Phil DE FREITAS - England - Short biography of Test Career.

Photo/Foto: George Herringshaw

Date: 19 May 1988

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      Right Arm Fast Medium, Right Hand Bat
      Friday, 18 February 1966
      Scott's Head, Dominica
  • England
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Phil DE FREITAS - England - Short biography of Test Career.

Phillip DeFreitas was taken to Australia on Mike Gatting's Ashes tour of 1986-87 and made an auspicious debut,

but he rarely lived up to the promise shown in his first match. A fast medium bowler and hard-hitting lower order

batsman, selectors seemed rarely to know if they wanted him in the England Test side or not. He was a first choice

in ODI sides, playing in the World Cups of 1987, 1992 and 1996 and his one-day performances often resuscitated his

Test career. DeFreitas scored 40 in that first Brisbane Tests and opened the bowling, taking 2-23, but the rest of his

tour was less dramatic. When Pakistan came to England in 1987 he played just one Test before losing his place to

Graham Dilley. He returned for the post-World Cup series in Pakistan and took 5-86 in Karachi. He played two Tests

in the rain ruined series in New Zealand early in 1988, but at home was dropped after three Tests of the 1988 West Indies

series and after one Test against Australia in 1989. He began to show his best form as a late addition to England's

four-pronged pace attack in West Indies in 1990, taking 2-59 and 3-69 in Barbados. He took 5-53 against New Zealand

in Nottingham in 1990, and on a 1990-91 Ashes tour showed his favour for Adelaide with 4-56 and 45 and 19 not out in

the Test there. In 1991 he, Derek Pringle and Chris Lewis played a big part in England's 2-2 series draw with West Indies

with useful lower order runs, his best being 55 not out at Trent Bridge. He took 4-62 in the Auckland Test of 1991-92.

Phil played in the England team who were losing finalists in the World Cups of 1987 and 1992. (Bob Harragan) 


Phil De Freitas is pictured above playing cricket for England on 10th. June 1995.

Photo George Herringshaw.  ©


Despite his successes against West Indies in 1991 DeFreitas - known to all as 'Daffy' - fell out of favour again

against Pakistan the following year and he played only one Test against Australia in 1993. Once again it was success

in the ODIs of 1994 that gave him another Test chance. By now he had matured into an accurate line and length

bowler delivering from close to the stumps. That was effective and in the first Test at Trent Bridge he took 4-94 and 5-71,

as well as scoring 51 not out. He took six wickets at Lord's and scored 69 and took 3-61 at Old Trafford, a Test in which

Darren Gough made his England debut. In the series against South Africa which followed the two of them indulged in

some big-hitting lower order partnerships which regularly demoralised the bowlers. DeFreitas also took 4-94 at Headingley

and 4-93 at the Oval. In Australia in 1994-95 he took four wickets in the first Test at Brisbane, but his major contribution

was on his favourite Antipodean ground, Adelaide, where he made 21 and 88, the latter an innings which turned the Test

match and enabled Mike Atherton's England team to claim an unexpected victory. In Perth he took 3-91. He played one Test

in the 1995 series against West Indies before he was replaced by Dominic Cork. In the 1996 World Cup DeFreitas took 2-16

in 9.3 overs against the UAE and 3-31 against Holland. He top scored with 67 in the quarter-final match against Sri Lanka,

but was reduced to bowling off-spin on the dead Asian wickets. He began his county career with Leicestershire, then moved

to Lancashire from where he played much of his Test cricket. He spent some seasons with Derbyshire before returning to

Leicestershire at the turn of the century. (Bob Harragan)