Robert Croft

British cricketer

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Robert Croft
Personal information
Full name
Robert Damien Bale Croft
Born (1970-05-25) 25 May 1970 (age 53)
Morriston, Swansea, Wales
Nickname Crofty
Height 170 cm (5 ft 7 in)
Batting Right-handed
Bowling Right-arm off break
Role All rounder
International information
National side .mw-parser-output .plainlist ol,.mw-parser-output .plainlist ul{line-height:inherit;list-style:none;margin:0;padding:0}.mw-parser-output .plainlist ol li,.mw-parser-output .plainlist ul li{margin-bottom:0}

Test debut (cap 582) 22 August 1996 v Pakistan
Last Test 2 August 2001 v Australia
ODI debut (cap 138) 29 August 1996 v Pakistan
Last ODI 21 June 2001 v Australia
Domestic team information
Years Team
1989–2012 Glamorgan (squad no. 10)
Career statistics
Competition Test ODI FC LA
Matches 21 50 407 408
Runs scored 421 345 12,880 6,490
Batting average 16.19 14.37 26.17 23.42
100s/50s 0/0 0/0 8/54 4/32
Top score 37* 32 143 143
Balls bowled 4,619 2,466 89,156 18,511
Wickets 49 45 1,175 411
Bowling average 37.24 38.73 35.08 32.62
5 wickets in innings 1 0 51 1
10 wickets in match 0 0 9 0
Best bowling 5/95 3/51 8/66 6/20
Catches/stumpings 10/– 11/– 177/– 94/–
Source: Cricinfo, 15 June 2022

Robert Damien Bale Croft MBE (born 25 May 1970) is a former Welsh cricketer who played international cricket for the England cricket team. He is an off-spin bowler who played for Glamorgan and captained the county from 2003 to 2006. He retired from first class cricket at the end of the 2012 season, having played county cricket for 23 seasons. He commentates on cricket occasionally for Sky Sports.

Early life and education[edit]

Croft was born on 25 May 1970 in Morriston, Swansea. He was educated at St John Lloyd’s Roman Catholic Comprehensive School, Llanelli. He played rugby union as a scrum half for Llanelli RFC Under-11s. He studied at Swansea Metropolitan University.

Cricketing career[edit]

He made his England debut against Pakistan in 1996, and did enough to earn a touring place to Zimbabwe and New Zealand. In Christchurch, he took his Test best figures of 5–95 and his winter figures were a highly impressive 182.1–53–340–18. He played the first five tests of the 1997 Ashes series but was dropped for the final test, replaced by Phil Tufnell, after averaging 54 with the ball and showing a weakness to short-pitched fast bowling as a batsman.

Around this time, Croft was involved in what ESPNCricinfo calls “an unsavoury, but in truth pretty harmless, pushing and finger-wagging incident” with Mark Ilott during the NatWest Trophy semi-final against Essex,[1] which Glamorgan narrowly lost.[2] However Croft had a happier experience that year in helping his county to their first County Championship in 28 years, Croft taking 54 wickets in Glamorgan’s campaign at an average of 23.31.[3]

Croft toured the West Indies with England that winter, but in spite of taking six wickets in the fourth Test, it was the only Test he played that series.[4] Restored to the England Test team the following summer, his last-wicket stand with Angus Fraser in the third Test of the 1998 series against South Africa saved England from an innings defeat, Croft personally scoring his highest Test score, 37 not out. Wisden observed that “England found an unlikely hero in Croft, who made up for three wicketless Tests by keeping his end intact for more than three hours”.[5] Croft was dropped for the next Test, although his innings helped to shift the momentum in the series, which England won. He enjoyed another relatively successful tour in Sri Lanka early in 2001, taking nine wickets at 28.66 as England won the three-match Test series.[6] In general, Croft was a more effective Test bowler overseas, where he took 35 wickets in 9 Tests at 24.65, than in England, where he took 14 wickets in 12 Tests at 68.71.[7]

His final Test match was the third Ashes Test of 2001 at Trent Bridge where he bowled just 3 overs. He was selected for the subsequent tour of India but he withdrew because of safety fears[8] and was also selected for the 2003/04 tour of Sri Lanka but failed to play. After returning home, he announced his international retirement to concentrate on the captaincy of Glamorgan.

On 12 September 2006, after just two County Championship victories in 15 games thus far in the season, he announced his resignation from the captaincy, and was succeeded by David Hemp.

Exactly a year later, he passed 1,000 first-class wickets after dismissing Niall O’Brien; he became the first Welsh cricketer to take the double of 10,000 first-class career runs and 1,000 first-class career wickets.[9] As of March 2022, he is the last cricketer anywhere to achieve this feat in first-class cricket, and with the increasing focus of higher-ability cricketers on limited-over forms of the game, he is likely to remain the last.[10] In November 2007, he joined voices calling for a “clampdown” on Twenty20 problems with abusive crowds, after suffering abusive calls at Taunton Cricket Ground.[11] On 1 August 2010 he got his first hat-trick against Gloucestershire to help Glamorgan win the match. It also made him the first Glamorgan spinner to take a hat-trick in 46 years.

