The 606v2 Cricket Hall of Fame Part 2

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Post by Mike Selig on Sat 07 Jan 2012, 3:47 pm

NOTE: This is the second part of the 606v2 Cricket Hall of Fame thread. The first part can be found here: http://www.606v2.com/t17447-the-606v2-cricket-hall-of-fame-part-1

kwinigolfer wrote:Surely, it doesn't matter how fast he was compared to those of the 70's and later? There is exemplary anecdotal evidence that he was the fastest of the early Lindwall era and for thirty years before.

Precisely, and the only thing that really matters. He was undoubtedly faster than anything had been before, at the time, or shortly afterwards. But we should be wary of people who say "I saw Larwood and Thompson bowl, and Larwood was as fast": they are using different frames of reference for comparison.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 07 Jan 2012, 3:55 pm

Mike thumbsup

Tommo was fast but not extraordinarily fast. It was his action that made him so difficult to play. Plus of course the fact he offered no respite from the battering that Lillee was meting out at the other end.

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Post by skyeman on Sat 07 Jan 2012, 4:00 pm

Shame that Shoaib Akhtar was not allowed to bowl unlimited bouncers like the fast bowlers of old, that would have tested a few more of the modern batsman with the +50 averages. Very Happy

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Post by guildfordbat on Sat 07 Jan 2012, 4:16 pm

Shelsey93 wrote:Particular congratulation to guildford for a very insightful post written at 4 in the morning clap Shocked
.
.... Now to Christopher Martin Jenkins entry on Larwood (No. 49) in 'The Top 100 Cricketers of All Time':

- "Truly exceptional pace and absolute accuracy are a rare combination. For a few years, and in one dramatic Australian season in particular, Harold Larwood posessed both".
- "he became the main weapon in England's regaining the Ashes under Douglas Jardine's leadership in 1932-33 and the means by which, for a brief period, they managed to bring Don Bradman down almost to the same level as the other batsmen'' ....

To conclude, Larwood .... not a legend of the game worthy of the esteemed company in our Hall of Fame.

Shelsey - thanks for your personal comment and detailed response. Appreciated. thumbsup

When you have daughters who automatically expect a free taxi ride to the airport in the early hours of the morning, you will come to realise that a 4 in the morning post is something to occupy the time when sleep is wanted but impossible. Rolling Eyes

I must get hold of C M J's book. I take it his view (at the date of publication anyway) is that Larwood was the 49th best cricketer of all time. Is that right? If so, that's pretty impressive by itself.

I don't go along nearly so much as you with your objections to Bodyline and the Spirit of the game although I understand them. As I've said recently, cricket is a game of beauty but that doesn't exclude danger. Bodyline still gave the batsmen opportunities and even more if the bowler erred. Larwood hardly ever did in that iconic series. If you exclude Larwood on these grounds, where do we stop? Would Marshall and Holding be asked to leave our Hall with the opening bowler fraternity being represented instead by Darren Sammy? Shocked As I mentioned before, it wasn't a one-way street with 'Bull' Armstrong trying to hit Larwood and yelled at by the crowd on the Sydney Hill ''to knock his bloody head off''.

One other fast bowler I will want to see in the Hall of Fame is Ray Lindwall. Although your post is generally mighty thorough, you don't address Larwood's legacy to him.

Brevity of a career is normally a negative factor for me although it needs to be considered along with the reasons why. Barry Richards only played 4 Tests. Should Richards be penalised by posters for not playing more Tests at a time when it was not possible for him to do so for reasons that were not of his making? Certainly not in my view. A giant of the game remains a giant even if only rarely seen. Betrayal and injury ended Larwood's career at its best. It was not as if he had a wonderful, inexplicable 'one-off' series and then lost all form (a la Bob Massie in 1972). I regard the sequence and form of Larwood's Test series as significant and highly relevant to my YES vote. In 1932-33 he delivered the perfect professional solution to how Bradman had ''got on top'' in 1930.

After careful assessment, some matters still have to rest on personal evaluation. For me, Larwood is undoubtedly a legend of the game. He was always a proud man and would enter our Hall of Fame with pleasure and pride. We too should be pleased and proud to offer that invitation.

