Thomas Francis Brooks
March 28, 1919, Paddington, Sydney, New South Wales
July 16, 2007 (aged 88y 110d)
Right hand bat
Right arm fast
Tom Brooks was a right-arm fast bowler who played 16 matches for New South Wales immediately after the war - he was described by Jack Pollard as "a spirited bowler who moved the ball appreciably in the air."
He did not start his first-class umpiring career until relatively late - he was 48 - but within three years he had made his Test debut, standing in all but one of the Ashes Tests in 1970-71. When the Melbourne Test in that series wash washed out, the first-ever ODI was hastily arranged, and Brooks created a little piece of history when he stood with Lou Rowan. That series ended with the infamous Illingworth walk-off after Rowan had warned John Snow for intimidatory bowling.
Brooks stood in all six Ashes Tests in 1974-75, and the Centenary Test in 1977, but he rather drifted off the international scene and ended his career when he retired immediately after officiating in the 1978-79 Ashes Test at Perth. He told the media that his mind and body were no longer co-ordinating. "In other words," The Cricketer observed, "his nerve had gone." His performance in that match had been poor.
In all, Brooks umpired 92 first-class matches, including a season in England in 1977. He had a reputation for being soft on short-pitched fast bowling, but until his final match, had been well respected. He was awarded an Order of Australia medal for his services to cricket in 1985.
Brooks passed away on July 16, 2007, after suffering from a short illness.
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