Alan McGilvray

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Alan McGilvray
Alan McGilvray.jpg
Personal information
Full name Alan David McGilvray
Born (1909-12-06)6 December 1909
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Died 17 July 1996(1996-07-17) (aged 86)
Sydney, Australia
Batting style Left-handed batsman
Bowling style Right-arm fast-medium
Domestic team information
Years Team
1933–1937 New South Wales
Career statistics
Competition First-class
Matches 20
Runs scored 684
Batting average 24.42
100s/50s 0/3
Top score 68
Balls bowled 2813
Wickets 20
Bowling average 54.04
5 wickets in innings 0
10 wickets in match 0
Best bowling 3/35
Catches/stumpings 20/0
Source: CricketArchive, 2013

Alan David McGilvray AM MBE (6 December 1909 – 17 July 1996) was an Australian cricketer who played several first-class seasons for New South Wales in the mid-1930s before becoming the doyen of Australian cricket commentators. He became identified as the voice of Australian cricket through his ABC radio broadcasts.


Alan McGilvray was born in Paddington, a suburb of Sydney, and educated at Newington College (1923–24)[1] and Sydney Grammar School. He captained New South Wales in the 1935-36 and 1936-37 seasons.[2]

His radio commentary career spanned over 50 years, starting in an era where the only communications between England and Australia were ball-by-ball telegraph cables which were embellished with sound effects and commentary to give an impression of being at the game. The technique was first used in 1934 and became known as synthetic cricket broadcasts. By the 1938 Ashes series in England, short wave reception to Australia had improved significantly and commentary started moving to conventional broadcasting. McGilvray called every Test in Australia from the Second World War until his retirement in 1985.[3]

An example of his distinctive commentary style is as follows:

Farnes turns, runs in bowling to Bradman, it's a ball well-pitched. Bradman moves forward, drives, Compton at cover tries to cut it off, he's beaten by the pace of the ball and it races away for another four. APPLAUSE. Four more to Bradman, taking his score to 101, a century in 130 minutes, a glorious innings by us and Australia is now building herself into a very sound position, assisted by a great knock by Bradman.[4]

As well as editing numerous ABC Cricket Books, McGilvray wrote a number of cricket books himself including:

During the 1970s, when "traditional" cricket was in stiff competition with Kerry Packer's "World Series" initiative, ABC radio's cricket commentary featured a musical jingle whose words were "The game is not the same without McGilvray".

McGilvray was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 1974[5] and a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 1980.[6] On his retirement in 1985 at the Sydney Cricket Ground, the Prime Minister Bob Hawke made a farewell speech after which McGilvray received a standing ovation from the crowd.

He died in Darlinghurst, Sydney, in 1996, aged 86.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Newington College Register of Past Students 1863-1998 (Syd, 1999) pp 131
  2. ^ Alan McGilvray at Cricket Archive
  3. ^ The Oxford Companion to Australian Cricket, OUP, Melbourne, 1996, p. 351.
  4. ^ Web Archive Copy: Sports Factor: Blowing the Whistle on World Cup Referees
  5. ^ It's an Honour: MBE
  6. ^ It's an Honour: AM

External links[edit]