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Post by guildfordbat on Sat 07 Jan 2012, 4:36 pm

alfie wrote:Fascinating debate re Larwood.

In truth I am not quite old enough to have seen Larwood myself, but I recall having a discussion with my father , while watching Thomson demolishing England in the mid-seventies , about the relative merits and speeds of fast bowlers over the years. He was convinced that Larwood remained the quickest he'd seen , though Tyson (briefly) and now the afore-mentioned Thomson were up there close to him. Of course he was comparing bowlers decades apart , and without benefit of a speed gun Smile , but I value the old man's opinion - he has seen a lot of cricket over his ninety odd years.

He also rated Larwood in his short list of the best fast bowlers , along with Lindwall and Miller , Statham and Trueman etc (must ask him how the list looks today now all these West Indian stars have made their marks over the last 30 years). But I'm pretty sure he'll still have Larwood at or near the top.

Guildford produced some good quotes there in favour of Larwood . I'm familiar with many of them , and as I rate contemporary opinion highly - especially from true experts - I am inclined towards a Yes vote. My only problem is with the relative brevity of his career , due sadly to circumstances beyond his control.

I place little store in the unexciting average - look back at the scores that were being made at the time , consider the pitches Test cricket was played on and his figures will look a lot better.

Perhaps consider also the few England fast bowlers - and any visiting fast bowlers - who have succeeded to such an extent in Australia that they have virtually "won the Ashes" for a grateful captain...and some that have would probably concede that they destroyed relatively weak Australian teams.
The one Larwood destroyed was anything but weak.

So does the "Bodyline" thing stain his record ? Well I don't really think so , though as a (once) fast bowler myself I should perhaps be disqualified from giving a view... but if bowling dangerous stuff to a Captain's instructions got you blackballed from Cricketing Valhalla I don't like the chance for some more modern West Indian greats.

Anyway , no rush to vote but that is my tuppence worth for today.

Thanks, Alfie. A very valuable tuppence worth.

As others have said, contemporary views are beneficial so your father's comments are appreciated. A late and knowledgeable family friend always used to rave enthusiastically about Frank 'Typhoon' Tyson. However, as you suggest, the Typhoon blew out too quickly.

I've tried to cover the ''brevity'' aspect in my recent response to Shelsey.

I agree with you about ''the unexciting average''. Also, as I pointed out before and Mike kindly appreciated, the impact of Bradman on Larwood's average has to go into the mix as well.

Your comment about the strength of the Australian side during this time is also highly relevant. It wasn't exactly Kim Hughes batting at numbers 1 to 6. Wink

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Post by guildfordbat on Sat 07 Jan 2012, 4:44 pm

Corporalhumblebucket wrote:

.... BTW I am slightly worried about the England all time great line up with Underwood batting at No 8 Shocked My recollection (haven't checked the stats) is that at best he was a No 10.

Corporal - that was immediately my reaction to the batting order! Underwood was at best an adequate nightwatchman but otherwise should never have batted higher than number 10. I would swap him in the order with Fred Trueman (currently number 10). I'm sure Fred would agree! Very Happy

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Post by guildfordbat on Sat 07 Jan 2012, 4:49 pm

Hoggy_Bear wrote:

.... so if, as looks likely, Larwood is selected for our HoF I shall welcome his selection with open arms.

Hoggy - if that comment had been made by anyone less respected and revered than your totally honourable self, I would have suspected they were trying to sneakily say to other posters ''you might as well vote NO as Larwood will get in by miles anyway!''. Very Happy

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Post by Hoggy_Bear on Sat 07 Jan 2012, 4:52 pm

guildfordbat wrote:
Hoggy_Bear wrote:

.... so if, as looks likely, Larwood is selected for our HoF I shall welcome his selection with open arms.

Hoggy - if that comment had been made by anyone less respected and revered than your totally honourable self, I would have suspected they were trying to sneakily say to other posters ''you might as well vote NO as Larwood will get in by miles anyway!''. Very Happy

As if I would stoop so low Very Happy

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Post by guildfordbat on Sat 07 Jan 2012, 5:10 pm

Hoggy_Bear wrote:
guildfordbat wrote:
Hoggy_Bear wrote:

.... so if, as looks likely, Larwood is selected for our HoF I shall welcome his selection with open arms.

