John Aldridge (cricketer)

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John Aldridge
Personal information
Batting style Right hand batsman
Bowling style Right-arm fast-medium
International information
National side
Career statistics
Competition First-class
Matches 79
Runs scored 511
Batting average 6.63
100s/50s -/-
Top score 24*
Balls bowled 12891
Wickets 256
Bowling average 23.56
5 wickets in innings 7
10 wickets in match 0
Best bowling 6/26
Catches/stumpings 33/-
Source: [1]

Keith John Aldridge (born 13 March 1935) was an English cricketer who played first-class cricket for Worcestershire in England and for Tasmania in Australia.[1] He was born in Evesham, Worcestershire.

Aldridge was a right-arm fast-medium bowler who took more than 250 first-class wickets. As a right-handed tail-end batsman he offered little, with a career batting average of under seven. His career in England was marked by controversy over his bowling action, though he later bowled in Australia without incident.

Early cricket career[edit]

Aldridge debuted for Worcestershire during the 1956 season, in a game against Sussex, and he picked up two wickets with the ball in the first innings.[2] Towards the end of the season he played fairly regularly as illness and injury kept the two front-line faster bowlers, Jack Flavell and Len Coldwell, out of the side, and he finished his first season with 34 wickets at an average of 24.00.[3] He was, said Wisden Cricketers' Almanack in its review of the Worcestershire season in 1956, "a tall young player with plenty of pace [and] showed sufficient promise to ease any worries about the opening bowling".[4]

Aldridge's record in the 1957 season was very similar, though in an unsuccessful season for Worcestershire he headed the county's bowling averages.[5] In 1958, Coldwell was out of form, and from mid-season Aldridge played regularly and again headed the county's bowling averages, taking 60 wickets an average of 16.80.[3] The total included Aldridge's first five-wicket hauls and the six wickets for 26 runs he took in Sussex's only innings of a rain-ruined game proved to be the best bowling figures of his career.[6]

Controversy[edit]

Aldridge was capped by Worcestershire in 1959, and was used alongside Derek Pearson and Coldwell as a regular seam attack to support Flavell. Aldridge had his best season in terms of wickets, taking 68 wickets at an average of 23.63.[3] Worcestershire's bowling attack, however, proved controversial as in different matches first Pearson and then Aldridge were no-balled by the leading umpire Syd Buller for throwing the ball; Buller was a leading figure in a campaign in the 1959 and 1960 seasons to eradicate throwing from first-class cricket following the controversial tour of Australia in 1958–59. Pearson's bowling action had been subject to scrutiny before (he was no-balled for throwing in 1954 as well), but Aldridge was then no-balled twice in the game against Leicestershire at Kidderminster.[7]

At the start of the following season, 1960, Aldridge was again no-balled for throwing by umpire Jack Crapp in a game against Glamorgan at Pontypridd.[8] Contemporary opinion appears to have been divided about the legality of Aldridge's bowling action: where other bowlers such as Tony Lock, Harold Rhodes, Pearson and the South African Geoff Griffin were suspect through physique or technique, Aldridge was a borderline offender. "There is no true identity of opinion," said an article by the cricket correspondent of The Times early in 1960 season before the issue came to a head with the no-balling of Griffin in the Lord's Test. "Some, for instance, say that Aldridge, of Worcestershire, throws, others that he does not."[9] In any case, as a bowler, Aldridge was much less effective in 1960 than he had been previously, his 40 wickets costing almost 30 runs apiece.[3] And the emergence of left-arm orthodox spinners Doug Slade and Norman Gifford changed the balance of the Worcestershire bowling attack away from its dependence on seam bowling.[10] Aldridge left the Worcestershire staff at the end of the 1960 season.

Later cricket[edit]

Aldridge subsequently moved to Australia where he played cricket for Tasmania in several first-class and non-first-class matches between 1961–62 and 1963–64.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "John Aldridge". www.cricketarchive.com. Retrieved 10 April 2012. 
  2. ^ "Scorecard: Sussex v Worcestershire". www.cricketarchive.com. 5 May 1956. Retrieved 19 April 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d "First-class Bowling in Each Season by John Aldridge". www.cricketarchive.com. Retrieved 19 April 2012. 
  4. ^ "Worcestershire in 1956". Wisden Cricketers' Almanack (1957 ed.). Wisden. p. 599. 
  5. ^ "Worcestershire in 1957". Wisden Cricketers' Almanack (1958 ed.). Wisden. p. 612. 
  6. ^ "Scorecard: Sussex v Worcestershire". www.cricketarchive.com. 27 August 1958. Retrieved 20 April 2012. 
  7. ^ "Worcestershire in 1959". Wisden Cricketers' Almanack (1960 ed.). Wisden. p. 624. 
  8. ^ "Glamorgan in 1960". Wisden Cricketers' Almanack (1961 ed.). Wisden. p. 375. 
  9. ^ "Setting our cricket house in order". The Times (54772) (London). 16 May 1960. p. 19. 
  10. ^ "Worcestershire in 1960". Wisden Cricketers' Almanack (1961 ed.). Wisden. p. 612.