Alan Keith Walker
October 04, 1925, Manly, Sydney, New South Wales
June 19, 2005, Balgowah Heights, Sydney, New South Wales, (aged 79y 258d)
Right hand Bat
Left arm Fast
Alan Keith Walker, who died on June 18, 2005, aged 79, was a whippy left-arm bowler who could be "very, very fast when the mood took him", according to his New South Wales team-mate Richie Benaud. Some had reservations about the legitimacy of his action, which featured an unusual approach to the crease with left wrist cocked behind head. Walker toured South Africa in 1949-50, taking 25 wickets at 20.24 outside the Tests, but found himself behind Ray Lindwall, Keith Miller and Bill Johnston in the pecking order. He had made his Shield debut the previous season following some startling performances in Sydney grade cricket, including seven for eight and seven for six in one match for Manly against Cumberland. Walker never did make it into the Test side, and tried his luck in the Lancashire League after missing out on selection for the 1953 Ashes tour. After three years with Rawtenstall he was signed up by Nottinghamshire, taking 55 wickets in 1956. The following season started strangely, as he took seven for 56 against Middlesex at Lord's before going down with mumps and missing the rest of the game - and the next month's cricket too. In 1958 he was hampered by a shoulder injury suffered while playing rugby league for Leigh, and returned to Australia. He had taken a hat-trick in only his fifth match, against Queensland at Sydney in 1948-49, and bettered that in his first county season, with four in four balls at Leicester in 1956, when he dismissed the last man in the first innings and started the second with a hat-trick. Walker was also an outstanding rugby union player, who led the try-scoring with 19 on the Wallabies' 1947-48 tour of Britain and France, when he scored a memorable 70-yard try against England at Twickenham.
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack
Batting & Fielding