December 1894 – 5 September 1976) was an English first-class cricketer who captained the England cricket team nine times in 1924 and 1925, winning four Test matches, losing four and drawing one. In first-class cricket, he played as an amateur, mainly for Cambridge University and Sussex, and captained the latter team between 1922 and 1929. A fast bowler and hard-hitting lower order batsman, Gilligan completed the double in 1923 and was one of Wisden’sCricketers of the Year for 1924. When his playing career ended, he held several important positions in cricket, including that of England selector and president of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC). A popular figure within cricket, he was widely regarded as sporting and friendly. During his playing days, Gilligan was a member of the British Fascists. He came to the notice of the Australian secret service during the 1924–25 MCC tour, and it is possible he helped to establish small fascist groups in Australia. It is unknown how long he remained a member, but the organisation practically ceased to exist by 1926.
Gilligan played cricket for Dulwich College before the First World War, then for Cambridge, twice winning his blue. He briefly played county cricket for Surrey but moved to Sussex in 1920. Following a slow start to his county career, he rapidly improved and in partnership with Maurice Tate established a formidable bowling reputation. First playing for England in 1922, he was appointed Test captain in 1924. In the latter year, Gilligan was at the height of his form when he suffered a blow to his heart while batting. The strain affected his bowling, which was never again as effective, but he still captained England in Australia during the 1924–25 season. The series was lost, but both he and his team were popular and respected. In following years, he played less frequently; he resigned as Sussex captain in 1929 and retired three years later. He subsequently became a writer, journalist and cricket commentator while maintaining his connections with Sussex.
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