Jim Laker

Country: England
Born: February 09, 1922, Frizinghall, Bradford, Yorkshire
Batting Style: Right hand Bat
Bowling Style: Right arm Offbreak
Died: April 23, 1986, Putney, London, (aged 64y 73d)

Jim Laker Bio

James Charles Laker was born on February 9, 1922, in Frizinghall, near Bradford, England. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest cricket players in the history of the sport. Laker gained fame for his exceptional bowling skills, particularly his remarkable performance in the Test match against Australia at Old Trafford in 1956.

Laker began his cricket journey as a batsman and fast bowler during his schooldays in Yorkshire. However, it was B.B. Wilson who recognized his potential as an off-spinner during indoor nets in the early years of World War II. Laker served in the Middle East and played Army cricket, utilizing the advice he received to improve his off-spin bowling skills.

In 1946, Laker made his debut for Surrey, impressing the authorities with his performances. He topped their bowling averages in his first season and was subsequently selected for the MCC side’s tour to the West Indies. Laker showcased his skills immediately, taking 7 for 103 in the first Test and emerging as one of the few successes among the inexperienced players.

In 1948, Laker faced a setback when he failed to perform against the strong Australian batting side. He was hit for nine sixes in an innings and struggled to make an impact throughout the series. The selectors began to doubt his ability to perform in Test matches, leading to his exclusion from the national side for several years.

Despite his initial struggles, Laker thrived as part of the immensely successful Surrey team alongside his spinning partner, Tony Lock. They formed one of the greatest spinning combinations on turning wickets in cricket history. Laker’s accurate off-breaks and the ability to exploit weaknesses against spin played a crucial role in Surrey’s successive Championship victories.

In 1956, Laker achieved an astonishing feat during the Test match against Australia at Old Trafford. He took an unprecedented 19 wickets for 90 runs, with figures of 9 for 37 in the first innings and 10 for 53 in the second. No other bowler has ever surpassed this record in a first-class or Test match. Laker’s brilliance, coupled with the ineptitude of the Australian batsmen against off-spin, led to this historic achievement.

Following his remarkable display, the selectors reconsidered their opinion of Laker and he made a comeback to the national side. He played a significant role in England’s Test matches against West Indies and New Zealand, showcasing his skills as a premier spinner. Laker also toured Australia in 1958-59, topping the bowling averages in both Test matches and first-class matches.

In 1962, Laker joined Essex at the request of his friend Trevor Bailey and continued to excel as an amateur player. He ultimately retired from professional cricket at the end of the 1962 season. Laker’s career statistics speak volumes about his ability, taking 1,944 wickets at an average of 18.41 in first-class matches and 193 wickets at 21.24 in Test matches.

After his retirement, Laker embarked on a new career as a television cricket commentator and authored a book titled “Over to Me” in 1960. Although the book caused controversy and led to the withdrawal of his honorary membership from MCC and Surrey, Laker eventually regained his status and became the Chairman of Surrey’s cricket committee.

James Charles Laker passed away on April 23, 1986, leaving behind a legacy as one of the greatest spin bowlers in cricket history. His exceptional performance in the 1956 Test match against Australia remains unmatched, solidifying his place among the all-time cricket greats.

Jim Laker Career Stats

Jim Laker Batting Stats

Batting Matches Innings Nos Runs High Score Ave BF SR 100s 50s 4s 6s Ct St
Tests 46 63 15 676 63 14.08 - - 0 2 - 2 12 0
T20Is - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
ODIs - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
FC 450 548 108 7304 113 16.6 - - 2 18 - - 270 0
List A - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T20s - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Jim Laker Bowling Stats

Bowling Matches Innings Balls Runs Wkts BBI BBM Ave Econ SR 4w 5w 10w
Tests 46 86 12027 4101 193 10/53 19/90 21.24 2.04 62.3 13 9 3
T20Is - - - - - - - - - - - - -
ODIs - - - - - - - - - - - - -
FC 450 - 101370 35791 1944 10/53 - 18.41 2.11 52.1 - 127 32
List A - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T20s - - - - - - - - - - - - -

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