Allott's success tribute to hard work (12 June 1999)

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12 June 1999

Allott's success tribute to hard work

Geoff Longley

Geoff Allott has enjoyed socking it to the opposition at the cricket World Cup.

Not only does Allott now hold the World Cup tournament wicket-taking record, but he also amuses, and perhaps confuses, opponents and the crowd alike with part of a sock protruding from his right boot.

Allott has cut the toe out of his boot to ease the pressure on his front foot as he delivers the ball. Wearing two pairs of socks, the looser outside one acts as a shock absorber.

"It's designed to help stop things like in-grown toe-nails," said former New Zealand pace bowler Dayle Hadlee.

"Quite a few guys are doing it nowadays. I just used to wear boots half a size bigger."

New World Cup tournament record wicket-taker Geoff Allott is a born-again cricketer.

This time last year Allott was in the formative stages of remodelling his left-arm pace bowling action because of stress fractures to his lower back which had already sidelined him and which would continue to recur with his existing action.

Allott's action was a mixed one with his legs coming through front on and his body side on. Mentor Dayle Hadlee, New Zealand Cricket's Academy director, said Allott's hyper-extension and counter-rotation was a recipe for disaster.

"So Geoff had to go through the long process of starting to bowl from scratch again, literally one step at a time."

Hadlee said there were no guarantees Allott would successfully re-align his action and get back to international cricket.

"It took a huge amount of effort from him, but it said a lot about his character that he was prepared to work at it and have the inner confidence that he could come back."

Hadlee said Allott did a lot of work with NZC's technical adviser, Ashley Ross, a biomechanic, who used video analysis to break down Allott's action.

"Ashley also helped straighten his run-up, working with cones."

By getting into the right body position front-on at the bowling crease, Allott found he was getting the ball to swing back into right-handed batsmen, a delivery he had previously been unable to master.

"In the past Geoff had not been a genuine threat to top class batsman because they knew he could not bring the ball back so they could afford to leave it. He was only half the bowler he should have been," Hadlee said.

Allott also devised a different way to grip the ball from most pace bowlers, using three fingers around the seam to get stability on the ball.

Hadlee said Allott had benefited from the Duke ball being used at the tournament, which was more prone to swing and he expected that to continue when he switched to the red Duke ball being used for New Zealand's forthcoming test series against England.

"The Duke seems to fit into the hand nicely and Geoff has also learnt to bowl the right length on the English wickets, pitching the ball up and allowing it to swing," Hadlee said.

Last season in New Zealand Allott made good progress and initially overtook fellow left-arm pace bowler Shayne O'Connor for a place in the Black Caps test team.

However, fruitless returns in two tests on flat pitches against South Africa led to O'Connor being recalled and Allott returning to 12th man duties.

While sidelined, Allott had another session with Ross to refine his technique which led to his bowling impressively in the one-day series against the South Africans and earning the accolade as New Zealand's most successful one-day bowler of the season with 18 wickets, 14 of them against South Africa.

Now Allott, apart from taking the most wickets at a World Cup tournament -- bettering the previous record of 18 jointly held by Roger Binny (India 1983), Craig McDermott (Australia, 1987), and Wasim Akram (Pakistan, 1992), is poised to tilt at another mark.

He has 42 wickets from 20 one-day appearances and is challenging the player who took the quickest 50 wickets, India's Agit Agarkar from 23 games.

Allott has now forced the cricket world to take notice of his bowling skills after previously being best known at international level for his batting exploits at No. 11.

Allott made the longest duck in test history, staying at the wicket for 101 minutes against South Africa last season at Eden Park without scoring a run.


Big sock to absorb the shock

Geoff Allott has enjoyed socking it to the opposition at the cricket World Cup.

Not only does Allott now hold the World Cup tournament wicket-taking record, but he also amuses, and perhaps confuses, opponents and the crowd alike with part of a sock protruding from his right boot.

Allott has cut the toe out of his boot to ease the pressure on his front foot as he delivers the ball. Wearing two pairs of socks, the looser outside one acts as a shock absorber.

"It's designed to help stop things like in-grown toe-nails," said former New Zealand pace bowler Dayle Hadlee.

"Quite a few guys are doing it nowadays. I just used to wear boots half a size bigger."

Source :: The Christchurch Press

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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