Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Goodbye, Sir Alec

Former England cricketer Sir Alec Bedser died the other day, and this seemed like a good moment to commemorate that fact. One of the big four of English Medium/Fast bowling (S.F. Barnes, Maurice Tate and Sir Ian Botham being the other three, in date order), he was the mainstay of the England and Surrey attacks in the forties and early fifties, bowling thousands of overs every season. Alongside his identical twin brother Eric, in the case of Surrey, which would have been confusing for the scorers had they not tossed a coin when young to decide which of them would get to bowl fast, and which off spin.

On a personal level, it's sad to see him go, because learning about his use of the leg cutter was one of the first stages in my transformation from dodgy medium pace bowler to... well, dodgy leg spinner, but the principle is the same. Actually, my current technique owes more to a much slowed down version of his technique (or that of Barnes) than to anything done by Shane Warne, and without his impact on the game of cricket (or at least on Don Bradman, the great batsman in whose book 'The Art of Cricket' I first saw the technique in question, and who considered Bedser to have bowled the greatest delivery he ever faced) I would probably have never spun a leg break at all. So goodbye to one of the greatest bowlers ever to play the game.

No comments: