Brian Bolus

John Brian Bolus (31 January 1934 – 7 May 2020)[1][2] was an English cricketer who played in seven Tests from 1963 to 1964. Cricket commentator Colin Bateman stated, "Bolus was essentially an accumulator, dependably totting up 25,000 runs over 20 summers".[1]

Brian Bolus
Personal information
Full nameJohn Brian Bolus
Born(1934-01-31)31 January 1934
Whitkirk, Leeds, England
Died7 May 2020(2020-05-07) (aged 86)
BowlingLeft-arm medium
RoleOpening batsman
Nottinghamshire captain 1972
Derbyshire captain 1973-1974
International information
National side
Test debut25 July 1963 v West Indies
Last Test15 February 1964 v India
Domestic team information
Career statistics
Competition Tests FC LA
Matches 7 469 143
Runs scored 496 25598 3110
Batting average 41.33 34.03 24.29
100s/50s 0/4 39/142 1/18
Top score 88 202* 100*
Balls bowled 18 1736 6
Wickets 0 24 0
Bowling average 36.91
5 wickets in innings 0 0
10 wickets in match 0 n/a
Best bowling 4/40 0/7
Catches/stumpings 2/– 201/– 44/–
Source: Cricket Archive, 28 March 2010

Life and careerEdit

Bolus was born in Whitkirk, Leeds, Yorkshire. He learned his cricket with Whitkirk before moving to Leeds in 1953, and then to Bradford.

He began his first-class career in his native Yorkshire in 1956, playing for seven years. His first-class debut was Yorkshire versus M.C.C., at Lords, in 1956. He played 107 matches for Yorkshire, with a highest score of 146 not out against Hampshire at Portsmouth in 1960. His best bowling figures were 4 for 40 against Pakistan at Park Avenue in 1962.[3]

He moved on to Nottinghamshire in 1963, after Yorkshire opted for a relative unknown, Geoffrey Boycott, who was six years younger.[4] For Nottinghamshire he played 269 matches, with a highest score of 202 not out against Glamorgan at Trent Bridge in 1963, and best bowling figures of 2 for 24 against the West Indies, also at Trent Bridge in 1966. In his debut List A cricket match for Nottinghamshire against Yorkshire in 1963, he scored 100 not out in his team's total of only 159: the lowest all-out total to include a century in List A cricket's history.[5]He was made county captain in 1972.

Bolus became the third player to be capped by three counties, and the first to captain two different county sides in successive seasons, when he moved to Derbyshire in 1973. He played 64 matches for Derbyshire, with a highest score of 151 against Oxford University at the Bass Worthington Ground in Burton upon Trent in 1975.

He twice scored more than one thousand runs in a season whilst playing for Yorkshire, as well as ten times for Nottinghamshire and twice for Derbyshire.

A solid county performer, particularly strong off his pads, his Test batting average of 41.33 is higher than his overall first-class average of 36.91. He was unlucky not to play more Tests, particularly after a strong tour of India in 1963/64. He hit the first ball he faced in Test cricket, bowled by Wes Hall, back over the bowler's head for four. He was unable to convert any of his four Test fifties to three figures, and found himself overtaken in the international reckoning by Geoff Boycott and John Edrich. Bolus does hold two unusual Test match records - the most Tests in a complete career without ever recording a single figure score (seven), and the most Test Match innings in a complete career without ever recording a single figure score (twelve).[6]

He effectively retired in 1975 with over 25,500 first-class runs to his name. He appeared twice in the B and H cup at the start of the 1976 season. He became an England Test selector in the 1990s.[1] After his first-class career he took an appointment with Gedling Council in Nottingham in 1976, while also playing for Bradford. Later he played for Cleckheaton, Brighouse and Farsley, leading the team to a Priestley Cup win in 1983. He was an Honorary Life Member of Whitkirk Cricket Club.[7]

He is one of the small band of captains to send off one of his own players, dismissing the Derbyshire and England paceman Alan Ward from the Queen's Park, Chesterfield, ground after Ward had declined to resume bowling.

In his later after dinner speech career, Bolus opened with the line, "For those of you who saw me bat... let me apologise".[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Bateman, Colin (1993). If The Cap Fits. Tony Williams Publications. p. 30. ISBN 1-869833-21-X.
  2. ^ "Brian Bolus: Former England, Yorkshire, Notts and Derbyshire batsman dies". BBC. 7 May 2020. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  3. ^ Warner, David (2011). The Yorkshire County Cricket Club: 2011 Yearbook (113th ed.). Ilkley, Yorkshire: Great Northern Books. p. 364. ISBN 978-1-905080-85-4.
  4. ^ "History: Brian Bolus". Trent Bridge. Retrieved 3 September 2016.
  5. ^ "Brian Bolus - Cricket Archive". Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  6. ^ Walmsley, Keith (2003). Mosts Without in Test Cricket. Reading, England: Keith Walmsley Publishing Pty Ltd. p. 457. ISBN 0947540067.
  7. ^ "Brian Bolus". Whitkirk Cricket Club. Retrieved 3 September 2016.

External linksEdit

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Gary Sobers
Nottinghamshire County cricket captain
Succeeded by
Gary Sobers
Preceded by
Ian Buxton
Derbyshire cricket captains
Succeeded by
Bob Taylor