April 28, 2010

English cricket

Remembering Larwood's unworthy farewell

Nitin Sundar

In the Guardian, Frank Keating looks back at Harold Larwood's almost unnoticed departure from England, 60 years ago to the day, with only a pressman and Douglas Jardine to wish him well.

Same quay, same boat and carrying the very same suitcase as he had 18 years before. Harrowing irony for now, 18 years on, the renowned fast bowler – possibly, even in 2010, still the most far-famed fast bowler of all – was not surrounded by jostling well-wishers, a commotion of newsreel cameras, swankpot MCC bigwigs, nor any press of press men.

That notorious Bodyline tour of 1932‑1933 saw the captain and unswerving autocrat Douglas Jardine ruthlessly let the former Nottinghamshire miner Larwood off the leash not only triumphantly to regain the Ashes, but tumultuously to scare the wits out of Australia with 33 wickets in the five Tests at 19.51 apiece.

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Nitin Sundar is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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