Bill Voce      

Full name William Voce

Born August 8, 1909, Annesley Woodhouse, Nottinghamshire

Died June 6, 1984, Lenton, Nottinghamshire (aged 74 years 303 days)

Major teams England, Nottinghamshire

Batting style Right-hand bat

Bowling style Left-arm fast-medium

William Voce
Batting and fielding averages
Mat Inns NO Runs HS Ave 100 50 6s Ct St
Tests 27 38 15 308 66 13.39 0 1 8 15 0
First-class 426 525 130 7590 129 19.21 4 26 288 0
Bowling averages
Mat Inns Balls Runs Wkts BBI BBM Ave Econ SR 4w 5w 10
Tests 27 51 6360 2733 98 7/70 11/149 27.88 2.57 64.8 7 3 2
First-class 426 85500 35961 1558 8/30 23.08 2.52 54.8 84 20
Career statistics
Test debut West Indies v England at Bridgetown, Jan 11-16, 1930 scorecard
Last Test Australia v England at Melbourne, Jan 1-7, 1947 scorecard
Test statistics
First-class span 1927 - 1952

Bill Voce, who died at Nottingham on June 6, 1984, aged 74, is largely thought of in these days as the junior in one of the great bowling partnerships, Larwood and Voce, and for the contribution that he made to the bodyline attack in Australia in 1932-33. Although he was somewhat slower than Larwood, his line, from left-arm over the wicket, and the steeper bounce that he obtained from his height, made him formidable enough and the batsmen got no relief when facing him. His job in that 1932-33 series was to maintain the pressure and he did it nobly, taking, besides, fifteen wickets in four matches: he missed the fourth Test owing to injury. The controversy which this tour excited and the amount that has been written since has diverted attention from his performances in the first two Tests in 1936-37. No English side in this century had had such a bad press before the tour started: it was popularly regarded as having no chance whatever. Its captain, G. O. Allen, the third fast bowler on the previous trip, had been irredeemably opposed to bodyline and had refused to bowl it: it is worth recording that he himself had by orthodox methods taken eight for 131 in the third Test. So before the selection of the team was completed the Chairman arranged a meeting between Allen and Voce at which Allen insisted on an undertaking being given that bodyline tactics would not be employed. Voce demurred at first, but finally agreed to fall in with his captain's wishes and throughout the tour bowled over the wicket to an off-side field. In the first Test he took six for 41 and four for 16: Australia lost by 322 runs and the critics were confounded. The second was even more sensational. Allen declared (a step almost unprecedented in a timeless Test) at 426 for six in order to get Australia in on a wet wicket, and with the seventh ball of the first over Voce had O'Brien, a left-hander, caught at slip: from the next ball Bradman was caught at short-leg. A maiden followed and off the second ball of his next over McCabe was caught. Australia were three wickets down for 1 run and Voce had taken them all in four balls. The side was out for 80 and, though they got 324 in their second innings, they lost by an innings, Voce's figures being four for 10 and three for 66. In addition Chipperfield had been missed off his bowling in the first innings. In this match the weather had helped England, in the next it helped Australia, who won by 365 runs. Voce was in no way to blame: though his five wickets cost him 169 runs, he maintained, according to Wisden, his concentration and deadliness right throughout both innings.

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Bill Voce bowling for Nottinghamshire in 1934

Bill Voce bowling for Nottinghamshire in 1934

© The Cricketer International

Jan 14, 1933

Bill Voce bowls to Bill Ponsford with a Bodyline field, Australia v England, 3rd Test, Adelaide, January 14, 1933

Bill Voce bowls to Bill Ponsford with a Bodyline field

© The Cricketer International

Dec 3, 1932

Stan McCabe cuts inches wide of Bill Voce on his way to a brilliant 187 not out, Australia v England, SCG, 1st Test,  December 3, 1932

Stan McCabe cuts inches wide of Bill Voce on his way to a brilliant 187 not out

© The Cricketer International


Wisden Cricketer of the Year 1933