Harold Larwood

HAROLD LARWOOD, than whom few fast bowlers have jumped to the top of the tree more quickly, was born on November 19, 1904, at Nuncargate, a Notts colliery village. Practically unknown in 1924--he appeared once for Notts in that season--he received only two years later the honour of playing twice for England against Australia Larwood became a member of the Trent Bridge ground staff when 18, and for Notts Second Eleven against Lancashire Second Eleven at Kirkby in 1925 he obtained eight wickets for 44 runs. That performance secured him a place in the County eleven almost immediately afterwards, and he soon became the leading bowler of the side. He did not come into the team until the middle of June yet he took 73 wickets--eleven of them for 41 runs against Worcestershire. Last season in all matches his record was 137 wickets.

England's resources in the matter of fast bowlers of real class being so limited, it was obvious that if Larwood kept his form in 1926 he was bound to be seriously considered for the Test teams and he played at Lord's and the Oval. Bowling splendidly in the second innings of the last Test match he began Australia's collapse, getting Woodfull caught in the slips before a run had been scored, dismissing MacArtney in similar fashion at 31, and Andrews at 63. In addition he caught Ponsford low down in the slips. Standing only 5 feet 7½ inches high, and weighing 10 stone 8lbs., Larwood who, began life as a miner is, despite a somewhat frail appearance, very strong physically. He gets great pace off the ground, probably because he has a perfect run up to the wicket, and at times makes the ball come back so much that he is almost unplayable. Except that be drags his right foot and is inclined to stoop slightly at the moment of delivery his action is all that a fast bowler's should be. Under the tuition of James Iremonger, now coach at Trent Bridge, his powers have developed amazingly. Only 22 years of age he should have a big future.

© John Wisden & Co