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The v2Forum Cricket Hall of Fame discussion thread - Part 4

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Post by Pete C (Kiwireddevil) Mon 12 Nov 2012, 5:34 pm

First topic message reminder :

The thread to debate additions to the v2Forum Cricket Hall of Fame

Current members:
https://www.606v2.com/t18388-606v2-cricket-hall-of-fame-inductees-graphics-included

FoF's original HoF debate summation:
Spoiler:

Previous debate:
https://www.606v2.com/t28256-the-606v2-cricket-hall-of-fame
https://www.606v2.com/t17447-the-606v2-cricket-hall-of-fame-part-1


Last edited by Pete C (Kiwireddevil) on Wed 03 Apr 2013, 4:50 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Hoggy_Bear Mon 07 Jan 2013, 7:51 pm

Must admit I voted against Larwood due to concerns similar to msp's, but I'd just like to give a few quotes that support the idea that Larwood was held in extremely high esteem by those who saw him.

The first comes from R.S. Whitington in his book Time of the Tiger when he says:
"Modern batsmen complain, and some of them retreat, when two or three bumpers are bowled at them in one over. These batsmen never saw Bodyline, or anything approaching it, from the fastest bowler (and I'm not forgetting Lindwall, Miller, Tyson or Wesley Hall) who ever bowled a ball in my presence - the fastest by yards - and the greatest."

Jack Fingleton, meanwhile, said of him that:

"He was the greatest fast bowler that I ever saw, and at his peak in 1932, probably the greatest that anyone else ever saw too."

Bill Bowes also rated him highly, saying that:

"Of all the memories the one I cherish the most is of Harold ‘Lol’ Larwood of Nottinghamshire, to my mind, the world’s best and fastest bowler of all time. . . . he had muscles of coiled steel, hardened by work at the coal face as a miner, and one of the loveliest actions imaginable."

And

"In the 35 years since bodyline, I have seen every fast bowler of reputation in the world. I have not seen one with the speed or the perfection of action like Larwood. I have not seen another bowler skim from Australian pitches like Larwood. To have seen Larwood in Australia is to have witnesses one of the greatest of all sporting occasions."

Bradman said of Larwood:

"Over a full season, under all sorts of conditions, I rank Larwood the fastest bowler of them all.

At times he obtained exceptional speed.

There was the Melbourne Test in 1928 when Jack Ryder tried a hook but hit the ball on the edge of the bat. It went well over the fence for 6, straight over the keeper’s head.
In the same spell of bowling, Ryder tried for another hook but missed. He obscured Duckworth’s vision. The ball hit Duckworth straight on the forehead, bounced off it and landed on the sight-screen !"

Finally, Frank Chester, the famous umpire, picks Larwood (who he described as "positively the Prince of all fast bowlers") as one of "the seven outstanding cricketers of my time." Along with Hobbs, Bradman, Hammond, Oldfield, Tate and O'Reilly








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Post by Stella Mon 07 Jan 2013, 8:36 pm

Surprised Grimmett wasn't among those seven.
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Post by Hoggy_Bear Mon 07 Jan 2013, 9:09 pm

Many observers at the time rated O'Reilly ahead of Grimmett, Stella.

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Post by Stella Mon 07 Jan 2013, 9:15 pm

From what I've read, Grimmett was a great bowler ad superior to Tate. Is Grimmett in the HOF by the way?
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Post by Hoggy_Bear Mon 07 Jan 2013, 9:22 pm

Yeah Grimmett's in the HoF

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Post by guildfordbat Mon 07 Jan 2013, 9:38 pm

Hoggy - some cracking quotes paying tribute to Lol Larwood. Remarkable uniformity of appreciation.

I'll throw in one more. From George Hele who umpired all five of the Bodyline Tests:
''I never saw a faster and more consistent bowler.''

I was looking earlier at Larwood's stats from the Bodyline Tests. A mighty impressive 33 wickets. Only 16 fell to catches. Given Larwood's reputation for aiming at the body, perhaps surprising that the remaining 17 were bowled or lbw.

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Post by Corporalhumblebucket Mon 07 Jan 2013, 10:05 pm

guildfordbat wrote: Given Larwood's reputation for aiming at the body, perhaps surprising that the remaining 17 were bowled or lbw.
May be some were chest / head before wicket as they ducked in anticipation of a non existent bouncer.... Erm

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Post by Corporalhumblebucket Mon 07 Jan 2013, 10:42 pm

I see that the new GOAT thread has got off to a rocky start with the surprise inclusion of Gavin Hastings as possible candidate for one of the 64 greatest sportspersons of all time. Shocked I don't think anyone has managed to smuggle a completely unrealistic candidate into this thread....

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Post by guildfordbat Mon 07 Jan 2013, 11:11 pm

Corporalhumblebucket wrote:I see that the new GOAT thread has got off to a rocky start with the surprise inclusion of Gavin Hastings as possible candidate for one of the 64 greatest sportspersons of all time. Shocked I don't think anyone has managed to smuggle a completely unrealistic candidate into this thread....
Hope for Chris Schofield yet! Very Happy

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Post by msp83 Wed 09 Jan 2013, 12:56 pm

On Rohan Kanhai.
Undoubtedly a very good player. Stats aren't quite HoF though.
But we did pick Gordon Greenidge only recently to our HoF, although his stats alone wasn't enough.
But unlike Greenidge, Kanhai wasn't a regular opening batsman. The quality of the bowling he had to face during most of his career wasn't as sharp as that of Greenidge? There were of course some fine bowlers, but not an abundance of such quality as we had through the 1970s and 80s?
Haven't come across much in terms of contributions to the game after his playing career.

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Post by msp83 Wed 09 Jan 2013, 1:10 pm

Martin Crowe is another player who couldn't make it on stats alone.
But unlike Kanhai, the pressure of being the only real world class batsman in his side was pretty much a constant throughout his career. There were a few capable batters, but nothing more than that.
He was a batsman of style, and had that gift of that little extra bit of time to play his shots. He had to also deal with a number of injuries throughout his career.
Wasn't he the captain who used Mark greatbatch as a pinch hitting opener during the 92 world cup? Also opening the bowling with Deepak Patel with great effect? So as an innovative captain there is more to Crowe's case.

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Post by Stella Wed 09 Jan 2013, 1:24 pm

msp83 wrote:Martin Crowe is another player who couldn't make it on stats alone.
But unlike Kanhai, the pressure of being the only real world class batsman in his side was pretty much a constant throughout his career. There were a few capable batters, but nothing more than that.
He was a batsman of style, and had that gift of that little extra bit of time to play his shots. He had to also deal with a number of injuries throughout his career.
Wasn't he the captain who used Mark greatbatch as a pinch hitting opener during the 92 world cup? Also opening the bowling with Deepak Patel with great effect? So as an innovative captain there is more to Crowe's case.

He was indeed.
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Post by ShahenshahG Wed 09 Jan 2013, 3:02 pm

Imran Khan said he knew pakistan had the game in the bag once crowe went off the field with an injury either in the semi or the must win match before the semi. So you can at least see how high a regard imran hed him in

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Post by Stella Wed 09 Jan 2013, 3:10 pm

Gough and Akram rate him as the best batsman they have bowled to.
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Post by Pete C (Kiwireddevil) Wed 09 Jan 2013, 3:25 pm

Stella wrote:
msp83 wrote:Martin Crowe is another player who couldn't make it on stats alone.
But unlike Kanhai, the pressure of being the only real world class batsman in his side was pretty much a constant throughout his career. There were a few capable batters, but nothing more than that.
He was a batsman of style, and had that gift of that little extra bit of time to play his shots. He had to also deal with a number of injuries throughout his career.
Wasn't he the captain who used Mark greatbatch as a pinch hitting opener during the 92 world cup? Also opening the bowling with Deepak Patel with great effect? So as an innovative captain there is more to Crowe's case.

He was indeed.

Afternoon all,

Some quick points on Crowe,
* Probably NZ's greatest ever batsman (Sutcliffe, Donnelly and Dempster have their fans, but Sutcliffe was never the same after his concussion in SA while the latter two didn't play enough test cricket).
* Has more test tons than any other New Zealander
* While an overall test average of 45 is a touch lower than usual for a "great" he did manage to average 50.02 in tests in New Zealand, something remarkable given that NZ tracks generally favour seam bowling. And over his prime period (1985-1992, ignoring the 1st 3 years - 16 tests and last 3 years - 14 tests of his career (as I suspect that in any other country he'd not have been picked as early - he debuted at 19, nor played on so long on dodgy knees) he averaged 56 over 47 tests. Not bad, especially in the 1980s (he average just 15 in his final year, 1995, hobbling through most of his innings)
*Along the way he scored a scintillating 188 against the West Indies pace battery in Bridgetown, and managed a 299, the highest test score by any NZer.
* Before knee problems kicked in he was a better seam bowling than his figures suggest, being used as a new ball bowler at times in Asia. His figures were somewhat inflated by being used as a "stock" bowler to cover for injured/ill frontline bowlers on a number of occasions, there was a time in the late '80s where it felt like NZ had a seamer break down every match.
* As an captain he was phenomenally innovative, using Dipak Patel to open the bowling as a spinner, outside of Aisa, was something that astounded the cricket world in 1991. Promoting his close friend Mark Greatbach (and I did wax lyrical on this in the Jayasuriya debate) to open was something of a precursor to the modern concept of trying to score more heavily in the early-overs powerplay. He also wasn't afraid to try things in tests, which helped a little as NZ struggled somewhat in those "after Hadlee" days. Crowe lead a pretty average side to the World Cup semi-finals in 91, topping the overall runscorer charts and his injury in the semi-final (which hampered the late-innings surge, and prevented him from taking the field for Pakistan's innings) was a major factor (alongside the young Inzamam's genius) in NZ losing the semi-final. You wouldn't have bet against them in the final vs England either.
* In Sri Lanka in 1992 he wound up coaching the team as well as captaining - the original coach Warren Lees and half the original squad returned home after the terrorist bomb blast outside the team hotel
* As an administrator he came up with the concept of CricketMax, which (admittedly once some of the sillier ideas were discarded) greatly resembles the modern T20 game - through his position with SkyTV in NZ (he rose to be their head of sport broadcasting) he championed cricket in all forms, and probably helped slow the game's decline as a spectator sport in NZ


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Post by Pete C (Kiwireddevil) Wed 09 Jan 2013, 3:31 pm

ShahenshahG wrote:Imran Khan said he knew pakistan had the game in the bag once crowe went off the field with an injury either in the semi or the must win match before the semi. So you can at least see how high a regard imran hed him in

That would have been the semi. NZ were awful in the round robin match vs Pakistan - they'd already qualified for the semis, and knew that if Pakistan beat them the Aussies would be knocked out. NZ had played all their matches in NZ, but the final was to be in Australia Whistle

Crowe was run out for 91 (off 83 balls) in the semi final, from memory due to a stuff up by his runner - yep, from the cricinfo match scorecard:
Greatbatch was used as a runner for Crowe from the fall of the 4th wicket (and was run out at the striker's end attempting a second run for Crowe)



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Post by msp83 Wed 09 Jan 2013, 3:32 pm

Some pretty strong points in favor of Crowe there Pete.
I think we have to certainly consider his impact on NZ cricket, as we did in the case of Jayasuriya earlier, and also Crowe's role in furthering the process that led to the Jayasuriyas, Gayles and the Sehwags of this world.
Although T-20 as such was an English experiment, Crowe did give a headstart to that as well, I remember a game India played in NZ where a 6 in the V counted for 12 and stuff.......
Hope the debate takes off from here, Crowe start with a favorable case in my book.

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Post by Mike Selig Wed 09 Jan 2013, 5:15 pm

Excellent post Pete.

From where I'm standing Crowe ticks a lot of the right boxes. I'm particularly keen to stress just how good his record could have been had he not played long past his best. I suspect guildford will be as well: as with players like Cowdrey and Greenidge, it seems Crowe's overall record suffers due to answering the call of the selectors for a lot longer than perhaps he should.

At his best, he was amongst the very very best of the 80s, and a tremendous player of fast bowling.

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Post by Hoggy_Bear Wed 09 Jan 2013, 5:56 pm

Mike Selig wrote:Excellent post Pete.

From where I'm standing Crowe ticks a lot of the right boxes. I'm particularly keen to stre with wiss just how good his record could have been had he not played long past his best. I suspect guildford will be as well: as with players like Cowdrey and Greenidge, it seems Crowe's overall record suffers due to answering the call of the selectors for a lot longer than perhaps he should.

At his best, he was amongst the very very best of the 80s, and a tremendous player of fast bowling.

Yep.
Agreed with this. Crowe has, IMO a very strong case, that has been ably supported by Pete's post.
His overall average is, perhaps, not quite high enough for entry to our HoF, but he played in an era of strong bowling was, for most of his career the player the opposition most wanted to see the back off, and his figures were adversly effected by playing, early and late in his career, when he wasn't at his best.
At his best he averaged 50+, was one of the best batsmen of his time, and was, in all likelihood, the best batsman his country has produced. Add in his innovative captaincy, and the testimony of contemporaries (he was highly rated by Wasim and Inzamam, among others) and he looks a good candidate for the HoF.

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Post by guildfordbat Wed 09 Jan 2013, 8:16 pm

Mike Selig wrote:Excellent post Pete.

From where I'm standing Crowe ticks a lot of the right boxes. I'm particularly keen to stress just how good his record could have been had he not played long past his best. I suspect guildford will be as well: as with players like Cowdrey and Greenidge, it seems Crowe's overall record suffers due to answering the call of the selectors for a lot longer than perhaps he should.

At his best, he was amongst the very very best of the 80s, and a tremendous player of fast bowling.

I was about to play the ''going on beyond his best for the good of the team'' card for Kanhai - and still will. However, no reason why it cannot also be applied to Crowe.

Kanhai's Test career began in his early twenties in 1957 and lasted for seventeen years until 1974. Whilst he still scored 3 of his fifteen Test centuries in the 1970s, his batting peak was clearly during the previous decade. Indeed, other than Sobers and Pollock, I can't think of a better batsman throughout all or most of the 1960s (Hoggy, Kwini, Corporal - correct ???). Kanhai's experience - culminating in his captaincy of the West Indies prior to such a successful handover to Lloyd, as Mike recently posted - more than justified his Test place. However, the later of his 79 Tests undoubtedly reduced his Test average even though it still ended impressively above 47.5.

I'll try to post a bit later tonight tributes to Kanhai from Sobers, Gavaskar and West Indies cricket writer CLR James. It may just be a gut feeling but I do suspect we set the bar overly high for greats from the 1960s - too long ago to have been seen by many posters but not so far back for mystique to surround them?

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 09 Jan 2013, 8:32 pm

'Evening All (just wanted to show my age),

Agree about Kanhai, guildford, think I mentioned last time around that I would actually place him higher in the pantheon of W.I. greats than Clive Lloyd.
Would also add something I mentioned a little earlier, about what a flamboyant swash-buckler he was in his (relative) youth, very exciting to watch, and how "maturity", team "responsibilities", however you might style it caused him to reinvent himself as an anchor to the next generation late in his career.

Also heard a phrase just now on the radio in a discussion about the merits of players who accumulated massive stat's due to the longevity of their career - "There should be no shame, but honour, in staying at the top for so long".

Due to his change of role within the team, I'm not sure how applicable this is to Kanhai but it's quite possible that he was a sure-fire Hall Of Famer if judged merely on his very best years, just another very good in his later role. But his Very Good shouldn't be allowed to diminish his Great.

Remember also that he was a good enough wickie to keep in a few Tests, and a fine close fielder most of his career.

