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OTD | Former England pacer Alec Bedser was born in 1918

OTD | Former England pacer Alec Bedser was born in 1918

Regarded as one of the greatest English cricketers of the 20th century, Sir Alec Victor Bedser CBE was born on this day (July 4) in 1918. Known primarily for his medium-fast bowling, Bedser was a mainstay of the Surrey and the England team for nearly a decade.

Born in Reading, Berkshire, Bedser is ten minutes younger than his identical twin brother, Eric. Both showed great interest in sports from their childhood. They played cricket together for Monument Hill School and Woking Cricket Club. In June 1939, the twin brothers made their first-class debuts for Surrey against Oxford University.

However, the outbreak of World War II interrupted their cricket careers as they were forced to join the RAF Police. He played twice for Surrey in 1939 and he had to wait for another seven seasons for his next match. He returned to the side from the beginning of the 1946 season and enjoyed a remarkable run with his brother Eric until 1960.

His impressive stint with Surrey earned him a place in the England Test squad at the age of 28 – his 13th first-class match. He kicked off his campaign with 11 wickets in each of his first two Tests. He was instrumental in England’s Ashes victory in 1953, picking up 39 wickets at 17.48, including 14 for 99.

Bedser has played 485 first-class matches and has taken 1924 wickets. Notably, the right-arm pacer took 100 wickets in a season 11 times and played a key role in Surrey’s eight Championship victories. He represented the Three Lions from 1946 to 1955, taking 236 wickets and scoring 714 runs in 51 Test matches.

Post-retirement, Bedser became the chairman of selectors for the English national cricket team. He also served as the president of Surrey County Cricket Club. He was knighted in the 1997 New Year Honours and inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame.

 

Also read: One of India’s premier spinners Ghulam Ahmed was born in 1922

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