A profile of Len Hopwood
by Dave Liverman
A good county slow-left armer, and a more than useful bat (with 24 first-class hundreds, Len Hopwood had difficulty establishing himself in the strong Lancashire sides of the 1920s and 1930s (making his debut in 1923), but became an important member of a strong side. His best year with the bat was 1933, when he made nearly 2,000 runs, and he performed the double in 1934 and 1935. He bowled his slow left-arm in a quicker style, somewhat like Verity, and was accurate and economical. His good form earned him Test selection in 1934, against the powerful Australians. Picked as an all-rounder, and a foil for Verity, he made his debut at Old Trafford. He failed with the bat, and despite bowling 47 overs for only 62 runs failed to take a wicket. He played again in the Fourth Test and had the unfortunate experience of bowling to Bradman at his best. Bradman made 304, Hopwood bowled 30 overs without a wicket, failed with the bat again, and returned to county cricket until the end of his career. E.W.Swanton wrote of him, "chosen for all-round virtues, he lacked the self-assurance necessary for international cricket, and his bowling was only an accurate shadow of Verity's".
(Article: Copyright © 2003 Dave Liverman)