Hoggy - if that comment had been made by anyone less respected and revered than your totally honourable self, I would have suspected they were trying to sneakily say to other posters ''you might as well vote NO as Larwood will get in by miles anyway!''. Very Happy

As if I would stoop so low Very Happy

That's why I never thought it of you for a moment! Very Happy

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Post by Guest on Sat 07 Jan 2012, 5:31 pm

since i got in from work i have been doing quite a bit more research on Kanhai..

i did a lot before i voted, but i did even more this afternoon.

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Post by guildfordbat on Sat 07 Jan 2012, 5:39 pm

cricketfan90 wrote:since i got in from work i have been doing quite a bit more research on Kanhai..

i did a lot before i voted, but i did even more this afternoon.

Good man, CF. thumbsup

Anything interesting to report from your research? Cheers.

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Post by Guest on Sat 07 Jan 2012, 5:41 pm

not a lot to report, but intresting reading what many of his fellow players thought of him and his batting.

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Post by skyeman on Sat 07 Jan 2012, 5:41 pm

clap clap To all on the 1000th post on the great HoF spot debates. Some great work by all.



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Post by Mike Selig on Sat 07 Jan 2012, 6:01 pm

I shall try to sum up some of the arguments, giving my views on each, and give my vote at the end. Be prepared for a longish post, although I shall try to be succinct. I unashamedly pinch ideas from other posters in my attempt to sum up: particular thanks are due to guilford, Hoggy and Shelsey.

1) Larwood's legacy: the bodyline series.
I think we can all agree that the bodyline series defined and was defined by Larwood. Although not responsible for the tactics employed, it is inconceivable that England would have staked so much on the tactic had he not been around. What is also in my opinion not in doubt is that Larwood applied the plan with a skill, ruthlessness and effect that have rarely been matched before or since; bowling bodyline, particular on those wickets and with Larwood's height were by no means easy, anything slightly off-line would have got roundly tonked. The effects of bodyline are of course well known: Bradman was reduced to very good, other Australians (with the notable exception of Stan McCabe) couldn't cope, and England won back the ashes.

Bodyline made Larwood a legend of the game (by which I mean people will always talk about that series in conjunction with his name).

2) The rest of Larwood's career.
First of all, it was unfairly cut short, due to a combination of injury and in particular the will of the british establishment to (very unfairly and arbitrarily in my view) make Larwood a scapegoat. Neither of these are Larwood's fault, so as with others I won't count the brevity of his career against him. What is however true is that outside bodyline, his test record is ordinary. Not poor, but not that good either. This must be balanced against the fact that his two worst test series are in no small part due to circumstance (namely he bowled against the best batsman of all time) and that he was, in my view, undoubtedly denied further success by having his career cut short (although I do accept the fact that he would have had to reinvent himself somewhat as a bowler, as he wouldn't have been able or allowed to continue with bodyline; however I do think his first class record suggests he would have been able to do so). I repeat that it is unfair to judge him solely by his record outside bodyline, as it consisted of a quarter (and the best quarter) of his test career.

Whatever the merits of his test record, his first class record is outstanding in its own right, and he is spoken of with admiration and sometimes awe by his fellow cricketers. By all accounts he was both amazingly fast and accurate. I am always wary of using statistics to judge someone purely based on statistics (unless the statistics are in themselves so astonishing you can't reasonably do otherwise), so base myself a fair amount by what people say.

3) Larwood the man:
It is interesting that the Australians were quick to forgive Larwood. It tells me that he must have earned from them a grudging respect (perhaps partly by how he stood up to them with his 98 when the Australian fast bowlers were hell-bent on getting their own back). It also tells me that they appreciated the fact that he had been a model professional, merely doing as he was asked to (with great skill and effectiveness), and being punished for it. It tells me that here was a guy who was down to earth, decent, straightforward who never looked for excuses and was poorly treated.

