Merv Hughes

Aussie cricketing legend

During and long and successful professional playing career, Merv Hughes became one of Australia’s most popular sporting legends, loved by cricket fans around the world, and also one of its most recognisable.

Merv was a big-hearted fast bowler with a matching big trademark handlebar moustache who represented Australia between 1985 and 1994, helping it to re-climb the ranks of Test cricket.

From an early age Merv displayed a passion for sport that eventually led him to professional cricket and in 1978-79 saw him playing district cricket with Footscray-Edgewater. The club subsequently named their main home ground after him; the Mervyn G. Hughes Oval. Merv was selected for Victoria in 1981-82, and made his first appearance for Australia against India in 1985-1986.

During his international career Merv played in 53 Test matches, taking 212 wickets. He played 33 One Day Internationals, taking 38 wickets. He took a hat trick in a Test against the West Indies at the WACA in 1988-89, and went on to take 8-87. In 1993, Merv saved his greatest series performance for the 1993 Ashes tour, when bowling partner Craig McDermott was ruled out with a twisted bowel. Over the six Tests, Merv took 31 wickets from almost 300 overs, helping Australia to a 4-1 victory over England. As well as playing for his country, Merv also represented the Victorian Bushrangers, Essex in English county cricket and Australian Capital Territory.

Following a serious knee injury sustained during the 1993 Ashes tour, Merv made only a fleeting Test comeback the following summer, finishing with 212 career wickets. However, his enthusiasm for the game continued long after his international days. He appeared for the Canberra Comets during their experiment against the states in domestic one-day cricket, and became a veteran of his local club Footscray, the same club that had set him on his journey to professional cricket 20 years earlier.

Merv made the step into high-level administration when he replaced Allan Border as an Australian selector from 2005-2010.

As well as cricket, Merv also has an enormous passion for fishing and it is fishing that was the inspiration behind his first book, Caught in the Deep, published in 2006. According to Merv, you don’t have to be a pro to enjoy fishing, all you need is a sense of adventure, a love of the outdoors and a willingness to learn from those who know!

With a successful international career spanning over 30 years and a mischievous sense of humour, Merv is a hugely popular keynote, after-dinner and motivational speaker. Always a crowd favourite, his favourite topics are, of course, cricket and fishing!

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