Pat Crawford, the fast bowler who played four Tests for Australia in 1956, has died at the age of 75 after several years of ill health. A tall and wiry right-armer, Crawford collected seven Test wickets at the excellent average of 15.28 before his career was cut short by injury.
He made his first-class debut for New South Wales at 21 and in his first season topped the Sheffield Shield averages with 25 victims at 12.96. His form earned him a place on the Ashes tour in 1956 and he made his Test debut at Lord's in the second Test.
However, Crawford broke down during his fifth over and did not bowl again in the match. The Australia captain Ian Johnson later described Crawford's injury in his 1957 book Cricket at the Crossroads.
"Pat Crawford, who looked like making a promising debut, broke down after five very good overs," Johnson wrote. "Pat possibly over-exerted himself on his big occasion and it was rotten luck when he suddenly pulled up short, his face contorted in a moment of anguish as a leg muscle went, a moment that his skipper felt just as sharply."
He won back his spot for three more Tests on the tour of India later in the same year and bowled impressively in Madras and Bombay, where he was dangerous and economical. But after collecting a Test best 3 for 28 at Brabourne Stadium, Crawford again succumbed to injury during the third Test at Calcutta, where he managed only five overs for the game.
It was to be his final Test and within a year his first-class career had ended due to injury, with 110 wickets at 21.02. Crawford went on to play in the Lancashire League.