Maurice Hill was born in Scunthorpe in 1935 and played for Nottinghamshire from 1953-1965, before moving to Derbyshire and then Somerset ahead of his retirement in 1971. Throughout his First-Class career of 272 matches he had an unspectacular batting average of 24.09 and registered only seven centuries, all for his home county. Despite his modest statistics, Hill earned himself a reputation as an ‘elegant’ right-handed batsman with an off-side strength.
When Hill made his Notts debut at just 17 years of age – against Hampshire at Bournemouth in July 1953 – he was one of the youngest to represent the county, but he was prevented from building on his early career because of National Service duties during the 1954 and 1955 seasons.
Hill demonstrated his batting ability during his first full season in 1957, aged 21; the most striking example came in a second-innings score of 95, batting at number three against Worcestershire at Trent Bridge. Hill’s innings helped Notts chase down a target of 176 in just 55.1 overs.
That was the first of six seasons in which Hill hit over 1,000 runs, justifying his continued selection. However, the 1957 season was not a successful one for Nottinghamshire as they ended the County Championship season in 15th place with just five wins and only securing 88 points.
Hill could also be used as an occasional leg break bowler and during his First-Class career he claimed five wickets at an average of 62.2. Two of those wickets were Rohan Kanhai and Denis Atkinson of the West Indies in the second innings of their match against Notts in 1957, when Hill finished with career-best bowling figures of 8-0-60-2.
Hill moved to Derbyshire in 1966 after a poor season which saw Nottinghamshire finish bottom of the 1965 Championship. Hill played in 23 matches – contributing 810 runs at an average of 21.31 – as Derbyshire ended the season in ninth place. After only making seven First-Class appearances the following season he left Derbyshire and did not return to First-Class cricket until he joined Somerset in 1970. He played 22 First-Class matches for Somerset in 1970 and 1971, scoring a total of 732 runs at an average of 21.52.
Hill’s son Greg played professional cricket between 1992 and 2003; however he had limited success, plying his trade mainly in the Minor Counties League.
Nottinghamshire First-Class Number: 401