Mountain View


Graham Paul Thorpe MBE (born 1 August 1969) is a former English cricketer who played for England internationally and Surrey domestically. A left-handed middle-order batsman and slip fielder, he appeared in exactly 100 Test matches.

Early life

Thorpe was born in Farnham, Surrey, in August 1969. Naturally right-handed, when he was six years old Thorpe changed his stance to make it harder for his two elder brothers to get him out and because the boundary in his garden was shorter on the leg-side for a left-hander.

International career

Thorpe made his debut for Surrey in 1988, and his international debut in 1993. He scored a century (114 not out) in the second innings of his debut Test match, against Australia at Trent Bridge. Developing into a very highly regarded player, he was named as one of the Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 1998. Thorpe hit only one four in his hundred against Pakistan at Lahore in November 2000. It also contained seven threes, 12 twos and 51 singles. He hit another boundary before being dismissed for 118 from 301 balls. This is among the fewest ever boundaries in a Test century. However, Thorpe was also a highly capable stroke-maker: during his highest Test score, 200 not out off 231 balls against New Zealand at Christchurch in 2002, he and Andrew Flintoff compiled a partnership of 281 in 51 overs.

During the 2002 season, Thorpe had marital difficulties which were well publicised in several tabloid newspapers, and this seriously affected his play and his focus on the game. Seemingly disillusioned with constant touring away from his family, he announced his retirement from the one-day game and changed his mind several times on whether to tour Australia, eventually pulling out of the tour entirely. However, in 2003 Thorpe, with family problems put to one side, returned to the England team in the fifth Test against South Africa at his home ground of The Oval, where he was warmly welcomed as a local hero with a standing ovation. Thorpe scored an excellent 124 as England won the match to force an unlikely series draw, and remained in the side for series victories against Bangladesh away and at home, against the West Indies away and at home, against New Zealand at home, and in South Africa. He played his hundredth and final Test against Bangladesh in June 2005; in the two years between his comeback and his retirement he scored 1635 Test runs at an average of 56.37. He witnessed Brian lara’s marathon innings of 375 in 1994 and 400* in 2004.

Thorpe announced his retirement from Test cricket after the England selectors chose Kevin Pietersen instead of him for the first Test of The Ashes in July 2005. Thorpe averaged over 49.00 against Australia, but given the impending back complaint and 2005/2006 winter tour unavailability the selectors felt the decision to replace Thorpe with Pietersen the correct one. After announcing the squad England chairman of selectors David Graveney described it as “the most difficult decision that I have been party to in my time as a selector”.

Domestic career

Thorpe played another two months with Surrey before following up his test retirement with his retirement from domestic cricket in August 2005. He served New South Wales as a batting coach in two seasons starting in 2005/6 and played for UTS-Balmain in the Sydney First Grade competition. Thorpe was named as assistant coach of New South Wales in 2007 replacing Matthew Mott who was promoted to the position of coach.

Beyond cricket

Thorpe was created a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) on 17 June 2006. Thorpe made his debut as a summariser for BBC Radio’s Test Match Special programme during the first Test of India’s 2007 tour of England. He also appeared as a match summariser on Sky Sports‘ highlights coverage for the same series. He has written a monthly column for the UK-based cricket magazine, SPIN World Cricket Monthly, since December 2006.

International centuries

Test centuries

Test centuries of Graham Thorpe
No Runs Match Against City/Country Venue Start date Result
114* 1  Australia England Nottingham, England Trent Bridge 1 July 1993 Drawn
123 15  Australia Australia Perth, Australia WACA Ground 3 February 1995 Lost
119 35  New Zealand New Zealand Auckland, New Zealand Eden Park 24 January 1997 Drawn
108 36  New Zealand New Zealand Wellington, New Zealand Basin Reserve 6 February 1997 Won
138 38  Australia England Birmingham, England Edgbaston Cricket Ground 5 June 1997 Won
103 48  West Indies Barbados Bridgetown, Barbados Kensington Oval 12 March 1998 Drawn
118 61  Pakistan Pakistan Lahore, Pakistan Gaddafi Stadium 15 November 2000 Drawn
113* 66  Sri Lanka Sri Lanka Colombo, Sri Lanka Sinhalese Sports Club Ground 15 March 2001 Won
138 68  Pakistan England Manchester, England Old Trafford 31 May 2001 Lost
200* 71  New Zealand New Zealand Christchurch, New Zealand AMI Stadium 13 March 2002 Won
123 75  Sri Lanka England Birmingham, England Edgbaston Cricket Ground 30 May 2002 Won
124 78  South Africa England London, England Kennington Oval 4 September 2003 Won
119* 86  West Indies Barbados Bridgetown, Barbados Kensington Oval 2 April 2004 Won
104* 90  New Zealand England Nottingham, England Trent Bridge 10 June 2004 Won
114 93  West Indies England Manchester, England Old Trafford 12 August 2004 Won
118* 95  South Africa South Africa Durban, South Africa Kingsmead Cricket Ground 26 December 2004 Drawn

International awards

One Day International Cricket

Man of the Match awards

# Opponent Venue Date Match Performance Result
1 Zimbabwe Brisbane Cricket Ground, Brisbane 7 January 1995 89 (119 balls, 7×4)  England won by 26 runs.
2 India Headingley Cricket Ground, Leeds 25 May 1996 1 Ct. ; 79* (118 balls, 10×4)  England won by 6 wickets.
3 West Indies Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah 19 December 1997 66* (74 balls, 5×4)  England won by 3 wickets.