Jim Laker: Great feats simple celebrations

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Len Maddocks, the Australian wicketkeeper, was wrapped on the pads, and John Arlott in the commentary box announced the decision before the umpire. “Laker’s taken all 10!”

The famous figures read 51.2-23-53-10, 19 for 90 in the match.

The off-spinner was mobbed by press and public after the match, and did not leave Old Trafford until 8 PM. On the way home, he drove to a pub where his exploits were being shown on the television. He sat there, peaceful and unrecognised, savouring his pint and sandwich!

Alan Ross recalled: "So modest a drink can rarely have been as richly deserved."

Laker ended with 193 wickets at 21.24 apiece. No spinner as taken as many wickets at so cheap a price.

What is even more striking is that he took part in only 46 of the 99 Tests played by England during his career span.

The mind boggles to think what he could have achieved if given a longer or more continuous run.

Jim Laker, perhaps the greatest off-spinner ever, was born on Feburary 9, 1922

Text: Arunabha

Illustration: Maha