Harold Larwood

(1904—1995) cricketer

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Nottinghamshire and England cricketer who was the central figure in the controversy over bodyline bowling during the 1932–33 tour of Australia. During his cricketing career he took 1427 first-class wickets and played in 21 test matches. A miner at the age of fourteen, Larwood first played for Nottinghamshire in 1924 and had his last match for them in 1938. Not big for a fast bowler, he had a rhythmic action that gave him a pace none of his contemporaries could match. He was a quiet and modest man, unhappy to find himself enmeshed in the bad feeling engendered by the bodyline controversy. In this ploy the English bowlers delivered very fast short-pitched balls and relied on a packed leg-side field to catch their victims. Larwood took 33 wickets in that series and his short-pitched deliveries made him a feared and unpopular figure in Australia. He never represented his country again after that contentious tour; his career was cut short by an injury to his left foot. ‘Lol’, as he was known to everyone in cricket, ironically emigrated to Australia after World War II and settled very happily in Sydney.

From Who's Who in the Twentieth Century in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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