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Tales from the Boundary

Toil and Trouble


There was a moan recently by a young-ish Australian leg spinner that he had been expected to bowl 5/600 balls in a one week training session.  My initial reaction, like many other commenters on the article, was "Wimp".

So I looked up the stats on that master trundler of leg spin, A P 'Tich' Freeman of Kent.  He bowled 622 overs in 12 Tests for 66 wickets.

In 1933 Tich bowled 12,200 balls in 35 matches, which equates to 116 overs per week, near 20 over six days but nearer 40 per day when his sides weren't batting and probably 40% of the overs bowled per day, when in the field.

In 1961 Fred Trueman bowled 7,081 balls in 34 matches, which equates to 69 overs a week, 23 per bowling day.  Fred's idea of limbering up was to swing his arm round a couple of times.  He averaged 39 overs over 67 Tests, for, of course, 307 wickets.

Alec Bedser averaged 52 overs per match over 51 Tests for 246 wickets.  His over tally in Test series was 328 in 46-47, 275 in 48, 275 in 48-49, 260 in 50-51 (AU) plus 84 (NZ), 275 in 51 and 265 in 53.  However, in 485 first class games he 'only' averaged 36 overs per match.

So, maybe the Aussie was right.

Andrew Appleby