4) Back to bodyline: the controversy.
Argued against all that decency is the fact that he implemented a tactic designed to hurt people. Not just intimidate because I think bodyline went beyond that. He could at any time have refused to bowl in the style asked from him (as Mr Allen did). He didn't. People report that in fact he relished it. Against this of course is the fact that bodyline, whilst unsavoury, may still have remained fair. The batsman still had a chance. Indeed the greatest batsmen in the Australian side came out with more than honorable averages (Bradman averaged 56, not upto his usual record, but had he averaged 56 in every test series he still would be considered great). I accept that cricket is competitive and sometimes violent. I also accept that primary responsibility must sit with the captain. However I maintain that paradoxically, whilst his greatest achievement, the ruthless application of bodyline must be held against Larwood.

5) The decision:
I remind people that I am looking for "excellent and a bit extra", counterbalanced by possible negatives. Larwood was certainly excellent. The fact that bodyline has made such an impact (and made him in my view a legend of the game) easily provides the "little extra". Against that I then have to decide whether my condemnation of the methods he used are enough to exclude him. I have decided that they are not. My main view of this HoF is it is for players who have had a massive impact on this game, and whose legacy will always be spoken of. Larwood certainly fits this bill.

After careful consideration therefore, I vote YES for Harold Larwood's inclusion into the 606v2 Hall of Fame.

PS: Should there be other arguments which I have failed to take into account in the above summary, please point them out, and I may reconsider.


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Post by Guest on Sat 07 Jan 2012, 6:25 pm

i must admit im re-considering some of my votes.

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Post by guildfordbat on Sat 07 Jan 2012, 6:27 pm

Folks,

Two of the inaugural 30 in our Hall of Fame were Malcolm Marshall and Michael Holding. I don't recall objections at the time. I certainly strongly supported both.

With some concerns being raised about Harold Larwood's tactics and approach in the 1932-33 Ashes series, I thought now might be an appropriate time to remind some posters and perhaps show younger ones for the first time what Marshall and Holding could be like.

In the first clip, Marshall bowls to England opener and Test debutant Andy Lloyd in 1984. Lloyd spent a week in hospital with blurred vision, did not return to (county) cricket until the following season and never played Test cricket again. He is the only England opening batsman never to have been dismissed. [Mike - for unconnected reasons, I regularly worship to the opening 10 seconds of this clip. Very Happy ]

The second clip shows Michael Holding bowling to 46 year old Brian Close in his final Test series in 1976. England captain Tony Greig had hardly helped matters for his batsmen by saying he intended to make the West Indies ''grovel''. Close had been recalled due to his courage and relative success in facing Wes Hall and Charlie Griffith thirteen years earlier.

Note: Any poster under 18 should only watch with an adult present. Shocked

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4dHxXlObVw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXsfEdJ_G5w



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Post by Mike Selig on Sat 07 Jan 2012, 6:29 pm

cricketfan90 wrote:i must admit im re-considering some of my votes.

Pleased to hear that. I have no beef with anyone who votes NO to Larwood (there are perfectly valid reasons for doing so) or Kanhai, or anyone provided they produce said reasons. I do have a slight issue with your NO vote to Knott, for his failings with the bat. I don't believe he had failings with the bat (and anyway, I believe even were he the worst batsman in the history of cricket his wicket-keeping should be enough to grant him entry, but that is besides the point, I respect your criteria are different).

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Post by Guest on Sat 07 Jan 2012, 6:32 pm

im not just saying it after critsicm....

but before i voted, i thought about saying yes to knott just for his keeping, but thought i would get criticsed for that.

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Post by Hoggy_Bear on Sat 07 Jan 2012, 6:32 pm

Just a couple of points Mike.
First, you say that Larwood would undoubtedly have continued to be successful if his career had continued. Personally I think there's a great deal of doubt as to whether he'd have continued to enjoy anywhere near the levels of success he had in 32/3 had he carried on afterwards. Especially if England abandoned Bodyline tactics (as they did). He spent a lot of 1933 injured I believe, and was never quite as fast when he came back as he had been before, so even if England had continued with Bodyline, it's doubtful that Larwood would have enjoyed quite as much success.
Second, you say that Larwood shouldn't be judged on the rest of his career. Of course, it is correct that he shouldn't be judged SOLELY on the rest of his career. But surely the three quarters of his career when he didn't bowl Bodyline should carry at least as much weight in deciding his merit as a bowler as the quarter of his career when he did? Particularly as Bodyline was such a distinct (and, it should be acknowledged, effective) tactic.
Probably not going to change your mind, but I've got to fight my corner Very Happy


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Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 07 Jan 2012, 6:41 pm

Larwood's first class bowling average for his career was 17.5, not bad in an era when it was generally considered that the batting was better than the bowling.

