Kim Hughes


Kim Hughes

Kimberley John Hughes (born 26 January, 1954) is a former cricketer who played for Western Australia, Natal and Australia. His first-class debut was at the WACA Ground on 2 November 1975 when he provided a masterful exhibition of strokeplay against New South Wales, making 119 in 166 minutes and becoming the fifth Western Australian batsman to make a century on debut.

Hughes' Test debut was versus England at The Oval in 1977 and his last test was against the West Indies at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in 1985. Hughes was named as a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1981. He was also a member of the non-World Series Cricket teams of the late 1970s, and it was his involvement with the Australian Cricket Board at the time that would affect his relationship with senior players Greg Chappell, Rod Marsh, and Dennis Lillee.

He came to the Australia captaincy in 1978/79 at the age of 24, when many of the country's most experienced players were aligned with World Series Cricket[citation needed] and in later sharing the captaincy with Greg Chappell, he led Australia mostly on away tours. Hughes tearfully relinquished the captaincy following Australia's defeat in the second Test against the West Indies in 1984/85 and finished with a disappointing captaincy record of four wins, 13 losses and 11 draws. He lost his place in the side two Tests later, having scored just two runs in his final four innings, including a golden duck in his last Test innings.

After being left out of the Ashes squad for the 1985 trip to England, Hughes accepted a deal to captain the rebel tour side to South Africa. Hughes believed he had nothing left to offer Australian cricket, while many believed that Hughes was victimised for his association with the ACB during the WSC era.

Following the rebel tour, Hughes returned to Western Australia to play first-class cricket but struggled, and returned to South Africa to play for Natal. However, his time ended in acrimony there as well, and after two seasons with Natal he retired from first-class cricket.

Unfairly, he is remembered more for his unlucky captaincy record, but was one of the most talented batsmen of his generation. In the first Test in Melbourne against the West Indies in 1981-82, he faced the fearsome fast-bowling quartet of Michael Holding, Andy Roberts, Joel Garner and Colin Croft. Hughes' brave 100* out of a total of only 198[3][4] enabled Australia to win a low-scoring match and take a 1-0 lead in the series.

The Wisden 100 ranking of the Top 10 Test Innings of all time ranked that innings as number nine. Since retirement Hughes has been a chairman of selectors for the Western Australian Cricket Association and more recently a cricket commentator on ABC radio.

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