Harold Larwood

Country: England
Born: November 14, 1904, Nuncargate, Nottinghamshire
Batting Style: Right hand Bat
Bowling Style: Right arm Fast
Died: July 22, 1995, Randwick, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, (aged 90y 250d)

Harold Larwood Bio

Harold Larwood, one of the most feared fast bowlers in cricket history, was born on November 14, 1904, in Nuncargate, Nottinghamshire, England. From humble beginnings as a pit-boy in the coalmines, Larwood rose to become a legendary cricketer, known for his aggressive and intimidating style of play.

Larwood made his debut for Nottinghamshire at the age of 19 and quickly established himself as a talent to watch. Standing at only 5ft 8ins, Larwood relied on his exceptional speed and accuracy to terrorize opposition batsmen. His classical action, which was copied by countless schoolboys, culminated in a side-on delivery, with the ball reaching velocities that were amongst the highest ever recorded.

However, it was during the infamous “Bodyline” Test series of 1932-33 that Larwood truly made his mark. Instructed by captain Douglas Jardine to bowl a controversial tactic known as “leg theory,” Larwood spearheaded England to a 4-1 victory over Australia. His aggressive and fearsome bowling style, combined with his ability to hurry batsmen into indiscretions, made him a force to be reckoned with.

The Bodyline series, which caused a major controversy in cricket, saw Larwood and his teammate Bill Voce bowling fast and short-pitched deliveries aimed at the batsmen’s bodies. This strategy incensed the Australian team and led to heated on-field confrontations and public outcry. Larwood’s continued presence on the field also served as a depressant to the opposition.

Following the Bodyline series, Larwood never played for England again. Despite being hailed as a hero upon his return to England, his Test career came to an abrupt end at the age of 28. He was seen as a scapegoat for the controversy and was even asked to sign a letter of apology, which he refused, believing that he had been bowling to orders and that there was nothing sinister in his method of attack.

Undeterred, Larwood continued to excel in county cricket, inflicting misery on English county batsmen for several more years. He took a total of 1,427 first-class wickets at an average of 17.52, making him one of the most successful fast bowlers of his time.

After retiring from cricket, Larwood led a relatively secluded life. He briefly played league cricket for Blackpool and later became a grower of flowers and vegetables. In 1950, he and his wife Lois emigrated to Australia, where they were warmly welcomed.

Larwood embraced Australian life and was deeply touched by the acceptance he received from both old cricket opponents and strangers. He found employment in a soft-drinks factory and became an integral part of the cricket community in Sydney. Despite his nostalgic connection to England, Larwood acknowledged that Australia was the place for him.

Throughout his life, Larwood continued to be recognized for his achievements in cricket. He authored a book titled “Bodyline?” that provided a narrative of the Test tour and offered justification for the English tactics. He was also elected to honorary membership of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) and the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).

Harold Larwood passed away on July 22, 1995, in Sydney at the age of 90. His legacy as one of cricket’s most fearsome and influential fast bowlers lives on, with his aggressive style of play and contribution to the controversial Bodyline series firmly etched in the annals of cricket history.

Harold Larwood Career Stats

Harold Larwood Batting Stats

Batting Matches Innings Nos Runs High Score Ave BF SR 100s 50s 4s 6s Ct St
Tests 21 28 3 485 98 19.4 - - 0 2 - 2 15 0
T20Is - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
ODIs - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
FC 361 438 72 7290 102* 19.91 - - 3 23 - - 234 0
List A - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T20s - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Harold Larwood Bowling Stats

Bowling Matches Innings Balls Runs Wkts BBI BBM Ave Econ SR 4w 5w 10w
Tests 21 36 4969 2212 78 6/32 10/124 28.35 2.67 63.7 3 4 1
T20Is - - - - - - - - - - - - -
ODIs - - - - - - - - - - - - -
FC 361 - 58027 24994 1427 9/41 - 17.51 2.58 40.6 - 98 20
List A - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T20s - - - - - - - - - - - - -

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