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Post by Guest on Sat 07 Jan 2012, 6:42 pm

im changing my knott vote to a YES.

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Post by Corporalhumblebucket on Sat 07 Jan 2012, 6:42 pm

guildfordbat wrote:When you have daughters who automatically expect a free taxi ride to the airport in the early hours of the morning, you will come to realise that a 4 in the morning post is something to occupy the time when sleep is wanted but impossible. Rolling Eyes
Guildford: strategically placed 'twixt Heathrow and Gatwick Very Happy

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Post by Corporalhumblebucket on Sat 07 Jan 2012, 6:46 pm

cricketfan90 wrote:im changing my knott vote to a YES.
clap Well done cf. Whatever his batting average I can well recall listening to many a test match commentary in those days chewing the finger nails with the tension. Knotty was the man for a crisis - and there were quite a lot around that time Very Happy

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Post by Mike Selig on Sat 07 Jan 2012, 6:48 pm

Hoggy_Bear wrote:Just a couple of points Mike.
First, you say that Larwood would undoubtedly have continued to be successful if his career had continued. Personally I think there's a great deal of doubt as to whether he'd have continued to enjoy anywhere near the levels of success he had in 32/3 had he carried on afterwards. Especially if England abandoned Bodyline tactics (as they did). He spent a lot of 1933 injured I believe, and was never quite as fast when he came back as he had been before, so even if England had continued with Bodyline, it's doubtful that Larwood would have enjoyed quite as much success.
Second, you say that Larwood shouldn't be judged on the rest of his career. Of course, it is correct that he shouldn't be judged SOLELY on the rest of his career. But surely the three quarters of his career when he didn't bowl Bodyline should carry at least as much weight in deciding his merit as a bowler as the quarter of his career when he did? Particularly as Bodyline was such a distinct (and, it should be acknowledged, effective) tactic.
Probably not going to change your mind, but I've got to fight my corner Very Happy

Fair enough. Post has now been edited to include those points. The intention was originally to say what you said about his career outside bodyline, so apologies if that didn't come accross. I have now added the word "solely". I do believe however that Larwood would have been able to adapt to a "post-bodyline" era. Not with the same success maybe, but I think he'd have done pretty well for himself.

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Post by guildfordbat on Sat 07 Jan 2012, 6:55 pm

Corporalhumblebucket wrote:
guildfordbat wrote:When you have daughters who automatically expect a free taxi ride to the airport in the early hours of the morning, you will come to realise that a 4 in the morning post is something to occupy the time when sleep is wanted but impossible. Rolling Eyes
Guildford: strategically placed 'twixt Heathrow and Gatwick Very Happy

Devil and deep blue sea, more like .... Rolling Eyes

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Post by Guest on Sat 07 Jan 2012, 6:57 pm

Corporalhumblebucket wrote:
cricketfan90 wrote:im changing my knott vote to a YES.
clap Well done cf. Whatever his batting average I can well recall listening to many a test match commentary in those days chewing the finger nails with the tension. Knotty was the man for a crisis - and there were quite a lot around that time Very Happy

lol i thought that might make a few people happy.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 07 Jan 2012, 7:03 pm

How long did "Bodyline" continue?
My clear understanding was that it just refers to that '32/'33 Ashes Series, although Arlott's recollection of him bowling to an exaggerated leg-side field for Notts in advance of the Tour is interesting. It is also said that Bodyline was only "successful" because of Larwood, his speed and accuracy regardless of length being something that Allen, Bowes and Voce were unable to muster.
It's not as if he needed to "adapt" to anything, just keep on the good work - he was still the fastest and most threatening bowler of his time.

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Post by Guest on Sat 07 Jan 2012, 7:06 pm

correct me if im wrong, but i thought it was banned (outlawed) after that series.

