|Full name||Alan Philip Eric Knott|
9 April 1946 |
Belvedere, Kent, England
|Height||5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)|
|Bowling style||Right arm off spin|
|Relations||James Knott (son)|
|Test debut (cap 437)||10 August 1967 v Pakistan|
|Last Test||1 September 1981 v Australia|
|ODI debut (cap 8)||5 January 1971 v Australia|
|Last ODI||6 June 1977 v Australia|
|Domestic team information|
|Source: Cricinfo, 14 November 2007|
Knott was educated at Northumberland Heath Secondary Modern School. He played for the England Test side between 1967 and 1981, and was a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1970. He was particularly known for his habit of conducting limbering-up exercises at any inactive moment during a match. His major strengths as a batsman were the sweep and the cut.
Inspired by his father, he made his Kent debut in 1964 at the age of 18. He joined a long list of Kent-created wicket-keeper-batsmen.
He gained his first Test cap at the age of 21, having been named Cricket Writers' Club Young Cricketer of the Year in 1965. When he made his debut, it was against the Pakistani tourists in 1967. Batting at number 8, he made a duck in his first Test, at Trent Bridge, but didn't concede a single bye in the match. He made 28 in the second match, but didn't make the starting eleven for the 1967–68 tour of the West Indies, as Jim Parks was initially preferred. However, for the fourth and fifth matches of the series, he was picked again. In the first of those, he made his first Test half-century, a score of 69 not out, and he once again excelled at wicket-keeping.
In the winter of 1968/69, again against Pakistan, he confirmed his position as England's premier wicketkeeper-batsman. He made two 50s in the series, including a score of 96 not out at Karachi when the match was prematurely ended by a pitch invasion by Pakistani fans, denying him a well-deserved hundred.
I think he is the most gifted and dedicated cricketer one could ever wish to play with, never satisfied with his performance and always seeking for a little more perfection.
In the 1970–71 series in Australia he was instrumental in England regaining The Ashes, taking five catches and stumping Doug Walters in the decisive Seventh Test in Sydney. In the following series against New Zealand he finally made his maiden Test century, 110 at Auckland, having missed the first match of the series, so that Bob Taylor could take the gloves as a reward for patience as reserve keeper on the four-month combined tour. Knott did not miss a Test until 1977, making a sum of five centuries and twenty-eight 50s in that time.
He has the distinction of once scoring 7 runs from a single delivery in Test cricket, off Vanburn Holder in the Fourth England v West Indies Test at Headingley in 1976. Knott took a quick single to extra-cover where Bernard Julien fielded and overthrew the wicket-keeper. Knott and Tony Greig ran two overthrows before Andy Roberts, fielding at square-leg, retrieved the ball and threw it past the stumps at the bowler's end and over the long-off boundary for four more runs.
Knott helped England win the Ashes in England in 1977 but had been persuaded by England colleague Tony Greig to join Kerry Packer's World Series Cricket. This effectively put his England career on hold as the 'Packer players' were banned from Test cricket. When he returned to Tests after the end of World Series Cricket in 1980, he had very little success against a mighty West Indian side, averaging 5.14 in the series. He did not play in the tour of the West Indies that immediately followed, but was picked for the final two Tests of the famous 1981 Ashes series. Fittingly for one of England's greatest players, he ended his last Test against Australia at The Oval, with a score of 70 not out and an England series win.
He was replaced as England wicket keeper by Bob Taylor on two occasions – when he went to World Series Cricket, and when he retired. Knott retired from all cricket in 1985, at the age of 39. He then mentored his son James Knott and Jack Russell.
Knott was known for his idiosyncratic behaviour on the field. His trademarks included always keeping his shirt collar turned up to protect him from the sun; his sleeves rolled down to safeguard his elbows when diving; and, after a tip from former Northamptonshire and England wicket-keeper Keith Andrew, warming his hands with hot water before going on the field. According to Bob Taylor, Knott preferred strong-backed gloves with full webbing and plenty of padding in the palms, wearing two pairs of Chamois inners with strips of plasticine across the palms.
In the October 2004 edition of The Wisden Cricketer magazine he was voted as the wicket-keeper in "England's Greatest post-war XI" receiving votes from 20 of the 25 panellists.
- "Headley and Knott enter Cricket's Hall of Fame".
- The Cricketer, Equipment supplement 1988, pg 23
- Cricinfo – The stumpy stopper
- How to become No1 again; and
Devon Loch revisited | The Spin | Guardian Unlimited Sport
- "Best and worst Alan Knott". The Times (London). 28 June 2009. Retrieved 23 April 2010.(subscription required)
|England ODI Captain