|Was|| Athlete |
|Birth||12 February 1919|
|Death|| 16 December 2006|
(aged 87 years)
Squadron Leader Alexander ‘Alan’ Campbell Shirreff (12 February 1919 – 16 December 2006) was an English cricketer. He was a right-handed batsman who bowled medium pace and played as an all-rounder.
Shirreff was educated at Dulwich College. He made his first-class debut for Cambridge University in 1939 against Northamptonshire. Shirreff played 12 matches for the University, all coming in 1939. Shirreff’s final match for the University came against Oxford University. He played no further first-class matches for the University due to the onset of the Second World War. In his 12 matches for the University he scored 219 runs at a batting average of 13.68, with a single half century score of 51* against Surrey, and took 32 wickets at a bowling average of 34.18, with two five wicket hauls and best figures of 5 for 58 against Free Foresters. For his time representing the University, Shirreff was awarded a Cambridge Blue.
After the war Shirreff returned to first-class cricket, playing his first match for the Combined Services against Oxford University. He played for the Combined Services in 40 first-class matches between 1946 and 1957, while maintaining his career in the Royal Air Force. Shirreff’s final match for the Combined Services came against Warwickshire in 1957. In his 40 matches for the team he scored 1,492 runs at a batting average of 24.45, with nine half centuries and a single century score of 115* against Essex in 1950, and took 126 wickets at a bowling average of 27.60, with six five wicket hauls and best figures of 7/81 against Gloucestershire in 1947. In the field he took 28 catches for the team.
In 1946 Shirreff joined Hampshire, making his debut against Surrey in the County Championship. From 1946 to 1947 he represented Hampshire in 12 first-class matches, with his final first-class match for the county coming against Yorkshire. In his 12 matches for Hampshire, Shirreff scored 387 runs at a batting average of 21.50, with two half centuries and a high score of 77* against Essex in 1946, and took 13 wickets at a bowling average of 56.23 with best figures of 3/48.
Shirreff joined Kent in 1950, making his debut for the county against Gloucestershire. He played 46 first-class matches for Kent from 1950 to 1956, with his final first-class match for Kent coming against Sussex in 1956. During his time at Kent, Shirreff played infrequently due to his career in the Royal Air Force, when he rose to the rank of Squadron Leader. In his 46 first-class matches for the county he scored 1,503 runs at a batting average of 21.47, with 7 half centuries and a high score of 87* against Middlesex in 1952. He took 121 wickets at a bowling average of 30.55, with 3 five wicket hauls and best figures of 8/111 against Leicestershire in 1956. In the field he took 37 catches for Kent.
After leaving Kent, Shirreff joined Somerset in 1958, where he made just two County Championship appearances for the county against Sussex and Essex, before leaving Somerset after falling out with Somerset captain Maurice Tremlett.
As well as playing first-class matches for those teams already mentioned, Shirreff also represented the Royal Air Force in a single first-class match against Worcestershire in 1946. Shirreff made four first-class appearances for the Marylebone Cricket Club, making his debut for club against Oxford University in 1947 and playing his final match for the club against Cambridge University in 1955. Shirreff also played two first-class matches for the Free Foresters against Cambridge University in 1949 and 1950.
In Shirreff’s overall first-class career he scored 3,887 runs at a batting average of 21.71, with 20 half centuries and a single century score of 115*. With the ball he took 304 wickets at a bowling average of 31.49, with 11 five wicket hauls and best figures of 8/111. In the field Shirreff took a combined total of 88 catches.
Shirreff died at West Wickham, London on 16 December 2006.