Brief profile of Michael May
by Matthew Reed

Player:MR May

DateLine: 22nd November 2005


With his stocky build, goatee beard and closely cropped, Michael May was a distinctive figure. Equally distinctive was his batting, which displayed a firm preference for the off side. Although many a know-it-all believed such a preference would prevent him scoring runs, Mayís three First-class centuries and a First-class batting average of 29.76 proved them to be incorrect, although a surprising number of county captains were happy to help May collect boundaries by leaving their 3rd man area vacant. After some composed knocks against the summerís touring teams, May ended his debut First-class season in 1996 averaging 80. His maiden century (in just his fifth First-class game) again showed his pleasure of facing tourists, made as it was against a Pakistan A team containing a very raw, but still very quick, Shoaib Akhtar. His third and final First-class century came against the South Africans in 1998. By the end of that season though, the feeling existed that opposing teams had got wise to May and his scoring preferences. He left Derbyshire shortly into the 1999 campaign, without having appeared for them that season. His grinding style had only ever been seen fit for one limited-overs match. May emigrated to Australia shortly after his professional career ended, although he was no doubt able to find a good grade team to play for. An interesting discrepancy to note is that in five First-class matches against touring teams May averaged a very impressive 75.00, yet in the Championship this fell to 22.03, which perhaps does lend credence to the theory that the scouting network and informal grapevine of the county circuit had picked up enough information to work out how to stifle May.


(November 2005)


(Article: Copyright © 2005 Matthew Reed)


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