These international bowlers were controversial but legends too….

So far, we have looked at 8 bowlers from the list of 50 of all time greatest bowlers this game has produced in part 1 and 2. Now rounding up this mammoth list are the next four bowling greats:
42. John Augustine Snow – Anyone who played alongside or against John Snow would vouch for the fact that he was a true character. For almost a decade starting the mid-1960s, he was England’s best fast bowler by a margin. But despite that, his Test appearances are limited to 49 only because he found himself on the wrong side of the administration very so often. After playing two Tests for England in 1965, Snow made his comeback after his county side Sussex, beat West Indies team in a tour match, where he played a crucial role with his ball. He took seven wickets in the first innings by giving only 29 runs and in second innings, he scalped four wickets conceding just 18 runs. With such clinical performance, Snow was called in the English team and from there he remained a part of the team for a long period. He was selected for only three overseas tours but took 62 wickets in them at just 20.91. His performances came against the strongest sides of his time the West Indies and Australia. 155 of his 202 wickets came against these two teams including all of his 8 five-wicket hauls. The little master Sunil Gavaskar and Snow also shared a controversy in the tour of 1971. India won the first ever Test series in England in 1971. There were few more things that happened during the third Test. When Sunil Gavaskar and Farokh Engineer were at the crease chasing the total of 174, Engineer pushed a ball and called for a single, Gavaskar responded immediately but ended up clashing with Snow as the bowler too was going towards the ball. Snow clashed with Gavaskar intentionally. Snow knew it would lead him to trouble and it resulted in his exclusion from team for two Tests. Later, he apologised for the same. Surprisingly, Snow was a poet too besides being an egoistic person. He wrote two poetry books Contrasts  published in 1971 and Moments and Thoughts in 1973. He have 1174 First-class wickets at 22.73 with 56 five-wicket hauls.
Country: England
Career Span: 1961- 1980
Career stats in Tests- 49, Wickets- 202, Avg- 26.66, 8 5wicket-haul, Best- 7/40
Career stats in ODIs- 9, Wickets- 14, Avg- 16.57, 4Wicket- 2, Best- 4/11
41. Harold Larwood – Probably the fastest and most dangerous speedster of all times, Larwood remained an enigma throughout his playing career and an icon long after he retired. The mere mention of his name was enough to spread terror across the enemy ranks. He was England’s Goliath; their Kryptonite for the Australian superman named Bradman. He dismissed Bradman more times than any other bowler and restricted his legendary scoring prowess substantially. The main protagonist of the infamous Bodyline series, he ripped through the celebrated Australian batting line up comprising of Woodfull, Bradman, Ponsford and McCabe, taking 33 wickets in 5 Tests at 19 and injuring almost the entire opposition at least once. Yes, Larwood was fast. There was an Englishman who measured his speed with a stopwatch and jotted his results with pencil. His calculations showed 96 mph. In Australia, equally crude methods had measured the pace as 99 mph. We cannot be certain about the exact figure, but it is generally accepted to have been well over 100 mph. He has1427 First-class wickets at 17.51 with 98 five-wicket hauls.
Country: England
Career Span: 1924- 1938
Career stats in Tests: Matches-21, Wickets- 78, Avg- 28.35, 4 5wicket-haul, Best- 6/32
40. Bishan Singh Bedi – The first epithet that comes to mind for Bishan Singh Bedi’s bowling is “beautiful”. Bishan Singh Bedi’s spin bowling is known as an art of purity and perfection. He formed India’s famous spin quartet along with Erapalli Prasanna, Srinivas Venkataraghavan, Bhagwat Chandrasekhar. Between them, they played 231 Tests and took 853 wickets. Bedi was able to perform well even in pitches that are conducive to fast bowling. He took 10 wickets for 94 runs in a Test match against Australia at Perth in 1977-78. He also bagged 31 wickets in that series at an impressive average of 23.87. Besides being a gentlemanly cricketer, Bedi was also a terrific competitor. Tony Lewis, who captained England in 1972/73, said he was a Dennis Lillee among slow bowlers. If he liked you, he would be extremely friendly But if he took against you, he could be a fierce antagonist. In 67 Tests, the former India captain and one of the greatest left-arm spinners, aggregated 266 wickets. His first-class record makes an awesome read: 90354 balls and 1560 wickets with an  average of 21.69, including 106 5-wicket hauls. A legend of the game indeed but Bedi was and is outspoken , sometimes controversial. He blamed England pacer John Lever of applying vaseline on ball after Lever took  six wickets to bundle India in Delhi Test. Bedi as manager of Indian team reportedly went to the extent of saying “Entire Indian team should be thrown in Pacific ocean” after India lost  3-0 to England in England.
Country: India
Career Span: 1967-1979
Career stats in Tests: 67 matches, 266 wickets, 28.71 average, 80.3 strike rate, 2.14 economy, 7-98 best bowling, 14 5wicket-haul
Career stats in ODIs: 10 matches, 7 wickets, 48.57 average, 84.2 strike rate, 3.45 economy, 2-44 best bowling, 0 5wicket-haul
39. Craig McDermott – Craig McDermott was one of the most successful of Australian fast bowlers whose career was forever plagued by injuries. Despite that, he ended his playing days as the second highest wicket-taker for Australia after Dennis Lillee. He was First selected for Queensland in 1984 at the age of 18. In his playing days, he was a picture of youth and vitality a teenager with flowing run-up and flaming red hair and this led to the his nickname Billy. Big and strong, the early ‘Billy’ was frequently fiery and often temperamental, falling out of favour for a while despite an outstanding debut tour to England in 1985. He took 30 wickets in the series, and starred as the bowling hero of Australia in the 1987 World Cup, which the Kangaroos won. McDermott was the highest wicket-taker in the tournament, picking up 18 wickets at an average of 18.94. Craig developed into a more focussed cricketer later in his career earning him recognition in 1992 and 1995 where he was named International Cricketer of the Year. But injury and sheer misfortune were constant companions. Although he was more successful in ODIs, his Test numbers are impressive as well. He was more lethal against archrivals England and bagged 84 wickets in 17 Tests in the Ashes. The right-arm fast bowler was at his best when his 8-97 helped Australia dismiss England from a strong position of 191-2 to 244 all out at Perth in 1991. His  life after retirement was controversial and he had filed for bankruptcy as well.
Country: Australia
Career Span: 1984-1996
Career stats in Tests: 71 matches, 291 wickets, 28.63 average, 56.9 strike rate, 3.01 economy, 8-97 best bowling, 14 5wicket-haul
Career stats in ODIs: 138 matches, 203 wickets, 24.71 average, 36.7 strike rate, 4.03 economy, 5-44 best bowling, 1 5wicket-haul
More to Follow……….
The content of this article is gathered from internet and google
By Paramdeep Rathee
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