Aaron Christopher Bird
September 28, 1983, Taree, New South Wales
Right hand Bat
Right arm Fast
After a season when he broke through to play his opening first-class games, things started to go wrong for Aaron Bird in 2006-07 and the doubts over his action refused to die. In that summer he could not get back in the Pura Cup side and managed only three wickets at 68 from his six one-day outings. Then he was reported for a suspect bowling action and faced a possible ban from state cricket. He was due to be analysed by the Australian Institute of Sport biomechanics laboratory in Canberra but suffered stress fractures that kept him from bowling and delayed the testing. New South Wales stood by him and he retained his contract for 2007-08 before having his action cleared by the start of the summer.
The following campaign was highly successful but was again tainted by throwing accusations and by the end of the season he was suspended. He had been reported three times and faced a minimum of three months out until being available for more testing. These developments came after he led the Twenty20 wicket list with 13 at 14.07 on the way to New South Wales' win and had 21 breakthroughs in the FR Cup at 22.19.
A quick right-armer with a whippy action, Bird was promoted to the senior ranks in 2005-06 and collected ten Pura Cup wickets at 37.29 in four matches, including best figures of 4 for 80 against Victoria at St Kilda. He also added another nine in eight ING Cup appearances and his three wickets in six balls helped the Blues win the one-day title. Bird followed the desired representative pathway in a career that boasts the Man-of-the-Match award in the Youth World Cup final against South Africa and spells at the Academy. He once forced Michael Slater to retire hurt in a Sydney grade game after striking him on the helmet.
Cricinfo staff May 2009
Batting & Fielding