Cecil Reginald Napp Maxwell

Cecil Maxwell was probably the most outstanding schoolboy wicket-keeper batsman of his time. He was in the Brighton XI from 1929 to 1931 scoring 1,934 @53.72, being captain in the last year. In 1931 he represented The Rest v Lord’s Schools at Lord’s.

In 1932 he commenced his association with Sir Julien Cahn’s XI and it was with that side that most of his cricket was played until 1939 was played. In all matches in Cahn’s team he scored 9,231 @35.50.

Maxwell’s first-class debut was for Sir Julien’s XI versus The South Americans at Loughborough Road in June 1932. In 1935 he caused something of a sensation by hitting 268 versus Leicestershire at West Park, West Bridgford, with 4 sixes and 44 fours - still the highest First-Class score by a number 8 batsman. He added 336 for the seventh wicket with F C W Newman.

On the strength of that performance he was selected for the Gentleman v Players at Lord’s 1935. The Cricketer commented on the match: “C R N Maxwell is a fine wicket-keeper, neat and quick, who takes the ball in the right way. As he is also a good batsman, he may well be a very prominent cricketer during the next few years if he can spare the time for first-class cricket.”

His debut for Notts was against Northants at Northampton in July 1936 when he deputised for Hardstaff, who was representing the Players, and scored 16. Of his six innings for Notts in 1936, the best came versus Surrey at the Oval when his score of 52 was the highest on either side. In 1937, Maxwell appeared in the first two Notts games and was then selected for the North v South match at Lord’s. He also appeared in the Rest v England trial immediately following.

On his return to the Notts side he flourished at Taunton, the Nottingham Journal commented: “In a hurricane display of vigourous and entirely refreshing batsmanship, Maxwell redeemed the Notts innings.” He batted 70  minutes for his Notts best 79 and then hit 52 not out in his second innings in 45 minutes to win the match. On 1 July he was rewarded his county cap.. Owing to his employment with Sir Julien Cahn, Maxwell was unable to play for Notts after 13 July, though he played for Gentleman v Players the following week In 1938, he appeared in only four Notts matches, again not after the second week of July. In 1939 he played versus Surrey at Trent Bridge in May and this proved to be his final match for the County. In 16 first-class matches for Notts he scored 516 runs @24.57 taking 32 catches and making seven stumpings.

In 1936/7 he went with Sir Julien Cahn’s XI to Ceylon and in 1938/9 to New Zealand. In 1946 he appeared in four matches for Middlesex. But in 1948 he transferred his allegiance to Worcestershire and captained their 2nd XI. He made occasional appearances in first-class matches for Worcestershire and his final first-class match in 1951 was against Cambridge University. In 44 first-class appearances he scored 1,564 runs @26.67 with 70 catches and 25 stumpings.

Cecil Maxwell was originally employed in the Furniture trade but latterly was a licensed victualler residing at the Ruishton Inn, Ruishton, Somerset. He died aged 60 on 25 September 1973 in Taunton, having been born in Paddington, London on 21 May 1913.   

April 2020