Dai Davies was Glamorgan`s first home-bred professional to make an impact in the County Championship
During a playing career with the Welsh county from 1923 to 1939, the all-rounder scored 15,008 runs, and took 271 wickets. In addition, the Llanelli-born cricketer held 193 catches and was described by Jack Hobbs as the finest cover point he ever saw.
Dai initially played Minor County cricket after the Great War for his native Carmarthenshire and was employed in a steelworks at Llanelli. His fine all-round performances drew the attention of the Glamorgan selectors, who were keen to blood local talent at county level. Dai`s chance eventually came in 1923 and his home debut amazingly followed a double nightshift and a hectic car journey to Swansea. As befitted a steel worker, Dai was never afraid of hard work, and over the next 16 years he became one of the county`s most consistent and reliable batsmen, with a career best score of 216 against Somerset at Newport in 1939.
One of his other memorable innings came in the match with Nottinghamshire at the Arms Park in 1932 where he shared a stand of 220 for the third wicket with Maurice Turnbull as the visiting bowlers experimented with `Bodyline` bowling. After the Second World War, Davies became a first-class umpire, and stood in 23 Tests between 1947 and 1958.
He was also standing in the match at Bournemouth in 1948 when Glamorgan defeated Hampshire to win the Championship for the first time. Legend has it that when Dai raised his finger to adjudge the last Hampshire man leg before wicket he said “That`s out and we`ve won the Championship!”
DAVIES, David (‘Dai’)
Born – Llanelli, 26th August 1896.
Died – Llanelli, 16th July 1976.
Best performances for Glamorgan:
In first-class cricket – 216 v Somerset at Rodney Parade, Newport, 1939; 6/50 v Essex at Westcliff, 1936.