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Post by Hoggy_Bear on Sat 07 Jan 2012, 7:09 pm

Thing is though Kwini. Larwood didn't suddenly gain speed or accuracy in 1932. He'd been fast and accurate through most of his career (he was 28 in 1932, hardly a spring-chicken). Yet, before the 32/3 series, his test record was average. I don't see why, therefore, he'd have been any more successful at test level post Bodyline, than he was before it.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 07 Jan 2012, 7:15 pm

Hoggy,
Very fair point; fact is we'll never really know, but what we DO know is his iconic series and his reputation among his peers.
Just trying to be Devil's advocate, not Larwood's advocate except through the observations and opinions of critics of the time.

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Post by guildfordbat on Sat 07 Jan 2012, 7:16 pm

cricketfan90 wrote:im changing my knott vote to a YES.

Well done, CF. I'm very pleased. thumbsup

The most important thing is to be prepared to reconsider. No problem with early votes as long as posters are willing to change them. You've shown you are.

PS Have you watched the Marshall and Holding clips yet? Probably best to do so behind the sofa! Very Happy

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Post by Guest on Sat 07 Jan 2012, 7:18 pm

i have seen then before mate, just shows the real danger of genuine quick bowling

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Post by Hoggy_Bear on Sat 07 Jan 2012, 7:25 pm

Just as an interesting aside regarding the Bodyline series, did you know that, of Stan McCabe's 187 at Sydney in that series, only 16 runs were scored in front of the wicket on the off-side?

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Post by Guest on Sat 07 Jan 2012, 7:30 pm

leg side slogger censored

joking

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Post by Shelsey93 on Sat 07 Jan 2012, 7:38 pm

guildfordbat wrote:Two of the inaugural 30 in our Hall of Fame were Malcolm Marshall and Michael Holding. I don't recall objections at the time. I certainly strongly supported both

I think the distinction between them and 'Bodyline' is:

- They were bowling short pitched deliveries with the aim of unsettling the batsman but NOT with the aim of hitting him
- When a 'Bodyline' field was set short bowling would surely have been the only conceivable delivery which could have been bowled. To secure the catch in the 'leg trap' the bowler would have had to aim to hit the body and taken the wicket through edges onto the body and then to short leg and gloving the ball

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 07 Jan 2012, 7:48 pm

Shelsey;
1).If we think revered fast bowlers of the past (and present?) were not trying to hit batsmen we're just being naive.

2).Agreed. That is borne out by Arlott's observation of watching HL bowl to such a field in County games, but to his normal length. He was very unsuccessful!

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Post by skyeman on Sat 07 Jan 2012, 7:52 pm

Oh there were definitely fast bowlers who wanted to actually hit batsman that they had a grudge with Very Happy

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Post by skyeman on Sat 07 Jan 2012, 7:57 pm

Gb - Brian Close was a tough nut indeed, the stories about him look to be so true after watching that barrage.

He did not even swear (not aloud anyway) Very Happy

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Post by skyeman on Sat 07 Jan 2012, 8:05 pm

If Andrew Symonds could have bowled fast, just imagine what Harbhajan Singh's body would have looked like after a few overs Laugh

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Post by guildfordbat on Sat 07 Jan 2012, 8:16 pm

Mike - that certainly seems a thorough overview.

The only other thing that I thought might interest you - particularly as a coach - was the high praise for his bowling action and influence it had, particularly on Ray Lindwall.

Kwini - as an afficionado of the trailblazer or provider of legacies, I thought the comment about Lindwall would also appeal to you.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 07 Jan 2012, 9:14 pm

guildford thumbsup

Very interesting that the debate on Larwood has been so contentious. Must admit, the more research I did the more I became convinced that he belonged in the v2HOF, so compelling were the opinions of his peers and writers of the time. And I also felt the sequence of admission in to the ICC HOF was significant, as recorded earlier.

Hoggy's points about his Test average, though, are also insightful but, if they truly reflected a one-off nature of his accomplishments, I struggle to see why he gained such heartfelt appreciation rather than just the notoriety that may come from anyone being blackballed.

I'm going to conclude my voting I think, with the caveat that I'm trying to select no more than three at a time:
Hutton: Yes
Knott: Yes
Larwood: Yes
(I feel these three represent generational pre-eminence.)
Kanhai: No
Heyhoe: No

My final answer!


