Sunday, August 05, 2018

Les Taylor regains the Ashes in 1985

I have been feeling guilty about this exchange:
It's Alan Bennett meets Murray Bennett. 
Reader's voice: Who is Murray Bennett? 
Liberal England replies: An obscure Australian spinner Les Taylor caught and bowled in 1985 to regain the Ashes. 
Persistent reader: Who is Les Taylor? 
Liberal England replies tetchily: Really, if you are not prepared to do the reading there's no point in your coming to these seminars.
Guilty because it was all a long time ago and millennials can only acquire information visually. (Some scientists believe this is due to advanced avocado poisoning.)

So here is Taylor dismissing Bennett at The Oval to regain the Ashes for England.

Cricinfo remembers him thus:
Les Taylor was one of the last of a breed - an English seamer from down the mines. Tall and muscular, he used accuracy and movement off the seam to good effect, and although he was 23 before he made his Leicestershire debut, he quickly established himself in the side. In 1981 he took 75 wickets, but threw in his lot with Graham Gooch's rebel tour to South Africa when overlooked by the selectors. On that trip he was the leading bowler with 11 wickets at 18.72. 
He made his England debut in 1985 after serving a three-year ban, playing the final two Tests of the summer. He did enough to win selection for that winter's tour of the Caribbean, but so rare were his outings in the West Indies that he was dubbed "Lord Lucan" by sections of the media. 
To me his immaculate grooming recalls, not the fugitive peer, but a Leicestershire miner out on the pull on a Saturday night in Coalville or Ashby.

Yes, it was all a long time ago.

1 comment:

Frank Little said...

Les Taylor will not be forgotten as long as Jonathan Agnew commentates and tail-end batsmen of his generation summarise on Test Match Special.