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Edward Liddle's Biographies of Irish Cricketers
Alan John Hughes
  • Born 4 April 1951 Dublin
  • Educated Mountjoy School, Dublin
  • Occupation Banker
  • Debut 23 August 1979 v Worcestershire at New Road, Worcester.
  • Cap Number 535
  • Style Right hand bat, right arm medium pace
  • Teams Malahide

Alan Hughes was a very good medium pacer, whose long career for Malahide brought him 609 senior wickets between 1968 and 1995 at an average of 16.03. These figures clearly indicate his worth suggesting, particularly when added to the award of the O' Grady Cup in 1978, that he was under used by Ireland's selectors. He did, of course, play at a time of tough competition for pace bowling places. However he was able to prove himself at club level, showing that he lost little in comparison to other Malahide new ball men such as his cousin "Podge" Hughes and Dougie Goodwin.

Educated at Mountjoy School, now of course Mount Temple Comprehensive, his school record showed him to be very much worthy of comparison with the school's other fast bowling alumni such as "Podge" and the left armer Basil Ward who had done great deeds for "Joy" in the early years of the 20th Century. Alan was a Guinness Cup regular for North Leinster for some eight seasons. It would be true to say that his performances as opening bowler were usually consistent rather than prolific, but he did have some notable matches. None more so than against Ulster Town at Ormeau in 1978, when he shattered the hosts' early batting by bowling openers Ian Shields (3) and Charlie Beverland (0) as well as the No 3 Chris Harte (5). UT were reeling at 9-3 but recovered thanks to some excellent batting from Robin Wills and Simon Corlett. The visitors eventually lost by 17 runs.

A member of the panel from which the Irish side was selected in that summer, his debut came the following summer against Worcestershire at New Road, perhaps fortunate to be above the waterline, in what was a miserably wet summer. Alan came into the side at the last minute when John Elder was declared unfit. He soon disposed of opener Barry Jones, clean bowling him. for 10. Jones was a stylish left hander who never quite made it in county cricket but was a prolific run getter in the Birmingham League. Alan also removed Ted Hemsley, a fine all round cricketer, who might well have gone much further in the game had it not been for his football commitments for Shrewsbury Town, Sheffield United and Doncaster Rovers. To complete a debut bag of 4, Alan also had wicket keeper Alan Brown, whose sole first class match for the county also came that season, and the captain, veteran England left arm spinner Norman Gifford. Alan had one further wicket in the second innings that of Jones' more successful opening partner Martin Weston.

Though Alan played another four matches for Ireland, he took only five more wickets. His best performance, apart from New Road, came against India at Ormeau in 1982. The tourists arrived in Belfast for two one day matches. The first, in which Alan did not play, was wrecked by the elements, the second was also rain affected but produced a 50 over match and a 5 wicket defeat for Ireland. Alan came into this match again at short notice and again because Elder was declared unfit. The hosts batted first and reached 134-9. India were closing on their target when Alan struck with two return catches to send back all rounders Madan Lal for 37 and Ashok Malhotra, later to score 258* in a Ranji Trophy match, for 0. Alan had at least checked the victory march.

When his long career ended Alan John Hughes turned to umpiring, becoming a highly respected official on the Leinster circuit.