Alan Davidson star of tied 1960 Test dies at 92

Alan Davidson star of tied 1960 Test dies at 92


Former Australia allrounder played 44 Tests and claimed 186 wickets at a remarkable average of 20.53

In a Test career that spanned 1953 to 1963, Davidson played 44 times and claimed 186 wickets at a remarkable average of 20.53. It is the second-lowest average for any bowler with more than 150 Test wickets behind SF Barnes (16.43). He was also a very useful batter with five Test fifties and a first-class average of 32.96

In the tied Test against West Indies in Brisbane, which he played with a broken finger, he became the first player to score 100 runs and take 11 wickets in the same match. Only Ian Botham, Imran Khan and Shakib Alan Hasan have since achieved the feat.
In a 2012 interview with ESPNcricinfo, Davidson recalled his second-innings 80 in one of the greatest finishes the game has ever seen. “My best batting was in the second innings in the tied Test. But [Richie] Benaud ran me out at the most critical moment. We had two overs to go. We needed seven runs in virtually seven minutes. I told him, ‘Just make sure I am down there for Wes Hall.’ Richie played three or four balls in the penultimate over. Then he hit straight to Joe Solomon and took off. I wasn’t really backing up 100% and I was out by four to five yards. Next over Hall bounced Richie, who was caught behind. It was the most unforgettable game of all time.”

Davidson grew up on the New South Wales Central Coast and learnt the game on a homemade pitch at the family property before he moved to Sydney.

After overcoming a series of injuries, Davidson was at his finest in the late 1950s and early 1960s under the captaincy of his schoolboy adversary, New South Wales team-mate and close friend Benaud.

Against India at Kanpur in 1959 he took match figures of 12 for 124 included his career-best 7 for 93 in the second innings from 57.3 overs.

He claimed a wicket with his last ball in Test cricket against England in 1963. “When I went to start that last over in Test cricket, it was a memory-lane thing,” he recalled in 2012. “I remembered my first Test match was in Nottingham and all the rest of my career came back, and I was thinking, ‘I hope I can do something in this over.’

“I had lost count of the number of balls I had bowled. I turned to the umpire, asking him how many balls were left. ‘This is it,’ he replied. The previous two deliveries I bowled to Alan Smith, I had him at a spot where his feet were doing something. I thought if I could pitch it on this particular spot, he would either nick it to the wicketkeeper or the slip. As it was, he nicked it to Bobby Simpson at first slip. It was like a crescendo, and then it was a relief that I had gone out in a way I did not think possible.”

After his playing days, Davidson remained a major figure in the game which included 33 years as president of Cricket New South Wales and five years as an Australia selector between 1979 and 1984.

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