(guildford, Pleased to see that, by virtue of Luton's Cup win, you might boast that Woking are superior to Wolves. And, on a Black Country note, nice to read some excellent tributes to Derek Kevan.)

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Post by msp83 Wed 09 Jan 2013, 8:41 pm

While Rohan Kanhai is highly rated by many in cricketing circles including Sunil Gavaskar, and while his adaptability and longevity are supportive of his case, I don't think the argument of his stats suffering big due to an extended career can quite be supported.
Kanhai averaged over 45 in his last 3 seasons in 18 tests. He averaged 48.6 in his first 58 tests. Not a massive difference, and his average up to the end of 1960s isn't much of a stand out either.

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Post by msp83 Wed 09 Jan 2013, 8:50 pm

My research using statsguru has thrown up something more interesting on Kanhai.
Kanhai's averages against Australia, England and Pakistan are less than his overall career average. 45 against Australia, 41 against England and 44 against Pakistan.
Against India he averaged over 62.
As I mentioned earlier, India's legendary spinners were being molded together by Pataudi in the late 1960s and they became more of a force in the 70s, Kapil Dev was the first significant seam bowler in independent India.

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Post by Corporalhumblebucket Wed 09 Jan 2013, 10:26 pm

Some good further points made about Crowe by Pete and others. I'm tending to an affirmative. Certainly he was a very strong player for a number of years and from my recollection often lacked a great deal of support at the other end.

Pleased to see that Bradman looks set to move comfortably into round 2 of GOAT. Would of course be a scandal if he was eliminated....

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Post by guildfordbat Wed 09 Jan 2013, 10:30 pm

Kwini - fine post about Kanhai. (Yes, some super tributes to Derek Kevan - fantastic goals per game ratio for the Throstles and Man City. Going further off topic, I only found out over Christmas that Gordon West (ex Everton and occasional England keeper) passed away last year.)

Msp - you can do a lot with stats. Take Kanhai's last 17 Tests out of the mix - in which he still scored two centuries and five fifties - and his average exceeds 49.6. Fair enough to say you can't do that but then everything has to go into the mix including his longevity. You mention his Test career ''up to the end of the 1960s'' - keep in mind that his Test career had already lasted thirteen years by that point. Anyway, enough of my views - what about others?

According to the esteemed West Indian cricket writer CLR James, Kanhai was ''the high peak of West Indian cricketing development''.

Sunil Gavaskar: ''quite simply the greatest batsman I have ever seen''. Gavaskar named his son after Rohan Kanhai as did Alvin Kallicharran (and Bob Marley!).

Michael Manley on Kanhai's captaincy of the West Indies: ''During his short tenure, he established himself as a sound tactician on the field and a firm disciplinarian off it.''

Jimmy Adams: ''Rohan came to Jamaica and assumed the role of coach for both our senior and junior teams in the early 80s and continued in both roles for almost two decades ... He maintained and demanded very high standards both on and off the field, and was instrumental for a lot of the individual and team successes that both Jamaica and a lot of us as players experienced during his stint here.''

Clive Lloyd: ''he was always such a big figure in my life, Guyana and the West Indies''.

Sir Gary Sobers: ''Rohan Kanhai was a great player.''


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Post by guildfordbat Wed 09 Jan 2013, 10:37 pm

Further to the Corporal's post about Crowe, I certainly flagged when we considered Hanif that we needed to take account of the lack of support he had in a struggling team. I still need to do some research on Crowe but it would appear those points again crop up with him.

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Post by msp83 Thu 10 Jan 2013, 8:04 am

Guildford, particularly interesting is the comment from Jimmy Adams. Kanhai's coaching contributions since his playing days is something that we haven't really focused on. Perhaps you could throw a bit more light on that?
I knew Sunny G had a particularly liking for Kanhai, I remember him talking about that 256 on commentary more than ones and how that knock left so much impression on an impressionable young mind and influenced Sunny's own outlook towards batting. Quite a tribute that, and as you mentioned, he named his son after Kanhai.

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Post by Pete C (Kiwireddevil) Thu 10 Jan 2013, 10:14 am

Cheers for the feedback on my Crowe post guys. As a boy in the '80s the bat I coveted most was the Duncan Fearnley Magnum, because Crowe used it (I was gutted when he switched to GM).

At the moment I'm leaning towards a "yes" for Larwood, and probably Kanhai (I'm pretty sure my Dad saw Kanhai bat, will give him a ring tomorrow night to ask his impression). And I need to do some more research on the others Smile


For those following the GOAT competition, we could still do with "champion" write ups for several cricketers - Lara, Sobers and Murali, so if anyone fancies the task please put your hand up.
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Post by Stella Thu 10 Jan 2013, 10:17 am

Pete C (Kiwireddevil) wrote:Cheers for the feedback on my Crowe post guys. As a boy in the '80s the bat I coveted most was the Duncan Fearnley Magnum, because Crowe used it (I was gutted when he switched to GM).

At the moment I'm leaning towards a "yes" for Larwood, and probably Kanhai (I'm pretty sure my Dad saw Kanhai bat, will give him a ring tomorrow night to ask his impression). And I need to do some more research on the others Smile


For those following the GOAT competition, we could still do with "champion" write ups for several cricketers - Lara, Sobers and Murali, so if anyone fancies the task please put your hand up.

Me to pete. Crowe allowed you to see the full makers name as well, when he batted.

He also managed to convert a few Somerset fans, after he came and replaced the legends.
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Post by Shelsey93 Fri 11 Jan 2013, 10:41 pm

Pete, I can do the remaining cricket write-ups if they haven't yet been taken. PM me with deadlines if so thumbsup

I've decided, due to the slowness is debate getting off the ground again after Xmas, to give this batch an extra week. I'd like time to revisit Larwood, and also to look into Armstrong and Pataudi a bit more.

Will look again at Larwood tomorrow (although I wrote an extremely long post on him the first time round, and I think I still back most of the points I made there).

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Post by Hoggy_Bear Sat 12 Jan 2013, 8:32 pm

Seems fair enough Shelsey.
Pataudi obviously needs more debate, but I'd have thought the case for Armstrong was too overwhelming to need it myself. Wink

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Post by guildfordbat Sun 13 Jan 2013, 12:35 pm

Hoggy - are there are any particular Test match winning or saving performances from Armstrong that I should be taking account of?

He was clearly a massive character in every sense who had a long and effective career but still feel I need some convincing for the HoF ....

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Post by Hoggy_Bear Sun 13 Jan 2013, 1:41 pm

Well Guildford, his 159* was scored out of 309 in Australia's second innings after South Africa had led by 65 runs on the first innings. Australia won by exactly 159 runs. Meanwhile, his 121 at Adelaide in 1921 was scored when coming in at 71/3 in Australia's second innings, after trailing England by 93 on the first. Although others also scored runs for Australia in that innings, his century helped save (at first) and then win the match. His 133 at Melbourne in 1908 was fundamental in Australia's victory while his 66 (out of an innings of 195, in which only two other Aussies reached double figures) in the first innings at Headingly at 1905, contributed greatly to the eventual draw in that match.
Interestingly, perhaps, all of Armstrong's 6 centuries, and 6 of his 8 fifties, were scored in wins or draws.
In terms of bowling, there are not as many outstanding contributions although his 6/35 at Lord's in 1909 was a major part of Australia's win there and he did take 4/26 to wreck England's second innings at Melbourne in 1921 to help confirm an innings victory.

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Post by guildfordbat Sun 13 Jan 2013, 4:59 pm

Hoggy - you're certainly making a decent case for Armstrong. I'm just not convinced it's an unequivocal one. Given the lack of concens from other posters, maybe I'm in a minority of one ....

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Post by Shelsey93 Sun 13 Jan 2013, 5:39 pm

The Armstrong case looks strong.

I'm not sure I agree that he is the Australian equivalent of WG Grace (other than in weight) - we've already seen that Spofforth was a major figure in early Australian cricket, and of course Victor Trumper came before him, and there was Clem Hill.

However, he is one of very few genuine all-rounders we've encountered. His averages are good by any standard (in fact better than Rhodes as an all round package). For English players of this era we've put more weight on FC cricket, and if we do the same for Armstrong he has stunning stats: 47 with the bat and 20 with the ball. I accept weaknesses in standard, but those are figures that nevertheless remain practically unprecedented.

John Polack also calls him "one of Australia's finest ever captains".

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Post by msp83 Sun 13 Jan 2013, 5:46 pm

On Pataudi as I mentioned, on stats alone he doesn't get close, but we have to consider him in terms of the overall package.
A man of impact on Indian cricket, the captain who taught the team to have a winning mentality. The man who molded the historic spin quartet, the man who overcame a debilitating physical condition to play the game successfully at the highest level for almost 15 years, the batsman who overcame traditional Indian weaknessess, the man who played some stunning knocks when everyone else collapsed around him.......

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Post by Hoggy_Bear Sun 13 Jan 2013, 10:00 pm

Shelsey93 wrote:The Armstrong case looks strong.

I'm not sure I agree that he is the Australian equivalent of WG Grace (other than in weight) - we've already seen that Spofforth was a major figure in early Australian cricket, and of course Victor Trumper came before him, and there was Clem Hill.

However, he is one of very few genuine all-rounders we've encountered. His averages are good by any standard (in fact better than Rhodes as an all round package). For English players of this era we've put more weight on FC cricket, and if we do the same for Armstrong he has stunning stats: 47 with the bat and 20 with the ball. I accept weaknesses in standard, but those are figures that nevertheless remain practically unprecedented.

John Polack also calls him "one of Australia's finest ever captains".

Agree with all of this.
I think the thing with Armstrong is the cumulative greatness of his overall career. He had a very good Test match record, though this would probably not be enough to get him into our HoF on its own.
However, add in his exceptional FC record, his record as captain and the fact that he was a massive character in the game, a man loved by the crowds (although not, neccessarily, by all of his opponents or teammates), and one who made a great impact on the sport during his own era, and I think his case is very strong indeed.

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Post by Hoggy_Bear Sun 13 Jan 2013, 11:04 pm

A few words from an article by Frank Iredale on the occassion of Armstrong's selection as skipper in 1920:

"No one, however, can cavil at the selection of Warwick Armstrong, who has played a very important part in the history of our cricket. He is one of our big men in the game in every sense, and one of our greatest fighters. On great occasions he is the man for any position, and I know of no one who can live up to an important part so much as he."

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Post by Hoggy_Bear Sun 13 Jan 2013, 11:09 pm

And a lovely quote from Ray Robinson:

"No ball that Armstrong drove, and no deck-chair he sat on, was ever the same again."
Smile

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Post by skyeman Wed 16 Jan 2013, 4:50 pm

Fantastic article on Larwood/bodyline on the BBCsport site at the moment, giving further reasons as to why Larwood should be regarded as a great.

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Post by Shelsey93 Thu 17 Jan 2013, 11:59 am

The GOAT competition has again descended into potential farce with the inclusion of Mike Tyson today!

Anyway, back on topic and a reassessment of Larwood.

I wrote a very long post about him on the final page of the first part of the discussion (link in the Hall of Fame Home Page, in the Honours Board section). In that post I argued that he shouldn't be included, and I'm going to stand by that for now.

That is in spite of the fact that with every batsman of his era we come across he again and again is mentioned. A lot of good batsman appear to have been troubled by him more than any other bowler of the 1930s, and in normal circumstances that would get him in.

However, in sum the reasons for my continued opposition to his inclusion are as follows:

1/ As I see it Bodyline has to be central to any case for Larwood. Plum Warner noted shortly after the series that "Practically every cricketer in Australia is convinced that the type of bowling employed by Larwood is contrary to the best interests, and the spirit, of cricket; they urge that it can only breed ill-feeling. It seems probable that time will confirm this verdict". It is true that Larwood was responding to captain's orders, but he could have said no. Although within the laws there are, for me, significant dangers associated with Bodyline - namely that, as the name would suggest, the body (and we must emphasise the lack of protection at that time) is being targeted.

Based on the precedent of the Chappell case I won't take my opposition to Bodyline bowling any further. But, due to that opposition, I do feel that it would be wrong to use Larwood's performance in that particular series as part of a case for his inclusion.

2/ If we discount Bodyline he played in only five series over six years. The total number of Tests was 21 (including 5 Bodyline) - Ranji was excluded partly because it was felt his 15 weren't enough. Those five series include two unsuccessful Ashes campaigns (18 wkts @ 40 in 28/29 and 4 wkts @ 73 in 1930). After the 1930 series, excluding a match v NZ where the weather meant he didn't even bowl, he didn't feature until '32-33. He only overcame the challenge posed by Bradman's Australia once - and that was with the aid of Bodyline.

3/ It is unfortunate (and in my view not fitting the crime) that he was overlooked post-Bodyline. However, he was injured throughout 1933 and CMJ says that, although he continued a very strong first-class career for another four years, he returned as a "fast-medium bowler off a shorter run".

4/ He was clearly an exceptional FC bowler. As the fastest around this is no surprise. However, Frank Woolley was also an exceptional FC player of the era and excluded on the grounds of a mediocre Test record. Its hard to accurately judge how strong FC cricket was at the time.

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Post by msp83 Thu 17 Jan 2013, 12:45 pm

Shelsey's case against Larwood is an interesting one, and I had mentioned earlier and as hoggy also touched upon earlier, Larwood's record outside the bodyline series doesn't really stand up as HoF. The relative lack of tests again is a factor.
As far as he standing up to the captain is concerned, we have to think deeper. Someone like Gubby Allen or the Nawab of Pataudi Senior could have done that a lot easier than a professional cricketer could have done. So fair enough if he didn't go their way and stuck with the captain's orders.

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Post by Stella Thu 17 Jan 2013, 12:49 pm

Shelsey93 wrote:The GOAT competition has again descended into potential farce with the inclusion of Mike Tyson today!

Anyway, back on topic and a reassessment of Larwood.

I wrote a very long post about him on the final page of the first part of the discussion (link in the Hall of Fame Home Page, in the Honours Board section). In that post I argued that he shouldn't be included, and I'm going to stand by that for now.

That is in spite of the fact that with every batsman of his era we come across he again and again is mentioned. A lot of good batsman appear to have been troubled by him more than any other bowler of the 1930s, and in normal circumstances that would get him in.

However, in sum the reasons for my continued opposition to his inclusion are as follows:

1/ As I see it Bodyline has to be central to any case for Larwood. Plum Warner noted shortly after the series that "Practically every cricketer in Australia is convinced that the type of bowling employed by Larwood is contrary to the best interests, and the spirit, of cricket; they urge that it can only breed ill-feeling. It seems probable that time will confirm this verdict". It is true that Larwood was responding to captain's orders, but he could have said no. Although within the laws there are, for me, significant dangers associated with Bodyline - namely that, as the name would suggest, the body (and we must emphasise the lack of protection at that time) is being targeted.

Based on the precedent of the Chappell case I won't take my opposition to Bodyline bowling any further. But, due to that opposition, I do feel that it would be wrong to use Larwood's performance in that particular series as part of a case for his inclusion.

2/ If we discount Bodyline he played in only five series over six years. The total number of Tests was 21 (including 5 Bodyline) - Ranji was excluded partly because it was felt his 15 weren't enough. Those five series include two unsuccessful Ashes campaigns (18 wkts @ 40 in 28/29 and 4 wkts @ 73 in 1930). After the 1930 series, excluding a match v NZ where the weather meant he didn't even bowl, he didn't feature until '32-33. He only overcame the challenge posed by Bradman's Australia once - and that was with the aid of Bodyline.

