Arthur Mailey: Googly bowling artist

Arthur Mailey, born January 3, 1886, was a leg spinner of great flight and turn and a fascinatingly interesting character.

An accomplished artist and writer as well, in 1926 he held an exhibition of his paintings during the England tour. Visiting the event, Queen Mary commented that his work was excellent but the sun was not convincing.
Mailey quipped, “But Your Majesty, in this country I have to paint the sun from memory.”

Here is Mayukh Ghosh on Mailey

There are greats and then there are favourites. In the second list, among Australians, if I have to pick six, they would be Arthur Mailey, Lindsay Hassett, Bill Johnston, Sid Barnes, Alan Davidson, and Wally Grout.

After a visit to the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Mailey encountered an anonymous benefactor who showed him Bernard Bosanquet's wrong 'un. Armed with the new weapon, he rushed home like ' ’somebody who had found a nugget of gold'. It indeed was. He had passed it on to Clarrie Grimmett and then to Bill O'Reilly, then to Richie Benaud… and....., we know where it ended.

When Australia's nationalistic team manager reprimanded Mailey for showing his tricks to English leg-spinner Ian Peebles, Mailey replied: " Please understand that slow bowling is an art. And art is international." Thank goodness we had people like Mailey playing cricket. And then writing one of the best autobiographies by a Test cricketer.

Also Read: Arthur Mailey - Leg spinner, cartoonist, writer

Text: Mayukh Ghosh
Illustration: Maha