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Full name Douglas Keith Carmody
Born February 16, 1919, Mosman, Sydney, New South Wales
Died October 21, 1977, Concord, Sydney, New South Wales (aged 58 years 247 days)
Major teams New South Wales, Western Australia
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm medium
Every time a captain packs a full hand of slips it adds a tribute to the cricket brains of Douglas Keith Carmody, who died on October 21 in Yaralla Repatriation Hospital, Sydney, aged 58.
Origination of the umbrella field made Carmody the second Australian among cricket's six great innovators. The structural changes they made to the game were round-arm bowling (J. Willes 1807), hitting to leg (G. Parr 1845), overarm bowling (E. Willsher 1862), close-up wicketkeeping (J. M. Blackham 1877), googly bowling (B. J. T. Bosanquet 1900), and the umbrella field (D. K. Carmody 1945).
A disciple of Stan McCabe in Mosman club, Sydney, Carmody made his debut at 20 for NSW in 1939, the last season before the War suspended Sheffield Shield cricket. A blue-eyed strokemaker of middle height, he still holds the record for most runs, 1606, in the under-21 Poidevin-Gray competition.
Joining the RAAF, served in 455 Squadron, flying Beaufighters from Langham, Norfolk. Cricket-starved crowds were thronging to Services matches played to keep up morale. RAAF's captain for a match at Lord's was Ken Ridings, brother of Phil Ridings, now chairman of Australia's selectors. In a Sunderland hunting U-boats Ken was shot down in the Atlantic.
Flt-Lt Carmody led RAAF in F/O Keith Miller and Bob Cristofani's first appearance at Lord's. Shot down off Holland in 1944 Carmody was picked up by a U-boat after two days on a rubber dinghy. Imprisoned at Stalagluft 3, he made several escape attempts before the Russian Army freed him in 1945. He reappeared in the last three of five Victory Tests by Lindsay Hassett's Services XI against England.
Edged balls getting by orthodox slip placings prompted Keith to develop an arc of eight from gully to leg gully. It became known as the Carmody field. In unofficial four-day Tests against India on the Services' way home his sequence as opening batsman was 113, 40, 14, 0 and 92. Captain-coach in Western Australia's first Sheffield Shield season, his direction of his new field helped the State win the trophy on percentages. Miller adopted it for NSW and it became a feature of Hassett's attack in England in 1953.