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- taking 1673 wickets in six consecutive seasons from 1928 to 1933 - in each of these seasons he took over 250 wickets, something no other bowler has done even once since 1901
- ten wickets in an innings on three occasions in 1929, 1930 and 1931
- seventeen wickets in a match twice - in 1922 and 1932
- the three highest totals of balls bowled in a season in 1928, 1930 and 1933
His common name comes from his extremely short stature - he was only five feet two (158 centimetres) tall. However, his stocky build and strong fingers allowed him to do enormous amounts of bowling and he hated being taken off. His small stature gave him a low trajectory that made him difficult to reach full toss and meant slow footed batsmen rarely lasted long against him. However, the top county batsmen and many overseas played could completely nullify his flight and spin with the superb footwork and straight bats, and "Tich" never had enough skill or variety to deceive these players. Freeman relied chiefly on a leg-break that pitched on middle-and-leg, so that batsmen had to play at it, and a top-spinner that was notoriously difficult to detect; the googly he used sparingly.
"Tich", two of whose brothers played for Essex, played in club cricket during the early 1910s and was engaged by Kent in 1914. After success with the Second Eleven, he became a regular late in the season as World War I was about to halt county cricket for several years. With 7 for 25 against Warwickshire, "Tich" showed great promise, and when cricket resumed in 1919 he developed rapidly. He took 60 wickets in a short season in 1919, 102 in 1920, 166 in 1921 and 194 in 1922. He was named a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1923 and took 17 for 67 on a rain-affected pitch against Sussex in 1922.
In 1924, Freeman's superb bowling for the Players (6 for 52 in the first innings) against the Gentlemen earned him a spot in the MCC tour to Australia. However, owing to the rock-hard pitches and the superb footwork of Australia's batsmen, Freeman failed completely in the two Tests in which he was selected. "Tich" continued to dominate Kent's bowling in the following three years, but was only modestly successful against South Africa in 1927-1928.
However, 1928 was Freeman's great year, for it was then that he set his record of 304 first-class wickets and took 22 wickets in three Tests against the West Indies (plus 9 for 104 against them for Kent). In 1929 "Tich" took 22 wickets in two Tests against South Africa, but their batsmen's mastery over him in the Fifth Test (his last), when he did not take a wicket in 49 overs and conceded 169 runs, apparently made Test selectors never consider him again. Yet, between 1930 and 1933 Kent were so dependent upon Freeman for bowling that he took 951 County Championship wickets - over 55 percent of Kent's total - for only 15.21 runs each. Among his best performances in these years were:
- 17 for 92 against Warwickshire at Folkestone in 1932
- 16 for 82 against Northamptonshire at Tunbridge Wells in 1932
- 16 for 94 (10 for 53 in first innings) against Essex at Southend in 1930
- 15 for 94 against Somerset at Canterbury in 1931
- 15 for 122 against Middlesex at Lord's in 1933
- 10 for 79 against Lancashire at Manchester in 1931
- 9 for 50 against Derbyshire at Ilkeston in 1930
"Tich" even did well against the 1930 Australians - taking 5 for 78, which makes one wonder why he was never considered for a home Ashes Test.
In 1934 and 1935, although he was still clearly the leading wicket-taker in England, Freeman fell off somewhat; his average rose from around 15 to over 21 runs per wicket. In early 1936, "Tich" was again superb - he took 70 wickets in the first fourteen matches - but he fell off so dramatically - with only 33 wickets in the next fourteen games - that Kent did not re-engage him for 1937. "Tich" played for Walsall in the Birmingham And District League for a few years after that, and was granted life membership of MCC in 1949.
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