3/ It is unfortunate (and in my view not fitting the crime) that he was overlooked post-Bodyline. However, he was injured throughout 1933 and CMJ says that, although he continued a very strong first-class career for another four years, he returned as a "fast-medium bowler off a shorter run".

4/ He was clearly an exceptional FC bowler. As the fastest around this is no surprise. However, Frank Woolley was also an exceptional FC player of the era and excluded on the grounds of a mediocre Test record. Its hard to accurately judge how strong FC cricket was at the time.

Did players say no to their captains in those days?
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Post by Hoggy_Bear Thu 17 Jan 2013, 1:02 pm

Stella wrote:
Shelsey93 wrote:The GOAT competition has again descended into potential farce with the inclusion of Mike Tyson today!

Anyway, back on topic and a reassessment of Larwood.

I wrote a very long post about him on the final page of the first part of the discussion (link in the Hall of Fame Home Page, in the Honours Board section). In that post I argued that he shouldn't be included, and I'm going to stand by that for now.

That is in spite of the fact that with every batsman of his era we come across he again and again is mentioned. A lot of good batsman appear to have been troubled by him more than any other bowler of the 1930s, and in normal circumstances that would get him in.

However, in sum the reasons for my continued opposition to his inclusion are as follows:

1/ As I see it Bodyline has to be central to any case for Larwood. Plum Warner noted shortly after the series that "Practically every cricketer in Australia is convinced that the type of bowling employed by Larwood is contrary to the best interests, and the spirit, of cricket; they urge that it can only breed ill-feeling. It seems probable that time will confirm this verdict". It is true that Larwood was responding to captain's orders, but he could have said no. Although within the laws there are, for me, significant dangers associated with Bodyline - namely that, as the name would suggest, the body (and we must emphasise the lack of protection at that time) is being targeted.

Based on the precedent of the Chappell case I won't take my opposition to Bodyline bowling any further. But, due to that opposition, I do feel that it would be wrong to use Larwood's performance in that particular series as part of a case for his inclusion.

2/ If we discount Bodyline he played in only five series over six years. The total number of Tests was 21 (including 5 Bodyline) - Ranji was excluded partly because it was felt his 15 weren't enough. Those five series include two unsuccessful Ashes campaigns (18 wkts @ 40 in 28/29 and 4 wkts @ 73 in 1930). After the 1930 series, excluding a match v NZ where the weather meant he didn't even bowl, he didn't feature until '32-33. He only overcame the challenge posed by Bradman's Australia once - and that was with the aid of Bodyline.

3/ It is unfortunate (and in my view not fitting the crime) that he was overlooked post-Bodyline. However, he was injured throughout 1933 and CMJ says that, although he continued a very strong first-class career for another four years, he returned as a "fast-medium bowler off a shorter run".

4/ He was clearly an exceptional FC bowler. As the fastest around this is no surprise. However, Frank Woolley was also an exceptional FC player of the era and excluded on the grounds of a mediocre Test record. Its hard to accurately judge how strong FC cricket was at the time.

Did players say no to their captains in those days?

Usually only the amateurs.
And, even then, only if they'd been to a better school. Smile
Thus, IIRC, Jardine went to Harrow, 'Gubby' Allen went to Eton. Allen refused to bowl 'Bodyline'.

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Post by Mike Selig Thu 17 Jan 2013, 1:03 pm

Stella wrote:
Shelsey93 wrote:The GOAT competition has again descended into potential farce with the inclusion of Mike Tyson today!

Anyway, back on topic and a reassessment of Larwood.

I wrote a very long post about him on the final page of the first part of the discussion (link in the Hall of Fame Home Page, in the Honours Board section). In that post I argued that he shouldn't be included, and I'm going to stand by that for now.

That is in spite of the fact that with every batsman of his era we come across he again and again is mentioned. A lot of good batsman appear to have been troubled by him more than any other bowler of the 1930s, and in normal circumstances that would get him in.

However, in sum the reasons for my continued opposition to his inclusion are as follows:

1/ As I see it Bodyline has to be central to any case for Larwood. Plum Warner noted shortly after the series that "Practically every cricketer in Australia is convinced that the type of bowling employed by Larwood is contrary to the best interests, and the spirit, of cricket; they urge that it can only breed ill-feeling. It seems probable that time will confirm this verdict". It is true that Larwood was responding to captain's orders, but he could have said no. Although within the laws there are, for me, significant dangers associated with Bodyline - namely that, as the name would suggest, the body (and we must emphasise the lack of protection at that time) is being targeted.

Based on the precedent of the Chappell case I won't take my opposition to Bodyline bowling any further. But, due to that opposition, I do feel that it would be wrong to use Larwood's performance in that particular series as part of a case for his inclusion.

2/ If we discount Bodyline he played in only five series over six years. The total number of Tests was 21 (including 5 Bodyline) - Ranji was excluded partly because it was felt his 15 weren't enough. Those five series include two unsuccessful Ashes campaigns (18 wkts @ 40 in 28/29 and 4 wkts @ 73 in 1930). After the 1930 series, excluding a match v NZ where the weather meant he didn't even bowl, he didn't feature until '32-33. He only overcame the challenge posed by Bradman's Australia once - and that was with the aid of Bodyline.

