Australian cricket mourns the loss of two of their most loved players. Alan Davidson and Ashley Mallett passed away on Friday, November 11th after a battle with cancer. The Australian cricketing community is still in shock from hearing the news that these two former cricketers have passed away. In memory of them, we have compiled a list of some memorable moments from each player’s career to honor their legacy and remember what they did for Australian cricket over the years.
Alan Davidson: Davidson was a left-arm fast bowler from New South Wales who played in 52 Tests from the early 1960s until the late 70s. He ranks as one of Australia’s finest ever bowlers and in a career that spanned 15 seasons, he took 162 wickets in Test cricket at an average of less than 21. He was also one of the early exponents of reverse swing bowling.
Davidson made his Test debut in December 1961 at The Gabba against England and took 5-65 in the first innings but could not prevent Australia losing by 7 wickets. His career best figures were at Old Trafford, Manchester in June 1964 when he took 6-62 against England. It was during this match that Davidson’s bowling skills were first recognized as the art of reverse swing bowling because he used his old ball to devastating effect against English batsmen Peter Parfitt and Colin Cowdrey.
Davidson was a key member of the Australian team which toured England in 1961, 1964 and 1974. In the ’64 series, his consistent performances saw him take 24 wickets at an average of 19.21 which included 3-25 in the decisive fourth Test at Old Trafford where Australia were chasing a small target to win. He was also part of the victorious Ashes campaigns in 1961/62 and 1970/71
Ashley Mallett was a right-handed opening batsmen and part-time off-spinner from South Australia. He played in 19 Tests for Australia between 1972 and 1977. Mallett was also an integral member of the South Australian Cricket team, helping them win the Sheffield Shield on 4 occasions.
He was dropped after the next Test but returned for the fourth and final Test of that series at Melbourne Cricket Ground where he made 31 in his only innings.
It was not until the 1972/73 Ashes campaign down under that Mallett established himself as a regular member of Australia team, playing all five Tests. His best performance came in the second Test at Perth where he top-scored for Australia in both innings with only 32 and 25 not out. During the opening day of that match, Mallett survived a torrid spell from England bowler John Snow and was struck on the shoulder by a ball which caused him to collapse in pain and vomit on the ground.
Ashley played the last of his 19 Tests in the Centenary Test at Melbourne Cricket Ground in March 1977 batting at number six.
Davidson was inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame in 2008 while Mallett was honoured with the same award last year. They will both be missed by cricket fans across Australia and elsewhere. Rest In Peace, Alan Davidson and Ashley Mallett.
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