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Tony Lock

Tony Lock
Tony Lock in 1970
Personal information
Full name
Graham Anthony Richard Lock
Born(1929-07-05)5 July 1929
Limpsfield, Surrey, England
Died30 March 1995(1995-03-30) (aged 65)
Perth, Western Australia
BowlingSlow left arm orthodox
International information
National side
Test debut (cap 370)17 July 1952 v India
Last Test3 April 1968 v West Indies
Domestic team information
1962/63–1970/71Western Australia
Career statistics
Competition Test FC LA
Matches 49 654 8
Runs scored 742 10,342 5
Batting average 13.74 15.88 1.00
100s/50s 0/3 0/27 0/0
Top score 89 89 3
Balls bowled 13,147 150,168 428
Wickets 174 2,844 10
Bowling average 25.58 19.23 27.00
5 wickets in innings 9 196 0
10 wickets in match 3 50 0
Best bowling 7/35 10/54 3/20
Catches/stumpings 59/– 831/– 3/–
Source: Cricinfo, 8 September 2009

Graham Anthony Richard Lock (5 July 1929 – 30 March 1995)[1] was an English cricketer, who played primarily as a left-arm spinner. He played in 49 Test matches for England taking 174 wickets.[2]

Lock took 2,844 first-class wickets, placing him ninth on the all-time list, and is the only player to score more than 10,000 runs without once making a century;[3] despite passing fifty on 27 occasions, his highest score was 89, made in a Test in Guyana. His tally of 831 catches in first-class cricket, mostly taken at short leg, lies behind only W.G. Grace and Frank Woolley.

Life and career

Born in Limpsfield, Surrey, Tony Lock had the weighty backing of HDG Leveson Gower and made his first-class debut for Surrey County Cricket Club at just seventeen years and eight days old on 13 July 1946, which made him the youngest ever to play for the county.[4] However he did not play regularly until 1949. In 1951 he took 105 wickets, and broke the 100-wicket barrier every year up to and including 1962, on two occasions (1955 and 1957) claiming more than 200 victims.

Lock made his England debut in the third Test against India in 1952,[2] and played the fourth and fifth Tests against Australia the following summer; he had in fact been picked for the first game, but had worn his spinning finger raw after being named in the team and had had to withdraw while it healed. However, England regained the Ashes and for his efforts Lock was named one of Wisden Cricketers of the Year in the 1954 edition of Wisden's Almanack. However, he also had to deal with accusations (not entirely unfounded) that he was a 'chucker', being called for throwing on more than one occasion. This was one of the grudges that many had against him, the other was his consistent Test selection over Johnny Wardle of Yorkshire.[citation needed]

In 1956, Lock was famously the bowler who took "the other wicket" when Jim Laker achieved his world-record 19–90 at Old Trafford against Australia,[5] and two years later had an extraordinary summer of success against an admittedly poor New Zealand side, finishing with 34 wickets at an average of a mere 7.47.[2] He was inconsistent abroad, however, failing completely on the 1958/59 tour of Australia, but again terrorising the New Zealanders in the same winter, with 13 wickets at under nine runs apiece. It was during the New Zealand leg of the tour that he saw himself on film. Shocked by what he saw, he remodelled his action.[2] By 1961, he was back in the Test side against Australia.

Not included in the English team for the 1962–63 Ashes series, he played with great success for Western Australia,[2] returning to play for that state each winter for the rest of his career.

Lock moved to Leicestershire in 1965, and was made captain for the following two seasons,[2] taking the club to second place in the County Championship in 1967. In 1967/68 he was unexpectedly recalled by England because of an injury to Fred Titmus, and played in the last two Tests against West Indies.[2] He was the last man called up to play for England who was not playing for a first-class county. Though not achieving any great success with the ball, he contributed to the cause in another way, by making his highest first-class score of 89 in the first innings of the final Test at Georgetown, Guyana.[2] England had nine wickets down when the game (played over six days) finished, and claimed the series 1–0.

Lock's remaining playing career was spent entirely with Western Australia, and fittingly his last first-class wicket was that of an Australian Test player, Paul Sheahan.


After retirement he moved into coaching in Perth and London, and became an Australian citizen in 1982.

Personal life

He married Audrey May Sage (1928/9–1994) in September 1949. They had two sons and adopted a daughter.[6]

Assault allegations

Late in life Lock faced two separate charges of sexual abuse. In December 1993 he was found not guilty by a 10–2 majority of indecently assaulting a fifteen-year-old girl after inviting her to his home in Perth for a bowling lesson in 1987,[7] including placing her hand on the clothing covering his penis.[8] Lock admitted to kissing the girl in a "friendly" manner but denied any sexual intent and refuted her allegation that he recommended she bowl in the nude.[9][10]

The following day he was charged with four counts of indecent assault on a girl aged ten some time between 1980 and 1981.[11] Lock asked for a permanent stay on the grounds he was dying of lung cancer with several doctors confirming he would be dead within two years. However the judge allowed the trial to go ahead.[12] The jury deliberated for eight hours but was unable to come to a verdict.[13] Plans for retrial were eventually dropped due to Lock's ill health. He died from cancer in his adopted home town of Perth at the age of 65.[14]


  1. ^ Derek Hodgson (30 March 1995). "Obituary:Tony Lock". The Independent.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Bateman, Colin (1993). If The Cap Fits. Tony Williams Publications. p. 112. ISBN 1-869833-21-X.
  3. ^ "Who has top-scored in the most Test innings for England?". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 8 September 2020.
  4. ^ Daily Telegraph, "Curran strikes on debut", 14 July 2015, sports section page 17.
  5. ^ "He should have been a paceman". ESPN Cricinfo. 5 July 2005. Retrieved 9 July 2018.
  6. ^ "The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. 2004. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/58073. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  7. ^ Cricket Sport in brief, The Guardian, 1 December 1993
  8. ^ "Former Test cricketer on sex charge". The Age - 23/07/1992, page 5
  9. ^ "England cricket legend told me to bowl in nude". Daily Mirror. 30 November 1993. p. 13.
  10. ^ "Ex-England cricketer Tony Lock cleared of sex attack on girl". Evening Standard. 30 November 1993. p. 7.
  11. ^ Tony Lock faces new sex assault charges, The Times, 2 December 1993
  12. ^ "Uncle Tony goes on trial". Manchester Evening News. 21 December 1994. p. 4.
  13. ^ "Jury split on Tony Lock charges". The Daily Telegraph. 23 December 1994. p. 7.
  14. ^ "A bowler with bite". The Guardian. 31 March 1995. p. 45.
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Tony Lock
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