The phrase “late bloomer” might have been drawn up with Charlie Hemphrey in mind, with the top-order batsman, born in Doncaster and resident in Australia, joining Glamorgan in 2019, ten years after being on Kent’s staff as an off-spinning all-rounder .
Charlie first played for Kent 2nd XI in 2015 but he failed to make a 1st team appearance and during September 2013 he moved to live and work in Brisbane where he had earlier spent three winters playing grade cricket.At first, he worked for Virgin Airlines at Brisbane Airport, looking after the turnaround of aircraft, besides playing in grade cricket. His batting duly flourished with Charlie being the third highest scorer in Queensland grade cricket in 2013/14, and in October 2014, he was selected for Queensland 2nd XI. During his second game, he scored 140 out of 297 against New South Wales, and in February 2015 received a phone call that would change his life, with confirmation that he had been chosen as an opening batsman in the Sheffield Shield match against Victoria.
A first innings duck then followed, but the following week he made 58 against Tasmania before a maiden first-class hundred against South Australia at Brisbane, batting at number three. Charlie reached three figures. A measure of Charlie’s achievement was that he was the first Englishman since John Hampshire in 1978 to score a century in the Sheffield Shield and after signing terms with Queensland he had – in his mid-twenties – achieved his dream of becoming a professional cricketer and could say farewell to working at Brisbane Airport.
He subsequently became a mainstay in the Queensland batting line-up, and during 2017/18, Charlie struck 568 runs including a stellar performance against Western Australia at The Gabba in Brisbane where his 171 runs won him the Man-of-the-Match Award. 2019 saw Charlie join the Welsh county, besides ticking off his long-held goal of playing County Championship. He duly opened the batting with Nick Selman in ten Championship matches and posted five solid half-centuries. However, his highest score came in one of eight List A matches with Charlie scoring 87 against Middlesex at Lord’s.
However, the fact that Charlie had played for Queensland as an overseas player from the 2018/19 season meant that under the ECB’s revised regulations for 2021 and beyond, he was considered unqualified for England. With Glamorgan looking to maximise income through the ECB’s incentives to field England-qualified players, the club announced on 5 May 2021 that Charlie’s contract had been terminated by mutual consent.
HEMPHREY, Charles Richard
Born – Doncaster 31st August 1989.
Best performances for Glamorgan:
In first-class cricket – 75 v Derbyshire at Derby, 2019; 1/17 v Middlesex at Sophia Gardens, 2019.
In List A cricket – 87 v Middlesex at Lord’s, 2019.