Last edited by kwinigolfer on Sat 07 Jan 2012, 9:50 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Corporalhumblebucket on Sat 07 Jan 2012, 9:44 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:
I'm going to conclude my voting I think, with the caveat that I'm trying to select no more than three at a time:
Hammond: Yes
My final answer!
Whistle Hammond = Hutton?!

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 07 Jan 2012, 9:50 pm

Whistle

Precisely Corporal. Think I'll edit before more heckling. Thanks.

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Post by Fists of Fury on Sat 07 Jan 2012, 9:55 pm

Firstly, can I just say that the bar has been set even higher with regard to the quality of the debate in this round. Particular thanks to Guildford and Shelsey for their magnificent contrasting posts on Larwood.

Like Kwini, I too am fairly confident in my votes now, and they are as follows:

Hutton - very straight forward vote, and as with Hammond we can only apologise to the great man that he missed out on the inaugural 30 - YES

Knott - in my opinion the finest wicket-keeper cricket has ever seen, and a very respectable batting record to compliment it in an era that was from from easy as an English batsman wielding the willow - YES

Larwood - executed a 'cunning plan', to quote Blackadder, with aplomb, thus making the remarkable Don Bradman a mere mortal for a very short time. Incredibly fast and accurate and a cracking bloke too, by all accounts - a man of pride and honour. His Bradman achievement alone sees him sail in - YES

Kanhai - this one was much closer to being a no, but his first class achievements along with his considerable success at international level simply cannot be ignored. The words of his contemporaries suggest that he should sail in to such a Hall of Fame, he was clearly revered by all that played with or against him, and when coupled with the wise words of Grandad Fists, Rohan gets a YES from me.

Heyhoe-Flint - as with Clark, a revolutionary of the womens game, with a fantastic record and a great all-round contribution she is one of the few stand-out characters of womens cricket - YES.

So, for the second round in a row it is a FoF clean sweep of YES votes, but one I have no problem in giving, given the immense quality of the candidates involved.

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Post by Shelsey93 on Sat 07 Jan 2012, 10:03 pm

Rohan Kanhai

I have no strong opinion on Kanhai and could still be convinced either way.

Interestingly he doesn't make CMJ's 'Top 100 Cricketers of All Time' although he is noted as somebody who was unlucky to miss out. Benaud also doesn't go into much detail in 'My Spin on Cricket' although where he does mention him, whilst talking about his time in Shield cricket, he speaks of him making "81 of the most brilliant runs you would ever wish to see" out of 176 against his NSW side and "play[ing] a blinder, with 31 and 135 run out" in another NSW v WA match.

Therefore, for a more detailed profile I've had to turn to 'The Lord's Taverners Fifty Greatest' post-war cricketers selected by Trevor Bailey, Benaud, Colin Cowdrey and Jim Laker in 1983. The profile in that book, written by the obscure Graham Tarrant, says that:

"In the galaxy of great West Indian batsmen Rohan Kanhai is one of the brightest stars. The small right-hander from Guyana combined the Caribbean flair for extravagent strokeplay with a sound defensive technique and the temperament for playing a long Test innings. With timing and reflexes that complemented his dazzling array of attacking shots, which included a few of his own invention (it was nothing to see him sweep a ball over the ropes, only to fall flat on his back in the process), Kanhai consistently plundered runs off bowlers of every type the world over. In his first Test series in England in 1957 it was mainly promise that he showed, failing to reach 50 in any of his ten excursions to the wicket; but in India and Pakistan the following year he confirmed his potential with innings of 256 at Calcutta... and 217 off Pakistan at Lahore. In the famous 'Tied Test' series of 1960-1, he established another record when he became the first West Indian to score a hundred in each innings of a Test in Australia (117 and 115 at Adelaide). For seventeen years Kanhai was an almost permanent fixture in the West Indian side, an injury eventually ending his run of sixty-one consecutive Test appearances. His fifteen Test centuries were generously distributed: five each off England and Australia, four against India and the one double hundred in Pakistan. As Sobers' successor he proved to be a capable though somewhat contentious captain, winning one rubber and drawing another against England, but losing a series in Australia. After his departure from the Test scene in 1974 he continued to play for Warwickshire, for whom he had performed many prestigious feats with the bat since joining them six years earlier. There was time for at least one more. Against Gloucestershire in 1974 he and John Jameson created a world-record second-wicket partnership of 465 (unbroken). Rohan Kanhai's contribution was a star struck 213 not out".

