Brian Close

Country: England
Born: February 24, 1931, Rawdon, Leeds, Yorkshire
Batting Style: Left hand Bat
Bowling Style: Right arm Medium, Right arm Offbreak
Died: September 14, 2015, Baildon near Bradford, West Yorkshire, (aged 84y 202d)

Brian Close Bio

Dennis Brian Close, better known as Brian Close, was a renowned cricket player from England. He was born on February 24, 1931, and his play style and character made him one of the most fascinating and enduring figures in the history of the sport.

Close gained notoriety for his exceptional bravery and fearlessness on the field. He possessed unwavering courage while facing the fastest bowling or fielding at short leg, a position notorious for its danger. Close’s ability to withstand pain seemed otherworldly. He often dismissed any concern from others by stating, “How can the ball hurt you? It’s only on you for a second.” This staggering fearlessness became his trademark.

Throughout his career, Close demonstrated his selflessness both on and off the field. He always put the needs of his team first, often adjusting his playing style to fit the requirements of the match. This unselfish approach earned him immense respect and contributed to the success of the teams he captained, including Yorkshire, Somerset, and briefly, the England team.

Despite his impressive talent, Close’s record did not fully reflect his abilities. He frequently found reasons for dismissal through outlandish strokes, denying himself the accolades he deserved. However, these eccentric moments also provided entertainment for spectators and his teammates alike. One memorable incident occurred when he tried to pull a John Price delivery only to be caught off a snow-gathering top-edge. Close indignantly explained that he had it covered for everything except uneven bounce.

Close made his debut for England at the young age of 18, breaking the record for the youngest player to represent the country. From that point forward, he had a long and varied career, experiencing both successes and setbacks. He holds the distinction of being the youngest player to achieve the double – scoring over 1,000 runs and taking over 100 wickets in a single season – in 1949.

As a batsman, Close possessed a unique blend of defending with tenacity and attacking with flair. He had a predilection for thrilling stroke play, although sometimes his decision-making could be questionable. His bowling skills included medium-pace and offspin, which he executed with consistency and effectiveness.

Close’s career was not without controversy. He lost favor with England selectors after audaciously attempting to dominate Australian leg-spin legend Richie Benaud in the 1961 Old Trafford Test. Despite this setback, he bounced back in 1963, leading England to the brink of victory against the West Indies in the Lord’s Test with an unconventional approach that included coming up the wicket to the pacemen.

At the later stages of his career, Close played for Somerset after moving from Yorkshire due to internal politics. Even in his twilight years, he displayed his unwavering bravery against formidable opponents. In 1976, at the age of 45, Close faced the fearsome West Indies pace trio of Michael Holding, Andy Roberts, and Bernard Daniel. Undeterred by a barrage of short-pitched bowling, Close refused to flinch or show any sign of pain even when struck by the ball. This display of resilience solidified his reputation as one of the bravest cricketers of his time.

Close continued to contribute to the world of cricket even after retiring as a player. He served as the chair of the cricket committee for both Lancashire and Yorkshire, carrying on his commitment to the sport that shaped his life. Additionally, he took up the role of England selector in the late 1970s, bringing his vast knowledge and experience to the national team.

Brian Close’s legacy as a Cricket player extends beyond his statistics and achievements. He is remembered not only for his immense skill but also for his unmatched courage and eccentricities. Close embodied the spirit of the game, captivating fans and leaving a lasting impact on the sport he loved.

Brian Close Career Stats

Brian Close Batting Stats

Batting Matches Innings Nos Runs High Score Ave BF SR 100s 50s 4s 6s Ct St
Tests 22 37 2 887 70 25.34 - - 0 4 - 4 24 0
T20Is - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
ODIs 3 3 0 49 43 16.33 50 98 0 0 7 1 1 0
FC 786 1225 173 34994 198 33.26 - - 52 171 - - 813 1
List A 164 156 11 3458 131 23.84 - - 2 11 - - 53 0
T20s - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Brian Close Bowling Stats

Bowling Matches Innings Balls Runs Wkts BBI BBM Ave Econ SR 4w 5w 10w
Tests 22 23 1212 532 18 4/35 5/53 29.55 2.63 67.3 2 0 0
T20Is - - - - - - - - - - - - -
ODIs 3 1 18 21 0 - - - 7 - 0 0 0
FC 786 - 69972 30947 1171 8/41 - 26.42 2.65 59.7 - 43 3
List A 164 - 2258 1436 66 4/9 4/9 21.75 3.81 34.2 2 0 0
T20s - - - - - - - - - - - - -

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