David Lawrence (cricketer)


David Valentine Lawrence (born 28 January 1964)[1] is an English retired cricketer, who mainly played for Gloucestershire and briefly featured for England. He picked up 625 wickets in 280 matches for Gloucestershire, where he appeared in a bowling attack alongside Courtney Walsh and Kevin Curran. Lawrence later suffered a severe knee injury, on international duty, which curtailed his playing days. As of now he serves as the first black president of Gloucestershire County Cricket Club.[2]

David Lawrence
Personal information
Full name
David Valentine Lawrence
Born (1964-01-28) 28 January 1964 (age 60)
Gloucester, England
BowlingRight-arm fast
Career statistics
Competition Test ODI FC LA
Matches 5 1 185 113
Runs scored 60 1,851 292
Batting average 10.00 10.69 10.81
100s/50s 0/0 0/2 0/0
Top score 34 66 38
Balls bowled 1,089 66 26,930 5,362
Wickets 18 4 515 155
Bowling average 37.55 16.75 32.07 26.43
5 wickets in innings 1 0 21 4
10 wickets in match 0 0 1 0
Best bowling 5/106 4/67 7/47 6/20
Catches/stumpings 0/– 0/– 45/– 24/–
Source: Cricinfo, 1 January 2006

Life and career


Born in Gloucester, England to Jamaican parents, by the age of 17 he was playing for Gloucestershire, opening the bowling with Courtney Walsh. His vigorous bowling action generated great pace, although at times he was also prone to inaccuracy.[3] He toured Sri Lanka with an England 'B' side in 1985-6.[4] He was later named the 1985 Cricket Writers' Club Young Cricketer of the Year.[5]

Lawrence was certainly one of the fastest bowlers in domestic cricket of his era. During the 1988 season, in a match against the touring West Indies, in gloomy conditions at Bristol, a delivery from Lawrence struck batter Phil Simmons on the head. Simmons had not been wearing a helmet, and his heart stopped beating as he was rushed to hospital for emergency brain surgery; he made a full recovery.[6] Later that season Lawrence came into the England team for the one-off Test match against Sri Lanka. Although he finished on the winning side in that Test, England's first victory in a Test match for nearly two years, with the emergence of Devon Malcolm he did not force his way back into the team until the Trent Bridge Test of 1991. The West Indies were then the opponents, so that Lawrence faced up to the recovered Simmons again, dismissing him in the second innings.[7] Lawrence then took his only Test five-wicket haul, 5 for 106, at The Oval, contributing to England's series-levelling win in the Fifth Test. To Lawrence fell the distinction of being the last bowler to dismiss Viv Richards in Test cricket.[8] He retained his place for another subsequent match against Sri Lanka.[9] He also played his only one-day international that season at Lord's, returning the best bowling figures in the match, 4 for 67 in 11 eventful overs, including his Gloucestershire colleague Walsh among his wickets.[10] As of present these remain the best bowling figures recorded by a bowler who played only one one-day international.[11]

Having just established himself as part of England's primary bowling strikeforce, he suffered a knee injury on 10 February 1992, in Wellington, New Zealand, while playing his fifth Test for his country.[12] In the middle of his delivery stride, his left patella (knee cap) shattered, the noise of it reaching as far as the boundary; spectators said the sound of his knee splitting was "like a pistol shot".[3] Lawrence collapsed to the ground screaming, and was eventually carried from the field on a stretcher, comforted by team mate Ian Botham. Despite two come-back attempts for his county, including the first after a full thirteen months of recuperation, when the knee cracked yet again during a gymnasium work-out,[1] he was never able to play for England again and was eventually forced to retire from the sport at the age of 29. Later he made a career for himself in bodybuilding.[13]

Personal life


Lawrence owned a nightclub, located in Bristol, by the name of Dojo, until its closure in May 2024.[14][15] In June 2024 it was announced that he had been diagnosed with motor neurone disease.[16][17]


  1. ^ a b Bateman, Colin (1993). If The Cap Fits. Tony Williams Publications. p. 109. ISBN 1-869833-21-X.
  2. ^ "David Lawrence unveiled as first Black president of Gloucestershire". ESPNcricinfo. 19 April 2022. Retrieved 15 April 2023.
  3. ^ a b Cricinfo.
  4. ^ "England 'B' in Sri Lanka, Jan/Feb 1986". ESPNCricinfo. Retrieved 29 June 2022.
  5. ^ Brenkley, Stephen (14 September 1996). "Cricket Diary: Long tradition of the young ones". The Independent. Retrieved 15 April 2023.
  6. ^ Williamson, Martin; Miller, Andrew (9 May 2006). "More dangerous games". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 15 April 2023.
  7. ^ "Full Scorecard of England vs West Indies 3rd Test, 1991". ESPNCricinfo. Retrieved 29 June 2022.
  8. ^ "Full Scorecard of England v West Indies, 5th Test, 1991". ESPNCricinfo. Retrieved 29 June 2022.
  9. ^ "Full Scorecard of England v Sri Lanka, Only Test, 1991". ESPNCricinfo. Retrieved 29 June 2022.
  10. ^ "Full Scorecard of West Indies v England, 3rd ODI, 1991". ESPNCricinfo. Retrieved 29 June 2022.
  11. ^ "Statistics / Statsguru / One-Day Internationals / Bowling Records". ESPNCricinfo. Retrieved 2 July 2022.
  12. ^ Foot, David (7 January 2007). "One pained shriek and it's all over for Syd". The Observer. ISSN 0029-7712. Retrieved 15 April 2023.
  13. ^ Wilson, Dean (11 November 2014). "David 'Syd' Lawrence is a champion in a new sport after horror cricket injury". mirror.
  14. ^ Aldred, Tanya (18 April 2022). "'Cricket needs a more modern president': Lawrence takes on Gloucestershire role". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 April 2023.
  15. ^ Booth, Martin (9 May 2024). "'Iconic' Bristol nightclub closes after 25 years". Bristol 24/7. Retrieved 22 June 2024.
  16. ^ "Ex-England & Glos bowler Lawrence diagnosed with MND". BBC Sport. BBC. 21 June 2024. Retrieved 22 June 2024.
  17. ^ ESPNcricinfo staff. "David Lawrence diagnosed with motor neurone disease". ESPNcricinfo. ESPN. Retrieved 22 June 2024.