Test 25 March 1947 v New Zealand