Neal Victor Radford
June 07, 1957, Luanshya, Northern Rhodesia
Right hand bat
Right arm fast medium
Athlone Boys' High, Johannesburg
Rhodesian born, and educated in South African, Neal Radford was a brisk bowler who moved to England to expand opportunities limited by the international boycott of the apartheid regime. He initially played in the Lancashire Leagues, but soon came to the attention of Lancashire who signed him in 1980, while he continued to winter with Transvaal.
His move to Worcestershire in 1985 was the making of him. In his first season he took 101 wickets - the most in the country - and was named the Cricketers' Association Cricketer of the Year. His good form continued into 1986 and he was drafted into the England side for the third Test against India at Edgbaston. Although he was retained for the next match - against New Zealand at Lord's - he failed to impress and was discarded. His solid county form continued - he was named one of Wisden's Five Cricketers of the Year in 1986 - and in 1987 he again took 100 wickets, securing a place on that winter's tour of New Zealand and Australia. Radford's third and final Test came at Auckland, but he again did little on an unhelpful pitch. His final international outing came in May 1988 when he played a one-dayer against West Indies at Lord's. Despite not being seriously considered by England again, he kept plugging away, enjoying a lucrative benefit in 1995 and retiring the following season, six wickets short of taking 1000 in his career.
At 5'11", with dark looks, often decorated with impenetrably dark glasses, he was a key member of the resurgent Worcestershire side of the late 1980s. Capable of sharp changes of pace and late swing, he was also accurate and determined. After leaving first-class cricket he represented Herefordshire with distinction in minor counties cricket.
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