Alan Hurst (cricketer)
|Full name||Alan George Hurst|
15 July 1950 |
Altona, Victoria, Australia
|Bowling style||Right-arm fast|
|Test debut (cap 269)||26 January 1974 v New Zealand|
|Last Test||19 September 1979 v India|
|ODI debut (cap 26)||1 January 1975 v England|
|Last ODI||16 June 1979 v Canada|
|Domestic team information|
|Source: CricketArchive, 28 August 2012|
Alan George Hurst (born 15 July 1950 at Altona, Victoria) is a former Australian cricketer who played in twelve Tests and eight ODIs between 1975 and 1979. A muscular, broad-shouldered man with a shock of dark hair and a big moustache, Alan Hurst fit the archetype of Australian fast bowler, 1970s style.
In only his second first class season, Hurst played a single Test in Adelaide during a series against New Zealand where the selectors were "experimenting" heavily in anticipation of the Ashes series later in the year. He captured the wicket of the Kiwis’ star bat Glenn Turner, but wasn't selected to make the trip across the Tasman for the return series a few weeks later, despite a request from Australian skipper Ian Chappell that he do so. Chappell considered Hurst the fastest bowler in the country with Dennis Lillee sidelined by a severe back injury. The rise of Jeff Thomson during the Ashes series later in 1974 pushed Hurst further down the pecking order in the hunt for a baggy green cap. Hurst was still in the thoughts of the selectors and he was given a place on the 1975 tour to England that included the inaugural World Cup. Again, in the shadow of the Lillee-Thomson combination, Hurst didn’t play a Test or an ODI.
Hurst’s next flirtation with international representation came in early 1976 when he toured South Africa with Richie Benaud’s International Wanderers team. Opening with Dennis Lillee, the strapping Victorian lost nothing by comparison as far as pace was concerned. However, Hurst’s injury problems looked set to sentence him to one-cap/one-wicket status until the advent of World Series Cricket (WSC). After knocking back a contract with the rebel organisation, Hurst was selected for the entire Ashes series during the summer of 1978-79. In six Tests, he grabbed 25 wickets and formed an opening partnership with debutant Rodney Hogg that rivalled Lillee-Thomson for potency. Even though Australia was hammered 5-1, the England players were full of praise for Hurst, whose sustained pace and stamina impressed those who had previously believed him to be physically suspect.
Hurst then blew Pakistan away in the second Test with nine wickets on the fast Perth pitch. Selected to go England for the second World Cup in 1979, Hurst had a reasonable tour but it was the trip to India in October of that year that proved fateful. After going wicketless in two Tests, Hurst was forced to return home due to a serious back injury. Faced with potential incapacitation in later life if he continued to play, Hurst opted to retire from all cricket. He played again briefly for Victoria in 1980-81. In first class cricket, he captured 280 wickets at 26.28 with a best performance of eight for 84.
Hurst was an athletic man in the outfield who bowled with an elaborate, "winding" delivery stride that generated real pace. He was a terrible batsman, scoring 10 ducks in 20 Test innings. In the 1978-79 Ashes series, he set a record by scoring two pairs. The only truly controversial incident of his career happened in the 1979 Perth test when Alan Hurst ran out Pakistan’s number eleven batsman Sikander Bakht at the bowler's end as Bakht was backing up too far - the fourth such instance in Test cricket. Later in the day, Australian batsman Andrew Hilditch was given out after an appeal for handled the ball and became the only non-striker to have suffered that decision. Hilditch picked up a wayward throw that had dribbled onto the pitch and handed the ball back to Sarfraz Nawaz who appealed and the umpire had to give him out. This incident was in retaliation for Hurst’s actions. The brief series was one of the most bad-tempered in history, caused in part by Pakistan’s decision to play their WSC-contracted men.
In 2004, Hurst was appointed as an ICC Test match referee and made his debut in the position during a match between Bangladesh and New Zealand at Dhaka.