A useful all-rounder, who was somewhat unfortunate that he did not get more international recognition, Martin Horton was a fine off-spinner, and a strong bat, particularly powerful on the off-side, excelling in the cut. He came to prominence in 1955 when he took 9/56 for Worcestershire against the touring South Africans. That year he achieved the double, a feat he repeated in 1961. In all he scored 1,000 runs in a season eleven times in his fourteen seasons with Worcestershire. His best year with the bat was 1959, when he made nearly 2,500 runs at an average of 45. He was picked to play against India that year, making a useful 58 in his first Test innings, but failed to take a wicket, despite bowling 19 overs for just 20 runs in the Indian second innings. He took a couple of wickets in England's easy win in the Lord's Test, but then fell out of favour with the selectors, replaced by John Mortimore. He played seven more seasons for Worcestershire, making his highest first-class score of 233 in 1961 (setting a county record third wicket partnership with Tom Graveney) and then moved to New Zealand. There he played for Northern Districts until 1971, and coached the national team for eighteen years. He became Worcestershire cricket committee chairman.
(Article: Copyright © 2003 Dave Liverman)
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