Haydn Davies is regarded by many to have been the finest wicket-keeper to represent the Welsh county. Even in the of his career in 1955 he took a record eight dismissals in the match against the South Africans at Swansea. He was also unlucky never to have won Test honours, Despite playing in the 1946 Test Trial, Davies was at the peak of his career at the same time as Godfrey Evans, and the England selectors opted instead for the Kent wicket-keeper.
Davies made his county debut in 1935 as a specialist batsman and swift outfielder. He took over on a regular basis as Glamorgan`s wicket-keeper in 1938, and subsequently played in every County Championship match between 1947 and 1957, often playing with broken fingers strapped and bandaged. His swift glovework impressed many people, and some writers believe that during this time, he was the best exponent of leg-side stumpings in county cricket.
Despite having become a specialist wicket-keeper, Davies still played many fine innings, and he was always prepared to act in emergency as an opener or to fulfil the role of night-watchman evn if he had been in the field all day. On his day, Davies could be an explosive hitter and he struck a career-best 80 in his Benefit Match against the 1951 South Africans at Cardiff Arms Park.
His high quality wicket-keeping, vociferous appeals and entertaining batting made him popular with Glamorgan`s supporters. Indeed, amongst the highlights of watching Glamorgan in the field would be a deft stumping by Davies as opponents completely misread the spin of Clay, Muncer, McConnon and Shepherd.
Despite his heavy build, Davies was an excellent squash player and after retiring in 1958, he became the professional at the Edinburgh Squash and Tennis club.
(Article: Copyright © 2000 Dr.A.K.Hignell)
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