Phillip DeFreitas went to Willesden High School, in London, where he played football and cricket. He had trials at Luton Town F.C. but although offered an apprenticeship, wanted to play cricket.
Phillip DeFreitas made his first class debut for Leicestershire in 1985 against Oxford University and recorded the starting bowling analysis of 3.4-2-3-3 as the students collapsed to a humiliating 24 all out. The following year he had a wonderful season, taking what was to remain a career high of 94 wickets and scoring his maiden century ''at number 9'' against Kent, and he was selected for the successful Ashes tour in 1986-87. He remained part of England's plans until the advent of Dominic Cork in the mid 1990, but was generally much less successful abroad than at home. His two best Test series were in 1991 against West Indies and, in 1994. against New Zealand, when he took 22 and 21 wickets respectively. His top Test score of 88, during which he hammered Craig McDermott for 42 runs off three overs with the new ball, helped England to a win against Australia in Adelaide, and earned him the Man of the Matchaward. Phillip DeFreitas was named as a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1992.
Most would probably agree that Phillip DeFreitas never quite reached the heights his early promise suggested he would attain. In one day internationals, Phillip DeFreitas seldom let England down but bowled more economically than penetratively until his second Australian tour. In the World Series Cup that season, Phillip DeFreitas was often punished by the powerful Australian top order particularly Dean Jones. He performed creditably despite a persistent groin strain in the World Cup of 1992 but form was beginning to desert him by this stage. He was notoriously thrashed all over the
ground by Sanath Jayasuriya in the 1996 World Cup quarter final by no means alone in a game where England were thrashed and ended up making their tournament exit. In the course of his 21 seasons in first class cricket, Phillip DeFreitas had a somewhat nomadic county career, playing for Leicestershire from his debut in 1985 until 1988, then Lancashire from 1989 to 1993, and Derbyshire from 1994 to 1999. In 2000, he returned to Leicestershire, averaging over 45 with the bat that season, and captained the side in 2003 and part of 2004. He also played for the South African side, Boland, in 1993-94 and 1994-95. Phillip DeFreitas announced in April 2005 that he would retire from cricket at the end of that season. This meant that had England not beaten the Australians that summer, there would be no remaining Englishmen in first class cricket who had played in a victorious Ashes side, but this did not happen. On hearing the news, Mike Gatting, who had captained that 1986-87 team, told the BBC. "Phillip DeFreitas one of those guys you want in the game. It's sad he's going to retire but he's been good for the game." Phillip DeFreitas has the honour of being the 100 player in test cricket to take 100 wickets.
After Cricket Retirement:
His autobiography, "Daffy My Life in Cricket", was published on 16 June 2012.
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