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OTD in 1929 | Birth of English left-arm spinner, Tony Lock

OTD in 1929 | Birth of English left-arm spinner, Tony Lock

On this day in 1929, the cricketing world welcomed one of its most enduring and entertaining characters, Tony Lock. Born on July 5, Lock emerged as one of the greatest left-arm spinners of his era, leaving an indelible mark on the sport. Despite having a career often shrouded in controversy due to questions surrounding his bowling action, he was phenomenal.

Lock made his first-class debut for Surrey in 1946 at just 17 years old, swiftly establishing himself as a formidable force in county cricket. Known for his aggressive and unorthodox style, Lock’s relentless dedication and frequent remodelling of his bowling action kept him at the forefront of the game.

His partnership with fellow spinner Jim Laker became legendary, particularly during the 1956 Ashes series where Laker famously took 19 wickets at Old Trafford. Despite his prowess, Lock’s career was not without its challenges.

Tony Lock had faced allegations of illegal bowling action!

Tony Lock’s action was often scrutinised, leading to significant modifications that would have derailed the careers of less resilient players. However, Lock’s determination saw him continue to amass wickets, becoming a mainstay in the England team during the 1950s. He played 49 Tests, taking 174 wickets at an average of 25.58.

Lock’s ability was not confined to England’s pitches. His tours in Australia and the subcontinent showcased his adaptability, even if his success varied. In county cricket, he was a stalwart, achieving remarkable feats including leading Leicestershire to their highest finish in the County Championship in 1967.

Beyond his playing days, Lock continued to contribute to cricket as a coach in Perth and at Mill Hill School in London. His later years were marred by legal battles over allegations of misconduct, which were ultimately dismissed. Sadly, he passed away in 1995 after battling cancer, but his legacy as a brilliant spinner and an unforgettable character in cricket endures.

 

Also read: Former England pacer Alec Bedser was born in 1918

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