Harry Houston Alexander
June 09, 1905, Ascot Vale, Victoria
April 15, 1993, East Melbourne, Victoria, (aged 87y 310d)
Also Known As
Right hand bat
Right arm fast
Harry "Bull" Alexander was Australia's oldest living Test cricketer, a distinction which passed to Keith Rigg.
Bull Alexander (the nickname was well-earned) was a strong, broad-chested man and a pacy and combative right-arm bowler. He played only one Test, at the end of the Bodyline series in 1932-33, but his appearance was eventful. Alexander had first encountered Douglas Jardine when he played his second match for Victoria four years earlier. He took 4 for 98 against MCC but Jardine complained that he was running on the pitch and forced him to bowl round the wicket; Jardine scored 115. No one had forgotten the incident when Alexander came to play for Australia. In the second innings, with England needing just 164 to win, Jardine again accused him of roughing up the pitch whereupon he bowled bouncer after bouncer, scoring several direct hits. A disgraceful exhibition, said Wisden. It was not bodyline bowling, as he did not have a packed leg-side field, but it was the nearest Australia had come to retaliation and the Hill roared with delight. It did not last long: England won easily and Alexander's match figures were 1 for 129 and 0 for 25. Alexander toured India in 1935-36 and in the war served with the AIF in Crete, the Middle East and the Pacific.
Earlier in his career, Alexander had furthered his reputation by dismissing Bradman twice. He served in Crete, the Middle East and the Pacific in the war before settling in Euroa, the birthplace of Merv Hughes. In later years, he admitted that Jardine had a ton of guts. But he insisted: "It's part of a fast bowler's trade to give 'em a few in the ribs occasionally. Keeps 'em honest."
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