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Post by skyeman on Sat 07 Jan 2012, 10:34 pm

Kanhai is still my only undecided vote. The main bug for me is that a few batsman with better averages and (imo) bigger reputations have not made it into the v2HoF list.

But the accolades that I have read from esteemed cricketers and how he practically taught himself cricket and then his brilliant Warks years, has me in a quandary.

So I shall wait a wee while yet before making my mind up.

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Post by Shelsey93 on Sat 07 Jan 2012, 10:39 pm

Sir Len Hutton

Some of CMJ's views on Hutton (No. 17) in the Top 100 cricketers of all time:

- "Brevity being the soul of wit, the distinguished playwright and passionate cricket aficionado Sir Harold Pinter put it very succinctly in his 1986 poem, Hutton:

I saw Hutton in his prime
Another time
another time"

- He comments that he only saw Hutton as a dour player at the end of his career but John Woodcock assured him that "he had been a joy to watch; the complete player and the true successor to Jack Hobbs as England's master batsman"
- "He was the second professional cricketer after Hobbs to be knighted for his services to cricket"
- "He was unfailingly and genuinely modest, utterly loyal to his wife Dorothy ('a damn sight better as Lady Dorothy than he was as Sir Leonard'), financially shrewd, glad to be playing cricket for a living, ambitious for the England captaincy but weighed down by the heavy responsibilities it entailed"
- "Hutton was so good as a boy at his home club Pudsey that when he first came to the Yorkshire nets the coach, George Hirst, simply said that there was nothing that anyone could teach him"
- "An operation on his nose in 1936-37 improved his frail health and for the next three years he was the best batsman in England"
- "He broke and dislocated his left arm in an accident in the gym during the war. After three bone grafts it was almost two inches shorter than his right arm and weaker, requiring changes to his technique. Ray Lindwall still thought his second only to Bradman: 'His judgment of length was so good... He didn't like bouncers but he didn't get out to them... He used to get away from the strike' "
- "He remained the most reliable batsman in England, albeit not so dashing or carefree as Denis Compton"
- "In June 1949 he suffered three ducks in succession but still scored 1,294 runs. In Australia in 1950-51 he averaged 88 in the five Test, exactly 50 more than the next best England batsman, Reg Simpson, and 45 better than the top Australian"
- "he led England in 23 Tests and did not lose a rubber"

Hutton makes the second of Benaud's three sides in 'My Spin on Cricket'. He says that "Len had a wonderful technique, orthodox but not restricted in the sense that when he wanted he could be a dashing stroke-player"

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Post by Mike Selig on Sat 07 Jan 2012, 10:50 pm

skyeman wrote:Kanhai is still my only undecided vote. The main bug for me is that a few batsman with better averages and (imo) bigger reputations have not made it into the v2HoF list.

But the accolades that I have read from esteemed cricketers and how he practically taught himself cricket and then his brilliant Warks years, has me in a quandary.

So I shall wait a wee while yet before making my mind up.

I agree almost to the letter. I shall wait and see.

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Post by Mike Selig on Sat 07 Jan 2012, 10:53 pm

guildfordbat wrote:Mike - that certainly seems a thorough overview.

The only other thing that I thought might interest you - particularly as a coach - was the high praise for his bowling action and influence it had, particularly on Ray Lindwall.

Kwini - as an afficionado of the trailblazer or provider of legacies, I thought the comment about Lindwall would also appeal to you.

guilford, thanks. I couldn't include everything (I was trying to be succinct!), but I do appreciate Lindwall's comment "why should I not copy the best?". Indeed as a coach I frequently come across players who have blatantly plagiarised from successful international cricketers (a really talented leg-spinner we have at the moment has an action entirely based on Shahid Afridi's; I reckon if you superimposed the two on video you wouldn't be far off one image). Indeed look at Saeed Ajmal and Saqlain Mustaq, or even more obviously Darren Bravo (and a certain BC Lara). I myself when I was 13 had an identical run-up to Glen McGrath.

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Post by guildfordbat on Sat 07 Jan 2012, 11:04 pm

Cheers, Mike.

Time for me to worship at that link again - you'll understand if seen! Very Happy

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