Frank Tyson, the former England fast bowler, has died in a Queensland hospital at the age of 85.
It is odd that the two English bowlers most feared for their sheer speed, Tyson and Harold Larwood, chose to settle in Australia when they retired from cricket.
Anand Vasu interviewed Tyson last year:
Tyson would only play 17 Tests, picking up 76 wickets at an average of 18.56. No bowler since he played has managed more than 20 wickets at a better average.
To measure Tyson in cold numbers, though, is to do him a disgrace, for here was a man of words. One of only three or four university graduates in county cricket at the time, Tyson studied English Literature at Hatfield College in the University of Durham. When he went on tour, he took with him the work of Geoffrey Chaucer, Virginia Woolf and Bernard Shaw.
Consider the words JM Kilburn, respected sports writer of the Yorkshire Post, used to describe Tyson: “His best pace was nothing short of startling to batsmen and spectators alike. He represented an elemental force obscuring the details of his technique and the highest tribute he received was the gasp of incredulity frequently emitted by the crowd as the ball passed from his hand to the distant wicketkeeper.”The video above shows Tyson bowling for Northamptonshire against Kent at Rushden in 1957.
It provides a pleasing portrait of country cricket at an outground in that era. Marquees; adults on deckchairs, children sitting cross-legged on the grass.