Monday, March 19, 2007

Bob Woolmer

Another of the sporting heroes of my youth has died. There is an obituary of Bob Woolmer on the BBC website:
When news of his death first came through, I was with Michael Holding at the Melbourne Cricket Club here in Jamaica.

The devastation written on the former West Indies bowler's face spoke volumes for the impact Woolmer made on the game and people he came into contact with.
As Liberal Legend wrote yesterday, he first came to prominence as part of the successful Kent team of the late sixties and early 1970s. He first appeared for England in 1972, in one of the first one-day internationals.

In those days he was seen as an all-rounder, but when he made his test debut in 1975 it was soon clear that his seamers were not test class. His batting, however, was. His test figures - 1059 runs @ 33.09 - do not do justice to his calm presence at the crease. At his best, Woolmer had something of the broad-bottomed authority of his mentor Colin Cowdrey.

If Woolmer had not joined World Series Cricket after the 1977 Ashes he might well have formed an important part of Mike Brearley's all-conquering side alongside the young David Gower and Ian Botham.

I saw Woolmer play on a cold April day at Canterbury at the start of his last season in 1984. After that he devoted himself to coaching and became one of the very best.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Mike Brearley's all-conquering side"? Not quite - Brearley never captained England against the West Indies, a series which might have put a serious dent in his admittedly excellent record.
Incidentally, peculiar to see a strange death as the subject of a Liberal England website.