3/ It is unfortunate (and in my view not fitting the crime) that he was overlooked post-Bodyline. However, he was injured throughout 1933 and CMJ says that, although he continued a very strong first-class career for another four years, he returned as a "fast-medium bowler off a shorter run".

4/ He was clearly an exceptional FC bowler. As the fastest around this is no surprise. However, Frank Woolley was also an exceptional FC player of the era and excluded on the grounds of a mediocre Test record. Its hard to accurately judge how strong FC cricket was at the time.

Did players say no to their captains in those days?

Gubby Allen did, but as msp has pointed out he wasn't a professional.

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Post by Stella Thu 17 Jan 2013, 1:04 pm

Hoggy_Bear wrote:
Stella wrote:
Shelsey93 wrote:The GOAT competition has again descended into potential farce with the inclusion of Mike Tyson today!

Anyway, back on topic and a reassessment of Larwood.

I wrote a very long post about him on the final page of the first part of the discussion (link in the Hall of Fame Home Page, in the Honours Board section). In that post I argued that he shouldn't be included, and I'm going to stand by that for now.

That is in spite of the fact that with every batsman of his era we come across he again and again is mentioned. A lot of good batsman appear to have been troubled by him more than any other bowler of the 1930s, and in normal circumstances that would get him in.

However, in sum the reasons for my continued opposition to his inclusion are as follows:

1/ As I see it Bodyline has to be central to any case for Larwood. Plum Warner noted shortly after the series that "Practically every cricketer in Australia is convinced that the type of bowling employed by Larwood is contrary to the best interests, and the spirit, of cricket; they urge that it can only breed ill-feeling. It seems probable that time will confirm this verdict". It is true that Larwood was responding to captain's orders, but he could have said no. Although within the laws there are, for me, significant dangers associated with Bodyline - namely that, as the name would suggest, the body (and we must emphasise the lack of protection at that time) is being targeted.

Based on the precedent of the Chappell case I won't take my opposition to Bodyline bowling any further. But, due to that opposition, I do feel that it would be wrong to use Larwood's performance in that particular series as part of a case for his inclusion.

2/ If we discount Bodyline he played in only five series over six years. The total number of Tests was 21 (including 5 Bodyline) - Ranji was excluded partly because it was felt his 15 weren't enough. Those five series include two unsuccessful Ashes campaigns (18 wkts @ 40 in 28/29 and 4 wkts @ 73 in 1930). After the 1930 series, excluding a match v NZ where the weather meant he didn't even bowl, he didn't feature until '32-33. He only overcame the challenge posed by Bradman's Australia once - and that was with the aid of Bodyline.

3/ It is unfortunate (and in my view not fitting the crime) that he was overlooked post-Bodyline. However, he was injured throughout 1933 and CMJ says that, although he continued a very strong first-class career for another four years, he returned as a "fast-medium bowler off a shorter run".

4/ He was clearly an exceptional FC bowler. As the fastest around this is no surprise. However, Frank Woolley was also an exceptional FC player of the era and excluded on the grounds of a mediocre Test record. Its hard to accurately judge how strong FC cricket was at the time.

Did players say no to their captains in those days?

Usually only the amateurs.
And, even then, only if they'd been to a better school. Smile
Thus, IIRC, Jardine went to Harrow, 'Gubby' Allen went to Eton. Allen refused to bowl 'Bodyline'.

Exactly.
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Post by msp83 Thu 17 Jan 2013, 1:25 pm

Good to see the thread picking up some momentum after a while. Including this, this is the 6th comment of the day, hopefully signs that we are all back to form after the holiday season!.
Hopefully there would be more engagement with other cases as well, Pataudi, Crowe.......

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Post by Mike Selig Thu 17 Jan 2013, 1:56 pm

Couple of unfair accusations being leveled at Larwood in my opinion.

Firstly, I don't think you can hold his short test career against him. Unlike Ranji, it was not of his own doing, but rather because he had been entirely unfairly made a scapegoat for bodyline. It is more in line with the likes of Barry Richards, a test career unfairly cut short. Of course it is impossible to tell how successful he would have been after his injury, but he remained very successful in his first class career, and there are many examples in cricket of former fast bowlers continuing successfully as medium pacers (Lilee, Pollock to name two). It is therefore possible that Larwood could have done the same.

Secondly, I think it is unfair to say "outside bodyline his record is ordinary" given:
1) bodyline consisted of a good chunk of Larwood's career (about a fifth). I suggest if you take away the most successful fifth of any player's career I think they'd end up looking fairly ordinary.
2) Bodyline is really what defined Larwood, both the good and the bad. I think to just say "well let's ignore bodyline" is kind of skirting the issue.

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Post by Stella Thu 17 Jan 2013, 1:59 pm

Larwood had a good series in 28-29 and was then considered the premier fast bowler.

Lindwall also copied his action. Got to be worth a couple of votes Very Happy
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Post by msp83 Thu 17 Jan 2013, 2:31 pm

Larwood overall test career average doesn't rightaway make him a HoF material in my view. He had one fine series, but the rest of it isn't high voltage stuff. Agree with Mike that we can't ignore bodyline. I'd not hold it too much against him either.
But on the short career, it has to be noted that when the events of 1933 happened, he has been into his 7th year of testt cricket. While we have cases of fast bowlers being successful after they had to cut down on pace following injuries, we have it the other way round as well, particularly at the international level. Thomson?

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