Croft was once honoured as a druid at the Welsh cultural event, the National Eisteddfod.[12]

He was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2013 New Year Honours for services to cricket.[13]

In October 2018, Croft left his role as Glamorgan head coach.[14]

England tours[edit]

England ‘A’

  • West Indies 1992
  • South Africa 1993/94


  • Zimbabwe / New Zealand 1996/97
  • Sharjah / West Indies 1997/98
  • Australia 1998/99
  • Sri Lanka 2000/01 and 2003/04.

Team honours[edit]

Glamorgan (1989 – 2012)


Individual honours[edit]

Career best performances[edit]

Batting Bowling
Score Fixture Venue Season Score Fixture Venue Season
Tests 37* England v South Africa Manchester 1998 5–95 England v New Zealand Christchurch 1997
ODI 32 England v Sri Lanka Perth 1999 3–51 England v South Africa The Oval 1998
FC 143 Glamorgan v Somerset Taunton 1995 8–66 Glamorgan v Warwickshire Swansea 1992
LA 143 Glamorgan Dragons v Lincolnshire Lincoln 2004 6–20 Glamorgan v Worcestershire Cardiff 1994
T20 62* Glamorgan Dragons v Gloucestershire Gladiators Cardiff 2005 3–9 Glamorgan Dragons v Somerset Cardiff 2011


  • First Welsh cricketer to score 10,000 runs and take 1,000 wickets in first-class cricket (2007)
  • Elected to the Gorsedd of Bards


  • Bennett, Androw and Croft, Robert (1995) Dyddiadur Troellwr Y Lolfa, Talybont, Dyfed .mw-parser-output cite.citation{font-style:inherit;word-wrap:break-word}.mw-parser-output .citation q{quotes:”””””””‘””‘”}.mw-parser-output .citation:target{background-color:rgba(0,127,255,0.133)}.mw-parser-output a{background:url(“//”)right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}body:not(.skin-timeless):not(.skin-minerva) .mw-parser-output .id-lock-free a{background-size:contain}.mw-parser-output a,.mw-parser-output a{background:url(“//”)right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}body:not(.skin-timeless):not(.skin-minerva) .mw-parser-output .id-lock-limited a,body:not(.skin-timeless):not(.skin-minerva) .mw-parser-output .id-lock-registration a{background-size:contain}.mw-parser-output a{background:url(“//”)right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}body:not(.skin-timeless):not(.skin-minerva) .mw-parser-output .id-lock-subscription a{background-size:contain}.mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a{background:url(“//”)right 0.1em center/12px no-repeat}body:not(.skin-timeless):not(.skin-minerva) .mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a{background-size:contain}.mw-parser-output .cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:none;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;color:#d33}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{color:#d33}.mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{display:none;color:#2C882D;margin-left:0.3em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right{padding-right:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .citation .mw-selflink{font-weight:inherit} .mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{color:#18911F} .mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error, .mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{color:#f8a397}@media(prefers-color-scheme:dark){ .mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error, .mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{color:#f8a397} .mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{color:#18911F}}ISBN 0-86243-358-4
  • Steen, Rob with Croft, Robert and Elliott, Matthew (1997) Poms and cobbers : the Ashes 1997 : an inside view Andre Deutsch, London ISBN 0-233-99210-3


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  1. ^ “Mark Ilott”. ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  2. ^ “SF: Essex v Glamorgan at Chelmsford, 12-13 Aug 1997”. ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  3. ^ “1997 County Championship Averages Glamorgan”. ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  4. ^ “Full Scorecard of West Indies v England, 4th test, 1997-8”. ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  5. ^ “England v South Africa 1998”. ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  6. ^ “England in Sri Lanka, 2000/01 Test Series Averages”. ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 18 March 2022.
  7. ^ “Statistics/RDB Croft/Test matches”. ESPNCricinfo. Retrieved 13 June 2022.
  8. ^ “Caddick and Croft unavailable for India tour”. ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  9. ^ “The Home of CricketArchive”. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  10. ^ “Records/first class matches/all round records/10000 runs and 1000 wickets”. ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 18 March 2022.
  11. ^ Croft supports Twenty20 clampdown BBC News retrieved 20 November 2007
  12. ^ “Plan for bardic founder memorial”. BBC News. 12 October 2006. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  13. ^ “No. 60367”. The London Gazette (Supplement). 29 December 2012. p. 16.
  14. ^ “Robert Croft leaves Glamorgan head coach role”. BBC. 17 October 2018. Retrieved 18 October 2018.

External links[edit]