John Augustine Snow
October 13, 1941, Peopleton, Worcestershire
Right hand Bat
Right arm Fast medium
For eight years from the mid-1960s John Snow was, by some margin, England's best fast bowler. If he'd been Australian he would have been an automatic pick for every Test when fit. But he was strong-willed and difficult, and, being subject to the whims of English panels of selectors, he won only 49 Test caps. Even more absurdly, he went on only three tours. He was dropped twice in unusual circumstances: by Sussex for "not trying", and by England for barging India's Sunil Gavaskar off his feet at Lord's in 1971. Gavaskar, the non-striker, had crossed Snow's running line in going for a quick single after the ball had been pushed towards mid-on. Two years earlier, in Pakistan, Snow had cost himself another cap by bowling fast bouncers at Tom Graveney, the vice-captain, on a dangerous net pitch in Lahore the day before a Test. The son of a Church of England clergyman, Snow was a strange mixture altogether. Away from cricket, until he mellowed, he could be unapproachable. But his artistic flair was manifest in two published books of poetry, and in retirement he unexpectedly set up a successful travel agency. For England he reached his peak in West Indies and Australia, where his 31 Test wickets in 1970-71, combined with 1305 runs from Boycott and Edrich, were Ray Illingworth's main weapon in winning back the Ashes. In rhythm, accuracy, pace and possession of a vicious bouncer, Snow had much in common with Glenn McGrath of Australia as a spearhead. But in one respect they widely differed: Snow never needed to resort to sledging to make a batsman feel uncomfortable. His air of menace said it all.
Batting & Fielding