David Bairstow

Country: England
Born: September 01, 1951, Horton, Bradford, Yorkshire
Batting Style: Right hand Bat
Bowling Style: Right arm Medium
Died: January 05, 1998, Marton-cum-Grafton, Yorkshire, (aged 46y 126d)

David Bairstow Bio

David Leslie Bairstow, known affectionately as “Bluey,” was an iconic English cricket player who left a lasting impression on the sport. Born on September 1, 1951, in Bradford, England, Bairstow personified the spirit and passion of the game throughout the 1970s and 1980s.

Bairstow burst onto the county cricket scene when he was just 18 years old. On the day of his English Literature A-level exam, he was drafted from grammar school into the Yorkshire side, making an immediate impact. Despite being thrust into the spotlight at such a young age, Bairstow handled the pressure with aplomb. In his debut match, he impressively caught five Gloucestershire batsmen over the course of three days. This performance marked the beginning of what would become a formidable career in cricket.

Although Bairstow was not considered a great wicketkeeper or batsman, his fighting qualities and unwavering determination compensated for any technical deficiencies. In 1981, he achieved a world record by taking 11 catches against Derbyshire at Scarborough. His ability to deliver crucial performances during one-day games when victory seemed improbable but not impossible made him a fan favorite. In a legendary Benson and Hedges Cup match in 1981, Bairstow, accompanied by debutant Mark Johnson, broke the hearts of their opponents by hitting nine sixes and securing victory for Yorkshire.

Bairstow’s international career was not as prolific as his county performances, but he relished every opportunity he received. In 1979, he was selected for the Oval Test against India and made an impressive 59 runs in the second innings. He was also chosen for the post-Packer tour in Australia, showcasing his skills in several vital innings during the one-day games. Bairstow’s camaraderie with his fellow players was evident when he famously motivated Graham Stevenson during a match at the SCG, leading to a victorious result.

Despite his contributions to English cricket, Bairstow struggled to establish a permanent place in the national team. He played two additional Tests in the following summer and one during the 1980-81 West Indies tour, but subsequently found it challenging to regain his spot. In 1984, Bairstow became the captain of Yorkshire, inheriting a team divided by loyalty to Geoff Boycott. His captaincy years were tumultuous, but his sheer determination and force of will prevented the team from collapsing completely.

Throughout his career, Bairstow was a beloved figure in Yorkshire. Fans admired his unapologetic style and the confidence he exuded on the field. Bairstow firmly believed he could intimidate bowlers by merely announcing his intentions to hit the ball back over their heads, often following through with his promises. However, as his career progressed, his wicketkeeping skills declined, likely due to his inclination to play through injuries rather than rest. He defied the committee’s suggestion that he play solely as a batsman, causing Steve Rhodes to transfer to Worcestershire.

Upon retiring from captaincy in 1990, Bairstow had one final moment in the spotlight. During a pre-season tour with Yorkshire in the Caribbean, he was called upon as a substitute wicketkeeper for an injury-hit English team playing against Barbados. This rare opportunity showcased his versatility and cemented his position as one of the top wicketkeepers in history. With 961 career catches, Bairstow ranks among the best in the sport. His legacy extends to his son, Andrew Bairstow, who also pursued a cricket career, albeit briefly, with Derbyshire.

Bairstow’s character was larger than life, with his thoughts often laid bare to the public. He believed that any dispute could be settled through spirited shouting matches over several pints of beer. Even after his untimely death on January 5, 1998, at the age of 46, Bairstow’s indomitable spirit continued to be celebrated. However, it was ultimately the pressures of life away from cricket that took its toll on him, extinguishing his once-inextinguishable flame.

David Bairstow will forever be remembered as a fierce competitor, a true sportsman, and an embodiment of the spirit of cricket. His contributions to the sport, both on and off the field, leave an enduring legacy that continues to inspire cricket lovers around the world.

David Bairstow Career Stats

David Bairstow Batting Stats

Batting Matches Innings Nos Runs High Score Ave BF SR 100s 50s 4s 6s Ct St
Tests 4 7 1 125 59 20.83 269 46.46 0 1 17 0 12 1
T20Is - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
ODIs 21 20 6 206 23* 14.71 390 52.82 0 0 12 1 17 4
FC 459 647 119 13961 145 26.44 - - 10 73 - - 961 138
List A 429 341 78 5439 103* 20.68 - - 1 19 - - 411 36
T20s - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

David Bairstow Bowling Stats

Bowling Matches Innings Balls Runs Wkts BBI BBM Ave Econ SR 4w 5w 10w
Tests 4 - - - - - - - - - - - -
T20Is - - - - - - - - - - - - -
ODIs 21 - - - - - - - - - - - -
FC 459 - 582 308 9 3/25 - 34.22 3.17 64.6 - 0 0
List A 429 - 18 17 0 - - - 5.66 - 0 0 0
T20s - - - - - - - - - - - - -

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