Kim Hughes


Kim Hughes

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Kim Hughes made a century on debut for Western Australia, a poised hundred in his fourth Test, and captained Australia to victory in his 11th: a speedy eminence partly attributable to the absence of senior players with World Series Cricket, but an outcome also of native precocity. Not everything afterwards came so easily, though at his best his strokeplay gave off a reek of extravagance, as in the Centenary Test at Lord's in 1980, and danger, as in the Boxing Day Test of the following year.

Between times, there were more melancholy moments: he was a luckless captain during the 1981 "Botham's Ashes" series, and a hapless target during his final four Test innings, which brought him only two runs. Identified with the cause of the Board by former Packer signatories, Hughes was only suffered by them as a skipper, and his tearful resignation at Brisbane in December 1984 after only four victories in 28 matches was one of that office's sorriest spectacles. He ended his international career leading the sanction-busting Australian "rebel" teams to South Africa, a disenchanted, alienated figure, like the captain of the Flying Dutchman.

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