Hugh Morris maintained the tradition for high quality left handed opening batsmen, established by Emrys Davies and Alan Jones, and it was fitting that in Morris` final match for the county in 1997, he equalled Jones` record for the most number of centuries in first-class cricket for the Welsh county. Indeed, Morris was one of the most consistent and dependable batsmen on the county circuit in the 1980`s and 1990`s, and it was no coincidence that Glamorgan enjoyed the most successful period ever in their history when Morris was an opening batsman.
Morris had made his county debut in 1981whilst still at Blundell's School, where he set a host of batting records. After playing for, and captaining, Young England in the mid 1980's, he became Glamorgan's youngest ever leader in 1986. He only had a brief period in charge initially, as he stood down from the captaincy at the end of the 1989 season in order to concentrate on his batting - it was a move which reaped its rewards in 1990 as he established a new club record of 10 centuries and 2276 runs, and together with fellow left-hander Alan Butcher, the Glamorgan openers became the most productive pairing in Championship cricket.
During 1991 the plucky left hander also had a brief taste of Test cricket, playing against the West Indies and Sri Lanka. In the Fifth Test at The Oval, Morris bravely fended off the hostile West Indian pace attack to make 44 in a partnership of 112 with Graham Gooch. At the end of the summer, the England selectors opted for other openers, with more inferior records, and Morris acted as captain of the A tour to the West Indies. He fulfilled this role again in 1993/94 to South Africa, and despite Morris` consistent form at county level, he only won 3 Test caps.
Morris returned to the Glamorgan captaincy in 1993 and proudly led Glamorgan to the Sunday League title, proudly lifting the AXA trophy after Glamorgan had defeated Kent, their nearest challengers, in a head-to-head contest in the final game of the season at Canterbury. At the end of the 1995 season, he handed over the reins to Matthew Maynard, and continued to be a prolific opener with his new partner Steve James. In May 1996, he hit 202 against Yorkshire in the opening match of the season, and Morris repeated the feat in the first game of 1997, recording a career best 233* against Warwickshire at Cardiff.
1997 proved to be Hugh's final season of county cricket, and he ended his playing career on a high note as the county won the Championship, and in his final game at Taunton, Hugh hit 165 to equal Alan Jones' record of 52 centuries in first-class cricket. He retired at the end of the season to take up the post of Technical Coaching Director with the E.C.B.
(from 100 Glamorgan Greats by Andrew Hignell – Tempus Publishing, 2000)
(Article: Copyright © 2000 Dr.A.K.Hignell)
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